Agronomy Notebook

Tips for high yielding soybeans

Rotate: The highest soybean yields often are in fields that have been continuous corn, have high yield potential soils and often have plenty of manure. Proper fertility levels: Soil test: pH 6.5-7, 30-60+ pounds per acre Phosphorous, 200 to 300 pounds per acre K depending on soil type. Adequate drainage is a very important consideration also. [...]

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corn rows

Starter fertilizer in corn production

Starter fertilizer in corn production has traditionally been recommended for fields with cool soil temperatures, including exceptionally early planted or no-till fields, or those with high residue cover. In cool soil conditions, starter fertilizer placed near the developing seed provides easily accessible nutrients until soil conditions improve and an adequate root system is established. Starter [...]

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bill black soybean planting

What’s the right seeding rate for soybeans?

I am in Ukraine on a training mission to assist growers here in growing better corn and soybeans. One question that keeps coming up is, “What is the right seeding rate for soybeans?” Some of them have told me that it’s 1 million seeds per hectare. I think in terms of 1 million for wheat, [...]

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Boost corn yields

We will be discussing the proven methods you can use to boost corn yields this year. I am sure you are already using most of these ideas. I challenge you to pick at least one idea that fits your farming practices and try to improve it. • Use minimum or no-till — especially on erodible [...]

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Sub-surface soil compaction

Compaction that occurs below the soil surface is even more important than surface crusting. It is hard to diagnose and can cause serious yield losses if not corrected. Soil compaction can occur throughout the growing season and can cause poor crop growth. • If the soils are wet, tillage implements can cause soil compaction just [...]

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Soil compaction and soil health

What are the causes of soil compaction? Soil compaction is one of the most important factors that can affect soil health and reduce crop yields. In the early 1980s, Purdue University soil scientist Gary Steinhardt and Ohio State University Ag Engineer Randall Reeder were making farmers aware of the compaction problem and its effect on [...]

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Managing crop residue

Corn growers know the satisfaction of seeing newly emerged, uniform rows of green corn plants set against the backdrop of dark, rich soils. By contrast, it can be painful to see an uneven stand from the truck window when driving past a field. The cause of an uneven stand could be excess crop residue in [...]

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How deep should you plant?

Just when we thought we knew virtually everything about growing corn, scientists keep on finding new things about growing this amazing crop. Most farmers plant corn seed between 2 to 2.5 inches deep. However, new evidence suggests that we should be planting corn seed even deeper. • Research studies conducted in Indiana recently found that [...]

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Get ready for earlier planting in 2014

I am a strong proponent of early planting. This year early planting may not have helped but it did not hurt either. Why is earlier planting so important and how does it work? • The easiest and least expensive way to make greater use of the free solar energy, without too much extra cost in [...]

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What factors affect test weight?

Many things can affect test weight. Some of the important factors that can influence test weight are listed below: • Genetics of the hybrid plays an important role in test weight of the grain. Planting hybrids with genetic potential for higher test weight will generally yield grain with higher test weight if the kernels are [...]

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