Tim Dritz didn’t hesitate to drive 350 miles from his western Minnesota farm for a day and a half August meeting in Waterloo, Iowa. Neither did Charlie Hammer from Beaver Dam, Wisc., whose drive was about 250 miles one-way. The veteran strip-tillers didn’t mind because they were going to a peer meeting they valued – in meetings and online. They met on an invitation-only Facebook page dedicated to strip-till, which quickly branched out to technologic ways to boost agronomic efficiency, says Loran Steinlage, one of the group’s early members....More
Loran Steinlage, farmer at West union, Iowa, is a part of a closed Facebook group where 100 or so farmers talk strip-till and agronomics. The group formed in January on the social network, and memebers share pictures and ideas, learning from other farmers across the country....More
Yamaha introduced it's new side-by-side vehicle, the 2014 Viking. Travis Hollins, ATV and SxS product planning manager for Yamaha, talks about the new cab features, including three-passenger seating, as well as the utility functions of the new SxS. Hollins also talks about the engine position of the new Viking model, as well as its offroad capabilities, including the On-Command system and Ultramatic transmission....More
John Deere spent almost a month this summer in Columbus, Ohio, training their 4,800 dealers on its new iron and technology coming in 2014. I arrived with other media during the last wave of 1,200 dealers to witness the event and drive the new 7R series tractors....More
Gary Nelson and his son farm 2,500 acres in Iowa, and part of their operation includes on-farm research for the Ann Smeltzer Charitable Trust. On that farm, they have continuous no-till, continuous conventional tillage and strip-till the rest of the acres....More
CSD Editor Kurt Lawton attended the recent John Deere product launch, where they introduced the new machines and technologies for 2014. Here, Barry Nelson, media relations manager, John Deere, talks about the new 8R and 7R tractors, S series combines, 4 series sprayers, final Tier 4 engine technology and cab comforts for 2014....More
In the midst of introducing the Red Power Tour to its dealers, Case IH gave the media a hands-on preview of new equipment headed to dealerships this fall and into 2014. Farmers can get their first glimpse of this lineup at next week’s Farm Progress Show near Decatur, Ill....More
There are a lot of interesting facts about healthy soil. These graphics provide a glimpse of just some of those secrets including cover crops, organic matter and microorganisms. The Natural Resources Conservation Service has compiled these infographics as a part of its Unlock the Secrets of the Soil campaign. Find out more about soil secrets from NRCS.
A gentle overnight rain turned into a science experiment for Darin Williams, Waverly, Kan., when he collected these samples of drainage water from nearby ditch waterways. The samples come from a ¾-mile radius of each other and have the same soil types....More
The residue cover in no-till fields is essential when it comes to conserving water. The residue protects the soil surface, reducing crusting and soil moisture evaporation. When it comes to no-till planting, the key is to minimize the soil and residue disturbance....More
With the potential for wet soils in some areas of the country this spring, compaction may be an issue during planting. Sidewall compaction in wet soils can be a problem, especially if the crop is “mudded-in” and a dry spell occurs after planting....More
Soil compaction is invisible, but its effects are clear to see: cloddy soil, delayed crop emergence, restricted root growth, stunted plants, low water infiltration, poor nutrient uptake and lost yield....More
As would be expected with increasing fuel costs, average 2013 custom rates for farm work have a1so increased, compared to 2012 custom rates. Most custom rates for farm work in 2013 are 3-5% above the rates for similar operations in 2012, with an average increase of about 4%....More
Evidence has shown that strip-till systems combine many of the best aspects of no-till and conventional tillage systems. The advantages of strip-till are generally most pronounced for corn following corn, where strip-till can help improve seedbed uniformity and reduce plant-to-plant variability compared to no-till....More
The American Soybean Association (ASA) presented Gail Fuller, Emporia, Kan., with the 2013 National Conservation Legacy Award on March 1, 2013, at the ASA Awards Banquet, held during the Commodity Classic convention and trade show in Kissimmee, Fla. ...More
I am cutting straight to the facts today. We have a couple big reports coming up, and I wanted to throw my hat in the ring and call a few shots to help you get in the game and better your operation....More
One pass seeds cover crops, sidedresses the corn crop and sprays weeds, at least in State College, Pa. Penn State’s cover crop experimental interseeder potentially increases profits by $100/acre in corn yields, reduced N requirements and glyphosate applications costs.
Cold winter temperatures and increased precipitation have helped loosen soils enough that spring tillage might not be necessary in Indiana farm fields, says Tony Vyn, a Purdue Extension agronomist. Multiple freeze-thaw cycles, plus numerous wetting and drying cycles brought on by the arrival of enough snow and rain have made no-till an even more viable and attractive option for corn and soybean growers than it was last spring....More
As with most farm business decisions, very few escape without some type of tradeoff, be it labor, time or money. Our cover story may challenge your beliefs if you're sold on 30-in. row soybeans, because you lose yield (range from 2.9 to 4.5 bu./acre) compared to 15-in. – according to a three-year, six-state university trial....More
Except for the Pacific Northwest and state of Louisiana, much of the area west of the Mississippi River is still experiencing severe to exceptional drought, causing real concern that last year's drought will extend into the 2013 growing season. Snow can certainly help return moisture to the soils in some of these areas, but a lot needs to fall to make an impact; 10 in. of snow only equals about an inch of rain....More
Unless you've been under a rock, you've likely seen - or at the very least, heard about - the Dodge Ram advertisement heralding farmers during Sunday night's Super Bowl.
It featured a powerful and nostalgic reading of the poem, "So God Made a Farmer," as delivered by Paul Harvey to the 1978 FFA Convention....More
For Jason Sheehan, cutting input costs was the main impetus for moving to variable-rate fertilizer application and N sidedressing. Reducing the potential for any off-site movement was a close second....More