A few years back, Lynn Lagerstedt had a mystery on his hands. The veteran crop consultant was seeing potassium (K) deficiency symptoms in southeastern Minnesota cornfields – even where sufficient potash had been applied. What was going on?
“Rattle! Clank! Whomp!” There’s quite a racket coming from Gary Dierks’ newly planted soybean field. It’s the sound of rocks and corn root balls being pushed down into the soil by a 50-ft. Degelman land roller sweeping over the field. Land rolling is catching on with Upper Midwest soybean growers.
Dan Forgey is a master of mixology. His signature cocktails are blends of grasses, legumes and brassicas. He is agronomy manager for Cronin Farms, an 8,500-acre crop and cow-calf operation in central South Dakota. He grows eight cash crops – including corn, soybeans and wheat – and juggles an equal number of cover crops, which include field peas, oats, turnips, radishes, canola and flax.
Father knows best. That’s why – when it comes to selecting soybean varieties – Dick Mahoney gets advice from his son. Dick, 57, farms in west-central Minnesota. His son John, 34, is an agronomist for Centrol Crop Consulting. Dick has been farming for 35 years and has plenty of experience choosing seeds. But the speed of genetic advances makes variety selection increasingly complex, he says. And rising seed costs put more on the line than ever before.