There is no single recipe to determine the right cover crop mix for a particular field, much less an entire farm. You need to know each field, set goals and set a budget that makes sense. Are the primary concerns to retain and build nutrient levels for the coming crop, managing moisture, compaction or simply building soil health? Is grazing a potential income source? Which cover crops match the post-harvest-to-freeze interval in your area? Do you want to deal with pre-plant burn-down or do you prefer letting winterkill do the job?
There is no single recipe to determine the right cover crop mix for a particular field, much less an entire farm. You need to know each field, set goals and set a budget that makes sense. Are the primary concerns to retain and build nutrient levels for the coming crop, managing moisture, compaction or simply building soil health?...More
This week's 5 Ag stories to read includes advice on scouting for Southern rust in corn, as well as an outlook on farmland prices. Also read an opinion about GMO and organic working together to feed a growing population. There are also tips and methods for seeding cover crops, and for a little fun, enjoy a gallery featuring a throwback to seed bags.
The August issue of Corn+Soybean Digest features many great stories, including cover crops, high-moisture harvesting, waterway reform, strip-till decisions, market tips and data decisions. Read these tips and ideas to help you with agronomic, marketing and data decisions on your farm.
Midwest farmers are deploying many techniques for planting cover crops: broadcasting with fertilizer spreaders, flying on the cover crop and modifying high-clearance sprayers. Others are pairing cover crop seeding with another field operation, such as vertical tillage, manure application or even combining....More
This installment of 5 Ag stories to read offers best management practices for insecticide applications to help maintain water quality. There are also some crop insurance numbers, and an interactive map showing ag production for all states. Also hear what one family is doing for on-farm conservation. For a little fun, catch a fun "Frozen" parody from the infamous Farmer Derek.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced continued progress on implementing the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), which President Obama signed into law nearly six months ago on Feb. 7, 2014. The 2014 Farm Bill reforms agricultural policy, reduces the deficit, and helps grow America’s economy.
Dan Sanderson and his son Trent farm near Clare, Ill. The operation is 100% strip-till, and the father-son duo plant cover crops on about 1/3 of their acres, experimenting with different mixes. They have clay loam soils and use a variety of technologies and equipment, including a sugar beet plate to plant some of their cover crops....More
Farmers using cover crops as a soil conservation method can remove much more corn stover per acre for biofuels or other uses and at the same time potentially increase their income, Purdue University research shows....More
The American Soybean Association is seeking applicants for its annual Conservation Legacy Awards program. This is your chance to promote your farm's conservation efforts. Application deadline is Sept. 1, 2014.
This installment of 5 Ag stories to read reminds growers to check soybeans for white mold, and to be sure they're in compliance when it comes to the new conservation measures in the 2014 Farm Bill. There are Q&As for those who need some tips on farmland leases, and ideas on reducing yield loss when it's time to harvest corn. Finally, read some funny lessons learned from farm mistakes.
“In a 2010 survey, we asked landlords to rate the importance of characteristics they consider when evaluating tenant performance,” says J. Gordon Arbuckle Jr., a sociologist at Iowa State University. “More than 90% of landlords ranked ‘ability to maintain soil productivity’ and ‘ability to avoid soil erosion’ as important or very important."...More
These timely cover-crop aerial seeding tips come from Damon Reabe, a third-generation aerial applicator and president of Reabe Spraying Service, Waupun, Wis. Tips cover timing, cover crop options and application....More
The new 2014 Farm Bill substantially streamlines the number of conservation programs and moderately reduces overall conservation funding by 6.5% from the existing 10-year baseline budget over 2014-2023. Many of the cuts are slated for 2018-2023.
Choosing spring or fall strip-till “depends on so many factors; only you can decide,” says Brad Meister, Bourbon, Ind. “Soil type, coulter machine or shank machine, whether you have any erodible land, the amount of time you have in the fall to do it; how long it takes for your ground to mellow out in the spring, and whether you put down phosphorus or potassium with it.”...More
For years, farmers have been leveraging the collective power of research and promotion programs to invest in research that improves on-farm practices through both innovation and conservation. Their efforts, with oversight from USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), has resulted in significant water and soil conservation, safeguarding our land for future generations.
Rick Juchems, Plainfield, Iowa, is surprised that cereal-rye cover crops did not reduce his corn or soybean yields. He and 11 other Iowa farmers participated in a five-year trial to determine whether rye causes yield hits in the cash crops that follow it. It doesn’t....More
A provision in the 2014 Farm Bill links conservation compliance to crop insurance premiums; specifically, wetlands and highly erodible land. Farmers who don’t comply will be ineligible for any portion of the crop insurance paid by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. The ineligibility applies only to forward years....More
“Rock and roll” isn’t about music for Mike Petefish when he’s picking rocks in Claremont, Minnesota. “When I see a rock like this one with a certain bluish color, I know it’ll be dense and heavier for its size than any other, and all I can do is rebury it cause I sure can’t lift it with a backhoe,” he says....More
Monsanto says it will increase its irrigation water-use efficiency by 25% by 2020 in its global seed production operations, saving 30 billion to 80 billion gallons of water annually, says Hugh Grant, Monsanto chairman and chief executive officer....More
Here are 5 ag stories you should read today, April 25. From late planting and concerns (or lack of), including compaction, to learning more about the PLC risk coverage in the Farm Bill, to NASA research about better soybeans, these are stories you should read....More
More than 50% of surveyed farmers want their local retailers to provide help to monitor soil health and changes related to cover crops. And, farmers also said they want their retailers to help them adjust their nutrient management plan to factor in the use of cover crops....More
In recent years, it has become fashionable to point the finger of blame at agriculture and farmers for many environmental issues. However, in reality farmers have been some of the best environmental stewards in the U.S. in the past couple of decades. Consider the following environmental facts about U.S. agriculture and the CRP program....More
You might say that soil is the original green machine. Working with the Earth’s soil microbes saves you a lot of money. At no cost, soil’s tiny, underground critters convert sunlight, water, carbon dioxide and crop residue into crop income....More