Phosphorus and Lime Fertilization
Farmers are making plans for fall harvest, fertilization for phosphorus (P), and lime. Farmers need to minimize P losses at the edge of the field by following recommendations that maximize productivity while minimizing environmental impacts on water quality. Lime fertilization is less of an environmental issue but following certain guidelines is economical.

More Practice Soil Health Tips

After being on the road teaching (Iowa, Pennsylvania), I am home recovering from COVID. Here are the last 15 tips from my factsheet: “25 Tips to Growing and Managing Cover Crops”.

Practice Soil Health Tips

Since I am on the road teaching, here are some practical tips from my factsheet: “25 Tips to Growing and Managing Cover Crops”. Tip 1: Use cover crop mixtures composed of at least one grass, one legume, and one brassica or other diverse cover crop species to improve diversity. Mix summer annuals with fall and winter annuals to increase crop diversity.

Late Season Corn Fertilizer

Heavy rains have been falling in many areas in the month of July. This has many farmers wondering how much Nitrogen (N) is still available. Soluble N in the form of nitrate can be leached, some can runoff the surface, and other N can be lost by denitrification into the atmosphere.

Post-Wheat Harvest Options

Farmers are working to wrap up wheat harvest and considering what to do next. Some will decide to do nothing, others may consider planting another crop, either soybeans or a cover crop. Double crop soybeans do best when soil is moist and temperatures do not get too hot. Cover crops give a farmer a little more flexibility, especially when planted in mixtures.

Follar Feeding Tips

Corn and soybeans are entering a time of extreme stress due to hot temperatures and moisture stress. Most plant nutrients are absorbed through a plant's roots. However, sometimes nutrients can become locked up in the soil with other elements, making them unavailable to the plant.

What to Plant after Wheat Harvest

Wheat harvest may start early this year due to the hot weather. A long growing season after wheat allows for many options including double cropping soybeans or planting a cover crop. With high soybean prices, many farmers may want to plant soybeans, but hot and/or dry weather may reduce the chances for a profitable soybean crop.

Keeping Crops Healthy

Depending upon when they were planted, crops are either emerging or starting to grow quickly. This time of year, million-dollar rains (rains around 1 inch) encourage crops to grow quickly. Soil microbes live in the water films around roots, using water to travel around and to process nutrients. After a nice rain, crops often have tremendous growth because plant available nutrients are being released.

Soil Compaction and Dinosaurs

Many lessons can be learned from history, even ancient history. Scientist have studied dinosaurs and discovered that their foot print was heavier than modern farm equipment.

Reducing Harmful Algal Blooms

When late spring and early summer weather gets hot and muggy and we get lots of rain, expect things to grow. Unfortunately, that is also a good recipe for increased harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Erie.

Corn Insect Pests

The 2022 La Nina weather pattern is expected to bring above average precipitation to Ohio and the Great Lakes Region along with stronger and more hurricanes. Since many insect pests are carried by hurricanes northward, farmers can expect higher insect infestations this year. Some insect pests over winter, and they are also around in higher numbers.

Terminating Cover Crops

As planting season is partially delayed in some areas due to wet weather, farmers are wondering when and how to terminate their cover crops. If soils are wet, a growing cover crop helps dry out soil through evapotranspiration.

First Time No-tillers

As the national price of diesel fuel averages around $5.40/gallon, many farmers are considering no-tilling both soybeans and corn for the first time. Also, due to wet weather and a late planting window, getting crop seed in the ground becomes even more important. Here are a few tips that may help improve your first year no-till crop yields.

Biological Nutrient Uptake

Regenerative farming practices emphasize nutrient uptake from soils through natural soil biological cycles. This ecologically?based agricultural approach uses microbes and carbon compounds to produce crops naturally rather than relying entirely on highly soluble “salty” nutrient inputs for plant nutrition.

Planting Date and Crop Yields

As May approaches, farmers are gearing up for planting season. Every year, weather seems to play havoc with farmer’s desire to get crops planted timely. Early planted crops generally have a yield advantage over late planted crops.

Breaking Down Crop Residue

For many farmers, crop residue can either be a plus or a minus. Crop residue has many beneficial plant nutrients when it decomposes, but when the residue is slow to break down, it keeps soils cold and wet, and can be difficult to plant.

Increasing Wheat Yield

High wheat prices are causing farmers to strive to optimize wheat yields. High yields are dependent upon maximizing wheat grain kernels per foot and increasing grain weight. High yields come from achieving the correct leaf and shoot numbers, maintaining a green leaf canopy through grain fill, increasing grain numbers/head and increasing grain size.

New Herbicides

Glyphosate has been the #1 herbicide used in the USA since the 1990’s when glyphosate resistant genes (genetically modified) were inserted into crops. Each year, farmers lose about $33 billion dollars in crop losses due to weeds.

Climate is "Unsettled" Science

There is a lot of doom and gloom in this world. Between COVID-19, Ukraine war, and Climate Change; there is not a lot of optimism, especially in our young people. Maybe some data can alleviate some concerns about climate change.

Soil Health Indicators

As spring arrives, farmers should be evaluating their fields for soil health. Since the soil is too wet to farm yet, March and early April is a great time to assess farm fields. For soil health, evaluate fields is in the spring or fall; when the soil is not too hard, dry, or too hot.

Healthy Soils May Reduce Aging

New Penn State University research shows that tilled soils have reduced levels of an essential amino acid called ergothioneine (ERGO). ERGO is an amino acid or vitamin that promotes longevity or reduced aging.

Corn Planter Adjustments
Crop and fertilizer prices are soaring but getting a good crop starts at planting. Planters never seem to break down in the machine shed, but after sitting all winter, problems occur quickly. Planting delays can be quite expensive.

Energized ROI Water

It’s hard to believe that water which is H2O or two atoms of hydrogen combined with one atom of oxygen can have so many different properties. Water is a universal solvent since many crop nutrients easily dissolve in it.

Understanding Soil Phosphorus

Phosphorus (P) fertilizer improves crop yields, so farmers add P fertilizer either every year or only once to corn in corn-soybean rotation. Unfortunately, only about 5-15% of applied P fertilizer is used by plants the year it is applied.