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.

Planter Maintenance Tips for 2019

April 9, 2019
tractor pulling planter through field with cover crops

Planter maintenance is important for all farmers, particularly those in reduced and no-till systems. A well-maintained planter gives seed its best chance, and with field operations happening in a shortened timeframe this spring, planer maintenance will be as important as ever. Most of the physical responsibility for manipulating soil, placing seed, and getting the seed off to a good start rests on the planter.

Planting with Seedling Diseases and Low Germination Rates

March 29, 2019
Diaporthe can infect seeds, causing deformities in soybean seed and reduced germination.

You know what they say: March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.

Well, it certainly feels like this past winter was just one extended lion. While there were signs that maybe Iowa would be seeing greener pastures, that has not been the case, especially for farmers who have experienced flooding this past month. With the recent incidents and resulting disaster proclamations, as well as lost grain storage, the idea of farming greener pastures has a long way until fruition.

New EPA-Required Paraquat Training and Additional Use Restrictions

March 29, 2019
Read the Label First

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the requirement and availability of a new certified applicator training module for paraquat dichloride (also known as paraquat). Paraquat is a restricted use pesticide for use only by certified applicators. The restriction applies to mixing, loading, and applying paraquat, as well as other pesticide handling activities.

Check FieldWatch® Before Pesticide Applications

March 27, 2019

Prepare for a safe pesticide application season by checking the FieldWatch® registry before making pesticide applications. The FieldWatch® registry is intended to provide easy-to-use, accurate, and secure online tools to enhance communications and awareness between crop producers, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators.

Management Considerations for Post Flooding Soils

March 26, 2019

Farmland in Iowa, western Illinois, and eastern Nebraska is experiencing flooding issues. Planting in these areas may be delayed or may not be planted to any crop in 2019. This can have significant economic and environmental consequences if flooded fields are left barren. Long-term damage to soil needs to be considered when planning for this year’s or next season's crop.

Spring Cover Crop Termination

March 21, 2019
cereal rye cover crop spring growth

Spring weather has finally arrived and fieldwork will begin soon. Iowa State University research suggests cereal rye should be terminated at least 10-14 days prior to planting corn, so the favorable weather forecast may allow some farmers to begin terminating overwintered cover crops in the next few weeks.

Alfalfa Winter Survival - A Complicated Subject

March 20, 2019

How did alfalfa fields fair this past winter? This is a complicated subject since several factors play into alfalfa winter survival. These factors include fall soil moisture conditions, 4-inch soil temperature, and other stresses like stand age, soil fertility, and fall stubble.

Flooding and Stored Grain

March 19, 2019

The rapid snowmelt in Spring 2019 has caused instances of stored grain being covered with floodwater. By current Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) policy, grain inundated by uncontrolled river or stream water is considered adulterated and must be destroyed.  The situation in 2019 is one of river water flooding rather than of rain-driven pooled water in low ground, for which there are salvage options.   As shown by the example of the inundated Omaha sewage treatment plant, river-based floodwaters can bring in many hazards and rapid spoilage. 

Equipment Considerations for Anhydrous Ammonia Application

March 19, 2019
Anhydrous ammonia tanks

Because of limited fall 2018 anhydrous ammonia fertilizer application, fertilizer infrastructure including transportation, distribution, and application may be stressed this spring. A review of application equipment considerations can help ensure that your nitrogen fertilizer is properly and safely applied. This article focuses on anhydrous ammonia equipment.

Anhydrous ammonia tanks