Showing posts from January, 2020

Recognizing Stalwarts in the No-Till, Soil Health Movement

The 24th class of No-Till Innovators have supported the adoption of cover crops, better nutrient management, improved soil health and timely, educational events and opportunities. Three individuals and one organization are being recognized as the 24th class of No-Till Innovators for their commitment to the advancement of no-till farming systems in North America and worldwide. The No-Till Innovator Award program — sponsored by Calmer Corn Heads and No-Till Farmer — strives to honor farmers, researchers, businesses and services, and organizations for their work in assisting the growth of no-till practices, regardless of the types of crops or equipment used. The 2019 honorees are: James Hoorman — retired NRCS, Ohio State Extension educator, Research & Education Ralph Upton Jr. — Springerton, Ill., no-tiller, Crop Production Ray Ward — Ward Laboratories, Business & Service South Dakota No-Till Assn. — Organization James Hoorman — Research & Education James Hoorman is one of the

When Weeds Talk

A weed is any plant out of place, but what is the real purpose of weeds? Weeds, ecologically, are the first plants to inhabit nutrient deficient or disturbed soils. Most weeds grow in soils that are high in nitrates and are bacteria dominated. By studying the type of weeds that grow on your farm, you can start to figure out what conditions are limiting. The real purpose of weeds (believe it or not) is to improve the soil. Many weeds act as collectors of deficient soil minerals. Mother Nature does not like bare soils, so she finds something to grow (weeds) that improve soil so that other plants can grow. Each plant is an indicator of the conditions that exist in that field and indicates why some agronomic crops (corn, soybeans, wheat, hay) growth may suffer. Weeds give us a clue to what factors are either limiting or in excess. For example, the common dandelion seems to thrive in bringing calcium (Ca) back to the soil surface. It has a deep taproot, 3-4 feet deep and when the crop decay

Cover Crop Recipe: Post Soybean, Going to Corn: Use Oats/Radish

Post Soybean, Going to Corn: Use Oats/Radish This publication is intended to provide a starting point for farmers who are new to growing cover crops. With experience, farmers may fine-tune the use of cover crops for their systems. Introduction The following recipe provides an introductory approach to integrating a cover crop into a soybean-corn rotation. Often the easiest place to begin is to plant a cover crop ahead of a soybean cash crop following corn, so consider starting with the companion recipe titled Post Corn, Going to Soybean (publication MCCC-116; see Resources). Planning and Preparation Planning—Educate yourself. Start small. Be timely. Prioritize management based on your purpose and objectives. Soybean variety and planting—If possible, plant the preceding soybean crop early and use an early maturity soybean cultivar. One strategy is to use your earliest maturity-group soybeans on the fields where you plan to seed cover crops and plant those beans first. Residual soybean he