While the stomach-churning drought of all droughts gets 24/7 news coverage, our cover story focus for August emphasizes an even larger problem that will remain in your fields well beyond this one crop cycle. And you can't buy insurance for it. The southern Minnesota field on the cover is being overrun by resistant giant ragweed, spread via combine and pollen. The glyphosate molecule will no longer control this prolific weed seed producer – similar to waterhemp and its pigweed cousin Palmer amaranth.
Are you a farmer who buys into the retailer/company/lender logic of adding more inputs to the spray tank, just in case insects or disease might be out there? Or are you fortunate to have a trusted source who scouts and openly discusses practices that can lead to weed, insect and disease resistance?
Big profits the last few years are not only driving add-on purchases of numerous and different spray tank additives; this cash is also driving investment in the machines attached to those tanks. The market is so swamped that some companies can't fulfill self-propelled sprayer orders until fall 2013.
My passion as a news and technology junkie has helped my agricultural journalism career immensely. And one fun component of that curiosity and passion is to ask farmers what's new in order to learn their passions.
With below-average sea temperatures beginning to warm, La Niña peaked in mid-February. It’s transitioning toward ENSO-neutral conditions during March through May 2012, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials.
In this issue we coincidently have two stories that mention the same technology. But the thinking by two different sources, who both reside within the same campus, seem almost polar opposite. An engineer views active crop-sensor technology as one of the next big things in precision agriculture. The agronomist sees all the problems and issues with the technology.
In the world of precision ag, two technologies are the next big thing, says Matt Darr, Iowa State University ag engineer. They aren’t newly developed technologies, but they are the next big wave in agriculture.
As a farm journalist who has logged vast windshield time on Corn Belt blue highways every summer for umpteen years, something struck me different looking across bean fields in 2011. In a word: statues. Of tall, random and proud water hemp.
Change may not always be welcome or understood at first. But those who can find the value will benefit. All I can ask of you, a valued reader, is to keep an open mind toward change. To challenge yourself. To think different.