Mark Licht

Dr. Mark Licht is an assistant professor and extension cropping systems specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. His extension, research and teaching program is focused on how to holistically manage Iowa cropping systems to achieve productivity, profitability and environmental goals. Research is centered around varied aspects of soybean, corn and cover crop management as well as agronomic implications of precision technologies.

Mark Licht
September 9, 2019 9:39 PM

One of the pressing questions this fall is when corn will reach maturity and if there is going to be enough time to dry down in the field. We have developed and released a corn grain dry down calculator that can help...

Crop Production, Grain Handling and Storage
August 22, 2019 3:02 PM

Update on crop and soil status across the I-states – August 21, 2019

This year the FACTS project is providing a suite of regional scale maps to assist decision making. The data provided is based on APSIM model simulations which are driven...

Crop Production
August 21, 2019 9:02 AM

According to the latest NASS report, the 2019 corn crop is about 2-weeks behind normal in terms of reaching dent stage. What are the implications of this delay in grain filling period and end of season yield? We address this question by examining two key weather variables; solar radiation and...

Crop Production
July 23, 2019 3:34 PM

As July comes to a close, it is time to make plans to seed fall cover crops. Cover crop species, seeding method, seeding rate, and timing will all depend on the goals for that cover crop. In broad terms there are three methods: 1) overseeding, 2) drill seeding, and 3) broadcast seeding with...

Crop Production
July 15, 2019 4:25 PM

The weather forecast for this next week is calling for daytime high temperatures in the 90s and even in the 100s across the state and low nighttime temperatures in the 70s to 80s with little chances of rainfall. This is raising concerns on what impact this can have on the crop, especially with...

Crop Production
July 9, 2019 1:44 PM

Unfavorable planting conditions this spring commonly delayed, and in some cases, prevented crop planting. Producers looking to plant a cover crop to meet the requirements of their insurance coverage must work with their insurer on the details of the policy, and also be mindful of the legal...

Crop Production
June 19, 2019 10:50 AM

The Forecast and Assessment of Cropping sysTemS (FACTS) webpage has been updated to include regional scale forecasts. These regional scale forecast cover the three I-states providing weather, soil water, and soil N mineralization information....

Crop Production
June 19, 2019 10:23 AM

The Forecast and Assessment of Cropping sysTemS (FACTS) project was first launched in 2015 to provide yield and soil nitrogen predictions at individual fields. In addition to the field scale forecasts, in 2019 we added a regional scale component...

Crop Production
May 1, 2019 4:38 PM

The calendar may now say we are in the month of May, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way with the weather and with planting progress across Iowa.

Soil temp. Ideally we want soil temps at the 4” depth to be 50oF or warmer prior to planting corn. While we did...

Crop Production
April 29, 2019 3:54 PM

Last week planters made progress across portions of Iowa. Rains this weekend and the forecast for the coming week indicate planting will be at a standstill this week. In light of the weekend weather, soil temperatures quickly fell below 50oF. What does this mean for corn and soybean...

Crop Production
April 23, 2019 2:27 PM

Corn planting progress began over the last several days, especially in the central and southern tiers of Iowa. That is good news, unfortunately, in north central and northwest Iowa field conditions remain wet putting farmers in those areas further behind and with Monday’s rain will not be making...

Crop Production
February 28, 2019 3:44 PM

The fall of 2018 was challenging for most farmers. It started with rainfall beginning in early September as the corn and soybean crop was maturing. While a good portion of the crop was harvested, rain and cold temperatures limited fall tillage operations. This presents an opportunity to save...

Crop Production
September 21, 2018 9:57 AM

Corn and soybean harvest has started across many parts of Iowa. Some areas of the state have swung between warm-dry and cool- wet weather within the last few days. With more rain in the forecast, a few producers may be wondering about how fast corn will dry down in the field in the coming weeks...

Crop Production
July 25, 2018 7:13 AM

Our analysis shows that soybean more has been more adversely affected by the 2018 weather compared to corn. Soybean yield potential has dropped while corn yield potential is still high. We are in the midst of critical corn grain filling now and soybean grain filling will be starting soon....

Crop Production
June 15, 2018 8:03 AM

Yesterday’s heavy rains that marched across large part of central and north central Iowa coupled with recent storm systems across other parts of the state have resulted in significant areas of ponding as well as hail injury.

Crop Production
June 8, 2018 4:14 PM

The 2018 growing season is well underway. It is now time to start assessing the rewards of the spring planting season. Our first FACTS (Forecasting and Assessment of Cropping sysTemS) is now live for the 2018 growing season. There have been a...

Crop Production
June 6, 2018 10:01 AM

Over the last week there have been sightings of twisted whorls and buggy whipping or corn leaves. It’s also known as rapid growth syndrome, accelerated growth syndrome, roping, wrapped whorls, and onion leafing, This is not unusual for corn that is growing rapidly and usually occurs in 5th...

Crop Production
May 14, 2018 6:07 PM

Planting conditions in northern Iowa, especially north of highway 20, is experiencing delays due to abundant rainfall. Corn planting progress is currently at 40% across the northern crop reporting districts compared to 65% and 70% for the state and 5-year average (...

Crop Production
April 26, 2018 2:07 PM

Every year is different. This year’s weather from January 1 to April 25 was cold and wet; a stark contrast to last year’s weather. While we know the differences in weather conditions every year, we do not know the implications on soil water and N at planting time. Field operations have just...

Crop Production
April 17, 2018 9:37 AM

This spring has already brought on concerns about poor weather resulting in delays on corn planting. At this point in time, there is still time. It is highly important to remain patient and wait for the right corn planting conditions. Planting into marginal conditions can result in problems all...

Crop Production
January 5, 2018 9:50 AM

Most of Iowa was wet and cool during planting time (end April to mid-May), warm and dry during vegetative growth (June to July), and cool and wet during reproductive development (August to September). In some locations, the June-July drought was severe with precipitation deficits exceeding eight...

Crop Production
July 20, 2017 2:13 PM

Water and temperature affect many crop processes simultaneously ranging from crop growth, development, photosynthesis, respiration, water transpiration, grain fill, and nutrient cycling. The magnitude of high temperature or drought stress depends also on the stage of the crop. Another factor...

Crop Production
June 19, 2017 8:11 AM

Unfortunately, hail damage is not a rare occurrence in Iowa. Every year hail damage occurs; it is just a matter of how severe it is and how widespread it is. In most cases, hail damage results in varied levels of defoliation. Defoliation will have an impact on crop yield potential at a greater...

Crop Production
May 25, 2017 1:05 PM

It is that time of year and with the weather conditions we’ve had the last 30 day we should expect to see purple corn, yellow corn, and maybe even some tattered leaves. Mostly the mosaic of corn color is a product of the weather; cooler and wetter. Over the last 30 days, rainfall has been 150 to...

Crop Production
May 3, 2017 9:11 AM

The cold, rainy weather this past weekend has presented challenging conditions for corn fields that have already been planted. Now that the weather is improving it’s good to start thinking about what the consequences might be and what to look for. Heat unit accumulation has been negligible since...

Crop Production

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