Many corn and soybean growers harvested record crops last fall. However, they may be facing compaction issues because of saturated soils at harvest. Combines and grain carts caused deep ruts and severe compaction issues. So what can farmers do to break up that soil and smooth out rough fields?...More
Emerson Nafziger harkens back to time spent in fields with a three-bottom moldboard plow. “When it took so long to till each acre, it really was tillage,” says the University of Illinois Extension crop-production specialist....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.
Emerson Nafziger remembers pulling a three-bottom moldboard plow years ago. “When it takes that long to till each acre, it really is tillage,” says the University of Illinois Extension crop-production specialist....More
The practice of deep-banding fertilizer is growing in popularity as more growers turn to strip-till. However, this method may be costing growers more than it is worth. A new University of Illinois (U of I) study revealed that strip-till was superior to no-till and increased yield in soybean. However, the results showed no difference in yield between fertilizer application methods....More
The unusually wet conditions surrounding planting and harvest this year made quite an impact on soil conditions, prompting Randall Reeder, a recently retired Ohio State University Extension engineer, to warn farmers against "recreational tillage" between now and planting the 2012 crop....More
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
Eric Rund got oddball soil-test results a few years ago from a strip-till cornfield. Some of the nutrient levels were higher than the Pesotum, IL, farmer expected.
Now near the end of a four-year soil test variability study with University of IllinoisExtension Soil ScientistFabian Fernandez, Rund hopes they’re getting closer to answers from Rund's farm and others on how best to manage soil-test variability on band-applied fields....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!
Time is money for Collin Jensen, who has better things to do than fall tillage. He appreciates the reduced equipment cost and fuel needs of reduced tillage, but even more he values every ounce of soil that stays on his West Union, IA, hillsides....More
More northern Corn Belt farmers are planting continuous corn, and that means more hard-to-handle residue left in fields. Higher plant populations, better-yielding hybrids, less aggressive tillage and the cold climate – which slows down decay – all increase the mounds of debris....More
You don't realize the impact rainfall has on your soil until you really see it. University of Nebraska, Lincoln Ag Engineer Paul Jasa did a rainfall simulator demonstration this summer showing the effects of rain on soil with grass cover, tilled soil and tilled soil with residue cover....More
Jim Kinsella, Lexington, IL, is a legend in the no-till world. He’s been practicing continuous no-till since the late 1970s and has welcomed thousands of no-till enthusiasts to his farm for nearly two decades – to share stories and tips, and to learn from his experience. Today, he and his son Brien farm 2,200 acres....More
Richards Farms planted a month early in Circleville, OH, at a time when local rainfall was 90% above normal this spring. Thanks to controlled traffic farming (CTF), the family has 30-year-old established traffic lanes in its corn and bean fields. They provided improved traction and drainage, while neighboring growers sat on their hands as a soggy April and May turned to June. Richards Farms was among only 1% of Ohio farms with corn planted by the first week in May, according to USDA statistics....More
Unless you grow grapes on an Italian hillside, you probably have experienced cropland flooding at some time. It might have been a pond that dissipated after a week, or it might have been a river that left its banks and completed its deposits on some of your best corn ground. In each case the soil suffers some damage, and even if you are not farming in a river bottom, the lessons learned this year along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri may be applicable to farmers who fuss with a few ponds in a field....More
Completing fall tillage has been a struggle for farm operators in many areas of southern and western Minnesota, due to the extremely dry topsoil conditions. Most of southwest and south-central Minnesota is now listed as being in a moderate drought, with nearly the entire state categorized at abnormally dry....More
As harvest comes to an end, some growers will shift their focus to strip-tillage. Fabian Fernandez, University of Illinois Extension specialist in plant nutrition and soil fertility, offers a few thoughts on applying nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) with strip-till this season....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
Where soils have been very dry, every drop of rain is welcome. But to have the most impact, the moisture needs to infiltrate the soil first – and good infiltration is not necessarily a given, says DeAnn Presley, Kansas State University Research and Extension soil management specialist....More
The soil moisture conditions and high temperature across Iowa during much of July and August may cause an early harvest, which means this is a good time to make soil management decisions for the upcoming season. The main driver of the fast maturity this year most likely is the heat in July coupled with lack of moisture – even though 61% of the state’s current top soil is adequate after the last few rain events....More