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Archive | Farm Management

Glyphosate-Resistant Pigweed Project

Weed control Amaranth-pigweedPalmer amaranth, commonly known as pigweed, is one of the most common — and problematic — weeds in soybean crops across the southern United States. Because it is difficult to control, it is best to combat the weed before it emerges. The journal Weed Technology offers results of field tests of resistant Palmer amaranth in glyphosate-resistant soybean crops in Arkansas conducted over a two-year period. In this study, 250,000 glyphosate-resistant pigweed seeds were incorporated into the soil, and their emergence was evaluated five times during the growing season. Three farming practices were tested — deep tillage, planting a cover crop of rye and doublecropping a field with wheat and then soybeans in the same growing season.

This article appears in the October 2013 issue of Acres U.S.A.

Seed Selection: Starting Your Corn Seed Management System

GEM2008_FieldDay_RowsSeed selection is one of the most important tasks a sustainable farmer takes on every year, but knowing what seeds to save takes some experience and expertise.

First, one note: We are entering the science of genetics when selecting seed. Every trait of a corn variety is genetically driven.

Now, we know are primarily interested in harvesting the largest yields possible and must not allow your seed variety selection to place limitations upon your fields. From experience, we know that corn variety numbers vary greatly under certain conditions, and even in identical conditions they may differ in yields as much as 10 to 50 bushels per acre.

Every farmer has his favorite seed corn numbers that consistently produce well. The problem develops when he wants to select some new variety of number to replace some that appear to be playing out. The question becomes, how should he select a new number for test purposes? Does he choose the new number at the recommendation of a seed salesman simply because he is a friend who farms and sells seed as a sideline? Does he take the advice of a part-time salesperson or go elsewhere for advice? Continue Reading →

Raw Milk as Pasture Biostimulant

raw-milkAs reported in the May 2013 issue of NODPA News (www.nodpa.com), a raw milk as pasture biostimulant research study performed on fields and in greenhouses in Vermont revealed mixed results. The raw milk stimulated grass tillering and slightly increased forage above-ground biomass under greenhouse conditions, but “the positive benefits attributed to the milk were short-lived and did not appear after the initial cutting.” Also the farmers found “no effect of milk on pasture growth or yield within the first 60 days of application in the field,” but, they say, “… despite the inconclusive results, spraying milk on pasture is still a great way to dispose of waste milk,” and they “recommend that those wishing to experiment with raw milk on their own farm should spray the solution immediately before a rainstorm and after the forage was grazed to maximize the amount of milk reaching the soil. Although you probably shouldn’t expect a substantial change in forage production and quality, it may positively affect your pastures in ways not measured during this experiment.”

This article appears in the September 2013 issue of Acres U.S.A.