Grain drying and storage info
Value of corn stalks
Nitrogen application and soil temperature
Manage and calculate crop residue
Manure management plans and soil sampling
Corn harvest should
really pick up this week with in-field grain moisture reaching the
mid to high teens. The extended forecast calls for a chance of rain
mid-week, but after that the forecast looks to be very favorable for
harvest. Excellent tips on grain drying and storage can be accessed
from the listed University of MN website. Remember, corn stalk have
feed value, particularly when supplemented with protein and
minerals. Utilize this resource when available. I’ve noticed a few
fields with anhydrous ammonia applied, be sure to monitor average
4-inch soil temperature and look for 50 degrees or less when
deciding to apply fall nitrogen. I’ve also noticed some bean fields
already tilled. Use the online calculator listed below to estimate
remaining residue after tillage operations. You want a minimum of
30% after all operations are completed in the spring.
Grain Drying, handling
and storage: A
University of MN web site with excellent resources on all aspects of
grain drying and storage can be found at this URL:
Corn stalks have feed and $ value
Cornstalks can be a great source of winter feed for cattle.
Cornstalks that are supplemented with protein, vitamins and minerals
can supply the nutritional needs of cows that are in moderately good
body condition. Cornstalks are generally considered to have about
80 to 90 percent of the energy of mixed grass and legume hay per
pound of dry matter, but only 20 to 30 percent as much protein.
Adding soybean meal can be a good way to increase protein content.
Bruce Anderson (Nebraska Extension Forage Specialist) recommends
that if you plan to graze cornstalks, the stalks should be grazed as
soon as possible after harvest. The nutrient value of stalks
declines the longer they are exposed to weathering. Grazing stalks
right after harvest will put more condition on cows and faster gains
on young stock. For information on estimating dollar value of
cornstalks baled or in the field, see the October 6, 2003 ISU ICM
newsletter, also found on-line at:
ISU Yield trial data
is being made available much quicker and easier this year and two
new sites were added last week. You can find preliminary results
online at this web address:
Please find the
“Treated vs. Non-Treated” printable PDF form at these URL’s:
Soy aphid insecticide treatment form:
fungicide treatment form:
and Fertility Management
Fall Application of
Anhydrous Ammonia – pay attention to soil temperature
I’ve already noticed a couple of fields with anhydrous ammonia or
manure applied to soybean stubble. Considering the relatively warm
temperatures the area has experienced, applying AA or manure with
high levels of ammonium this early can be risky. Fall applications
in warm soils are often associated with an increased risk of
nitrogen loss by leaching of nitrate through the soil profile
because the warm soil allows microbes to convert ammonium to
nitrate. The most efficient (least amount of lost nitrogen) method
of nitrogen application is through spring split applications. But
if you are set on applying AA this fall, try to delay applications
until soil temperatures cool and there will be less risk for
nitrogen loss. Addition of a nitrification inhibitor (N-Serve) with
fall applied AA can reduce the rate of conversion of AA to nitrate
and may reduce nitrate loss.
explanation on how fall applied nitrogen is lost can be found in
this recent article in the ICM newsletter:
specific soil temperatures over the last three days from this ISU
Residue to Protect The Soil Resource
As tillage plans are made for this fall, keep in mind the important
role that crop residues play in the overall conservation plan. The
amount of soil lost to erosion each year is directly proportional to
the amount of crop residue remaining on the surface. You may already
have made substantial changes in your farming operation to reduce
erosion, but at the heart of your conservation plan should be some
provision for conservation tillage. Conservation tillage is defined
as tillage that leaves at least 30 percent of the field surface
covered with crop residue after planting.
residues (stalks, straw, chaff, and even the finest materials) stop
rain splash, slow and trap runoff, and allow water infiltration.
Plant residue also improves soil organic matter, which enhances soil
physical and chemical properties such as soil tilth, aggregate
stability, and cation exchange capacity. Plan your tillage
management systems to provide crop residue coverage, such as
Mulch-tillage, No-till or Strip-tillage.
Use this online
calculator to determine how much residue will be left on a field
after planned tillage operations:
sampling for manure management plans
This is a reminder from an article written last year by Angela
Rieck-Hinz (extension program specialist, Department of Agronomy) to
be sure to follow ISU soil sampling guidelines
when sampling fields that are included in P-index based manure
management plans. P-Index manure management plans will be phased in
over the next four years. Soil samples taken this fall may fall
under the new rules.
Soil samples shall be taken from each field
in a manure management plan at least once every 4 years.
Each sample must be analyzed for phosphorus
(P) and pH.
Soil samples may be taken by soil map unit,
management zone, or grid sampling. Please see the Iowa State
University Extension publication PM 287, Take a good sample to
help make good decisions.
Each soil sample must be a composite of at
least 10 cores from the sampling area.
Each core taken must represent the top 6
inches of the soil.
Each soil sample can represent no more than
10 acres, unless the size of the field is 15 acres or less, then
only one sample is necessary. If manure is applied at a
phosphorus-based rate and the P-index is Very Low, Low, or
Medium between sampling years, the sample can represent up to 20
Soil analysis must be completed at a
laboratory enrolled in the Iowa Department of Agriculture and
Land Stewardship's soil testing certification program.
If soil pH is greater than or equal to 7.4,
the Bray P1 extraction method is not suitable for analysis.
Full article can be found here: