“Growing up in rural South Dakota, surrounded by farms and ranches as far as the eye could see, I never gave the food supply chain a second thought. It was intertwined in everything I did,” writes Mark Biedenfeld, vice president, CHS Aligned Solutions on the Ag Day blog. He goes on to emphasize the important role those in agriculture play in helping our broader communities understand where their food comes from.
Biedenfeld joins others in contributing to the blog in a nod to National Ag Day, coming up this Tuesday, March 21. The celebration is now a tradition across the U.S., created to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and eat on a daily basis, and is increasingly contributing to fuel and other bio-products. (more…)
Uniform stand establishment is a critical component in achieving maximum yield potential. With unexpected weather and other uncontrollable factors often impacting the crop’s stand, it is even more important to be proactive in the areas that can be controlled. Fortunately, there are steps to help get your crop off to a strong start and encourage a strong and healthy stand.
1. Seed Selection
Each season it all starts with selecting your seed. There are multiple considerations growers need to be aware of when selecting the appropriate seed, including the geography, any unique field conditions, potential impact from weeds, disease and pests, maturity timing, etc. These considerations need to be evaluated in cooperation with your farm management practices to ensure the best results. Read more on considerations for seed selection, for soybeans and for corn. (more…)
Could drones be the future of agriculture – and a game-changer?
According to a late 2016 article in Successful Farming, drones also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were first received with hesitation in the agriculture industry. Although the new technology was known to provide growers with a way to see potential problems that wouldn’t otherwise be known from ground level, the new technology was taken with initial apprehension due to the lack of regulations, in addition to the sometimes challenging process of applying for a Section 333 exemption through the FAA.
Slowly but surely, the agriculture industry is realizing the benefits and discovering different strategies on how drones can benefit and move their crop production plans forward. (more…)
We recently discussed the importance of soil sampling and what growers learn from testing samples from their field. Now we want to look more at what the results can tell the grower and how it can help them improve their next crop.
As growers receive information regarding organic matter, soil pH, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), Nitrate-N and extractable macro and micro nutrients from their soil sample results, they will be able to make more informed fertility decisions, and address potential issues in advance or during the early stages of the plant’s growth cycle.
The results also provide a holistic view of the health of the soil, and can help provide growers with an indication of success for their fertility philosophy by determining if the following are needed:
- Building nutrient levels
- Maintaining nutrient levels
- Reducing of specific mineral levels
Grain bin hazards aren’t limited to entrapment or engulfment. Other, equally-hazardous situations include augers, bin collapses, Power Take-Offs (PTOs), fires and explosions, toxic atmospheres, electrical components and even ladders.
Identifying and understanding bin hazards is vital to keeping you and others safe. Learn more about some of the more common and hazardous situations that can occur when working with grain bins.
For growers, learning how to increase yield each season is a career-long process, and one that will continue to change as soils change, resistant weeds expand and new technology is introduced.
As a starter kit, here are four quick ways growers can increase their yield in 2017. (more…)
A man unloading a grain bin was trapped for nearly five hours when his foot became caught under the side of a sweep auger motor and he was buried in grain above his waist. Courtesy of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, this report illustrates how this type of incident could occur at other grain-handling facilities, and provides safety guidelines that could help other elevators avoid grain bin entrapment or react more positively.
Read the Full Case Study
Initiated by Nationwide in 2014, Grain Bin Safety Week is an annual campaign recurring the third full week of February to promote grain bin safety on farms and commercial grain-handling facilities.
A collaborative effort with industry leaders like CHS and agricultural professionals, Grain Bin Safety Week was created to raise awareness about grain bin dangers, provide education and share best safety practices. Together, we hope to reduce the number of preventable injuries and deaths associated with grain handling and storage.
Visit the Nationwide website to learn more about Grain Safety Week 2017.
Grain Bin Safety Week Events: February 19-25, 2017
Live and prerecorded webinars are available to help educate farmers and other grain handlers on important grain safety issues. (more…)
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve probably heard it a million times: harvest can put strain on the propane supply. If you haven’t done so, now is the time to fill your propane tank to prepare for harvest and lock-in prices. (more…)
Lower commodity prices and compressed planting times are encouraging growers to plant their crops earlier and in uncertain weather conditions.
There are advantages to planting early if done correctly, including more time to get the crops into the ground and increased time for crops to grow to their full potential. There are also risks, including cooler air temperatures, colder soil temperatures and unpredictable weather that can often leave crops more vulnerable to potential disease and insect problems.
With these advantages and disadvantages in mind, growers are continually looking for ways to help their plants emerge quicker and stronger, even in less than ideal conditions.
The following are two tips growers should consider when planting early. (more…)