Conservation en How does tillage impact soil health? <div class="node-body gallery-body"><p>Dust storms, rills and gullies, soil crusting, runoff, ponding — these are above-ground signs of poor soil health. And below ground: weak soil aggregation, compaction, impaired biological life, restricted water infiltration, stagnant smell, gray color. The prime culprit? Tillage. </p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Corn Soybeans Tillage Mon, 28 Sep 2015 15:55:00 +0000 100671 at Farming for water <div class="field-deck"> Farmer uses cover crops, no-till to handle wet soils, weeds. </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><p>While many farmers rely on spring tillage to dry out wet soils, Jerry Ackerman goes the other way. His cover crop/no-till program helps him handle heavy rains and wet soils better than tillage and drain tiles. In 2013, it even helped him fight waterhemp thanks to the strips of cereal rye he seeded the previous fall in soybeans and corn.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation cover crops No Till Thu, 17 Sep 2015 20:43:00 +0000 100541 at <p>Cover crops interseeded at V5 or V6 were healthy, green and ready to explode as corn dried down prior to harvest.</p> Photo: Jerry and Nancy Ackerman Will you seed cover crops this year? <div class="node-body advpoll_binary-body"><p>Cover crops are gaining in usage across the Corn Belt. We&#39;d like to know, do you plan&nbsp;to plant cover crops this fall? If so, on how many acres of your row-crop fields? Or, perhaps you won&#39;t plant any at all. Take our latest poll and let us know. Feel free to leave a comment with your location and planned cover crop acreage.</p> </div><form action="/poll/09152015" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post" id="advpoll-voting-binary-form-0" class="advpoll-vote"> <div><div class="poll"> <div class="advpoll-available-choices"> <div class="vote-choices"> <div class="form-radios"><div class="form-item" id="edit-choice-3681-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-choice-3681"><input type="radio" id="edit-choice-3681" name="choice" value="3681" class="form-radio" /> Yes, on 25% of my row-crop acres.</label> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-choice-3691-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-choice-3691"><input type="radio" id="edit-choice-3691" name="choice" value="3691" class="form-radio" /> Yes, on 50% of my row-crop acres.</label> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-choice-3701-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-choice-3701"><input type="radio" id="edit-choice-3701" name="choice" value="3701" class="form-radio" /> Yes, on 75% of my row-crop acres.</label> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-choice-3711-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-choice-3711"><input type="radio" id="edit-choice-3711" name="choice" value="3711" class="form-radio" /> Yes, on all of my row-crop acres.</label> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-choice-3721-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-choice-3721"><input type="radio" id="edit-choice-3721" name="choice" value="3721" class="form-radio" /> No, I won’t seed cover crops this year.</label> </div> </div> </div> </div> <input type="hidden" name="ajax" id="edit-ajax" value="" class="ajax" /> <input type="hidden" name="nid" id="edit-nid" value="100501" class="edit-nid" /> <input type="submit" name="op" id="edit-vote-binary-0" value="Answer" class="form-submit" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" id="form-vZKzdwXFdgJJBT7PVnxM8O7nfJApM0f13r2-wpLLVRg" value="form-vZKzdwXFdgJJBT7PVnxM8O7nfJApM0f13r2-wpLLVRg" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" id="edit-advpoll-voting-binary-form" value="advpoll_voting_binary_form" /> </div> </div></form> <div class="field-redirect-on-submit"> <span>Go to result page on submit:&nbsp;</span> Go to result page on submit </div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Conservation Tue, 15 Sep 2015 18:28:13 +0000 100501 at 5 Agriculture stories to read, Aug. 21, 2015 <div class="node-body gallery-body"><p>In the 5 ag stories to read this week, watch a webinar covering the benefits, and the possibilities, of cover crops and get information about treating post-pollination corn aphids. See the latest USDA report about computer and internet usage on the farm and learn how to track payback on variable rate application. Finally, learn about a WWE wrestler who also farms. </p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Corn Precision Ag corn production cover crops Fri, 21 Aug 2015 19:40:00 +0000 100211 at Stop farming unprofitable acres <div class="field-deck"> Iowa farmer Wayne Fredericks uses technology to retire unprofitable field areas. </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><p>Five fields on Wayne Fredericks’ farm took on a new look this year after he decided to retire small parcels in each of them to boost profitability and improve the environment. Although the retired areas are small – the largest is 3.2 acres and the smallest just under 3/4 of an acre – Fredericks says it makes sense to quit growing crops in these areas that lose money every year.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Corn Soybeans Sustainable Agriculture soybean production Corn Thu, 20 Aug 2015 16:56:00 +0000 100191 at <p>Iowa farmer Wayne Fredericks retired portions of five fields, ranging in size from a 3.2-acre piece surrounding a sinkhole, to smaller 0.7 to 1.2-acre areas along building sites, windbreaks and a waterway. &ldquo;In all but one case, yield was at least 20% below the farm average, and all consistently lost me money,&rdquo; he says.</p> Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association Get proactive on water quality <div class="field-deck"> Iowa farmers, ag organizations and cities learn to partner and find solutions. </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><p>Iowa farmer Blake Hollis prefers to be part of the water quality solution. While the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit on farm-sourced nitrogen in watersheds that lead to the Raccoon River have drawn controversy, efforts to the east where Hollis farms are drawing praise...and money. </p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Sustainable Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Tue, 04 Aug 2015 17:18:00 +0000 99941 at <p>Achieving water quality as a common goal best achieved through partnering, suggests Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, executive director Sean McMahon. The Alliance, a partnership of Iowa corn and soybean growers and pork producers is in turn partnering with municpalities, companies and non-governmental agencies protect and improve Iowa waters.</p> Iowa Soybean Association Research shows benefits of strip-till <div class="field-byline"> Source: American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America </div> <div class="field-deck"> Researchers find improved soil properties compared to no-till method </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><p>“We saw a consistent benefit of strip-till over no-till for these soils we were working with,” says Fabián Fernández, University of Minnesota. For those soils where strip-till would be appropriate, it can be a powerful method that benefits the soil by both working to help conserve soil and improving soil physical properties.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Sustainable Agriculture Tillage soil health Strip Till Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:02:00 +0000 99771 at Bayer CropScience and Ernst Conservation Seeds Partner to Create Pollinator Habitat <div class="node-body press_release-body"><p>RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (July 9, 2015) &ndash; As part of its ongoing commitment to honey bee health, Bayer CropScience has partnered with Ernst Conservation Seeds to provide bulk seed to individuals and organizations that have pledged to become Feed a Bee partners and dedicate land to the establishment of pollinator habitat.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Thu, 23 Jul 2015 04:00:00 +0000 99521 at National Council of Farmer Cooperatives Joins Field to Market <div class="node-body press_release-body"><p>WASHINGTON, DC, JULY 14, 2015 &mdash; The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives announced today that it has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a multi-stakeholder initiative working to unite the agricultural supply chain in defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Thu, 23 Jul 2015 04:00:00 +0000 99571 at Going all-in on cover crops <div class="field-deck"> Robert Harvey went from zero to 1,100 acres of cover crops on his corn and soybeans </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><p>Some farmers want to try a new idea on a few acres to evaluate it before using it in a big way. Not Robert Harvey––at least when the idea is cover crops. The Guthrie County, Iowa, farmer went all-in on cover crops two years ago, seeding cereal rye on all 1,100 acres he farms with his father, Gerald.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Sustainable Agriculture cover crops Tue, 21 Jul 2015 20:58:00 +0000 99401 at <p>Robert Harvey (left) and Jason Hart of the local NRCS office found plenty of worms in his cereal rye cover crop field in mid-April. Harvey&rsquo;s primary goals are to save soil and build organic matter.</p> Photo: Lynn Betts