These 5 ag stories to read talk about the impact of recent low temperatures on soybean yield, and remind growers to scout corn fields for stalk and ear rots before harvest. There is also big picture information about the choices farmers will soon make regarding the 2014 Farm Bill. Read advice on using tillage to control resistant weeds, and for the hunters, check out the 2014 pheasant hunting forecast.
“Do we need to till or not?” Purdue University weed scientist Bryan Young often hears this question from Midwest soybean growers fighting herbicide-resistant marestail, waterhemp and Palmer amaranth....More
The August issue of Corn+Soybean Digest features many great stories, including cover crops, high-moisture harvesting, waterway reform, strip-till decisions, market tips and data decisions. Read these tips and ideas to help you with agronomic, marketing and data decisions on your farm.
Dan Sanderson and his son Trent farm near Clare, Ill. The operation is 100% strip-till, and the father-son duo plant cover crops on about 1/3 of their acres, experimenting with different mixes. They have clay loam soils and use a variety of technologies and equipment, including a sugar beet plate to plant some of their cover crops....More
Choosing spring or fall strip-till “depends on so many factors; only you can decide,” says Brad Meister, Bourbon, Ind. “Soil type, coulter machine or shank machine, whether you have any erodible land, the amount of time you have in the fall to do it; how long it takes for your ground to mellow out in the spring, and whether you put down phosphorus or potassium with it.”...More
Although the concept of a custom farming agreement is simple, close communication between the custom operator and the landowner is essential. A written contract for the custom farming agreement should definitely be prepared that specifies the amount of payment by the landowner to the custom operator, and all other pertinent details....More
“Rock and roll” isn’t about music for Mike Petefish when he’s picking rocks in Claremont, Minnesota. “When I see a rock like this one with a certain bluish color, I know it’ll be dense and heavier for its size than any other, and all I can do is rebury it cause I sure can’t lift it with a backhoe,” he says....More
Here are 5 ag stories you should read today, April 25. From late planting and concerns (or lack of), including compaction, to learning more about the PLC risk coverage in the Farm Bill, to NASA research about better soybeans, these are stories you should read....More
More than 50% of surveyed farmers want their local retailers to provide help to monitor soil health and changes related to cover crops. And, farmers also said they want their retailers to help them adjust their nutrient management plan to factor in the use of cover crops....More
You might say that soil is the original green machine. Working with the Earth’s soil microbes saves you a lot of money. At no cost, soil’s tiny, underground critters convert sunlight, water, carbon dioxide and crop residue into crop income....More
Top-yielding no-till winners rotate with soybeans, select hybrids for early vigor in no-till conditions, scout for early season insects and optimize fertility and application timing, including micronutrients and fungicides, to achieve 300-bushel corn yields....More
Tillage, at one time a go-to solution for loosening compacted soils, also creates poor soil structure and hardpan soils. “There is a downward spiral with tillage. The more you till the soil, the more you destroy its structure," says Jim Hoorman, Ohio State University. While deep ripping or vertical tillage offer a short-term solution, the long-term answer to soil compaction is to rebuild soil structure, says Hoorman....More
Denny Friest has conducted dozens of trials since 2000, and takes on several new comparisons each year through a program with Iowa Soybean Association. Participating farmers work with researchers to design practical trials. Farmers across the state often conduct trials on similar topics, such as N fertilizer or fungicide performance, which enhances results’ reliability....More
Farmers may soon have a new set of tools along with professional guidance that tells them not only how much nitrogen they currently have in specific, small areas of their fields, but how long they can expect that nitrogen to last....More
"This will be a great opportunity for farmers interested in cover crops and soil health to meet up with like-minded individuals from their local area to discuss both local and national issues related to cover crops," said Dr. Rob Myers, North Central Region SARE....More
Every winter, as he finalizes seed, fertility and pest management programs for the following spring, David Wolfskill takes to his shop to perform a task that’s equally critical for top corn yields. He strips his planter down to the frame and rebuilds it....More
Intense rainstorms stripped fertile soil from unprotected farm fields across the Corn Belt last spring. Parts of east-central and northwest Iowa lost as much as 24 tons of topsoil per acre in May, according to Daily Erosion Project estimates....More
After more than 30 years of no-till, constructing 1,000 terraces and untold grass waterways and turn areas, Ray Gaesser decided to up his soil-protection game after an 8-inch overnight rainfall washed out a 20-acre field that spring....More
The day-and-a-half-long conference will provide practical, how-to information on nearly every aspect of conservation tillage. Learn how conservation tillage can save soil, time, fuel — and money. Besides saving valuable soil resources, conservation tillage has been proven to save $25-45 per acre in tillage costs. And that’s not including your labor....More
Bill Richards is keenly disappointed with the current acceptance of conservation, and no-till in particular. “This is the mystery of my life: I think we’ve lost some of our conservation ethic. No-till involves a change in culture. Maybe that’s the problem," he says....More
Though fertile — in a good year the Braggers raise 200-bushel corn and 50-bushel soybeans — their clay-loam hills are very vulnerable to water erosion. It’s the kind of terrain that some believe should not be cropped at all. Yet the Braggers farm this fragile land intensively, achieving high yields with little soil loss....More
No-till crop production requires more advanced planning than tillage farming. In fact, no-till planting in the spring of 2014 begins now! It is very important to distribute crop residue evenly to guarantee excellent crop results next year. If corn residue is not distributed uniformly behind the combine it becomes very difficult to correct this later....More
No matter what your tillage goal is – residue management, seedbed preparation or preparing for the next crop in a rotation – a properly adjusted and properly used tillage implement will result in fewer trips to the field, better management of the quality and performance of the next crop, and hopefully lower potential erosion. Tillage experts from Sunflower, offer some advice for preparing and setting disc harrows before going to the field this fall. These tips apply regardless of the brand of disc harrow you’re working with.