Midwest Cover Crops Council Annual Meeting and Conference Feb 20-21, 2019

Save the date! The Midwest Cover Crops Council’s Annual Meeting and Conference will be held February 20-21, 2019 in Springfield, Illinois at the Northfield Inn, Suites and Conference Center! More information to come! Read more about the Midwest Cover Crops Council here.

Benefits and Drawbacks to Different Nutrient Application Methods

MAY 22, 2018 12:15 PM

How we apply nutrients is just as important as what nutrients we are applying! This article from Strip-Till Farmer outlines the benefits and drawbacks to: surface broadcast, deep injection, in-furrow, 2×2 banding, foliar feeding, fertigation, side-dress and zone placement. Many producers are now implementing a multiple band approach which places some nutrients in-furrow to jump start plant growth, then later on, nutrients are placed in a 2″ x 2″ band in early growth stages. Other producers are utilizing zone placement of fertilizer which incorporates the benefits of multiple types of applications. Read the full article here!

4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program Gains Traction in Ontario

MAY 21, 2016 1:09 PM

The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program launched its Ontario program in 2016. The effort was put forth to determine whether Ohio’s model would be suitable in Ontario. A steering committee was put together to oversee the program which represented a diverse group of stakeholders, including Fertilizer Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Grain Farmers of Ontario and several others. The program is modeled after a certification program implemented by ag retailers in Ohio, which has since exapnded into Indiana and Michigan. 4R certified ag retailers follow standards that promote nutrient efficiency and water quality. Fertilizer Canada is currently conducting outreach for the Ontario program with the addition of a resource tool kit for ag retailers. Ongoing research will be conducted in collaboration with local experts on the most effective nutrient management practices applicable to the area. For more information, follow the link!

MSU Extension Revised Field Identification for Grubs

MAY 17, 2018 4:30 PM

Christina Difonzo, field crops entomologist at Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, has recently revised a field identification sheet after receiving calls about grubs and grub damage appearing as the weather warms. Access the sheet here. Difonzo says to keep the below points in mind for this time of year:

  • Lighter-textured fields and parts of fields (e.g., sandy knolls) often are a focal point for grubs and their damage compared to other locations.
  • Very large grubs (size of a quarter) are almost certainly June beetle. Because of their multi-year lifespan, they may feed one more year before pupating.
  • Grub damage to winter wheat is almost always caused by European chafer in central Michigan. This species will pupate in the next month, so damage to the wheat stand will end.
  • Asiatic garden beetle is the easiest species to identify by sight based on a white “bulb” on its mouthparts. To date, Asiatic garden beetle as a pest is limited to the southern two tiers of counties bordering Indiana and Ohio. Thus far, the grubs I’ve collected appear to be second instar, meaning they have one more growth stage to go. This lengthy feeding period may be why they are so troublesome in corn. I am looking for Asiatic garden beetle fields to sample this summer.
  • If you know a field is infested, options are limited and there are no rescue treatments available. In winter wheat: nothing to be done now; chafers will stop feeding and pupate in a month. In soybean: seed treatments have little impact; delay planting as long as practical to avoid as much feeding as possible before grubs pupate. In corn: a high rate of seed treatment or a soil insecticide can help, but from experience, heavy grub populations eat through insecticide barriers; tillage can also help, but I’ve been in tilled fields with grub problems; as in soy, delaying corn planting can reduce the feeding window open to grubs.