Forage Production

The benefit of shorter alfalfa rotations

Producers of alfalfa may be asking whether it’s time to rotate their alfalfa production to another crop. The value of each crop produced should be considered before the decision is made for the 2011 crop, suggests Phil Kaatz, Michigan State University extension forage educator. FULL STORY »

PEAQ helps alfalfa producers capture top dollars

With high-quality alfalfa capturing premiums of nearly $50 a ton, it's time for producers to start measuring their alfalfa in order to determine the best time to harvest the first cutting, says Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois professor of animal sciences emeritus. "There is a science to harvesting quality alfalfa hay," Hutjens explains. "It starts with a good, old-fashioned yardstick and a trip to the field, and ends with a little work on the Internet." FULL STORY »

Help to identify Aspergillus ear rot

Aspergillus ear rot is one of the most important and challenging corn diseases, but a new Purdue Extension publication can help farmers identify and manage its effects. "Diseases of Corn: Aspergillus Ear Rot" is a free, three-page publication that covers disease identification, the danger to livestock, mycotoxin testing, minimizing losses and handling diseased grain after harvest, and disease management. FULL STORY »

Planting methods for successful alfalfa establishment

Alfalfa is one of the major forage crops in dairy and livestock production as well as an expensive crop to establish. Therefore, it’s important to establish alfalfa successfully by following important steps of planting alfalfa from variety selection to planting, says Doo-Hong Min, Michigan State University extension agronomist. He offers the following recommendations to increase your odds of success: FULL STORY »

Proper nitrogen application timing for corn

The goal of timing nitrogen (N) applications to corn is to supply adequate N when the crop needs it without supplying excess that potentially can be lost, say experts at Pioneer Hi-Bred. Because N reactions in the soil are closely linked to both temperature and moisture conditions, this goal often is hard to achieve. Applying N at multiple times, including the time of maximum crop uptake, can spread the risk of N loss and crop deficiency, improve profitability by reducing N rates and benefit the environment. FULL STORY »

Plan ahead for forage success this spring

Successful forage establishment or harvest is usually a result of thoughtful planning prior to the spring, reminds Phil Kaatz, Michigan State University extension forage educator. Taking the time to put a plan together will pay dividends to the novice as well as the experienced forage producer, he notes. FULL STORY »

Don’t forget to manage micronutrients

Because of higher yields, higher commodity prices and higher costs of crop inputs, growers are reviewing all potential barriers to crop growth and production, including micronutrient deficiencies. Check out this edition of Pioneer Hi-Bred’s Crop Insights that discusses general micronutrient requirements, deficiency symptoms, soil and plant sampling and fertilization practices. FULL STORY »

Maximize corn and water investments

While irrigation has significantly enhanced corn production, concern is increasing regarding declining water resources and the future sustainability of many irrigated corn acres in the U.S. For this reason, improving management practices under declining water supplies is critical. FULL STORY »

Deal promptly with volunteer corn

Volunteer corn has proven to be more than just a nuisance, with major yield reductions to both corn and soybean crops, says Purdue University Extension weed scientist Bill Johnson. Problems with the weed arise when corn kernels that dropped during harvest persist in the soil, overwinter and grow in the spring. In many areas, volunteer corn has become increasingly difficult to control. FULL STORY »

Forage expert recommends field checks after ice storms

Farmers should examine forages as the crop emerges from dormancy to determine if they have been damaged from the recent sleet and ice storms, says a Purdue Extension specialist. FULL STORY »

Know your field history to stop disease in its tracks

Controlling crop diseases starts with keeping accurate field records even before the seeds are planted and continuing through harvest, a Purdue Extension specialist advises. FULL STORY »

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