Renewable Farming

Month: September 2015

The challenge of keeping corn alive for extended kernel fill

Back in the days when AgriEnergy Resources founder Dave Larson taught at Renewable Farming seminars, Dave’s goal for black-layer maturity corn was this: “At physiological maturity, the corn stalk should be green including most of the upper leaves above the ear. The hanging ear should be in a bright white husk. A living stalk allows moisture in …

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Consultant Bob Streit: Why full-season crop nutrition paid so well this year

September will soon be history as we march into October. So far the weather has been great, except for the lack of sunshine as the sun is disappearing earlier each day. We had a once-in-18 years moon eclipse on Sunday night and it was a very sublime event. And as of Monday morning Sept. 28, …

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If farming’s future is in biotech, why is Monsanto pivoting toward data sciences?

When we’re told about a new product, one of our favorite comments is, “Show me the data.” That’s one of the favorite lines of our favorite mentors, Dick Thompson of Boone, Iowa. Dick and his wife Sharon were instrumental in founding Practical Farmers of Iowa in 1985. The value of good data in agriculture is being …

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Would anyone at Iowa State have the facts and fortitude to write this editorial?

“This Editorial” we’re referring to is not our own. It was written by Dr. Jim Roach, associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He is state chair of the Kentucky Lung Cancer research board. His editorial, “Genetically modified foods are a health scourge”, was published Sept. 25 in the Lexington, KY, Herald-Leader. You can …

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European Union corn yield gains outpace U.S. — with few GMOs

Sicne 1960, the European Union’s corn growers have lifted yields faster than the United States — while using insignificant acreages of genetically modified corn. Only Spain grows significant areas of GMO corn, of one approved hybrid. This is part of the reason why several EU nations are “opting out” of EU regulations which could allow more …

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Harvest

It’s the harvest dust and mold season; here’s a link to help you

Last Sunday, several people who usually greet me with hugs and handshakes at church simply waved me away. I protested: “I showered before coming here!” The typical comeback was, “I have some kind of terrible cold or flu!  Don’t catch it from me!” Every fall here in northeast Iowa, outbreaks of respiratory complaints surge just as …

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Crop consultant Bob Streit describes the 2015 battle with Goss’ wilt

In mid-August, consultant Bob Streit sent his clients an analysis of this year’s invasion of Goss’ wilt and ways to cope with it.  Today, Bob gave us permission to publish this analysis for everyone. “The word needs to get out, so we can deal with this in coming seasons,” he said. Here’s the information he …

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Biological benefits add to the profits in cover crops

Many of the most compelling benefits of cover crops occur out of sight, underground. Adding a fresh plant species to your crop rotation dramatically multiples the spectrum of beneficial microbes, fungi and soil life. USDA-ARS microbiologist Dr. Robert Kremer showed us data on that fact at a seminar last December. And Dr. Jill Clapperton emphasized it again …

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7.5 bu. per acre soybean yield increase with “Lignition” foliar growth promotant

Yesterday, Sept. 17, a soybean grower west of London, Ontario, harvested his test and control fields in an on-farm demonstration of Lignition, a product we’re testing for the second season. Untreated soybeans yielded 55 bushels per acre. Soybeans foliar-sprayed with 50 grams per acre of Ligniton yielded 62.5 bu. per acre. The 7.5-bu. gain, at …

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