Maximizing Wheat Production
Achieving higher grain yields requires a combination of good genetics with a good environment. The full genetic potential of many crops is severely limited by poor environmental conditions especially due to poor soil structure, too much or too little water, and the availability of essential nutrients.

Cover Crop Economics

Many farmers ask what is the value of planting cover crops on my farm? A common question with many answers. Cover crops have many benefits and uses, so the answer varies by farm field and farming operation.

Vegetation and Reproductive Plant Growth

As summer winds down, gardeners and farmers are harvesting their crops. The dry weather has reduced yields but crops have a higher sugar content due to the concentration of plant sugars from less water.

Sowing Cover Crops

Late summer and early fall (August 1-Mid-September) is a great time to sow cover crops. Methods include broadcasting with an airplane, helicopter, high boy applicator, various types of spreaders OR seed incorporation with light tillage or a drill.

Lenawee Center for Excellence (Adrian MI) Twilight Tour September 2, 2020

The 2020 Field Day for the Lenawee Center for Excellence in Adrian bas been replaced with a twilight tour Sept. 2, from 4:30 p.m. and run until 7:30. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the tour will limit attendance to 100 participants.

Promoting Beneficial Insects

There are numerous beneficial insect species in the USA including 91,000 species of beetles (Order:Coleoptera), and many Hymenoptera or species of wasp (4,000), bees (4,000), and ants (1,000).

Vole Alert

Farmers are reporting crop damage from voles (field mice). Oval bare patches and burrows in soybeans or wheat fields indicate voles are present. Vole populations peak every 2-5 years.

Soil Health Principles
There are several natural principles that apply to implementing good soil health. These include minimizing soil disturbance, and maximizing the following: surface cover, live roots, and biological soil diversity.

Late Summer Early Fall Cover Crops
Late summer and early fall are great opportunities to plant cover crops and improve soil health. Days are shorter, but with ample sunshine left and a little rain, cover crops grow quickly. Both summer annuals which die with the first frost and winter annuals can be grown.

What is Soil Health
Soil Health is a term that everyone seems to be confused about or have their own opinion. Soil health is about three things: soil organic matter (SOM), soil microbes and organisms, and plants. Good soil and soil health are dependent upon the interaction of these three things.

Phases of Water
Rainfall has been quite variable with some crops looking good while other areas still need rain. Corn yields will vary this year depending upon emergence, corn stands, and the weather. As Joe Nester says: Do not over estimate your corn yields.

Improving Soil Moisture
Soils are water reservoirs for crop production . Dr. Elwyn Taylor, Iowa State University climatologist reports that 200-bushel corn needs 19-23 inches of water during the growing season.

Wheat Straw and Cover Crops
As wheat and barley harvest progresses, farmers often ask what should they do with wheat straw? Should I keep the straw on the field to build soil organic matter (SOM) or should I sell it? What is the value of the wheat straw and how many nutrients are being lost? Does straw residue hurt the next crop?

Forage Cover Crops
Planting forage cover crops can be a beneficial food source and a place to apply manure. Grass cover crops like sorghum, Sudan, Sorghum Sudan, cereal rye, annual ryegrass, millets, Teff, and oats are great forages that build organic matter, tie up manure nutrients, keep the soil from eroding, improve soil structure and still make great feed.

Calcium and Manganese Deficiency
Calcium and Manganese are two soil abundant elements that are often not as plant available and may be deficient in plant cells. Calcium is used in cell wall membranes and often becomes limiting during critical pollination periods when cells are rapidly dividing.

Cover Crops After Wheat
Wheat harvest may start in 3-4 weeks and it is time to order cover crop seed. A long growing season after wheat allows for many options. Warm season cover crops grow in the summer but die with the first frost while cool season species generally survive the winter.

Earthworms Enhance Soil Tilth and Fertility
Every farmer loves to see earthworms in their soil because it indicates good soil health and productivity. Earthworms, cover crops, and no-till together are a great way to improve your soil.

Emerging Planting and Soil Issues
The 2020 planting season has been mostly cold and dry, allowing most farmers to get crops
planted, with rain and warmer temperatures now expected.

Crimping Cover Crops
Crop roller crimping has become a common way to mechanically terminate cover crops. Crimpers are used to kill grass cover crops (cereal rye, barley, wheat, sorghum, Sudan, pearl millet), vetches (hairy and common), annual clovers (crimson and balansa),  buckwheat, and multi-species cover crops.

Video of New 30 ft narrow transport  proto type  8 ft 6 transport