Integrated Crop Management News

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More SCN-Resistant Soybean Varieties Than Ever, but Diversity of Resistance is Lacking

October 18, 2016
Article on SCN-resistant soybean varieties

Nearly 40 years after its discovery in the upper Midwest, the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) continues to be a highly damaging pathogen of soybeans in Iowa and surrounding soybean-producing states. SCN is most damaging in hot, dry growing seasons, but yield losses of 10% to 25% or more can occur in years when temperatures are moderate and rainfall is average or above average. Growing SCN-resistant soybean varieties can slow the build-up of SCN population densities (numbers) in the soil and produce profitable soybean yields in SCN-infested fields.

Clean Combines to Avoid Weed Seed Contamination Across Fields

September 27, 2016
Weed Seed Trail from combine image

Removing biomaterial to avoid moving weed seeds between fields can be a daunting task. Typically, combines hold 125-150 lbs of grain and biomaterial after the unloading auger has operated “empty” for one minute. A true clean-out requires about six hours to remove as much biomaterial as possible. While a thorough, top-to-bottom cleaning of the combine is best to avoid the spread of weed seeds between fields, spending 15 to 30 minutes cleaning the combine before moving it out of the field will still remove some biomaterial.

Consider Combine Adjustment for Wet Field Conditions

September 27, 2016
Harvesting corn image

Coarse grains such as corn and soybeans usually thresh relatively easily, but wet field conditions may slow field drying. Rotor speed should not be increased and concave clearance should not be decreased more than necessary for threshing, but spongy corncobs or damp soybean pods may be more difficult to thresh. Greater rotor speed or reduced concave clearance may be necessary in these conditions.

Scout Now for Ear Rots

September 26, 2016
Diplodia Ear Rot image

Corn coming in to the Iowa State University Grain Quality Lab from field trials in central, northeast, and southeast Iowa has been affected by a variety of ear rot fungi, and many individual ears display symptoms of multiple fungi.

Management of Flood-Submerged Grain

September 25, 2016

Grain submerged by uncontrolled flood waters is considered Adulterated under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. This policy dates to 2008 when grain storages in Cedar Rapids were inundated, and has been applied to several situations since then. Adulterated material cannot be put in commercial facilities of any type, where there would be a chance of entering human or animal food. There have been flooded (over the grain height) fields in northeast Iowa since mid-September. Late September rains have increased the scope of this problem to north central and east central Iowa, as well.

Wet Weather Creates Challenges for Harvest

September 25, 2016
Cob rot image

The 2016 growing season was wet with two distinct temperature patterns—hot during early pollination and cooler in August. Most of Iowa had 125% up to 200% of normal rainfall up to Labor Day, and even more after Labor Day. The outlook going forward into October is continued above average temperatures and above normal rainfall.

Combine Adjustment for Fall Harvest

September 21, 2016
Plot Combine image

Objectives when setting and adjusting the combine are to harvest all crop available in the field while maintaining grain in quality condition for storage. Past field measurements show that field losses due to the combine should be able to be held to one bushel per acre or less if the crop is standing reasonably well. Each two kernels of corn per square foot or four soybeans per square foot, or 3/4 lb corn ear per 1/100 acre equals one bushel per acre loss.

Farm Safety: Avoid Slips and Falls During Harvest Season

September 21, 2016
National Farm Safety and Health Week logo

The 2016 Iowa Farm Safety and Health Week is held in conjunction with National Farm Safety and Health Week Sept. 18-24. This year’s theme is “Farm Safety…A Legacy to be Proud Of.”

This is the 73rd observance of the National Farm Safety and Health Week that was originally declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt signed the first proclamation for farm safety in 1944 because of the high injury rate in agriculture that was impacting the nation’s production efforts during World War II.

How to Minimize Soil Compaction During Harvest

September 19, 2016
Corn combine image

Some areas have received several inches of rainfall since Sept. 1, during a time when corn and soybean water use declines significantly. This lack of water use by the plant creates saturated soil conditions susceptible to compaction this fall. High soil moisture increases soil compaction caused by field traffic and machinery. Over the past decade the size of Iowa farms has increased, leading to larger and heavier equipment.

However, equipment size is only one factor among many causes of the soil compaction problem.