Integrated Crop Management News

Links to these articles are strongly encouraged. Articles may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If articles are used in any other manner, permission from the author is required.

Managing Hail Damaged Alfalfa

December 23, 2008
Image of alfalfa terminal bud damage

Thunderstorms and hail are a normal occurrence across the Midwest U.S. during the growing season.  Hail and wind damage to alfalfa fields leads to questions regarding harvest management of the forage crops, especially related to the stage of growth when damaged and the time proximity to the next planned harvest. Hail damaged fields vary in degree of severity, ranging from some terminal bud and leaf damage to completely defoliated plants. Stands may also be lodged by accompanying wind and rain.

Average Value of Iowa Farmland Nears $4,500 an Acre in 2008 Survey

December 16, 2008

By Mike Duffy, Department of Economics

The average value of an acre of farmland in Iowa reached $4,468 in 2008, continuing to increase for the ninth year in a row, according to an annual survey conducted by Iowa State University Extension. Mike Duffy, ISU Extension farm economist who conducts the survey, said the indicators toward the end of the year imply the upward trend may be slowing as the national economy battles recessionary pressures.

Soybean cyst nematode confirmed in Ida County in 2008

December 10, 2008
Map of all Iowan counties in which SCN has been found, Dec. 2008

By Greg Tylka, Department of Plant Pathology

The soybean cyst nematode has been known to exist in Iowa since 1978.  The first Iowa finding was in Winnebago County.  In the 1980s and 1990s, SCN was found for the first time in many different Iowa counties.  By 2000, SCN had not yet been found in only nine Iowa counties. By the end of 2007, it had not yet been found or officially confirmed in only three Iowa counties – Allamakee, Ida, and Lyon County.  Earlier in 2008, SCN was confirmed to be present in Lyon County.

Is All Well that Ends Well? Iowa Corn – 2008

December 9, 2008
Table of growing-season conditions for years with different yield potentials based on Hybrid-Maize at Ames, IA, 2008

By Roger Elmore and Lori Abendroth, Department of Agronomy
(This article is a summary of the complete report and all figures, which is available from this link Iowa Corn - 2008 full report.)

Shakespeare penned “All’s well that ends well” over 400 years ago.  Scholars say the play itself cannot easily be classified either as a tragedy or a comedy. Can the same be said of the 2008 growing season? 

Soil Sample Results Can Reveal if SCN Management is Working

December 1, 2008
Graphic of sampling areas according to the agronomic features of the field

By Greg Tylka, Department of Plant Pathology
Fall soil sampling has been promoted for many years as an effective way to detect the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) in fields.  But many Midwestern soybean producers already know which fields are infested with SCN and have been growing SCN-resistant soybean varieties for numerous years to manage SCN population densities.  The key to profitable long-term soybean production in SCN-infested fields is to prevent SCN population densities (numbers) from increasing.

Collaborative Training Results in Safer, Wiser Pesticide Use

December 1, 2008

By Paul Brown, Assistant Director Agriculture and Natural Resources
With crop out of the fields and snow in the air, farmers and Iowa State University Extension are turning their focus to winter trainings. ISU Extension provides the educational component required to become state certified manure and pesticide applicators.

Soybean Rust - 2008 in Review

December 1, 2008
Table of counties where soybean rust was reported by year

Daren Meuller, Department of Plant Pathology

While 2008 will be known for its early season rains, this did not translate into soybean rust arriving in Iowa. Soybean rust was reported in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Mexico in January. However, dry weather during early spring in southern Texas and Gulf Coast states helped keep soybean rust from building up inoculum and spreading early in the season. 

Crop Market Outlook

December 1, 2008
Graph of Iowa corn prices and productions costs, 1972-2008

By Chad Hart, Department of Economics

The delays in planting led to delays in crop development and conclude with delays in harvesting.  As of Nov. 23, 86 percent of Iowa’s corn was harvested, roughly 12 percent behind normal.  The harvesting backlog, in combination with higher fertilizer prices, has fall fertilizer application behind as well.  Normally, over half of fall fertilizer applications are done by this point in the year. Currently, we are at 32 percent.  The delays of the 2008 crop are slowing the prep work for the 2009 crop.