Farmers across the Midwest are off to an early start this planting season. Spring is typically the busiest time of the year for farmers, and when rushing to take advantage of ideal planting conditions, it can be easy to neglect simple steps for staying safe and healthy while in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics an average of 700 deaths can be attributed to farm work injuries each year and an additional 120,000 agricultural workers sustain disabling injuries from work-related accidents. Many of these accidents occur during the spring planting season....More
Spring is a good time for corn and soybean growers to calibrate sprayers to avoid wasting money and applying the wrong amount of pesticides, says Erdal Ozkan, an Ohio State University agricultural engineer. Approximately 66-77% of all growers who spray pesticides spray too much or too little, which not only can waste money, but also cause crop losses, says Ozkan....More
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....More
The use of precision farming products continues to increase. With increasing input costs, producers are often looking for ways to adopt technology to make farming operations more efficient and productive. Two precision-ag products – auto guidance and automatic section control – lead the way in cost savings while also enhancing the productivity of machinery operations....More
In the drive to manage nitrogen (N) more effectively, active crop-canopy sensors may become an option in your toolbox. But John Sawyer, Iowa State University agronomy professor, warns that they still have limitations, and more research is needed....More
I recently learned a costly lesson that many of you know instinctively. But for me, it cost me a crop under irrigation. Our farm is in a remote part of Ghana. Farming in an isolated region without electricity and a network of trusted colleagues can be a challenge....More
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....More
Driving with a broken fuel gauge isn’t just inconvenient, it’s risky. So most logical drivers would keep the tank full for fear of running out of fuel at the most inopportune times – or better yet, fix the fuel gauge. The blind hope required to drive with a malfunctioning gauge is exactly how Nick Lammers describes most folks’ approach to moisture management....More
Jason Zimmer’s heart sank every time he looked at the field. The west-central Minnesota farmer had rolled a quarter-section of soybeans the day after planting, in May 2010. The soil was a bit tacky, and the big roller caused the moist ground to crust, hindering emergence.
“Rolling hurt my stand bad,” he says. Stands dropped 30% on the slopes and hills – a big price to pay for harvest ease....More
Here's round two of old farming equipment Digital Editor came across at her grandparents' farm recently. From another Allis tractor to an old Gleaner Six hopper to a McCormick grain drill, there's no shortage of vintage equipment at the Johnson farm in south-central Minnesota. Do you have some old equipment in the back 40? Email us your photos and we'll post them here! Send them to email@example.com.
One young farmer tailors his family’s farm equipment to keep up with precision agriculture.
When J.D. Riffel finishes his Kansas State University master’s degree in agronomy next year, he plans to head back to the family farm near Stockton, KS, where he’s already testing precision-ag technology with a custom-made, variable-rate fertilizer applicator....More
This Thanksgiving Digital Editor Jen Bennett spent some time at her uncle and grandparents' farm. Walking through the back acres, looking at all the old equipment her grandpa used back in the day got her thinking: They sure don't make things like they used to. Older equipment is fun to look at, and something farmers, non-farmers and people of most ages can enjoy. Check out some of the old things on the Johnson farm, along with photos submitted by readers. Do you have old equipment around your farm site? Send us your photos! Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post them to the gallery here!
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....More
It is very likely that you will not be using your sprayer again until next spring. If you want to avoid potential problems and save yourself from frustration and major headaches, you will be wise to give your sprayer a little bit of TLC this fall. Yes this is still a busy time of the year for some of you, but don't delay winterizing your sprayer any more than necessary....More
There is just something about a wagon full of grain that seems to be inviting to jump into and wallow about in it. The feel of the grain flowing like water through one's fingers and wrapping around one's feet is almost comforting. However those feelings of delight can quickly turn into feelings of fright. What many forget or do not realize is that flowing, moving grain can shallow a person in seconds, especially when the grain is been drain from below such as in a grain bin or grain wagon....More
TractorLife.com, a website that helps farmers maintain and extend the operating lives of their tractors, will host a free 60-minute webinar to address new depreciation rules and how they will affect farmers’ operations....More
Combine fires cause serious injuries and millions in property losses each year – this harvest is no exception says Daniel Humburg, professor of Ag & Biosystems Engineering Department at South Dakota State University....More
John Deere recently rolled out the red, or should I say green, carpet for what it’s touting as its largest product launch in the company’s 174-year history. New tractors, combines with bigger corn heads and platforms, self-propelled sprayers, wireless technology and a whole lot of hay equipment were unveiled....More
Farmers are eager to harvest soybeans and corn but the fields are very soggy in much of Ohio. The danger of causing soil compaction is therefore high. Let’s look at ways to increase the resilience of the soil to compaction, to avoid compaction, and ways to alleviate compaction....More
Corn & Soybean Digest Editor Greg Lamp attended John Deere's product launch recently. He got a sneek peak at all the new tractors, combines and implements that will be new for growers to use in 2012....More
Corn & Soybean Digest Managing Editor Susan Winsor spoke with Randall Reeder, Ohio State University Extension ag engineer, about creating controlled traffic in fields. From equipment needs to grain carts, as well as the positives in wet years, Reeder explains what you need to implement a controlled traffic system in your fields....More
Corn harvest has begun and every field will be different this fall. Some fields will be highly productive, and others will barely pay the harvesting costs. Some fields will have good stalk strength and other fields have already gone down, with heavy lodging from wind, fragile stalks, rootworm or some other reason....More
As conservation tillage gains popularity, growers will need equipment to manage the residue. Here is a roundup of residue managers and tillage tools to help corn and soybean farmers in the field....More