Forage Production

Recommendations for managing profitability with a poor corn crop

Springtime excessive rainfall followed by summertime drought means Pennsylvania dairy producers are facing big challenges in corn silage production that extend beyond a decrease in its nutritional value. “We’ve received a lot of calls from producers and nutritionists about how to deal with this year’s corn silage,” notes Virginia Ishler, nutrient management specialist with the Penn State Extension Dairy Team and manager of the Penn State Dairy Research Complex. From a nutritional standpoint, corn silage without ears is similar to feeding grass silage, explains Ishler. This coupled with low-quality hay crop forage means energy will be the biggest limiting factor from a nutritional standpoint. FULL STORY »

Late summer alfalfa management key to strong spring stands

Good seedbed preparation and late summer management are among the biggest factors that determine a successful, high-yielding alfalfa crop. FULL STORY »

Researchers find protein that regulates plant's growth at night

Farmers and other astute observers of nature have long known that crops like corn and sorghum grow taller at night. But the biochemical mechanisms that control this nightly stem elongation, common to most plants, have been something of a mystery to biologists-until now. FULL STORY »

Can corn recover from wind damage?

Is your corn still standing? Tens of thousands of acres were flattened early Monday morning when 100 mile per hour straight line winds blew from Central Iowa across to Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. FULL STORY »

Management tips to avoid northern corn leaf blight

The fungus northern corn leaf blight, which usually produces lesions on leaves shortly before the corn plant tassels and through the growing season, can potentially reduce yields by as much as 30 percent, says Kiersten Wise, a Purdue Extension crop disease specialist. You should begin scouting your crops in the late vegetative stages and during tasseling to look for tan, cigar-shaped lesions on leaves. FULL STORY »

Try these tips for high-quality, high-yielding silage

With today's high feed costs, silage management can have a significant impact on your bottom line. That's why you must pay attention to hybrid selection, field conditions and harvest timing/management to help make the most of your silage crops. FULL STORY »

Plant analysis is a valuable corn monitoring and diagnostic tool

With corn, plant analysis can be especially valuable for producers by providing insight into how efficiently they are using applied nutrients, and for managing secondary and micronutrients which don't have high quality soil tests available, says Dave Mengel, Kansas State Research and Extension soil fertility specialist. Plant analysis is also an excellent diagnostic tool to help understand some of the variation seen in the field, he adds. FULL STORY »

Research: Side-dressing manure for the nitrogen value

The 2011 spring is a reminder of how few days you may have to complete all your spring work; there may not be an opportunity for manure application. Ohio State University has been successfully testing a dragline system of manure application as a side-dress application on corn. This can increase the application window of manure and apply nitrogen at a critical time for the corn plant. This can offset the cost of nitrogen fertilizer, replacing it with manure applications that were going to occur anyway. FULL STORY »

Cutworms chewing through control technologies this year

Multiple species of cutworms are abundant in cornfields in many areas right now, and a Purdue Extension entomologist says Bt traits and seed-applied insecticides are providing only suppression of the insects — not control. FULL STORY »

Test forage quality this spring

As wet weather continues to delay the alfalfa harvest in some areas, Purdue Extension specialists say the crop's nutritional value for livestock feed is on the decline. FULL STORY »

Ponded, saturated fields pose risks to young corn plants

Thanks to a very wet spring in many areas, lots of corn fields are flooded or ponded and could remain that way for sometime. But according to a Purdue Extension agronomist, there are multiple factors that influence whether a corn crop can survive the stress. FULL STORY »

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