Jim Ruen

Jim
Ruen
Articles
Don’t let weed spray fails happen on your farm

Herbicide application accuracy and efficacy is easy. All you have to do is follow the rules of right tip, right pressure, right speed, right rate and right application conditions. Fail on any one rule and you may face a costly re-spray or even lose control for the season.

No soil is too wet or cold for no-till

West-central Wisconsin farmer Carl Oberholtzer has made no-till work. It's been a learning experience that has helped him maintain soil organic matter, with hopes of growing it as he incorporates cover crops.

Questions you need to ask when considering biologicals

New biological products for the soil have entered the market at an unprecedented rate. However, product claims are now running into input budget reality. How does a farmer justify these new products with low crop prices?

Off-patent Roundup soybean trait in demand 3

In 2015, Chad Hornsby planted about 300 acres to soybeans with the now off-patent Roundup Ready trait, known as RR1. "I can use the money I save on seed to help fight pigweed," says Hornsby, who could have saved seed and replanted it this spring, but didn't. "I'll buy new certified seed again this year."

Improve financial clarity on the farm

The decision to let land go or hold off on a needed purchase is never easy, but a clear view of the bottom line and everything that gets you there can help. Using risk-management, profitability and planning software tool GrainBridge, a Missouri farm has improved its overall business view.

Is IPM dead or different?

"I think we've gotten away from IPM," says Iowa farmer Blake Crawford. "For my customers, integrated traits in hybrids are the No. 1 option as they are easy to use and affordable versus scouting and using IPM, and give good control of most problem pests."

Realistic environmental groups understand value of working with farmers

As crop producers come under increasing pressure over water quality and other environmental issues, conservation and environmental organizations can be valuable partners.

Conventional corn increase

Conventional (non-GMO) seed planting is on the rise, even as grain price premiums fade away. Tight margins and profit-making opportunities are driving the trend. Scott Apple started his transition to conventional corn when commodity prices were still at an all-time high, and he didn't do it to capture premiums.

Can twin-row corn payoff? 2

Marty Derks is on a mission to maximize corn and soybean yields in a harsh climate. Twin-row planting combined with precise seed placement are enabling higher planting rates in corn and lower rates in soybeans.

Can seeding cover crops at sidedress work? 3

New equipment options and growers willing to experiment are opening the door to early season cover crop interseeding. Growers who try it are finding lower costs and in-season benefits.

New farm pond recycles drainage water

With the installation of an 18-acre pond in mid-December 2014, eastern Iowa grower Jim Sladek married the pattern drainage and irrigation. By April 1, the pond was full, ready and waiting for use by center pivots. Ninety-five percent of its water came from drain tile.

Can conservation cut insurance rates?

Tying conservation practices to federal crop insurance rules and rates requires turning field experience into public policy, and that requires data. AGree, a collaborative effort founded and funded by nine of the world's leading foundations committed to food and agriculture, is attempting to make that connection.

High land leases up for grabs 1

Like any high-stakes card game, knowing when to hold or fold is vital to your farm business. That is especially true today for land leases – with input costs holding, crop prices folding and operators dangling from record high rents.

Farming for water 2

While many farmers rely on spring tillage to dry out wet soils, Jerry Ackerman goes the other way. His cover crop/no-till program helps him handle heavy rains and wet soils better than tillage and drain tiles. In 2013, it even helped him fight waterhemp thanks to the strips of cereal rye he seeded the previous fall in soybeans and corn.

Sweeten soybean yields

Alabama soybean grower Annie Dee is working with nature on her 2,500 acres. The United Soybean Board member has seen the benefit of beneficial insects in her own fields and is supplementing native populations with honeybees.

Continuing Education Courses
New Course

Accredited for 2 hours/CCA Soil & Water credits. The 2,000 member...

Keeping crop protection chemicals on the crop for which they are intended has been a...

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×