In the 5 ag stories to read this week learn about a new bacterial leaf disease and get some considerations if you're planning to apply nitrogen this fall. Read about the benefits of the recently passed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and about how tillage is impacting your soil health. Finally, enjoy a new podcast about yield mysteries.
I recently spent two great days at a USDA workshop in Washington, D.C. How could that be fun, right? It was great because of thoughtful discussion and debate by many bright minds all focused on finding ways to get more farmers and landowners involved in the long-term value of soil health....More
In the 5 agriculture stories to read this week, get some considerations for lime applications and learn more information about tar spot, a newly spotted corn disease. Review crop budget changes for 2016 and get some harvest and post-harvest tips. Finally, enjoy a story about farmers helping farmers in a time of great need.
The 2015 Farm Progress Show had equipment for days and something for everyone. Here's our last installment of products we saw at the show that may have a fit for your farm. From tillage to irrigation, tires to seed tending tech, and more, this roundup of new products will be available for your next purchase.
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.
Along with the standard combining and tillage demonstrations, the Farm Progress Show will feature new types of demonstrations this year, including: UAVs, tiling, precision ag, planting and cover crops....More
John Deere gathered the ag media and showcased their new and improved products for 2016. From high-horsepower tractors and self-propelled sprayers to nutrient applicators, folding corn heads and precision ag, the company has a wide range of new tools available for farmers in 2016.
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get tips for treating soybean aphids this summer and learn about a new possibility for managing resistant weeds that comes from "down under." See the land value declines (and increases in some cases) across the U.S. in the latest USDA report and learn from northern farmers who strip-till. Finally, check out how ethanol was promoted at the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally.
Successful strip-till, like any new practice, takes experience, say three Minnesota farmers who have sustained crop yields in high-residue environments. “It can be a big learning curve, but it will be worth it,” says Dustin Frieler, a strip-tiller from Greenwald, Minn....More
“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....More
The full extent of damage from flooding and saturated soils cannot be seen until the corn plant has a chance to recover. Knowing what factors affect damage and survivability, and what signs to look for when assessing plant health will help you make the best decision for the long term success of your corn crop....More
As has been the trend in recent years, average 2015 custom rates for farm work are likely to show a small increase, compared to 2015 custom rates. Most custom rates for tillage, planting, and harvest operations in 2015 are listed at 2-5% above the rates for similar operations in 2014, with an average increase of about 3.5%....More
The 5 ag stories to read this week brings you the latest on proposed regulations for drones. Learn about the value of lost organic matter due to erosion, and meet farmers who are using websites to get more business. Read about canceling land rent contracts, and a positive article from The New York Times featuring a no-till farmer.
Is it too unreasonable to consider even just one field of strip-till or no-till, if you save roughly $15 per acre, and each 1% of soil organic matter helps soil hold 20,000 gallons more water per acre? Tell me what influences your decisions; I’d like to hear from you....More
I have been an educator of soils at the University of Minnesota Extension for 18 years. I have watched soil scientist retire, leave to other positions or pass away. Due to tight budgets or changes in priorities, many are not replaced. So please help me cultivate the next generation of soil scientists. There are websites with creative and scientific resources for teaching soils. Give it a try. Remember: Soil is not a dirty word!...More
Where are you in your journey to build a conservation legacy? What is keeping you from making progress? Will it require a change in mindset? Will it require landlord buy-in, since it provides long-term benefits for their investment? I truly believe improved soil health will be a game-changer. Go for it....More
If you think your soil loss is tolerable because the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) says so, you might want to think again. “We are learning that we must have perennial cover in places where water moves, even with no-till,” says Rick Cruse, agronomy professor, Iowa State University (ISU)....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get some considerations for seed treatments when trying to cut costs this spring. If you plant cover crops, be aware of residual herbicides, and there's still time to sign up for the Conservation Stewardship Program. Read 5 tillage myths, and watch a video thanking farmers, that also helps FFA.
Are your tillage practices justified by real crop responses? “Individual farmer decisions about tillage system choice are often more motivated by traditions, prior experiences and what the neighbors are doing than by reliable research,” says Tony Vyn, Purdue University Extension agronomist and cropping systems specialist....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get tips for preventing and managing soybean diseases this year. Watch videos from University of Illinois about profitability in agriculture and keep an eye out for a USDA survey. Read how one farmer's success with strip-till has led to more agronomic benefits, and check out a Facebook page dedicated to the love of farming.
The National Farm Machinery Show turned 50 years old this year, and it continues to attract more than 300,000 farmers from across the nation and beyond. I spent some time at the show during the first two days, dodging and weaving in the crowded aisles over 27 acres of exhibits. Here is my first installment of items I found interesting.
Strip-till has improved soil structure on Sheldon Stevermer's farm to the point where it can manage extreme rains and heavy corn residue. “Three years ago, I realized I didn’t need to freshen the strips in the spring; crusting was no longer a problem,” says the Wells, Minn., farmer....More
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has begun its celebration of the International Year of Soils to highlight the importance of healthy soils for food security, ecosystem functions and resilient farms and ranches....More