Farmer and ag ambassador Quint Pottinger explains the three legs of farming to consumers: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and social sustainability (i.e., public support). “If we can’t convey a positive image of agriculture and the value it brings every family, then we run the risk of negative legislation that constricts our freedom to operate," he says....More
Farmers across the U.S. were busy in the field this past week, jumping 20 points on the planting progress scale for corn, hitting a total of 75% planted overall. Those planting soybeans made huge progress, too, with nearly one-third of the overall crop in the ground by May 10....More
Sub-$4 per bushel corn futures continue to strain markets as a large old-crop carryover and lower feed demand hold down prices. December 2015 corn futures closed Friday at just over $3.78, meaning many farmers are seeing $3.50 or lower cash markets, depending on their local basis....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get some tips for managing late-planted corn and learn about a bollworm that could make its way to the U.S. Get ag secretary Vilsack's take on the latest G-20 commitment to food security and download a mobile app for identifying weeds. Finally, read commentary from a farmer who's sick of the bashing and finger-pointing.
Most, but not all, soil residual herbicides can be applied after corn has emerged. Labels usually indicate a maximum corn growth stage beyond which applications should not occur. These growth stages can range from as early as two leaf collars to as late as 40-inch tall corn, so be sure to consult the respective product labels....More
Control of European corn borer (ECB) with Bt traits has been a resounding success. While growers fight trait-tolerant corn rootworms and herbicide-tolerant weeds, control of European corn borer remains constant. Control has been so effective that John Tooker, associate professor, department of entomology, Pennsylvania State University, suggests European corn borer may not be the problem it once was....More
The corn crop in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa was planted in very rapid fashion during the last half of April, as nearly ideal soil conditions existed in most areas. Crop experts have estimated that with today’s larger farm equipment, as much as 15% of the corn grown in a given area can be planted in one day, when field and soil conditions are at optimal levels....More
During a recent panel, a participant asked CEOs from lending associations the following: Based on your experience, what are five points of wisdom that can increase our chances of working more effectively with our own lender and being successful? Here are their answers....More
The two-part program includes planning tools to develop field-by-field nitrogen management strategies that reduce the chance of over-fertilization. The tool also can be used to assess current soil nitrogen levels and risk status throughout the growing season....More
We will continue to strive, as an information provider, to present you with good examples that help you make the most of your 40 chances. As Howard wrote in his book, “You’ve learned from your mistakes, but I’d guess that none of you feel you can afford to take a single year left on your string for granted.” We wholeheartedly agree....More
Corn has been planted in all of the major corn-producing states. However, some cooler weather toward the end of April has some farmers wondering if they should wait to finish planting. It becomes a choice of getting corn planted "on time" or delaying it a week or so....More
The 5 ag stories to read this week reminds growers to check for corn seedling diseases, particularly on fields that were planted early. Read some questions and answers about anhydrous ammonia practices, and find out what the USDA is doing to help farmers deal with climate change. There are also tips to help you save money in the current low-price environment. Finally, learn about a new soybean-based invention: Soy Sniffs.
Many questions are crossing grower’s minds regarding nitrogen (N) application. However, with this season’s variability in precipitation, Fabian Fernandez, University of Illinois Extension specialist in soil fertility and plant nutrition, says those are difficult questions to answer generally....More
“My experience is very similar to when Bt corn first came out, and we saw better standability and more plants going through the machine,” says Andy Dunn, Nebraska farmer. “I really feel it will be a plus in high corn rootworm areas. The biggest thing about Agrisure Duracade is that it brings dual modes of action to help fight the spread of corn rootworm resistance. We need to do everything we can to increase the longevity of the technology.”...More
Early-season corn and weeds don’t just compete; they also interact on a genetic level. Weeds grow bigger while corn plants grow less. Sharon Clay, professor of plant science, South Dakota State University (SDSU), used genetic mapping technologies to disclose what happens in the plant....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get tips for controlling marestail this spring, as well as for reducing compaction with lower tire pressures. Read insight from ag economists about corn price projections for the next marketing year, and from agronomy experts about increasing soybean yields. Finally, enjoy a book for kids about being on the farm.
Imagine the power of knowing your long-term average cost per bushel by dominant soil types. Maybe you’ve mastered being profitable on lighter soil types and that is one of your strategic advantages....More
Topsoil conditions this spring have been described as “almost ideal” for corn planting by farm operators and agronomists across southern and western Minnesota. Due to the very limited amount of stored soil moisture in many areas of the region, producers are likely to minimize their tillage trips prior to planting this spring, in order to maintain as much top soil moisture as possible for seed germination and seedling growth....More
The management zone creation tool, a step-by-step process, allows users to create zones from data including yield, soil type and crop health imagery. The zones can be modified, the rates chosen and test blocks can be added to further test plant populations or applications. All of this is done by the farmer, with a simple online tool at FARMServer.com. Then farmers just upload that prescription to their monitor in their equipment....More
In 2014, the Boettgers, who farm 3,000 acres near Harlan in southwestern Iowa, decided to harness technology to help solve their planter down-pressure challenge. They outfitted half their 16-row Kinze 3600 planter with an Ag Leader hydraulic down-force system, which automatically senses down force and adjusts it in one second....More
Corn futures prices tumbled by nearly 10¢ per bushel this past week, with old-crop May closing Friday at $3.77, September at near $3.92 and December new-crop at $4.02. That’s even with good exports and USDA’s projected ending corn stocks still below trade expectations, notes a Memphis, Tenn., market analyst....More
This might be a year to only do what pencils out. Here are tips and research on what may make sense for you to reduce this year. From fertilizer tips to seeding rates and product use, to overhead costs and weather planning, university experts offer their best research and ideas to help you save money this growing season....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get tips for applying nitrogen to sandy soils. Learn about the honeybee die off, as well as China's impact on agriculture. Grab some tips for improving your corn and soybean yields this year, and test your ag knowledge with some fun trivia!
Fields across the Midwest will begin sporting a new look in 2015 as farmers begin using variable-rate, multi-cultivar planters, which are available commercially for the first time after being field tested in 2014 by Kinze Manufacturing and Precision Planting, in conjunction with four seed companies....More
Dan Kaiser at the University of Minnesota gets lots of questions about using an in-furrow starter fertilizer when corn prices are low. While it does present an added cost at the time, there are also benefits. Kaiser offers these tips when using in-furrow starter on your corn....More