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Straight Stalk

Current crop information updates and research highlights

2018 Crop Management Conferences Save the Dates

The 2018 University of Illinois Crop Management Conferences will be held as follows: January 24- Holiday Inn, Mt. Vernon January 31- University of Illinois Springfield February 7- iHotel and Conference Center, Champaign February 21- Kishwaukee College, Malta Look for registration information in early December....

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Don't be surprised by very low K soil tests this fall!

Better than expected yields and a very dry fall are causing soils to test very low for available potassium (K). Most of the K in corn is in the foliage an is washed back into the soil by rainfall as the residue decays. Some of the K may also be locked into very dry soil clay particles. If you look at annual graphs of soil available K, September is traditionally the low point in the cycle, but norm...

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ExploreACES, the college open house that showcases activities across all college departments and gives prospective students a taste of the range of programs housed in the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) is being held today and tomorrow. There was a lot of traffic past my UAV display table today. Despite bad weather we were able t...

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Field activity in the area

Last Thursday through Sunday saw much field preparation in the Champaign to Decatur area. There was a continuous shuttle of anhydrous tanks on country roads. In my travels I spotted, one large operation with 4 tracked tractors working in adjacent fields all pulling large applicators with two-tank anhydrous carts trailing behind.  A pair a planters were also working nearby....

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MRTN/Split Rate Calculator makes #7 on Ag App of the Year List

Our MRTN Nitrogen Split Rate Calculator app made the Crop Life list of best agriculture apps of 2012 . Check out the whole list here:

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MRTN/Split Rate Calculator apps available

The MRTN Android app has been updated to include a split rate and cost comparison calculator. The new version is also now available for the Apple iPhone and iPad. The Apple app is available in the iTunes app store listed as " MRTN/Nitrogen Application Calculator ". To download the Android app, click on this link...

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Cover crop seeding experiment

This summer/fall I have the opportunity to assist with a on-farm cover crop seeding trial. I am evaluating several different seeding methods from a ground-based applicator. The first few rounds were planted/seeded last week until a welcome rain stopped them. Some of the units have actual ground contact and lightly incorporate the seed. Looking at the strips this week shows some excelle...

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Short Crop-Long Tail or maybe Long Tales

"Short crop, long tail" is one of those catchy phrases that stick in your brain. I remember hearing it early in my Extension career after another drought year from one of our Crop Outlook and Marketing Specialists. Stories of the "drought of aught 12" will likely be told for years and "short crops have long tales" may also be accurate. As an agronomist I try to avoid economics, when pos...

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Drought Resource Website

The latest information from the University of Illinois on:  Dealing with Drought and Heat -  This site contains information on Crops, Livestock, Finances and Home & Garden...

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Is Fall Applied Nitrogen Still There?

Last year's good fall weather enabled many farmers to fall apply at least some of their nitrogen fertilizer. Due to warmer than normal soil temperatures, denitrifying soil bacteria stayed slightly active throughout the winter. Fabian Fernandez, University of Illinois Soil Fertility Specialist, wrote a great explanation about the implications of this weather on fall applied nitrogen in...

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