Integrated Crop Management News

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A Weather Summary for the 2008 Growing Season

October 30, 2008
Graph of base 50 degree F degree days vs. degree day departure from normal

By Rich Pope, Department of Plant Pathology

Wet and cold! That is how many people will recall the 2008 growing season. 

And in a general sense that is a good description, as the Iowa statewide accumulation of crop growth degree days was about 130 behind the 30 year average, and rainfall was more than 7 inches above normal. But when we examine each by crop reporting district through the season, the story gets a bit more complex, depending on where you are looking.

Corn Quality Issues in 2008 – Field Molds

October 24, 2008
Image of Gibberella ear rot symptoms

By Charles Hurburgh, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; Alison Robertson, Department of Plant Pathology; Roger Elmore, Department of Agronomy

Fall weather has allowed late planted corn to mature, increasing grain yields expectations - the USDA October yield estimate is 172 bushels per acre in Iowa. Although high grain yields are expected, reports of quality issues are surfacing.

Corn Quality Issues in 2008 – Storage Management

October 24, 2008
Table of maximum storage time for corn and soybeans

By Charles Hurburgh, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; Roger Elmore, Department of Agronomy

Grains have a shelf life just like any food product. Shelf life is primarily determined by moisture content and temperature. It is gradually used through the time before use, and each operation or storage regime consumes a portion of the life.

Corn Quality Issues in 2008 - Moisture and Test Weight

October 24, 2008

By Charles Hurburgh, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; Roger Elmore, Department of Agronomy

Weather this fall has benefited the corn crop by allowing late planted corn to mature. Much of the state recently experienced its first killing frost. The USDA October yield estimate of 172 bushels per acre in Iowa surprised many. If this is the final yield, 2008 will produce the third highest yield recorded, behind the 173 bushels per acre of 2005 and 181 bushels per acre in 2004.

Corn Disease Publication Now Available

October 16, 2008

By Alison Robertson, Department of Plant Pathology
Corn producers and other professionals in the agriculture industry depend on the Iowa State University Extension publication Corn Diseases, PM 596. It is always in high demand, and after a revision, is back on the shelf to be ordered from the Extension online store.

Watch the Soil Temperature

October 13, 2008
Map of Iowa 4 inch soil temperatures Oct. 12, 2008

By Elwynn Taylor and John Sawyer, Department of Agronomy
Soil temperature is the best indicator we have to reduce the risk of nitrogen loss when fall application of anhydrous ammonia, or manure with high ammonia content, is deemed expedient.  Experience has taught us that the conversion to nitrate is greatly reduced at soil temperatures below 50 F, though not totally avoided.

Fall Tillage Considerations for Soybean Disease Management

October 8, 2008
Image of soybean plants with sudden death syndrome

By XB Yang, Department of Plant Pathology

Fall tillage operations become a consideration at harvest time, and plentiful soil moisture makes moisture conservation a non-issue. However, the management of soybean diseases could be a consideration if you have fields with severe disease problems this year.