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Acres of Knowledge

All issues concerning Small Farms, Agriculture, Local Food Systems, and the Natural Resources.

Wet, Cool Soils Tough on Crops

The month of May has given local farmers wet, soggy and cool soils with the result being fields with uneven stands of corn and soybeans. Cool, wet soils slow the germination and emergence of plants, which leads to increased seed rots, seedling blights, occurrences of insect damage, nutrient deficiency and herbicide injury. As I check fields, it is not uncommon for me to see corn plants...

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Cover Crops-C S-112216L
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What Late Cover Crops Can Do?

Since 2011, I have been planting cover crops and I have grown different types: spring oats and radish; cereal rye; and cereal rye with rapeseed. I like cereal rye and we grow 250+ bushel per acre corn after cereal rye. It can be done. Why do I like Cereal Rye? In an effort to keep my costs as low as possible, my cover crops are planted after corn and soybean harvest in October and depen...

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Moths Are Flying, Farmers Beware

The 2017 Illinois Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program has started and cooperators are reporting high captures of Black Cutworm moths and True Armyworm moths in their pheromone traps. Recent articles in the Purdue University Pest & Crop Newsletter have high...

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Weed Height

Amaranth Has Defeated Two Herbicide Groups

If farming was baseball and Team Herbicides was at bat against the weed Team of Amaranths, then right now, there are two strikes against Herbicides. A new report from the University of Illinois Plant Clinic bears this out. This has weed scientists across the Midwest very concerned and it should have Illinois farmers and farmland owners concerned. In a U of I Bulletin post, the Plant Cli...

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WPS-New Rules

New Worker Protection Standard Rules In Effect

The Worker Protection Standards (WPS) established specific requirements for employers to follow in order to reduce the potential for worker exposure to pesticides. New revisions to these standards went into effect January 2, 2017. They will give farm workers health protections similar to those that are already afforded to workers in other industries. There is a new training requirem...

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Sensitive Areas

XtendiMax Herbicide Approved with Restrictions

On November 9, 2016, the USEPA approved the use of XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology starting in 2017 on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans. This is a new formulation of dicamba herbicide that promises to have low volatility. A new tool to combat the tough to control weeds, such as tall waterhemp and palmer amaranth. Its herbicide site of action is Synthetic Auxins, Group 4. READ THE LABE...

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IL Soy Conditions-090716
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Pay Attention to Lodged Soybean Fields

The soybean crop in our area is tall and full of pods. Statewide the weekly USDA NASS soybean progress report is showing one of the best looking crops in the past 20 years with 79% of the Illinois' soybean crop in the Good or Excellent category....

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