Oct 19, 2016
As harvest progresses in Ohio, we are finding out which fields received enough water and which did not. As you navigate these varying conditions, it’s important to continue evaluating your combine’s performance. We usually do a good job of setting the combine when we start harvest; but don’t forget to continually monitor threshing quality and crop losses.
I’ve noticed a fair amount of ear rot this year, in particular, Diplodia. Diplodia can be exceptionally bad because the disease will eventually mummify the entire ear and can cause the kernels to be very lightweight.
Although fall tillage is a common practice across much of the Corn Belt, there are scenarios that favor the practice and others that do not. Many times following harvest, we begin plowing without considering amultitude of factors that might limit the benefits we should experience from making that decision.
For many farmers in my region, the 2016 harvest is a welcome change compared to 2015. Challenges always exist in any given year, but thankfully they were minimal and less severe this year than in 2015.
Diseases have become a major topic this fall. We have seen gray leaf spot, Anthracnose stalk rot, Diplopia stalk and ear rot, and even southern rust. Corn has filled out well, but stalk quality has become a concern as plants have cannibalized with late stress.
With harvest completion just around the corner, fall field work including fertilizer applications and tillage operations will be top priority. If you are applying dry fertilizer this fall, now is the best time to utilize yield maps for VRT applications based on crop removal.
When the 2016 harvest is behind us, it will be critical to review product performance and integral management practices. This is the time to learn what worked well, what didn’t work, and why. Although each season is unique, trends can indicate a strong relationship which demands attention.
For most farmers in Wisconsin and northern Illinois, the spring planting season seems like a long distant look into the future, but prepping for that time should start from the seat of the combine. With increases in yield, plant population and stalk quality, residue management has become one of the most important aspects of farming.
Harvest is in full swing in southern Illinois! As you go from farm to farm, take the opportunity to write down your observations of hybrids and varieties, drainage concerns, or anything else you see that may help you in future decision making.
While fertilizer is a key input, many farmers are faced with low grain prices and margins. Though many crop advisors belabor the merits of different soil testing approaches, rarely do they consider accurate fertilizer recommendations that fit specific production and economic scenarios.
If you think waterhemp is a pain, hold on to your seat. Here comes its bigger, more aggressive and uglier brother, Palmer amaranth. Palmer amaranth was first found in Iowa in 2013. Thanks to early identification and management, it was held to five counties. But unfortunately, Palmer amaranth has now been found in 16 Iowa counties.
With harvest underway, the 2016 season will be complete in the coming weeks. This is also the time of the year when fertilizer is being applied and decisions are being made for 2017. As we all know, nitrogen (N) is a critical component to high yields, and much of Iowa’s N is applied before a crop is ever planted. Late fall and spring applied N is a common practice and ensures that a portion of N is applied before planting.
With the current commodity prices, farmers will be looking to cut costs wherever possible. One of those places will likely be lime and fertilizer applications. If your fertilizer and lime applications are one of the
things you are considering cutting, be sure to evaluate your fields closely and be confident that the cuts are being made on fields that are testing high enough in phosphorus and/or potassium.
Sep 23, 2016
Summer rains have been few and far between in Ohio. While some fields have luckily received more than others, we’ll find out soon which fields received enough to maintain yields when the combines roll.
Some of our most southern areas have already begun harvesting corn and the rest should be starting this month. Something to keep in mind when harvesting is how you will manage the corn residue.
Decision making in farming can be tough. There are so many management strategies and products that have the potential to increase net revenue. One way to make it easier is to establish a baseline for yield in every field.
Early fall is mostly pre-harvest time in my area. We can evaluate the past growing season and consider possible changes to our operations. One of the most commonly discussed programs this summer has been
the LibertyLink® system for 2017.
Take one last chance to scout before harvest begins. As you walk fields, look at disease levels. Which hybrids handled disease better? Are you happy with your fungicide applications? Look at grain fill and pollination. Take a final assessment of weed control and make note of what weeds are present and if they need to be targeted next year. In soybeans, be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth, as it has been identified in southern Indiana.
As the growing season comes to an end, it’s always a good idea to review weather records and the various practices that you experimented with on your farms. Once again, weather events created challenges throughout the 2016 growing season that were beyond our control.
The 2016 crop continues to mature, though it may not be quite as fast or large as many predicted just a few weeks earlier.
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