Advice for Growers in Today’s Economy

advice for growers from John Laffey

Many growers are turning to agronomists, ag retailers and other industry experts for advice about the best ways to strengthen their farming operations. Topics including soil health, seed selection, insect and disease pressure and more have long been the starting point for growers looking for the best ways to make improvements that will make their operations stronger overall.

Today, as growers rely even more on data, research and other technology in addition to their traditional farming equipment, agronomists and their network of agricultural experts are as important as ever.

For growers, improving efficiency and making effective decisions can be crucial to achieving a high quality and profitable crop. Since they are always looking to make smart and strategic purchase decisions when it comes to seed, fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides and adjuvants, growers look to utilize the expertise of their agriculture retailer and other ag partner businesses to provide them guidance when making these decisions. Through these agriculture experts, growers hope to successfully plant and produce a high yielding crop by minimizing pest and disease pressures and managing weed resistance to increase overall profitability for their farming operation. (more…)

5 Things to Know about Dicamba in 2017

using dicamba on soybeans

United Soybean Board

The agriculture industry has been working hard to provide the most effective herbicides to help slow down and minimize the growing weed resistance problem. However, efforts with formulating dicamba products go further than the manufacturer. Federal and state rules and regulations dictate how applicators and growers are able to legally and safely use different herbicides to limit volatility and drift in undesired areas.

With each new year and with new products, comes new policies. It is important for growers, applicators and other ag professionals to be aware of these policies to avoid negative consequences. (more…)

5 Ways to Ensure Better Soybean Health

soybean health

United Soybean Board

Although each crop has specific needs to be able to achieve their maximum economic yield, soybeans have earned themselves a reputation for being a lower-maintenance crop. Growers might be surprised to see that with a little extra effort, they can have more impact on their soybean yields by producing stronger and healthier plants. With this careful attention, yield results may prove surprisingly better come harvest. (more…)

Strategies to Ensure Soil Health

farmers inspect soil health

US Department of Agriculture

Soil consists of numerous working parts that when at balanced levels, make the perfect recipe to house and grow healthy crops. There is not a one-answer-fits-all approach when it comes to healthy soil, since many factors affect the state of the soil. Here are a few factors to consider to improve the health of your soil. (more…)

Celebrate National Ag Day on March 21

“Growing up in rural South Dakota, surrounded by farms and ranches as far as the eye could see, I never gave the food supply chain a second thought. It was intertwined in everything I did,” writes Mark Biedenfeld, vice president, CHS Aligned Solutions on the Ag Day blog. He goes on to emphasize the important role those in agriculture play in helping our broader communities understand where their food comes from.

Biedenfeld joins others in contributing to the blog in a nod to National Ag Day, coming up this Tuesday, March 21. The celebration is now a tradition across the U.S., created to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and eat on a daily basis, and is increasingly contributing to fuel and other bio-products. (more…)

5 Ways to Ensure the Best Stand

stand establishment

LivingLandscapeArchitecture

Uniform stand establishment is a critical component in achieving maximum yield potential. With unexpected weather and other uncontrollable factors often impacting the crop’s stand, it is even more important to be proactive in the areas that can be controlled. Fortunately, there are steps to help get your crop off to a strong start and encourage a strong and healthy stand.

1. Seed Selection

Each season it all starts with selecting your seed. There are multiple considerations growers need to be aware of when selecting the appropriate seed, including the geography, any unique field conditions, potential impact from weeds, disease and pests, maturity timing, etc. These considerations need to be evaluated in cooperation with your farm management practices to ensure the best results. Read more on considerations for seed selection, for soybeans and for corn. (more…)

Preparing for a Successful Planting Season

planting season

Ian Sane

As the weather begins to creep into warmer temperatures and the sun lingers in the sky longer in the evening, thoughts of spring come to mind.

With the 2017 planting season quickly approaching for many and even if still several weeks away for cooler geographies, it is a key time to make sure that plans are underway to help get the crop off to a strong start. Having a set schedule and list leading up to your key planting dates will provide extra time as necessary to be devoted to any unexpected issues as they arise. (more…)

The Future of Drones in Agriculture

drones in agriculture

 

Could drones be the future of agriculture – and a game-changer?

According to a late 2016 article in Successful Farming, drones also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were first received with hesitation in the agriculture industry. Although the new technology was known to provide growers with a way to see potential problems that wouldn’t otherwise be known from ground level, the new technology was taken with initial apprehension due to the lack of regulations, in addition to the sometimes challenging process of applying for a Section 333 exemption through the FAA.

Slowly but surely, the agriculture industry is realizing the benefits and discovering different strategies on how drones can benefit and move their crop production plans forward. (more…)

Using Soil Sampling Results To Improve Your Next Crop

soil sampling

We recently discussed the importance of soil sampling and what growers learn from testing samples from their field. Now we want to look more at what the results can tell the grower and how it can help them improve their next crop.

As growers receive information regarding organic matter, soil pH, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), Nitrate-N and extractable macro and micro nutrients from their soil sample results, they will be able to make more informed fertility decisions, and address potential issues in advance or during the early stages of the plant’s growth cycle.

The results also provide a holistic view of the health of the soil, and can help provide growers with an indication of success for their fertility philosophy by determining if the following are needed:

  • Building nutrient levels
  • Maintaining nutrient levels
  • Reducing of specific mineral levels

(more…)

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