Category: Crop Production

Thorough Planter Check-ups Start the Season Off Right

Time moves faster and faster each year it seems and planting will be upon us soon. As we (hopefully) begin to see warmer weather this month, it is a great time to get the planter out and check things over. Top yields rely on a wide variety of factors, some that we can manage and…

Soil Carbon: The Basics of Soil Carbon and a New Credit Industry

There has been a lot of talk in the last few weeks about soil carbon (SC), carbon sequestration,  carbon credits, and the like but it is tough to understand what all of it really means. There are three main reasons we expect SC to become an even bigger topic in the near future – the…

Current Moisture Levels and 2021 Outlook

Happy New Year! As we roll into 2021 I can only hope things get easier than they were in 2020. One of the many issues we dealt with last year was a large, and increasing, area of drought. Areas in Nebraska, South Dakota, Western Iowa and Southeast Minnesota were hit hard. This pattern is part…

Prioritizing the Long List of Spring Field Work

Springs are becoming shorter Recent data from Iowa State University is validating what we have all been thinking – our springs are getting shorter. According to ISU, from 1964 to 2019 the average number of days suitable for spring work has dropped from 48 days to 35 days when looking at a time period of…

Fertilizer and Micronutrients

A micronutrient is an element essential for plant growth but is required in very small amounts. Until recently, farmers have been able to rely on the natural quantities found within the soil for adequate crop production. With yields continuing to increase, micronutrient availability will develop a more important role in complete fertilizer programs for top…

Back to Basics: Fertilizer and Macronutrients

It can be very difficult to keep all of the inputs used for crop production organized. To help keep ourselves straight we often lump fertilizer into one broad category without taking in to account the variation in importance and role that a nutrient has in the plant. In the illustration on the right you can…

Manage Compaction during a busy Spring

With a wet Fall this past year and a long to-do list of field work to get done this Spring, the last thing farmers want is something else to think about. Taking the time to worry about compaction can directly affect the bottom line. Soil compaction occurs when soil particles and aggregates are compressed into…

Knowing What Limits Yield Could Help Manage Input Costs

With cash crop prices low and margins tight, it can seem like the words ‘Manage your input costs’ is on repeat and coming from every angle. The problem is this is much easier said than done. To most effectively manage input dollars, it is important to take time (maybe some of the free time we…

2018’s Delayed Fall Will Impact 2019’s N Application

The wet weather of 2018’s harvest season and the host of problems it brought to the corn belt is something many farmers are happy to put behind them. Unfortunately, one of these problems may persist into 2019 – potentially severe impacts on nitrogen applications. Some corn growing areas saw as little as 5% completion of…