Integrated Crop Management News

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A Cool and Thankfully Dry Week

June 23, 2008
Image of base 50 degree F degree days in regions of Iowa from May 1 to June 22, 2008

By Rich Pope, Department of Plant Pathology

Some good news this week, with much-needed access to fields gained across Iowa. Also on the positive side, hay harvest progressed rapidly and hay yields were reportedly good.

Although the week was a bit cooler than average, the dry weather was a welcome relief.

Degree day accumulations by Crop Reporting District

Is It Time to Switch Soybean Maturity Group Varieties?

June 21, 2008

By Palle Pedersen, Department of Agronomy

Many farmers were able to get back into the field this week and start finishing up planting. However, there are still many areas where fields remain flooded and it will take awhile before we can get back in and replant. Some fields need to be replanted and some don’t. It is important to accurately estimate a surviving stand and then evaluate the economics of replanting.

Yellow Corn, Wet Soils and N Loss - Part 1

June 20, 2008
Image of experimental plot for wet soil and nitrogen loss experiments

By John Sawyer, Department of Agronomy

Yellow Corn

As many are well aware, the wet conditions this spring have resulted in tremendous corn coloration and growth variation across fields. In my travels to the ISU research farms west of Ames this week for research work, it is clear that corn is recovering and beginning rapid growth, but that growth is very uneven and varies on a quite small scale.

Flooding and Mosquitoes

June 20, 2008

By Laura Jesse, ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic

Flooding per se, does not lead to mosquitoes. It is the water that stands AFTER the flooding that creates opportunities for mosquitoes to breed. Heavy, frequent rainfall may lower mosquito population numbers because there is no standing, stagnant water in which the larvae can feed on grow (mosquito larvae do not live in running water).

Weed Science Field Book Available

June 19, 2008

Despite the cancellation of the Iowa State University Weed Science field day originally scheduled for June 26, there is still an opportunity to review the weed management demonstrations and research at the ISU Curtiss Farm on South State Street in Ames. 

Since planting and herbicide applications are still underway, particularly for soybeans, it is suggested that a good opportunity to see the weed science research exists after the first week in July. 

Assessing Private Well Safety After Flooding

June 19, 2008

By Tom Glanville, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

As the floodwater recede, we are getting lots of questions from rural residents wanting to know if their wells are safe to use. Here are three of the most common questions.

There was no flood water on my property, but the nearby fields and road were flooded. How do I know if my well should be tested. 

Wet and Wetter

June 17, 2008
Image taken near Boone, IA showing the ponding of farm fields

During the week of June 8, Iowa witnessed record high flood crests on several interior rivers that made national news. But for agricultural interests, the sheer volume of rainfall remains the story even more than the flooding rivers. Total statewide rainfall for Iowa in the 6 weeks from May 1 to June 15 averages 13.3 inches, which is double the normal precipitation load. The wettest areas are central Iowa (9+ inches above normal) and northeastern Iowa (8.5+ above normal).

Crop Insurance May Help Flooded and Wet Corn and Soybean Acres

June 17, 2008

By William Edwards, Department of Economics

Wet weather has delayed planting of corn and soybeans across the state, and flooding has severely damaged many acres that have been planted. Fortunately, nearly 90 percent of the corn and soybean acres in Iowa are covered by multiple peril crop insurance (MPCI), which can provide some relief.