Cover crops provide a wide variety of benefits, from capturing root-zone N to improving soil tilth. But cover crops that interfere with your cash crop can do more harm than good, which is why terminating them is so important....More
Mark and Phyllis Legan are the northeast region winners of the 2014 Conservation Legacy Awards. They farm near Coatsville, Ind., and have constructed a pond and wetlands to create wildlife habitat. The Legans have been no-till since they started farming and have recently started using cover crops....More
Jerry Peery farms at Clinton, Ky., and is the south region winner of the 2014 Conservation Legacy Awards. He got bit by the no-till bug in the early 1970s and started planting cover crops in 1980. All of his acreage now gets cover crops planted on it....More
As we ended the year at CSD, the last three issues of the magazine offered ways to think different about the way you farm by talking about erosion prevention, weed management strategies, soil building and using data.
As we look back at 2013, CSD continued to bring farmers ways to Think Different about the way they farm. The fall issues brought lots of opportunity for that with stories about nitrogen management, thinking like a nematode, tips for best soybean yields and varieties, weed resistance, soil tests for microbial activity and data and economic values, among others.
Intense rainstorms stripped fertile soil from unprotected farm fields across the Corn Belt last spring. Parts of east-central and northwest Iowa lost as much as 24 tons of topsoil per acre in May, according to Daily Erosion Project estimates....More
After more than 30 years of no-till, constructing 1,000 terraces and untold grass waterways and turn areas, Ray Gaesser decided to up his soil-protection game after an 8-inch overnight rainfall washed out a 20-acre field that spring....More
Check out what we've been thinking different about at Corn + Soybean Digest. From hybrid choices and rootworm battles, to scouting and corn plant quality control and a compaction Q&A, the March and April issues of CSD offered lots of opportunity to think different about the way you farm.
The Conservation Stewardship Program is an important farm bill conservation program that helps established conservation stewards with taking their level of natural resource management to the next level....More
It's the time of year to review what we've been thinking different about at Corn + Soybean Digest. From organic matter and crop sensors to variable seeding and nitrogen tests, along with narrow rows and cover crops, the first three issues of CSD brought lots of opportunity to think different about the way you farm.
"Soil health is a key factor in any agricultural production system, whether conventional or organic, yet soil is too often ignored or overshadowed by other factors," says Noble Foundation President Bill Buckner....More
Are you thinking about trying a cover crop next fall? It’s never too early to plan, and secure your seed supply. “Be very informed before you start. Talk to experienced cover croppers. Do your homework," says Nick Bowers, cover crop seed dealer....More
The day-and-a-half-long conference will provide practical, how-to information on nearly every aspect of conservation tillage. Learn how conservation tillage can save soil, time, fuel — and money. Besides saving valuable soil resources, conservation tillage has been proven to save $25-45 per acre in tillage costs. And that’s not including your labor....More
Farmers waiting for their Conservation Security or Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) payments should receive them in the coming days. The shutdown of the federal government delayed some of the $907 million in payments from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to CSP participants who have enrolled millions of acres to improve the overall conservation performance of their operations....More
Bill Richards is keenly disappointed with the current acceptance of conservation, and no-till in particular. “This is the mystery of my life: I think we’ve lost some of our conservation ethic. No-till involves a change in culture. Maybe that’s the problem," he says....More
Strong genetic potential and proven crop management practices are vital to making the most out of every acre. According to DuPont Pioneer agronomy experts, focusing on management practices this fall will help maximize potential in your fields next season....More
Strips of perennial prairie grass amid row crops may be one of the most cost-effective and low-effort conservation practices. The conservation practice, the Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairies (STRIPs), developed by Iowa’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, can effectively manage more than 90% of sedimentation and nutrient transport....More
Though fertile — in a good year the Braggers raise 200-bushel corn and 50-bushel soybeans — their clay-loam hills are very vulnerable to water erosion. It’s the kind of terrain that some believe should not be cropped at all. Yet the Braggers farm this fragile land intensively, achieving high yields with little soil loss....More
What if you had soil data that told you how much food was available for your soil microbes that build soil health? Well, a new soil test is gaining early traction among cover-crop users and no-tillers who reap the benefits of healthier soil, but truly lacked the right test to tell them about their available nutrients....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
A new report, released by USDA's NRCS this week, marks the completion of a watershed-wide assessment of conservation efforts in the Mississippi River watershed. Its findings demonstrate that conservation work, like controlling erosion and managing nutrients, has reduced the edge-of-field losses of sediment by 35%, nitrogen by 21% and phosphorous by 52%....More