David Hest

Can farm sustainability measurement tools improve farm management?

Evaluating your farm’s sustainability and seeing how it stacks up against similar operations can be an eye-opener that helps improve a farm’s economic and environmental sustainability, says Shawn Conley, Extension soybean specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Farmers test narrow corn rows, high plant population 2

Steve Ford is one of about two dozen Corn Belt farmers with similar Stine-sponsored test plots. He was more than a little curious about how high-population corn planted in 12-inch rows would stand up – and how it would yield.

No-till corn yield secrets 1

Every winter, as he finalizes seed, fertility and pest management programs for the following spring, David Wolfskill takes to his shop to perform a task that’s equally critical for top corn yields. He strips his planter down to the frame and rebuilds it.

Farmers test new precision field-data services 6

Jeff Heepke knew he was part of the next wave of precision agriculture when his cellphone rang as he planted corn with his new 16-row planter last spring. “Do you know that row 15 is plugged?” asked the caller.

Build soil to handle extreme rain

After more than 30 years of no-till, constructing 1,000 terraces and untold grass waterways and turn areas, Ray Gaesser decided to up his soil-protection game after an 8-inch overnight rainfall washed out a 20-acre field that spring.

Farmer prepares for agriculture downturn, growth opportunities 1

As he looked to the future, Jim Kline, 56, turned to lessons learned from the 1980s farm crisis. He began paying down debt, trading machinery less often and slowing down his farm expansion.

New technology detects in-season nutrient deficiencies earlier than tissue tests

Jim Goss isn’t ready to declare tissue tests obsolete. But if field trials of a new resin-based technology continue to pan out, he thinks he may have found a new early warning system to detect unexpected nutrient deficiencies early enough to prevent yield losses.

Manage for weather extremes 4

If Fred Yoder had doubts that weather affecting his Ohio farm would become more extreme, they vanished in 2011 and 2012, when back-to-back ultra-wet and ultra-dry years tested his farm.

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