Beck's Blog

From Our Family Farm to Yours

23

Feb

2017

Ag Education

Why FFA? 2017 National FFA Week

Right now across the U.S., there are 650,000 FFA members celebrating National FFA Week. Each FFA member is a future professional in our agricultural industry, and here at Beck’s, we are proud to support them.

If you weren’t involved in FFA in school, you may not be familiar with all that they do other than drive their tractors to school and sport those blue corduroy jackets. Here’s the Cliffs Notes version to help bring you up to speed.

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22

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Management Considerations for Continuous Soybean Rotations

Author: Luke Schulte

Many farmers across the state are having discussions around what their crop rotation will be for the coming year. Should they keep their rotation the same? Or would it be economically advantageous to plant more soybeans? In my experience, many farmers typically debate this question but then end up staying the course and keeping their rotation intact. This year however feels a little different.

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22

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Your Wheat and the Warmer Weather

Earlier this month I sent an update discussing how the warmer weather could affect nitrogen (N) applications on wheat. With another stretch of unseasonably warm weather upon us, I thought it would be a great time to provide a quick update on our wheat crop.

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21

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Don't Let the Warm Weather Fool You

Author: Jon Skinner

With unseasonably warm weather predicted over the next week in northern Illinois and Wisconsin, I anticipate seeing equipment hit the field for early spring field work. These early field applications can benefit any farming operation when done properly. Patience is very important as most of the compaction during a season occurs with the first pass of the year. 

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16

Feb

2017

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Lost Headgear

Author: Mike Roux

You may think by the title of this article that I am going to talk about dropping your cap in the woods, but that is not the case. Instead we are going to discuss one of the fastest growing topics in the hunting world. Looking for, finding, and collecting shed antlers has become one of the most popular activities among not just hunters but the general public as well. A lot of folks are now spending their late winter days looking to bring home a pile of discarded whitetail deer antlers.

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16

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Managing Continuous Soybeans

Over the past few seasons, soybean yields as a whole have been pretty impressive. As a strategy to combat lower grain prices, many farmers are taking a closer look at soybean after soybean, or even continuous soybean, rotations. This is especially true for farmers with acres that may not always be best suited to grow corn. Some things to think about when considering a soybean after soybean scenario are fertility, disease management, planting rate, and weed control. 

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13

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Seed to Soil: It’s Getting Close!

Author: David Hughes

This time of year, I anxiously await two things – planting season and baseball. “Watch the ball hit the bat” rings out from dads as they cheer their sons on in batting cages all over the country. In farming, it is just as important to see the seed hit the soil. Nothing is more important or more exciting than getting that perfect stand at planting. After all, you can’t score if you don’t get on base.

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Categories: Agronomy, Missouri

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13

Feb

2017

PFR Report

Missouri Wheat Updates

Author: Alex Long

Although Punxsutawney Phil is forecasting six more weeks of winter, the wheat across Missouri is coming out of dormancy and will be heading out before we know it. With the favorable fall growing conditions and mild winter we experienced, it looks like we are prepared for another great wheat harvest. Throughout the state, we have had very good tiller growth and winter survivability overall. 

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10

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Wheat Updates Continued...

Author: David Hughes

Kansas State Plant Pathologist Erick De DeWolf has put out, in my opinion, the most accurate winter wheat fungicide efficacy ratings. You can review it here. In it, he summarizes performance ratings and also provides insight we can utilize as we make plans for fungicide applications on our wheat this year.

In addition to these ratings, I wanted to share with you a few thoughts I had looking back on the 2016 season.

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8

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

2017 Wheat Outlook

Author: Steve Gauck

We have been experiencing warmer than usual temperatures this winter in Southern Indiana. In terms of wheat, this warm weather has not concerned me as it is what happens in early spring that affects yield the most. The two factors that have the biggest impact on our quest to achieving high-yielding wheat are scouting and nitrogen (N) management. As you begin to evaluate your wheat stand, one of the most important things to remember is to perform stand checks. This can be done with a 1 x 1 ft. square, as shown below. Be sure to take counts at multiple locations that represent different landscape positions in your fields.

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6

Feb

2017

PFR Report

Nitrogen Management for Wheat

February is a very busy month for most farmers. For those of us growing wheat, it is the time to start scouting and planning applications of our first round of nitrogen (N) to this year’s crop. The teams at the many of Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® sites, including Kentucky, are conducting a number of N studies this year including rates, timing, and forms. 

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6

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Cover Crops: Termination Timing and Weed Suppression

Author: Austin Scott

Cover crop acres have been steadily on the rise for the last few years. According to a recent survey by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Department, farmers in the U.S. increased their cover crop acres by 147 percent from 2014 to 2016. But, this rapid adoption did not come without growing pains. Many farmers have struggled with terminating their cover crops on time and, in many cases, the cover crop persisted into the growing season and actually became detrimental to yield. 

Cover crop acres have been steadily on the rise for the last few years. According to a recent survey by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Department, farmers in the U.S. increased their cover crop acres by 147 percent from 2014 to 2016. But, this rapid adoption did not arise without growing pains. Many farmers have struggled with terminating their cover crops on time and, in many cases, the cover crop persisted into the growing season and actually became detrimental to yield. How and when you should kill your cover crop will be dependent on the cash crop you’re planting as well as the species and growth stage of your cover crop.

Many farmers are using cereal crops (cereal rye, wheat, etc.) as a part of their mixture because of their relatively low cost and ability to produce biomass above and below ground. Soybeans have a greater ability to overcome cereal competition early in the year so termination can be delayed up to 7 to 14 days after planting. Corn lacks the early season “grit” that soybeans have and thus, the cereal cover should be terminated at least 14 days ahead of planting. University of Tennessee Weed Scientists Dr. Garret Montgomery and Dr. Larry Steckel have seen a negative impact on corn stands and early season vigor when a standalone cereal cover crop was used. However, when a legume (vetch) was introduced to the mix, a significant difference in vigor was seen (Figure 1).
 

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3

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

2017 Wheat Updates

Author: David Hughes

I’ve recently had the opportunity to scout a few wheat fields and I wanted to share with you a few updates. 

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3

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Wheat Updates and Nitrogen Managment

I’ve received a few calls over the past few weeks from wheat farmers inquiring whether or not their wheat fields were starting to break dormancy. From what I’ve seen, the answer is yes. Many wheat fields have in fact “greened up” over the last couple of weeks. With temperatures reaching the mid-60s on January 21 and 22, and nighttime temperatures remaining above freezing until around January 26, a definite change has taken place across southern Illinois wheat fields.

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1

Feb

2017

PFR Report

What Does it Take to Raise 400 Bushel Corn?

In this latest PFR report, PFR Agronomist Travis Burnett, introduces an exciting new project going on at the Indiana PFR site for 2017.

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Categories: PFR, PFR Reports

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1

Feb

2017

PFR Report

An In-Depth Look at the Influence of Soil Temperature and Moisture in Southern Illinois - Part 3

Author: Joe Bolte

An In-Depth Look at the Influence of Soil Temperature and Moisture in Southern Illinois
Part 3 of 3
The Effects on Yield

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1

Feb

2017

PFR Report

An In-Depth Look at the Influence of Soil Temperature and Moisture in Southern Illinois - Part 2

Author: Joe Bolte

An In-Depth Look at the Influence of Soil Temperature and Moisture in Southern Illinois
Part 2 of 3
The Effects of Soil Temperature

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1

Feb

2017

PFR Report

An In-Depth Look at the Influence of Soil Temperature and Moisture in Southern Illinois - Part 1

Author: Joe Bolte

An In-Depth Look at the Influence of Soil Temperature and Moisture in Southern Illinois
Part 1 of 3
The Effects of Soil Moisture

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17

Jan

2017

Ag Education

Why Soybeans?

A few months ago, we took a time out of summer crop scouting to think about why the heck we grow corn. Now is the time to look at that other crop: soybeans. Soybeans are the small, but mighty little brother.  

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9

Jan

2017

PFR Update

Turing Insight into Value

Author: Alex Long

Happy New Year from Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team! With a new year underway, now is the time to evaluate your crop performance last year and consider new and innovative management strategies to adopt for the next growing season. I encourage you all to attend one of our 2017 PFR Insight Meetings to help you with this important process. 

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