Here are pictures from the 2011 planting season in Minnesota. Corn & Soybean Digest Editor Greg Lamp headed to Morton, MN, to the Sullivan family farm and to Grove City, MN, where Frans and Jason Rosenquist farm. Check out the cultivating, rolling and planting from these two farms.
We know it's out there...the machinery you've modified and built to help you be a better farmer. Whether it's for the sake of efficiency or the sake of saving the land, we want to see what's making your operation a better farm. Can you top what's been done here? Check out the pictures, and send us your photos.
Despite the disastrous weather seen over much of the nation, the 2011 hard red winter wheat (HRW) harvest is off to a reasonable start in southern states. Harvest began in the coastal regions of Texas just over three weeks ago, reached the Blacklands/Hill Country region south of Dallas in early May week, and moved already to the Texas/Oklahoma border last week, before rain shut the combines down....More
As the wet spring continues to delay planting in Indiana, grain farmers are faced with tough decisions about their intended tillage operations. As of May 1, just 2% of Indiana's corn crop and 13% of the national acreage had been planted. Once the ground is dry enough for farmers to work in the fields, some tillage operations may need to be sacrificed, says Purdue Extension Agronomist Tony Vyn....More
In no-till, planters need to cut and handle residue, penetrate the soil to the desired seeding depth, establish proper seed-to-soil contact and close the seed-vee. Keeping these four items in mind, producers can evaluate the strengths or weaknesses of their planter and make any adjustments or changes necessary to make no-till successful. Fortunately, most currently available planters can be used for no-till with few, if any, modifications when paying attention to the following tips....More
An alternative to leasing farmland is a custom farming agreement (CFA). In a typical CFA, the custom operator agrees to perform all the machine operations on the owner’s land in exchange for a set fee or rate. The landowner pays for all seed, fertilizer, chemicals, crop insurance and other input costs; receives the all grain produced and all eligible farm program payments on the land; and is responsible to store and market the grain....More
Setting realistic work priorities and being prepared for planting season are the most important safety tips for farmers to remember this spring, says a Purdue University Extension farm safety specialist....More
Asking someone to pay attention to safety during busy spring fieldwork usually falls on deaf ears. Hardly anyone listens. So rather than try to warn you of the dangers of being around farm equipment this spring when you’re in a hurry and dead tired, I’m going to let a row-crop farmer from Baldwin Country, AL, tell his story....More
“If you get caught in a flow of grain, the probability is high that you’ll die,” says Bill Field, the Purdue University researcher who has tallied U.S. grain-entrapment accidents since the 1970s. “They find you later that night when you don’t report for dinner.”...More
As would be expected with increasing fuel costs, average 2011 custom rates for farm work have a1so risen, compared to 2010 and 2009 custom rates. Most custom rates for farm work in 2011 are listed at 3-6% above the rates a year earlier, with an average increase of about 4%. In addition to higher fuel costs, increasing cost for new and used machinery is also a factor in the higher custom rates....More
Every farm should have a disaster plan to protect assets from natural disasters and other emergencies, says Steve Cain, a Purdue Extension disaster communication specialist.
Producers should develop a disaster plan also as a way to find potential problems that could prove to be costly in the event of an on-farm emergency, says Cain, who also serves as the homeland security project director for the Extension Disaster Education Network. "Creating a plan helps producers find risks they may have overlooked or not thought about," he says....More
A Purdue Extension farm safety specialist urges farmers to stop working alone in grain bins and entering them with unloading augers running.
Knowing the risks of working with stored and flowing grain is the first step in preventing entrapments, says Steve Wettschurack, certified farm accident rescue instructor....More
South Dakota farmer Pat Breen makes only one trip across the field when it's time to plant. He does that using a 60-ft.-wide Horsch Anderson air seeder equipped with an Exactrix fertilizing system....More
Spraying season is just around the corner. Just take a moment to review some common-sense ideas mentioned here to get the most out of those expensive pesticides you will be spraying. The following list will help you improve sprayer performance and keep it from failing you....More
If you thought you were a quasi expert on something as simple as tractor tires, maybe you should think again. There’s more to know than you might think, and it could affect your tractor efficiency and power when you pull into the field this spring....More
Big-ticket items like used tractors, planters and harvesters are on the list of necessities that will certainly add to growers’ production costs as they watch input costs march step for step with higher commodity prices....More
When it’s time to get out to the field with your newest crop production innovation, Corn & Soybean Digest (CSD) editors would like to be right there with you to see what new or different ideas took shape during the winter. If you or someone you know has built or modified machinery, we’d like to hear from you....More
The crop-canopy sensor concept is intriguing: Establish a small reference plot with more than enough nitrogen (N) to produce a healthy green canopy, then scan the entire corn field. Wherever corn falls short of that ideal green, apply N....More
Spring is upon us. Is your planter prepped? From seed meters to disk alignment, there’s a lot to be checked, adjusted or fixed so your planter reaches peak performance. Experts offer the following tips for prepping your no-till planter....More
Reed Turner, consulting engineer for Agtech Center in Alberta, Canada, spoke at the Conservation Tillage Conference in Fergus Falls, MN. He offered numerous tips for preparing your tractor and tires for fieldwork and planting....More
You know the old saying: You can never be too careful. That certainly holds true in agriculture and farming, and grain storage specifically. Injuries and fatalities involving entry into grain bins and other grain storage facilities reached new highs in 2010 – with 52 cases being reported nationwide through November 2010, half of which ended with a fatality. Of those 52 cases, 35 occurred on farms....More
In a three-week period last summer (2010), seven people died in grain bin engulfments in the Midwest. This tragic loss of life led to the formation of the Grain Handling Safety Coalition (GHSC), a consortium of public and private organizations who hope to work together to reduce or prevent grain bin accidents and fatalities through education and outreach....More
There is a way to prevent injuries and fatalities on the farm and save millions of dollars, notes the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Agricultural Branch Administrator Michael Wolf. Tractor rollovers are the single deadliest type of injury incident on farms and it is reported that of the 4.7 million tractors in the U.S. today alone, one-half of them are without rollover protection for the operator....More