Jim Ruen

Biotic fertilizer grows soil health 2

Research with an 8-5-5 soil microbe-feeding (biotic) fertilizer shows big yield increases over the conventional competition in Iowa comparisons. "We've seen a 10-15-bushel per acre increase over our top-performing conventional nitrogen source," says Jerry Hatfield. "When you get an increase over SuperU, that is fairly significant."

Check spray drift insurance 1

"Insurance companies often have a pollution exclusion that they claim eliminates general liability and umbrella coverage for spray drift," warns Jean Sieler, Robison, Curphey & O'Connell, LLC. "Even if the policy covers drift via a specific rider, typically with a specific coverage limit, it may be an 'eroding' rider that allows them to deduct their legal costs."

Boost manure value 1

To understand the economic value of manure, Kristin Whittington recommends tissue testing, plus comparing results and yields across multiple years on manured and commercial fertilizer-applied acres.

Seed-selection web app helps hybrid selection

Denny Bell has the yield maps to prove that careful seed selection pays. Now the Terra Haute, Ind., farmer has Yield Pop, an app that streamlines hybrid selection for his 1,100 acres of corn and 900 acres of soybeans, offering yield information for free.

Should you choose highest corn yield or consistent corn yield? 1

How do you manage for top yields in highly variable soils, when weather uncertainties, high land costs and falling crop prices have reduced the margin of error? It may require changing goals, suggests Charles Walthall, USDA-ARS.

Continuous corn yield boost? 1

You may not have to settle for yield drag with continuous corn. Recent University of Minnesota research indicates that yields from continuous corn in conservation tillage may be comparable to corn following soybeans or intensive tillage when selected management and products are used.

Corn research targets less nitrogen use 1

Substantial yield bumps from new nitrogen-efficient hybrids should come towards the end of this decade and early in the next one, says Michael Clements, Monsanto corn intrinsic yield and nitrogen lead.

New soil test tracks microbial activity

What if you had soil data that told you how much food was available for your soil microbes that build soil health? Well, a new soil test is gaining early traction among cover-crop users and no-tillers who reap the benefits of healthier soil, but truly lacked the right test to tell them about their available nutrients.

Corn rootworm management challenge grows 1

Discovery of root feeding and lodging in first-year Cry3Bb1-protected corn in central and east-central Illinois is only one of several scenarios adding to the challenge of corn rootworm (CRW) control in areas of the Corn Belt. The increasing complexities are leading more growers to consider a layered approach.

Adapt-N tool calculates for weather extremes and soils 15

Harold van Es knows how to make the best of a bad thing. The Cornell University professor of soil and water management couldn't have asked for better weather to test his team’s Adapt-N nitrogen application model in 2012 and 2013. Extreme drought last year followed by extreme moisture this year proves the program's value in ways moderate weather never could.

Moist Soil Sample Provides Precision, Better Accuracy in Estimating Potassium 2

Ignored for decades, moist sample analysis saves money and boosts yields. Soil labs and scientists alike abandoned field moist soil sampling decades ago. Common until the 1980s, field moist soil sampling was replaced with a faster and easier "dry and grind" procedure.

Scout for Weeds, Pests in Corn, Soybeans Early, Often, Walking the Field 13

"There’s nothing about scouting a farmer can't learn," says Bruce Potter, Minnesota Extension integrated pest management specialist. He, along with Ryan Wolf and Harold Watters scout extensively and train growers, crop consultants and agronomists how to scout. Scouting isn't just identifying a disease or insect pest, says Watters, an Ohio State University Extension field agronomist.

North Dakota Corn Yield Trials Have Success with Conventional Corn Hybrids 2

GM hybrids aren't the only "elite" germplasm. G2 Genetics' 3-H-399 AgrisureRW hybrid, with a full complement of GM (genetically modified) traits, captured headlines with a record 309.5 bu./acre yield in the North Dakota University (NDSU) irrigated corn trials. However, the conventional hybrid runner up may suggest an even bigger story.

Secure Your Landlords | Status Quo Land Leases May Cost You Lost Acres 5

How secure is your relationship with all your landlords? At a time when aggressive operators are targeting long-term relationships, offering substantial bumps to rental agreements, what would your landlords accept? Do you know how to 'seal the deal' with every landlord?

Drought-Beater Soybeans 4

While the drought ravaged many Midwestern corn fields in 2012, soybeans in many of those same areas broke yield records. Field averages of 70, 80 and 90 bu. with spikes well above that were reported throughout the upper Midwest. Extension crop specialists contacted by Corn & Soybean Digest credit the ever-resilient soybean's response to late-season rains. And to the role the hot dry weather played in reducing insect and disease pressure.

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