How to cut input costs while improving cash crop yields
Lessons learned while visiting an Indiana corn and soybean farm making the most of cover crops
A 27.5 percent decrease in synthetic nitrogen, 49.5 percent decrease in farm diesel, 91.8 percent decrease in MAP (monoammonium phosphate) and a 100 percent decrease in both lime and potash applications – these are just a few of the impressive input reductions Clark Land & Cattle have made from 2011 to 2018 – while improving yield averages year on year.
It’s time to ditch Dixie
Plant breeding improvements have given the industry better alternatives to industry standard cover crop varieties
When Dixie Crimson Clover was released in 1953, its trait for hard seeds filled a huge market need for a re-reseeding pasture legume. The ability it gave producers to easily add natural nitrogen and protein into pasture quickly made it the industry standard variety – a title it still holds today. However, after decades of no varietal or production oversight, Dixie Crimson Clover, no longer has any trait consistency.
Here’s what you need to know about interseeding cover crops into corn
If done correctly, interseeding cover crops into corn can uplift grain yields
To get a head start on establishing winter covers, interseeding has started to become a popular practice by producers in the northern region of the Corn Belt. Quite a bit of experimentation has been done over the last few years by farmers and researchers trying to dial in which species work best, when to plant, how to plant and which herbicides to avoid.
Assessing pastures and hay ground for winterkill
A tough winter means alfalfa, clover and grass are at risk for winterkill
To put it simply, it’s been a doozy of a winter for a lot of folks across the country. While writing this, the upper Midwest is experiencing temperatures of 20°- 30° F below normal, and the northeast is 10°- 20° F below normal. Further south, Arizona has broken a 126-year record with 35.9” of snow in a day. With all this going on, one would almost think Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions of an early spring weren’t accurate!
Using legumes to reduce nitrogen fertilizer costs
Nitrogen fixing legumes can save $37 per acre on fertilizer costs
You know the saying, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat?” This holds true when it comes to running a profitable crop or grazing system (which hopefully doesn’t involve skinning cats.) An initial first reaction when thinking about profit tends to be yield driven – grow more, earn more. However, there’s a lot of financial gain to be had by reducing input costs, rather than throwing everything and the kitchen sink at a crop to achieve the highest yield.
Frost seeding gives pastures a head start
Now is the time to start thinking about your spring forage
Every time we get to January 1st it’s hard not to notice how quickly the year has passed by. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago when we finished haying?
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