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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Looking to Cut Back on Costs?

No-Till Farmer says that No-Till may be an excellent way to cut production costs.  If you tried No-Till in the past, but were not satisfied with the results, keep in ind that we now have more tolls than ever to make it work.  My caution would be that if you have never tried No-till, or if it has been a long time, you may want to go slow until you get it all figured out. Start planning to NO-Til next year now.

I am an advocate of frequent soil testing.  If you have not had soils tested in the past year, spring is an excellent time to sample, right after planting. It is important to get calcium, magnesium, and pH levels where they need to be for top yields.

I the past, compaction has been an issue for   No-Tillers.  Figure out if you need to do anything about compaction.  Deep vertical tillage might be helpful.  Cover crops might be helpful.  You need to apply the skills and techniques necessary to make it work on your farm.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New Business

I have had an interesting experience in the past few weeks.  Perhaps you have noticed some subtle changes here.  The changes are related to the sale of SoilRight Consulting Services, Inc.

Over the past 11 years I have been given the opportunity to work as a consultant in association with Randy Darr and SoilRight.  The sale caused me to consider how that might affect me as well.  Upon much consideration Janette Porter, Denise Maxwell and I have decided to spin off RPM Soils, LLC.  Yesterday, we registered with the Secretary of State, so it is official.  We are looking forward to our new opportunity with excitement.

The blog belongs to me and as such it will continue to provide my viewpoints on agriculture.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Controling Palmer Amaranth

Weed control is more critical than ever.  Many weeds are resistant to multiple herbicides.  Aaron Hagar says that the cleanest fields are those where people use multiple modes of action.  Palmer Amaranth, AKA Palmer Pigweed is one of the toughest to control.  Mississippi agronomist Phillip McKibben has a 5 step approach for controlling Palmer Pigweed.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Soil Moisture

I did a septic tank evaluation today near Irving.  It was in a fairly flat area.  The ground was covered with weed residue.  There was no frost at all in the afternoon.  The soil had a water table at a depth of 2 feet.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Syngenta Buyout

News of the Syngenta buyout is drawing lots of headlines today.  ChemChina had made a previous offer that was rejected.  The Swiss company has also rejected offers from Monsanto.  It looks like the current ChemChina deal is likely to be completed.  Rueters has a long article on the subject.  They offer plenty of reasons why ChemChina would want the company.  I don't see much about the implications for American agriculture.  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Kill Annual Ryegrass Early

but not too early. Cover crops can be as easy to kill as having them freeze out, or as difficult to kill as Annual Ryegrass.  Many farmers I know have successfully planted soybeans into green cereal rye, but Annul Ryegrass is not so easy to get rid of.  Start by trying to kill it early.  It is too cold now. Wait until daytime temperatures are in the 50's so that some photosynthesis is taking place.  more details are available in a recent Prairie Farmer Article.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Nitrogen Management on Wheat

Years ago, it was common practice to apply nitrogen to wheat at this time of year on frozen soils.  For environmental and agronomic reason, that practice is no longer seen as a good one. Illinois researchers have found that mid to late March is good timing for many growers in Illinois.  This information out of Kansas discusses Top-Dressing Nitrogen on Wheat.