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.

Performance of SCN-resistant soybean varieties in Iowa in 2016

December 24, 2016
Graph showing the performance of SCN-resistant nematodes in Iowa 2016

Soybean varieties that are resistant to the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) are an essential tool for managing the pest. The SCN control provided by resistant soybean varieties can vary greatly, just as yield. Iowa State University evaluates the SCN control and yield of  SCN-resistant soybean varieties in field experiments conducted throughout Iowa annually. Results of the 2016 experiments are now available online and will be distributed in print in January 2017.

Effects of Crop Residue Removal, Upcoming Soil Health Conference

December 15, 2016

Leaving crop residue on the soil surface improves nutrient cycling and, ultimately, soil quality that will increase and sustain soil productivity. Through conservation practices that include balanced residue management and soil fertility, environmental quality can be substantially enhanced. By retaining crop residue on the soil surface, soil organic carbon (SOC) and nutrient-holding capacity are increased while protecting the soil from wind and water erosion.

2016 FACTS Crop Year in Review

November 16, 2016
Graph of 2016 FACTS Crop Year in Review

The 2016 crop year is in the books. While there were a couple of periods where it looked like the weather was going to have significant impact, it turns out only to be short lived. State average yields are projected to be a record for both corn (199 bushels per acre) and soybean (59 bushels per acre).

Increased Dicamba Use Requires Enhanced Stewardship

November 15, 2016

The EPA recently approved a new, low-volatile dicamba formulation - M1768 (XtendimaxTM with VaporGripTM Technology) for dicamba-resistant soybean cultivars.  While we recognize the benefit this technology provides in managing the growing herbicide resistance problem, we have concerns regarding the risks for non-target plant injury associated with an anticipated expanded use of dicamba.

What’s the Situation with SCN in Your Fields?

October 31, 2016
SCN in fields image

The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is capable of causing serious yield loss on soybeans every year. Back in the “good ole days,” a farmer was “good to go” with SCN management if he or she knew what fields were infested with the nematode and then grew SCN-resistant soybean varieties in rotation with the nonhost crop corn. Nowadays, things are more complicated. SCN numbers may be building up and causing increased yield loss and the buildup can go unrecognized because a soybean crop often does not appear stressed above ground, even though yield loss is occurring. This article explains why this SCN numbers might be building up in your fields and how to check.

High Yields, Low Grain Prices: Manage Phosphorus and Potassium Wisely

October 21, 2016
Phosphorus and Potassium results graph

Bumper grain yields are being harvested from most Iowa fields this fall. However, due to low crop prices producers are thinking of reducing phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertilizer application rates. A few important management options should be considered when making decisions with unfavorable crop/fertilizer price ratios.

Cereal Rye Suitability for Roller Crimping and No-till Applications

October 19, 2016
Roller crimper photo

This time of year brings harvest, preparations for winter, and the planting of cover crops. Cereal rye is a popular and versatile cover crop that is planted in the fall and terminated in the spring. Traditional termination methods include chemicals, mowing, tilling, and even crimping prior to planting of the row crop. The roller crimper, originally designed by the Rodale Institute, is used to crimp the cereal rye stem in several places (Fig. 1). The flattened rye can create a mulch bed on top of the soil.

2016 Harvest Grain Quality Update

October 19, 2016
Dewpoint Temperatures graph

Iowa has had relief from the constant, late-September rains that were setting up for a difficult harvest season. As a result, the average grain moisture has fallen to a more typical 18-21%; lower in areas of lesser rainfall and vice versa. The potential for field drydown normally declines rapidly after mid-October. The issues of field mold that we reported in late September remain but shouldn’t be intensifying. Overall, the storage properties of 2016 will be average or below average, especially in wetter areas.