Liz Morrison

Liz
Morrison
Articles
More Aphid Ammunition | Soybeans with Genetic Aphid Protection Squelch No. 1 Soybean Pest 1

Two genes that help soybeans fend off aphids worked well in 2011, both as single and stacked traits. That’s according to a six-state study of soybeans with aphid resistance genes, known as Rag1 and Rag2. Individually, the genes slowed aphid growth significantly, says Iowa State University entomologist Matt O’Neal, who led the research.

Stray Corn Strut | Volunteer Corn Steals Beans and Feeds Your Worst Corn Pest 2

On a road trip last September through Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, Jeff Gunsolus was struck by all the volunteer corn sticking up out of ripening soybean fields. “It seems that people aren’t valuing this as a weed-management issue," says the Minnesota Extension weed scientist. Many growers are not killing it soon enough as volunteer corn is very competitive with soybeans, he says.

Refine your Refuge | It's More Important Than Ever This Year

Minnesota farmer Gene Stengel and his sons Kevin and Rob will plant a 20% insect refuge this spring, as usual. Although “refuge-in-the-bag” blends of Bt and non-Bt seeds are proving popular with farmers – and could predominate in coming years – many growers will still plant structured non-Bt refuges in 2012.

Late June Soybean Success | Double-Crop Soybean Strategies From the 45th Parallel

Come end of June, Minnesota grower Norm Giese will be planting soybeans again, just like he has done for the last 13 years, successfully. The Appleton, MN, farmer and his son and son-in-law grow 5,000 acres of corn, soybeans and dry edible beans. They also grow 350 acres of fresh peas for a local processor.

Tires or tracks? | What’s the Best Way to Avoid Soil Compaction? 1

Are tracks or tires better for reducing compaction from loaded grain carts? “The answer is, it depends,” says Randy Taylor, an Oklahoma State University Extension ag engineer.

Escaped Sediment Being Blamed on You | Conservation Practices have Slashed the Amount of Soil Moving from Farm Fields into Waterways

This spring, a muddy lake on the Mississippi River sparked a flurry of controversy about agricultural drainage. Lake Pepin, on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, is filling up with silt. Most of the sediment is carried into the lake by the Minnesota River, a turbid prairie river that meanders through some of the most productive – and heavily tiled – cropland in the world.

Profit Perspective | Aerial Imagery Reveals Crop Problems Difficult to See from the Ground 1

For a new view of crop production, try rising above it all. Aerial images of fields are useful tools for detecting crop variations and equipment problems that are hard to see from the ground, says Tom Oswald, a Cleghorn, IA, farmer who’s used aerial imagery for several years.

Slurry-Seeding Synergy | New One-Pass System Combines Light Tillage, Manure Application, Cover-Crop Seeding 1

Manure and cover crops are a natural combination, but livestock farmers are often too busy in the fall with harvesting and manure application to worry about putting in a cover crop. Now, a new seeding technique makes it more practical for Midwest growers to reap the benefits of cover crops without an extra field pass. Slurry seeding combines liquid manure injection, low-disturbance tillage and cover-crop planting – all in one efficient operation.

Trash talk | Tips On How To Manage Residue With Corn On Corn 2

More northern Corn Belt farmers are planting continuous corn, and that means more hard-to-handle residue left in fields. Higher plant populations, better-yielding hybrids, less aggressive tillage and the cold climate – which slows down decay – all increase the mounds of debris.

Land Dynamics | Surging Farmland values prompted this farmer to sell some land with leaseback conditions.

Iowa grower Jay Johnson recently sold a farm – but he didn’t quit farming it. Johnson raises about 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans with his brother Steve at Stratford, IA. In June 2010, Johnson bought a 72.5-acre farm, paying just over $6,100/acre.

Lease With integrity | How To Foster Trust, Fairness In Landlord-Tenant Relationships

Would you pay more cash rent than you had to? John and Jack Scott did. In January, following an excellent year for crop yields and prices, the Gilby, ND, farmers sent a voluntary cash bonus to their landlord, John Botsford, Grand Forks, ND.

Total Teamwork | After Two Minnesota Farmers Lost Leased Land to Rising Cash Rents, They Decided to Work Together 1

The run-up in cash rents prompted two Red River Valley farmers to join forces to stay profitable. Gaylen Affield and Jared Nordick raise corn and soybeans in the rich glacial soils of ancient Lake Agassiz, along the Minnesota-North Dakota border. The Wilkin County, MN, growers also operate two successful farm-related businesses together – a Precision Planting dealership and an excavation service. After both men lost leased cropland to rising cash rents, they teamed up on their farming operations, too.

Tired of Playing Rent Roulette | Flexible Leases Take Some Guesswork Out Of Setting Cash Rent

Does setting cash-rental rates feel a little like playing roulette? Can you guess the winning number? Surging farmland values and volatile crop and input prices are complicating next year’s cash-rent decisions – and intensifying risk.

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