Gerald Kucera doesn’t let land ownership lines, city limits, or even international borders stop him from serving others. Whether it’s delivering meals to farmers in the field in his local community of Silver Lake, Minnesota, or building homes for families in Guatemala, Gerald and his wife, Luanne, embody a life of giving back.
Categories: CropTalk, 2019
Dear friends and family,
Merry Christmas from the Beck’s PFR team! Boy, has 2019 been one to remember. Our team has had an incredible season, even if it did get off to a rainy start. We pulled together, shuffled some plans and got the job done while also learning a lot about ourselves and how we can help farmers succeed. We are including a few of the highlights here, but we look forward to hosting you at a PFR Insight Meeting next month to tell you the whole story.
Diseases in cultivated crops are not a new phenomenon. The root cause of the Irish Potato Famine was a fungal disease, Phytophthora infestans, commonly called late blight. Today, late blight is still a primary disease concern in potatoes; proactive management practices are in place. Genetics, cultural management, and timely, preventative applications of fungicides are critical.
Has weed control in soybeans become simple again? In the 2020 growing season, farmers will have more effective soybean post-emergence platforms to select from than ever before. Are the days of having problematic weeds such as waterhemp, marestail, and giant ragweed sticking above the canopy over?
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:34-38 (ESV)
Like many farm kids, he was driving tractors before he even started kindergarten. With deep roots in the farming industry and both of his grandpas farming before him, Tom Frank knew he wanted to continue their legacy.
For the 2019 harvest season, Practical Farm Research (PFR)® is eagerly anticipating new additions to the PFR Book. This year’s PFR Book will bring expanded agronomic knowledge to the table – including more recommendations than ever before! You can look forward to deeper dives into our PFR Proven™ products, multi-location insights, and concise study highlights.
The 2019 calendar year is coming to an end and the adverse effects to soils resulting from this crop season will loom for years to come. Heavy rain in the spring meant fields were planted in less than ideal conditions. This was followed by a series of production practices being conducted in less than ideal conditions — leading to soil compaction and surface ruts. The immediate thought is to run out and deep rip to remove compaction and fill ruts, but careful thought should be given to the process to provide benefit to the next crop year, but also avoid lasting issues for years to come.
What does 13 lb. of diammonium phosphate (DAP) and 27 lb. of potash mean to your operation? Out of context it probably doesn’t mean much, but what if you added it up on ever acre of corn you grow? To illustrate, on 1,000 acres of corn, that’s 6.5 tons of DAP and 13.5 tons of potash. At the time this article was written, DAP was $491/ton and potash was $387/ton. So, to answer my own question, 13 lb. of DAP and 27 lb. of potash across 1,000 acres equals $8,416.00.
After enduring the spring of 2019, it will not take much convincing for many of you that precipitation extremes have become the new normal. It’s been said that if you want things to be different, just wait until next year. While this will likely be true, the trend of punishing rain events occurring more frequently is undeniable.
Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplication. The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. Psalm 28:6-7
Limited paid time off, family commitments, and tight finances can sometimes get in the way of what God has called us to do – to serve and love others. And the Beck family understands that struggle.
Tags: CropTalk, freedom international, mission trip, servant
As you set forth your 2020 vision, there are new technologies at play in the seed industry. Trait names, trade names, and marketing campaigns can all obscure the message — making it difficult to discern the right traits for your farm. In an effort to help you understand one new technology in the corn market, Beck’s Director of Research, Dr. Kevin Cavanaugh, answered a few common questions.
Tags: CropTalk, corn, Beck's Hybrids Research Department, seed corn, research, qrome
Last year's soybean harvest was among the latest on record, resulting in fields harvested at higher than average moisture levels. Farmers may likely have experienced peace of mind as combines rolled, only to face the concern of storing and drying their wet soybeans. As a result, many farmers discovered for the first time that soybeans can be dried relatively easily using air alone or in combination with low temperature heat.
Tags: harvest, soybeans, soybean harvest, soybean dry down, split soybeans
Over the past couple of decades, the ag industry has increased its focus on seed treatment research and development. This, coupled with the more challenging environment soybean seed is planted into as farmers plant earlier and more rapidly, has led to seed treatment being included on most soybean seed planted today.
Tags: soybeans, White Mold, Sudden Death Syndrome, ESCALATE, soybean seed treatment, SDS, nemasect
Some years, we look back and wish we could have planted all our crops within a specific window of time. Typically, that window is from mid- to late- April. According to Beck’s 17-year Indiana Practical Farm Research (PFR)® planting date data, you can gain anywhere from 4% to 28% more yield by planting in late April compared to May or June. On average, for a 175 Bu./A. corn crop, that could mean a 20 to 30 Bu./A. gain just by planting within that early window. What if you could plant 60% more acres per hour? What would that mean for your operation?
Tags: Closing Wheels, high speed planting, planting singulation
“Jesus leaving 99 to find 1 seems crazy…until you are that 1.”
Jesus speaking…”What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fi ghting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” John 18:36
I think this is a spring that most of us will never forget. From a marketing perspective, we experienced several curve balls since I wrote my last Crop Talk article. We had bullish sentiment going into the March 29th Quarterly Stocks and Planting Intentions, only to find more grain and higher planting intentions for corn. That caused prices to tumble. With that we put spring lows in Dec corn and Nov beans on May 13th at $3.63 and $8.15 ½.
Tags: CropTalk, grain marketing
Soil is the miraculous biological, chemical, and physical medium that enables farmers, growers, and gardeners alike to plant, tend, and harvest a bounty of fruits and vegetables. For our purposes, soil is defi ned as the upper layer of earth that may be tilled and in which seeds germinate; emerge; take root; and ultimately grow to be plants (note: weeds are plants too). When the soil is fertile it is balanced with both water and air pore space; and the essential nutrients needed to support plant growth.
Tags: CropTalk, soil pH, lime, nutrient availability