Renewable Farming

Month: July 2020

Flurry of unrequested seed packets exposes America’s lack of ag biosecurity

Most of America’s ag websites and major news outlets reported this week on the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of seed packets from China arriving in peoples’ mailboxes — but were never ordered by the recipients. July 30, 2020 By Jerry Carlson — Whatever the motive, the surge of seed reveals that America’s biosecurity defenses are virtually porous against …

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I have a great crop coming. How can I hang onto yield through a dry August?

In two previous articles, we’ve reported a couple of midseason methods farmers are trying to “insure” against severe dry-weather losses, especially in the western Corn Belt. In Iowa, rains faded west of Interstate 35 during July. One of our clients in Sioux County, extreme northwest Iowa, says: “Corn on sandy land is already gone. Soybean …

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Is China stocking up on corn, beans as a buffer against flood damage to China’s crops?

Nobody this side of the Pacific knows the answer to that question. But Chinese soybean importers booked 1.76 million metric tons of U.S. corn this week — the largest export sale of corn in 30 years. Commercial exporters also reported that China ordered 129,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans and 320,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat. This tops up record …

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We can be thankful our Midwest doesn’t have a plague of locusts anymore

Farmers in the word’s “Cradle of Civilization” regions still suffer from devastating desert locust swarms. Fortunately for Midwest and Plains growers, such fearful invasions are now only echoes from the Laura Ingals Wilder novel Little House on the Prairie. July 24, 2020  By Jerry Carlson — I was born in the drought of 1936, amid the cradle of the …

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Update on coping with July-August dry weather stress in corn and beans

Mike Messerly and foliar-fed corn July 22. Webster County is in drought. Update for farmers who are skeptical that midsummer foliars can make much corn yield difference: Mike Messerly’s corn just west of Fort Dodge, IA is a Pioneer number not known for extra height. However, as of today, Mike’s corn is 11 feet, six inches …

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Did anyone here raise hemp this season? Are you going to try again next year?

That show-of-hands question arose at a farmer seminar I attended in late 2019. As I recall, none of the farmers who’d tried raising hemp raised their hands when asked if they would “try again.” July 23, 2020   By Jerry Carlson — I know almost nothing about raising hemp, whether for fiber, CBD oil or “medical” TCH. …

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July-August reveals your most significant “soil test” in the central Corn Belt

NOAA’s temperature forecast through early August favors above-average temperatures across Iowa and into the eastern Corn Belt. This point in the season imposes a major test of your soil tilth management over the past several years. If you’ve consistently enriched soil humus and biological life, your root zone and subsoil will have sponged up spring …

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China demonstrates that natural, plant-based medicines are effective against Covid-19

I’ll open this report by repeating a comment from our son Erik, who runs Renewable Farming LLC: “God provided a full array of plant life for humanity’s chronic diseases. We only need to know how to use those plants.”  July 20, 2020  By Jerry Carlson — I first quoted Erik’s observation Feb. 27, 2020 on this website as …

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FDA’s “New era of smarter food safety” ignores nutritional values

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is rolling out its 10-year plan to build a “New Era of Smarter Food Safety.” Its goal is to build “a safer and more digital, traceable food system.” It’s all about tracing food-borne pathogens to their source quickly, to curb the spread of bacteria and mycotoxins. However, nutritional quality of …

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Yes, there is a non-glyphosate burndown herbicide that’s exempt from EPA registration

It’s labeled “Weed Slayer.” It’s systemic. It’s based on a natural herbal source, and it’s potent. But it’s a bit pricey for non-selective herbicide use to terminate big acreages of cover crops. Research agronomist Jim Porterfield offers some insights. July 17, 2020 — Jim Porterfield’s research farm in Illinois comes up with a surprise almost every season. This summer, one …

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