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.
Integrated Crop Management News
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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.