Agronomy: Old School And New Tools

This blog could also be titled “When bad things happen to good people.”

Planting is just the start of the crop. And unfortunately, when destructive storms hit early in the season, it can cut off the season’s success at the knees.

One issue: crusting.

As Farm Journal Associate Field Agronomist Missy Bauer says, “With severe crusting, a rotary hoe can help save the plants that are there. Hoes will crack open the crust and break up the surface to allow plants to emerge easier.”

But she cautions, for a rotary hoe to be the rescue tool, farmers need to be timely in making the decision to make the pass across the field. Here are some tips to compare the risk of damaging emerged plants v. the plants you are trying to save that are still underground:  

  • Set flags in an area of the field--one color for plants that are above ground, and one color for plants expected to be underground.
  • Then run the hoe through the area and do an evaluation.

Issue No. 2: Hail

Hail can be destructive. As a University of Nebraska-Lincoln CropWatch bulletin reported, complete defoliation of V2 to V5 corn resulted in yield losses from 8.7% to 23%, respectively.

No doubt, our weather radar has gotten more advanced with better technologies. And now, there are many agtech solutions that give farmers alerts when a hail event occurred at their field.

Here’s a sampling of technologies helping farmers track hail events so then they can be timely in their scouting and reaction:





Latest News

Ferrie: Ready, Set, Whoops! A Fast Start To Fieldwork Could Cost You Big In Corn At V5

Caution can help you avoid creating compaction or density layers. Plus, if you're applying anhydrous now, allowing 14 days between the application and planting can prevent dead or damaged plants and costly yield dings.

Nebraska Farmland Values Jump 14% in 2023 — Up 30% in Two Years

This year marks the second-largest increase in the market value of agricultural land in Nebraska since 2014 and the highest non-inflation-adjusted statewide land value in the 45-year history of the survey. 

U.S. Milk Production and Cow Numbers Both Rise

The February 2023 USDA Milk Production report showed an 0.8% increase in year-over-year milk production with a total of 17.7 billion lbs. of milk. Also following suit, U.S. cow numbers also documented growth.

Crude Oil Prices Drop Below $70: What is the Outlook for Consumers at the Pump and Farmers Heading Into Spring Planting?

Oil prices are also off their highs of last year and gas and diesel prices are also sliding at the pump, but will that trend continue ahead of planting?   Energy experts are hoping the answer is yes.  

Can History Making $20 Billion in Inflation Reduction Act Get Rolled Out Quickly Enough?

Industry experts say the new legislative package represents a 'generational opportunity' for conservation funding and needs to reach U.S. farmers and livestock producers sooner rather than later, starting this spring.

WOTUS Rule Frozen in Two States, But Unimpaired in 48

A federal judge in Texas put WOTUS on hold in two states over the weekend but denied a concentrated effort by industry groups to stop the rule nationwide.