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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Soybean Aphids

We have not heard a lot of reports of soybean aphid problems this year, but scouting should continue until maybe mid-August.  Iowa State University offers details in this bulletin

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Deer Damaged Corn

Corn below has a little bit of deer damage and  little bit of wind damage.  Deer are feeding very close to the house.  I don't think this qualifies, but there are nuisance permits available to kill deer doing serious damage. 


Monday, July 21, 2014

Comments on Weather and Crop Report

This week's Weather and Crop Report still shows over 80% of the corn crop in good or excellent condition.  I my area we are start to see dry weather stress.  I am sure it does not qualify as drought yet.  Soybeans are over 75% good or excellent.  Again in my area, they need some rain.  I went to Monroe County today and saw a lot of nice looking crops, but to have top yields, we need some rain. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

On Farm Grain Storage

On farm grain storage has been around as long as there have been farmers.  This Prairie Farmer Article discusses the advantages.  In recent years there seems to be a movement toward larger bins in a central location.  An advantage could be access in the winter and the need to check fewer location.  Storage in or near the field on the other hand provides for short hauls during harvest and keeping  grain from different landlords separate.  Storage also adds flexibility in marketing.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Which Tile Inlet is Better?

Both of the Inlets pictured keep the crop residue out of the tile.  Why is one or the other used?  The type 1 inlet usually has holes or slots.  They can be made of aluminum, steel, PVC, or plastic.  They have slots or holes. The type 1 inlets limit the amount of water that can get into the tile.  Some terrace systems are designed in such a way that water on the up hill inlets must be limited to prevent it from coming out of a down hill inlet. 

The bar guard intakes or type 2 inlets are used to maximize inflow into a tile.  In a terrace situation with type 2 risers, tile size and grade are used to prevent outflow on the downhill inlets.  In a terrace situation, you should replace damaged inlets with the same kind that was originally installed.


Sometimes inlets are used in closed depressions to increase drain water out of the depression faster.  In those situations, if water is not getting away fast enough with a type 1 riser, you could try a type 2.

So which one is better?  It depends on engineering requirements. 

Type 1 inlet

Type 2 inlet

Friday, July 18, 2014

Illinois River Navigation and the Flood of 2013

The importance of the Illinois River to agriculture in Illinois is huge.  In 2013 record flooding on the Illinois River caused some unanchored barges to damage the Lock and Dam at Marseilles.  The breakaway barges cause huge a mounts of damages, interrupted shipping and may have contributed to flooding of an elementary school.  Ken Olson and Lois Wright Morton did an excellent job of giving background on the Illinois River navigation system.  They also wrote an excellent report in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Should you spray fungicide on your corn

This is not one of my most timely posts, but I know some of you are still making fungicide decisions especially to the north.  No-till Farmer sent out Five Answers to using Foliar Fungicides in Corn.  The information is good for helping to decide.  Really the overriding factors are Susceptibility and disease pressure.  I don't think it is an issue this year, but they say there is not an economic benefit to using fungicide for drought resistance.  Obviously you will need a better yield bump for $3 corn than for $8 corn.  Also keep in mind that fungcides are only effective for a limited number of sprayings, so you might  want to save it for when you really need it.