As flood waters recede, the renovation of flooded pastures is just beginning. Now is a good time to check pasture plants for survival. Forage production is a function of the plant species, and their density and growth. Evaluate live plants (plant vigor), plant density, and desirable species versus weeds.
Integrated Crop Management News
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Iowa’s most significant soybean insect pest, soybean aphid, has host-alternating biology. This species has multiple, overlapping generations on soybean in the summer and moves to buckthorn in the winter. Fall migration to buckthorn is based on senescing soybean, and decreasing temperatures and photoperiod. For the majority of the year, soybean aphids are cold-hardy eggs near buckthorn buds (Photo 1). As spring temperatures warm up, soybean aphid eggs hatch and produce a few generations on buckthorn before moving to soybean (Photo 2). Tilmon et al.
Over the last five years, the North Central region of the U.S. has been responsible for 82 percent of the nation’s soybean harvest. Due to the region’s importance to soybean production for its various uses in feed, biodiesel and other widely used products, the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP), through funding from the Soybean Checkoff Program, has sponsored on-farm surveys to farmers in the region to evaluate trends in farming practices and management systems.
Flood waters are receding, but the challenges in recovery for farmers and livestock producers are just beginning. We recommend producers get out in their fields as soon as possible to assess the damage to pastures and hay ground, then check out possible disaster assistance. Look for three things in the assessment: debris, silt on the forage, and thinned or dead forage plants. Debris includes wire, metal and trash that may be injurious to animal health and is usually found along fence lines and in the corners of fields.
Reports of winter injury in alfalfa fields are coming in across the state. Old man winter along with other management factors can take a toll on alfalfa stands. Older stands, stands that were harvested between mid-September and late October, and stands with minimal stubble appear to have suffered the worst winter injury. Additionally, in many fields it is obvious where the snow drifted and provided insulation and protection as those parts of the field are the greenest.
Private pesticide applicators whose certification expired in 2018 have until April 15, 2019, to renew their certification if they plan to renew by attending a Continuing Instruction Course (CIC) training program. In order to renew by training an applicator must attend a CIC in each of the three years of their renewal cycle.
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.
Flooding has been extensive in several areas of Iowa this spring. In some cases, stored grain has been affected by flood waters. Land application of flood adulterated grain as a nutrient source for a future crop may be an option for some. See the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) and Iowa Dept. of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) publication for Proper Management of Flooded Grain and Hay.
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.
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.