This installment of 5 Agriculture stories to read offers tips on controlling large weeds, as well as aerial seeding cover crops. Read about prospective returns and farm revenue given lower corn prices, and learn about a genetic discovery that could lead to better soybean varieties. Finally, enjoy the latest parody hit from the Peterson Farm Bros!
1. Delayed weed control options. Wet weather has become a nuisance for some in the Upper Midwest when it comes to postemergent weed control, and now some weeds are larger than specified on herbicide labels. Bob Hartzler, Iowa State University Extension weed specialist, offers tips and advice on controlling those larger weeds.
The tactic with the greatest likelihood of improving control of large weeds is to adjust the sprayer to improve coverage of the target. Although many people have had success at killing weeds larger than specified on the label, the variability in herbicide performance increases rapidly with increasing weed size. Weigh the cost of the application and the potential for crop injury against the likelihood of successfully controlling the weeds.
2. 2014 revenues and returns. After the latest WASDE report dropped corn prices further, Gary Schnitkey, ag economist at University of Illinois estimated farm revenues and returns for corn and soybeans, given the new price ranges.
Given this price range, there is about a $100 per acre range in which per acre returns can fall. Farmer returns likely are negative for cash rented farmland, given that costs are near average. Farmer returns for share rented farmland likely will be low.
3. Genetic discovery could offer better soybeans. Researchers from Purdue University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have discovered a soybean gene whose mutation affects plant stem growth, a finding that could lead to the development of improved soybean cultivars for the northern United States.
"This gene could help us improve the yield potential and adaptability of soybeans for specific growing areas," says Jianxin Ma, Purdue agronomy professor. "We can now focus on developing a variety of elite semideterminate soybean cultivars, which could perform very well in high-yielding, irrigated environments such as Nebraska and northeastern Indiana."
4. Aerial cover crop seeding tips. These timely cover-crop aerial seeding tips come from Damon Reabe, a third-generation aerial applicator and president of Reabe Spraying Service, Waupun, Wis. Reabe offers tips on seeding timing, cover crop varieties and cocktails as well as applicator tips.
5. All I do is Farm. The Peterson Farm Bros. are at is again! Their latest YouTube hit is a parody of the rap song All I do is Win. In typical fashion for the brothers, they promote agriculture and farming and offer a great message about agriculture to the viewers. Enjoy and share!
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