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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Carbon Nitrogen Ratios

Carbon Nitrogen Ratios were studied at University of Nebraska to see how much nitrogen is contributed to the next year's crop.  It is interesting that in looking at Carbon Nitrogen Ratios in cover crops that it appears that a high tonnage crop like cereal rye may actually contribute more nitrogen than a legume crop that fixes nitrogen from the air.  I would like to do some in season nitrogen testing to confirm this, but it looks interesting enough to pass along for consideration.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Gluten Free

In the passed I have ranted that some stores seem to be using the Gluten Free label on foods that generally do not contain gluten such as meat, eggs, and potatoes.  Today I was shopping at Dierburg's in Edwardsville and found they have added an entire aisle of gluten free products.  In the interest of fair recognition, this aisle would actually be helpful to those who desire or need to follow  a gluten free diet.  This aisle contained products such as bread, pasta, cereal, and baked goods that traditionally contain gluten.  Seems like a fair use of the label.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Interesting area today

I was surrounded by industrial and residential land where I was working today. As I headed to one fields, I noticed the sign about remote control locomotives.  As I was working, a short train went by.  There was a caboose in the forward position, and it was occupied.  The locomotive was in the middle and appeared to be empty.  The industry sort of isolated the area and served as a sanctuary for the deer who were not very wary of me at all. They are protected from hunting.

Remote Controlled Locomotive
Tame Whitetails?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

More Flooding Information

One of the highlights of last weekend's trip to the "real" southern Illinois was a stop at the Len Small Levee break from 2016.  The break remains un-repaired and more flooding could cut off up to 12 miles of Mississippi River channel. Check out the University of Illinois Press Release for more information.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Field Activity

Weather has been good for a while now, so there is lots of field activity.  I saw someone today using a ditcher with survey grad GPS.  I am sure I could still find corn and soybeans to harvest, but harvest is 99% complete.  Lots of people were doing tillage today.  Also lots of people applying anhydrous ammonia.  Jut a reminder that it is surprising when fall applied nitrogen is reduced to half by planting time.  I saw several people applying fall weed control measures today too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Weekend Trip

We went to Cape Girardeau, MO this weekend for the annual Illinois Soil Classifiers Fall Tour.  Friday night discussion was lead by Dr. Ken Olson who has become an expert on flooding and Flood damages to cropland.  Dr. Olson has recently published a book on Managing Mississippi and Ohio  River Landscapes.  Doctor Olson's book is very readable and he gives a good understanding of flooding issues.  The book has over 200 illustration to improve the reader's understanding of the issues.

On Saturday we toured an un-repaired levee Break on the Len Small Levee District levee.  We also looked at the Mississippi River at Thebes and discussed the effects of the narrow valley at that point.  Other stops later in the day include a new lock and dam under construction on the Ohio River and finally a look at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.  Check out Dr. Olson's book at the link above.
Bruce Putman, Bill Kreznor and Ken Olson

Olmstead Lock and Dam

Mississippi and Ohio Confluence

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Colorful Bee Hive

I spotted the colorful bee hive below.  Usually they are white.   It was too cool for the bees.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Soil Sampling Strategies

I have written several times about why we use zone sampling to give our customers advice on nutrient management.  The biggest weakness of a grid sample is that it is tied to a spot and extrapolated.  Zones are tied to soil features, yields, topography and other pertinent information.
Sampling is across the whole zone.  The article in No-Till Farmer Talks about the two strategies and defines them very well.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fall Nitrogen Management

Suppliers and farmers alike seem to like the idea of fall nitrogen application.  I saw a post yesterday that soil temperatures in Mid-Illinois are at 50 degrees making fall nitrogen application seem like  a good idea.  Keep in mind that soil temperatures can vary as much as 10 degrees depending on bare soil or covered soil.  I suggest checking each field at a 4 inch depth before applying.  The Illinois Water Survey posts temperatures daily.

Last fall November soil temperatures were favorable for applying nitrogen.  Then in December we warmed up.  by April, I started nitrogen testing and found that most people had lost half of their fall applied nitrogen.  If you insist on fall application, be sure to use nitrification inhibitors.  Split applications are a better idea than applying all at once.

No-till Farmer published a list out of Illinois of 10 Practices for cutting tile nitrate loads.  Tile is only one way that nitrogen is lost.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Turbo-Till Seeder

Seeding cover crops effectively can be an issue.  I have seen the results from the Turbo-till Seeder with a seeding attachment.  Stands are nice and even with good emergence.  It seems to work better than vertical tillage after broadcasting seed.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Iowa Cover Crops

My Iowa reporter sent the photographs below of cover crops in Iowa.

Cereal Rye

Cereal Rye

Oats and Radish

Oats and Radish