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.

Options Available for New Pesticide Applicators

April 8, 2020

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) is working with the Governor’s office to address pesticide applicator issues that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Proclamation issued April 2, 2020, by Governor Kim Reynolds temporarily suspends some regulatory provisions. IDALS is taking a step-by-step approach to provide regulatory relief. 

Are You Planting on a Level Playing Field?

April 7, 2020
field cultivator no leveling

Springtime on a farm is typically filled with the hustle and bustle of gearing up for planting season. This is the time of year when most farmers focus on de-winterizing the sprayer, changing oil in the tractors and checking the seed meters on the planter. If you use a field cultivator, it is also important to make sure it is properly adjusted to help provide a uniform seedbed for the upcoming planting season. Whether this is the first season or the thirtieth season for the field cultivator, there are a few items to check before making your way to the field this spring.

Pesticide Applications – Are you Prepared?

April 2, 2020

With the critical need for respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care, there is a potential shortage of PPE, particularly N95 respirators, in the marketplace for agriculture and pesticide applications.

Spring Forage Fertilization Considerations

April 1, 2020

Fertilization is just as important for forages as it is for row crops to maximize productivity. This article addresses spring fertilization considerations for forage crops and pastures.

Nitrogen considerations

Nitrogen (N) applications can either be a one-time, annual application or can be split applied. Suggested N application rates for single application are in Table 1 and rates for split applications are in Table 2.

Table 1. Suggested N application rates for a single annual application

The Opportunities and Challenges with Hemp

March 26, 2020

Over the past several years as row crop prices declined, farmers and landowners across the nation have searched for alternative crops that might improve the financial bottom line. With the passage of the 2014 and 2018 farm bills, industrial hemp became one of those possible alternative crops. The 2014 farm bill established industrial hemp (hemp with a tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] concentration of 0.3% or less) as a potential crop, separating it from its illegal relative, marijuana.

Terminating Cover Crops This Spring

March 25, 2020

As temperatures warm this spring, cover crop termination is on the to-do list for some Iowa fields.  Killing cover crops with herbicides is the most common termination method. The effectiveness of herbicides at terminating a cover crop depends primarily on three things: 

Recommendations to Achieve High Quality Dry Fertilizer Applications

March 25, 2020

Claims of poor fertilizer application and visual striping in fields have increased in recent years. This issue impacts all sectors of the supply chain including growers, custom applicators, cooperatives and agribusiness insurance companies. An increase in documented application problems is primarily driven by a broader use of aerial imagery that can easily detect problems and an increase in use of dry nitrogen fertilizers.

Crop Sulfur Fertilization This Spring

March 25, 2020
sulfer defficiancy in alfalfa

Significant sulfur (S) deficiency in Iowa crops was first documented about 15 years ago. First identified in alfalfa and then corn and soybean. Since then about 150 trials with corn (along with trials with alfalfa and soybean) have been conducted across the state, with approximately 50% of trials having a statistically significant yield increase. A main reason for the yield response to S in recent years, as compared to many years prior, has been reduction in atmospheric deposition as a result of the Clean Air Act.

Managing Winter Annual Weeds this Spring

March 20, 2020
horseweed in dry field

After another relatively wet fall, late harvest season, and mild winter, early weed management may be important this spring for those who have persistent issues with winter annuals such as field pennycress and horseweed/marestail in no-till. Winter annuals resume growth soon after the arrival of warm temperatures, so as soon as fields are fit, the weeds will be susceptible to spray.

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