All Posts from March 2015

So, can you apply a starter fertilizer on soybeans and, if so, what are the rules?

Starter fertilizer is a small quantity of nutrients applied in close proximity to the seed at planting. Starter fertilizers enhance the development of emerging seedlings by supplying essential nutrients in accessible locations near the roots at a time when nutrients might not be available.

Yes, you can apply a starter on soybeans, but the rules...

There are many good reasons to use a soil-applied residual herbicide for soybeans. Producers may want to:

  • Get early-season control of weeds and grasses to minimize early-season weed competition and provide more flexibility with postemergence treatment timing.
  • Provide some residual weed control before and following the postemergence glyphosate.
  • Provide some assistance to glyphosate in controlling certain hard-to-...

Parts of the Corn Belt are experiencing significant potassium declines due to greater than anticipated crop removal due to the high yields coming off fields. Unfortunately, fertilizer rates haven’t increased significantly to compensate and soil test levels are increasingly below critical values.

Robert Mullen, agronomist with the Potash Corporation, agrees soil test levels for phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are a concern. “While P...

When it comes to soil health, you might have to dig a little deeper, look at things from a different angle or make sure everything balances out to improve your dirt's fertility.

Certain things are known about Illinois soils, most importantly that they vary across the state. The key is to figure out what works best in your situation.  And although soils vary, there are a few principles that most farmers can apply.  All start with a soil...

Properly terminating a cover crop in the spring is as important as properly establishing a cover crop in the fall.  Annual ryegrass seems to be the one cover crop that has the most questions about termination. And if you don’t kill it at the correct growing stage, the chance of killing it as it is jointing and forming a seed head goes way down.  

I have a few pointers to help take the stress out of terminating annual ryegrass. It is...

Our first year of cover cropping was successful overall. Like any crop production, it takes good management, stewardship and optimism.

We wanted to add cover cropping to our practices because we knew that simply applying synthetic fertilizers would not promote greater production and higher yields in the future. The fact is organic matter and soil health are just as valuable as the fertilizers we buy and apply each year. A perfect...

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