Three generations of Winsors have been working since the 1940s to sustain soil and water resources on the family farm in northeastern Kansas. “Having those practices in place allows my brother and I to implement newer conservation techniques, such as water management and cover crops," says Andy Winsor....More
About 10 years ago, John Verell transitioned from cotton to corn, wheat and double-cropped soybeans, made no-till a priority and began to use cover crops. “Erosion just isn’t an issue any more,” this year’s Conservation Legacy Award winner for the South Region says....More
There appears to be more interest in the CRP enrollment in 2016, due to the current lower crop prices and reduced farm profitability. FSA will rank all bid offers for the General CRP enrollment on the basis of the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) to determine which CRP bids are accepted....More
There are farmers who clearly see the value of sustainability for their business, for the environment and for meeting consumer demand. They choose to certify their best management practices that precisely place fertilizer, capture carbon, minimize nutrient and soil loss, and rebuild soil health....More
Indiana farmer Lynn Hindbaugh plans to capitalize on new detailed soil type and organic matter maps to: Experiment with variable-rate seeding, improve variable-rate fertility practices and evaluate multi-hybrid planting scenarios....More
Charlie Hammer has never done the same thing for too long, except when it comes to wheels on soil. He has deliberately traveled the same controlled-traffic (CT) lanes on his Beaver Dam, Wis., farm to limit soil compaction....More
Nitrate management in tile water is a big reason why this water control structure has slowly gained a foothold in the Corn Belt, but its potential for providing timely water to corn and soybeans may spell the future for this underground tile water management tool....More
As Woodrill Farms looks for ways to boost productivity, it is taking a deep-down look at soils to help drive decisions it hopes will help it maintain or boost its current year-over-year trend-line average corn yield increase....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get a land value outlook and projections into net incomes for 2015. Read about winter drainage water management and take our latest poll about input cuts. Finally, enjoy a holiday serenade from Farmer Derek.
Our most-read stories from November 2015 included corn hybrid performance data, cloud-based farm software, a look back in time, weed management strategies, cover crop benefits and more. Take a look here and read the best stories you may have missed.
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, read some research about managing glyphosate resistance with pre and post herbicide applications and about terminating cereal rye cover crops right before soybean planting. See how big data can add value to agriculture and learn how no-till can save on nitrogen costs. Finally, enjoy a farm-themed Christmas light display.
Although it’s only been three seasons since Scott Poen switched to no-till and strip-till, the soil is already responding, he says. Water infiltration has improved, and he hasn’t had to fix any washouts on sloping fields....More
In less than a month, farmers will gather to discuss conservation tillage. The annual Conservation Tillage Conference, held this year in Willmar on Dec. 15 and 16, will feature speakers, breakout sessions, roundtable discussions and the favorite: beer and bull....More
As harvest season ends and farmers in the United States ready themselves for winter, one small change could make a huge difference in their soil’s health and the health of our climate-impacted world: planting cover crops.
With the installation of an 18-acre pond in mid-December 2014, eastern Iowa grower Jim Sladek married the pattern drainage and irrigation. By April 1, the pond was full, ready and waiting for use by center pivots. Ninety-five percent of its water came from drain tile....More
Tying conservation practices to federal crop insurance rules and rates requires turning field experience into public policy, and that requires data. AGree, a collaborative effort founded and funded by nine of the world's leading foundations committed to food and agriculture, is attempting to make that connection....More
Twenty-four years of continuous no-till, plus a decade of cover cropping, has largely halted water erosion on Dan Gillespie's farm in northeastern Nebraska, he says. Soil biological activity is flourishing and soil organic matter has climbed by more than a third....More
I recently spent two great days at a USDA workshop in Washington, D.C. How could that be fun, right? It was great because of thoughtful discussion and debate by many bright minds all focused on finding ways to get more farmers and landowners involved in the long-term value of soil health....More
In the 5 agriculture stories to read this week, get some considerations for lime applications and learn more information about tar spot, a newly spotted corn disease. Review crop budget changes for 2016 and get some harvest and post-harvest tips. Finally, enjoy a story about farmers helping farmers in a time of great need.
Dust storms, rills and gullies, soil crusting, runoff, ponding — these are above-ground signs of poor soil health. And below ground: weak soil aggregation, compaction, impaired biological life, restricted water infiltration, stagnant smell, gray color. The prime culprit? Tillage.