Mark Licht

Dr. Mark Licht is an associate 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.

December 13, 2020 3:17 PM

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Crop Production
November 24, 2020 12:25 PM

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The long-awaited registration...

Crop Production
October 8, 2020 4:58 PM

The Integrated Crop Management (ICM) conference and Crop Advantage Series programs have been mainstays of Extension agronomic programming for many years. It is regretful that because of the COVID pandemic, those programs will NOT be offered this coming December and January. We are offering a new...

Crop Production
September 1, 2020 2:29 PM

Save money and time this fall by planning for no-till soybean planting next spring. Many farmers are moving away from tillage, due to a host of detrimental environmental factors involved with tillage as well as reducing cost of soybean production.

Soybean yields are not impacted by no-...

Crop Production, Equipment and Machinery
September 1, 2020 8:38 AM

Following the derecho event on August 10, millions of acres in Iowa face challenging conditions. In many cases the corn may be unharvestable. These unharvestable fields require some level of fall management to ensure the future crop can achieve even emergence and normal early plant growth.

Crop Production
August 25, 2020 8:23 AM

Fall Management Options for Corn Fields That Are Unharvestable

Millions of corn acres have been damaged by the derecho on August 10. Unfortunately for some of these acres, harvest will not take place. Decisions regarding fall management options will need to be made in the...

Crop Production
July 24, 2020 2:08 PM

Low rainfall and high temperatures recently have caused some drought stress on local crops this summer. This is not wholly unexpected and there are some strategies crop producers can do to minimize the damage.

Higher nighttime temperatures cause plants to have higher nighttime respiration...

Crop Production
July 13, 2020 1:24 PM

In 2018 and 2019, research was conducted on a relay intercropping and double cropping systems to evaluate as a possible alternative to Iowa’s traditional corn-soybean or continuous corn cropping system.

There were 2 sites; one near Kalona and another near Ames, Iowa, to study these...

Crop Production
July 10, 2020 2:55 PM

Each year, decisions on planting date and cultivar selection are the major deciding factors on yield potential. Under current, year-to-year variable weather patterns and future climate change these decisions have become much more important. And there is a known knowledge gap on how future...

Crop Production
July 9, 2020 2:40 PM

For a couple of years, some Iowa farmers have noticed lower yields along the southern and/or western edges of their fields. The low yields along the border tend to be prevalent when soybean, hay, or pasture are growing adjacently to the field on the southern or western edge. This phenomenon...

Crop Production
July 8, 2020 10:23 AM

Since July 1 high humidity and temperatures have been scorching Iowa. Okay, maybe that is a little extreme. June has led to dry conditions across much of central and southwest Iowa. Heat and dry weather are not desired weather conditions in the 2 weeks before or after pollination. This four-week...

Crop Production
June 25, 2020 1:09 PM

 M. Licht).
Leaf ripples and yellowing shortly after the whorl unfurls...

Crop Production
June 23, 2020 9:40 AM

Many farmers and agronomists are noticing short soybean this spring. Some are pondering if there is something that can be done to spur some additional growth as flowering is fast approaching, if not already begun. The surprise with short soybean is that planting was timely. The unfortunate...

Crop Production, Equipment and Machinery
June 15, 2020 10:18 AM

Radiation is down up to June 1 according the latest FACTS extrapolations.

The springtime decreases in radiation—especially in May—could have caused yellowing corn leaves and slowed down leaf appearance rates (radiation and moisture play a role in phenology, even though temperature is the...

Crop Production
May 20, 2020 1:54 PM

With the weather Iowa has recently experienced and the time of year it is, we all can expect to see purple and yellow corn and even some tattered leaves: the ugly ducklings of your field. Don’t fret just yet, cooler temperatures and wet conditions are all contributing factors to the mosaic...

Crop Production
May 19, 2020 8:04 PM

Planting is nearly wrapped up for corn, with soybean soon to follow. What a difference a year makes considering the last two years have seen planting delayed. That means corn and soybean emergence should be good, right? Wrong! The cost of seed makes it essential to get the highest, most uniform...

Crop Production
May 8, 2020 11:07 AM

The Forecasting and Assessment of Cropping Systems (FACTS) from Iowa State Extension and Outreach results as of May 5 extrapolate that Iowa soils a bit drier than neighboring Illinois or Indiana, but shouldn’t be an issue moving forward:

Crop Production
May 6, 2020 12:58 PM

Friday and Saturday night will have cold temperatures reach into northern Iowa and maybe even southern Iowa. Below is a National Weather Service low temperature prediction ( for Saturday, May 9. Notice that north of Interstate...

Crop Production
April 23, 2020 3:41 PM

The Forecasting and Assessment of Cropping Systems (FACTS) project is up and running with accurate, recent data to inform decision making for a variety of industry professionals. FACTS is an ongoing project developed to forecast and evaluate in...

Crop Production
April 14, 2020 6:25 PM

Farmers in Iowa have been experimenting with very early soybean planting dates, from late March to mid-April. Based on reviews of the yield data, there is not a consistent yield benefit to planting early as opposed to planting the first week of May. But one benefit of very early planting is that...

Crop Production
April 9, 2020 12:47 PM

March into early April has been warm enough and dry enough to the point that soil conditions are good for planting. The calendar date is a bit early; after all the crop insurance, replanting is April 11. Regardless, many are pondering if they should be planting corn already, and some maybe...

Crop Production
April 1, 2020 10:43 AM

This year let’s all toss out planting windows for corn. Farmers should be focused on when soil conditions are prime to plant. Soil temperatures need to be on the rise; 50oF and rising. Planting 24-36 hours before a cold spell—regardless of how long—is putting your seed at risk of cold...

Crop Production
March 26, 2020 4:10 PM

The USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, along with the...

Crop Production
October 29, 2019 11:40 AM

It doesn’t happen every year, but it does occur – snow accumulation before harvest is complete. Here are some considerations and tips for dealing with this unique situation:

Crop Production
October 7, 2019 3:25 PM

A portion of Iowa’s corn crop is likely to experience a frost before naturally reaching maturity as a result of cool temperatures later this week. Natural maturity is often determined when a black layer is formed at the kernel tip. At this timeframe grain moisture is typically 28–35% moisture....

Crop Production, Grain Handling and Storage