Corn harvest has begun and every field will be different this fall. Some fields will be highly productive, and others will barely pay the harvesting costs. Some fields will have good stalk strength and other fields have already gone down, with heavy lodging from wind, fragile stalks, rootworm or some other reason....More
As conservation tillage gains popularity, growers will need equipment to manage the residue. Here is a roundup of residue managers and tillage tools to help corn and soybean farmers in the field....More
Instead of farming more land to solve this challenge, Ron Miller, Towanda, IL, shared equipment with an old friend. When his son Ben returned from college, they had plenty of labor, but Miller had lost two-thirds of his ground to estate sales. “I was doing some trucking on the side, but farming is what I really wanted to do more of,” Miller says....More
GPS-based yield data has proven to be an extremely valuable management tool on many farms. However, improperly calibrated yield monitors can essentially generate difficult to interpret or useless data....More
Ron Miller, Towanda, IL, has reduced his fuel and equipment expense while upgrading equipment. When estate sales reduced the size of his operation, he moved to sharing
A Deere 4720 sprayer and Deere 9770 across 3,500 acres with a partner. By also switching to strip-till corn and no-till beans, he went from three tractors to one newer model, and from 8 gal./acre to 2.5 gal./acre....More
University of Minnesota (U of M) Extension is proud to partner with NDSU Extension to offer a Tires, Traction and Compaction Field Day on Sept. 1, 2011 south of Fergus Falls, MN. Registration for the day starts at 9 a.m. and discussion and demonstrations will continue until 2:30. The event will be held rain or shine....More
These days, most farmers have sizeable grain bin systems that jut out of the landscape like the Grand Tetons. In fact, some bin setups rival – often surpass – what you’d find at a local country elevator. Many of these Cadillac systems have been built with every intention of expanding further....More
Safety is paramount to any activity on the farm, and particularly when working in and around grain bins. CSD Editor Greg Lamp talked with Mark Dingeldein with Brock Grain Systems about grain bin safety, avoiding entrapment and some key points to remember when working with your grain bins this summer and fall, and any other time....More
Producers have been pushed to accomplish as much planting possible in the little time given as calendar dates roll by in a late spring start. The goal has been to get the seed in the ground when fields are ready for equipment and between rain events. It has been common across the state in previous years for producers to ground roll fields within hours of planting soybeans....More
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