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Articles from 2014 In June


7 Ways To Cut Corn And Soybean Spray Drift Risks

7 Ways To Cut Corn And Soybean Spray Drift Risks

Minimize risks of damaging crop spray drifts with a few uncommon sense suggestions offered by Purdue University Extension Agronomist Chris Parker.

Know your neighbor's crops: Tomatoes and grapes are the two most sensitive crops to 2,4-D drift. Knowing where those drift-sensitive crops are, taking preventive action and talking to those neighbors in advance could go a long way toward avoiding issues later, says Parker.

ON TARGET: Spray boom hoods, like this Redball Gen II model, can speed spraying, yet reduce spray drift potential by up to 90%.

Know your nozzles: If you think your spray nozzles might be worn, they probably are. Spray solutions often contain some grit you can't see, and can wear nozzles more than you might expect. Worn nozzles no longer emit the same spray pattern or droplet size they did when new. They contribute to drift issues.

Drift can be stealthy: Remember, drift is the off-target movement if spray particles – and vapors! Vapors can be affected by topography and air inversions. Inversions occur when its cooler near the ground than it is higher up. With minimal winds, they can cause chemical vapors to hoover and move off-site. It happens most commonly at sunset and sunrise, with low cloud cover and wind speeds less than 2 mph, cautions Parker.

Droplet size matters: Hold down the percentage of droplets that are 200 microns or smaller. That's affected by your nozzles and by spray pressure.

Using drift reduction agents? If so, check your herbicide label to make sure the compound is compatible with the product. Incompatibility can cause more headaches than any good they might do.

Got buffer zones? If you or your neighbors have buffer zones, consider them as sensitive crop zones.

Consider spray hoods: Spray boom hoods can substantially reduce drift potential. They're available for most sprayer types.

Gobbling Up Savings: LED Lighting in Turkey Barns

Gobbling Up Savings: LED Lighting in Turkey Barns

Switching from high pressure sodium or incandescent lighting to LED lighting presents the greatest savings opportunity.

Local and federal funding is available to help Minnesota poultry farmers move forward with on-farm lighting retrofits. Clean Energy Resource Teams are helping turkey farmers understand and apply for these funds.

Check out the resources below to learn more about LED lighting and available funding.

Steps to take to get started:

Gobbling Up Savings: LED Lighting in Turkey Barns

•Learn about LED lighting for turkey barns. Reduce energy use and save money by upgrading to LED lighting in your barns. Switching from high pressure sodium or incandescent lighting to LED lighting presents the greatest savings opportunity. Read about a study involving Minnesota turkey barns.

•Take an inventory of existing lighting. Barns with mostly incandescent or high pressure sodium light bulbs currently are your best bet for an upgrade. Write down the types (e.g., incandescent, CFL, high pressure sodium), quantity, and power consumption (in watts) of each bulb type as you walk through your barns

•Run the numbers. Calculate the energy savings you'll gain by relamping your lighting system. Also find out how long it will take to recoup your full investment for the new system. Plug in your numbers here to see cost savings.

•Get help from CERTs

•Get available rebates from your electric utility

•Decide which USDA funding you want to pursue, if any. The NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program helps farmers evaluate energy saving opportunities and provides financial assistance to help make energy upgrades happen. EQIP requires an audit first, which the program pays for most, if not all, of it. After the audit, you can apply for financial assistance for the lighting project or any other recommendations in the audit.

EQIP applications are accepted on a continuous basis. See your local NRCS office. The application cut-off dates remaining in 2014 are July 18 and August 15.

For more information, please contact: Alexis Troschinetz, 612-626-0455, alexis@cleanenergyresourceteams.org; or Fritz Ebinger, 651-789-3330, febinger@mnproject.org

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Menacing Western Herds, Shows

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Menacing Western Herds, Shows

The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus disrupted several western hog events this year with bans on import of pigs between states. The bans caused major challenges for hog showing events this spring, and will continue to do so for months to come, animal health officials predict.

PEDV is a dread disorder which is highly contagious to livestock, although not a human health threat, according to Utah Department of Agriculture authorities who issued an emergency order in May for livestock shows send all exhibited swine to slaughter after the shows.

All swine entering Utah must be inspected by a veterinarian, and have a certificate of veterinary inspection to enter

"What's important to keep in mind is that PEDV is not a human health issue but rather a pig production disease, and we know that enhanced biosecurity measures are extremely important in containing the virus," says National Pork Board Vice President of Science and Technology Paul Sundberg.

All swine entering Utah must be inspected by a veterinarian, and have a certificate of veterinary inspection to enter, according to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

At issue is a rampant disease threat which has already left more than 7 million pigs dead in the U.S. and is found in 30 states.

There is no reliable cure for PEDV.

The Wyoming Cowboy Youth Classic in Laramie in June also felt the impact of the PEDV outbreak.

For swine that was allowed at the show, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture had some important rules to check out which might serve as good advice to similar western events:

•Exhibitors will all need to provide a signed affidavit to exhibit, as well as an import certificate of veterinary inspection for swine born outside of the state.

•Swine must all be individually identified, and exhibitors must provide documentation that animals have resided within the state of Wyoming for at least 30 days prior to the event. No signs of the virus can be evident for that entire period of time.

Although the disorder was found for the first time in the U.S. last year, it is well known in Europe, as well as in Korea, Japan and China.

USDA, state animal health officials, the ASSV and National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council are all actively monitoring the PEDV spread, and offing hints on management.

An estimated 50 new cases of PEDV are being reported each week, according to Iowa veterinarian Kent Schwartz.

The disorder is spread primarily in feces. A single thimble full of infected feces is said to be enough to infect every pig in the nation.

PEDV  has a very high mortality rate, notes Iowa vet Schwartz. That approaches 100% in infected suckling pigs, he says.

The NPB has approved a $1.1 million grant for research and outreach on the PEDV problem.

The U.S. outbreak cannot be pinpointed as to the origin of the introduction of the disease here, but the strain that has been hitting domestic herds is much like a strain  found in Chinese outbreaks.

Any hog owner suspecting his hogs of showing signs of PEDV -- mainly ongoing diarrhea problems -- is urged to contact their local veterinarian as soon as possible.
UNL Confirms Ragweed Population Resistant to Glyphosate

UNL Confirms Ragweed Population Resistant to Glyphosate

University of Nebraska-Lincoln dose response studies have confirmed a glyphosate-resistant population of common ragweed from southeast Nebraska. The population survived doses up to eight times the suggested labeled use rate, according to UNL weed specialists.

"While this would not be considered a high level of resistance, it is clear that labeled use rates would not provide acceptable control," says Lowell Sandell, weed science Extension educator.

This is the first confirmation in Nebraska. However glyphosate-resistant common ragweed populations have been reported in 14 other states dating back to 2004. Thirteen of the 14 listed cases were reported in soybean environments.

Plants from a glyphosate-resistant population, at left, next to plants from a susceptible population three weeks after application of 44 ounces per acre of Roundup PowerMax. Photo courtesy of UNL CropWatch

"Nebraska producers with common ragweed in their fields should be able to identify this weed and closely monitor the performance of their herbicide programs where common ragweed is present," Sandell says. In the accompanying photo, extra plants from the resistant, on the left, and susceptible populations, on the right, used in the dose response studies are shown three weeks after application of 44 ounces per acre of Roundup PowerMax.

Glyphosate-resistant common ragweed has been confirmed in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

In Nebraska common ragweed traditionally has not been one of the most problematic species in corn and soybean production fields. However, when present and left uncontrolled it can have a significant impact on soybean stands, growth and yield.

Common ragweed is a summer annual broadleaf plant and is found in many environments, including urban areas, roadsides, ditches, gardens, landscapes, unmanaged areas and row crops.

Glyphosate, HPPD, and auxin herbicide-resistant weeds have been confirmed over the last six years in Nebraska, the UNL specialists say. This continued confirmation of herbicide-resistant weeds indicates not enough producers have diversified their weed management approach to prevent or delay the evolution of herbicide-resistant weed populations.

Source: UNL CropWatch

New Laws Give Flexibility In High School Curricula

New Laws Give Flexibility In High School Curricula

New Laws Give Flexibility In High School Curricula

Career and technical education courses can now replace Algebra and science courses if they qualify.

Gov. Rick Snyder on June 25 signed House Bills 4465 and 4466 into law in Macomb County. The bills amend the mandate that high school students study second-year algebra in a traditional class setting.  Instead, it allows a career and technical education students to learn equivalent math skills through courses based on practical applications. Farm Bureau policy supports offering students increased opportunity for participation in career and technical education (CTE) programs.

Seated in front of a student-built house destined to become a Habitat for Humanity home, Gov. Rick Snyder on June 25 signed House Bills 4465 and 4466 into law at Dakota High School in Macomb County.

Michigan Farm Bureau, which promoted the bills, says the legislation enhances career and technical education flexibility in the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC).

The bills, Public Act 208 and 209 of 2014, mandate that:

•CTE programs or curricula incorporating the benchmarks of algebra II may fulfill the algebra II credit.

•Schools have the option to award the required half-credit for physical education to students engaged in extracurricular athletics or similar physical activity.

•Foreign language is required but clarification was made that foreign language experience and classes taken before a student enters high school may be grade-equivalent and count toward the MMC foreign language credit. Schools are encouraged to ensure all students complete at least one foreign language credit in grades K-6. High school students may swap one foreign language credit for a CTE program or a fine or performing arts course. This requirement has a six-year sunset.

•Physics and chemistry standards were altered to allow anatomy or agriscience to fulfill the requirement. Additionally, programs teaching the same benchmarks of chemistry or physics may fulfill the requirement.

•The third science credit was clarified so that computer science or a CTE course may fulfill the requirement.

The bills also changes personal curriculum (PC) requirements, increasing parental rights and notifications about the PC process, and establishing that PC can't be limited or discouraged by school districts. Students and counselors will now have more flexibility in creating personal curricula to recognize completion of a CTE program in nearly every required subject area.

"This accomplishment was a team effort and could not have been achieved without everyone pulling in the same direction," says Rebecca Park, the MFB legislative counsel who helped champion the group's member-developed policy to affect more CTE flexibility.
Climate Change May Be Good For Dakota Agriculture

Climate Change May Be Good For Dakota Agriculture

The climate is changing, says Dennis Todey, South Dakota climatologist, and it might be a good think for Dakota agriculture.

Over the past 100 years, the growing season is South Dakota and North Dakota has increased has increased by about nine days, he says.

The annual average precipitation has increased.

Summer's high temperatures are staying the same or even declining slightly.

Nighttime temperatures are rising.

All those changes are friendlier for agriculture than the alternative -- increased heat and drought like what southern and western parts of the U.S. are experiencing.

There are some negative, of course. Sometimes the Dakotas are getting too much rain all at once.

Climate Change May Be Good For Dakota Agriculture

"We're not just setting records, we are blowing through them," Todey says.

But farmers have tools to manage water so they can get crops planted and harvested. Tiling, ditching and planting cover crops, forages and grasses are some of the options.

Overall, climate change looks fairly positive for agriculture in the Northern Plains.

"If I were [farming] in the southern Cornbelt, I'd be looking to sell and move north," Todey says.

Jim Spradlin Will Helm Growmark as CEO

Jim Spradlin Will Helm Growmark as CEO

Jim Spradlin, of Morton, has been named chief executive officer of Growmark effective Sept. 16, 2014. He replaces Jeff Solberg who will retire in September. 

In announcing Spradlin as CEO, Growmark Chairman of the Board and President, John Reifsteck, said:  "Selecting a CEO to lead Growmark's management team is among the most important and impactful decisions the Board can make. Jim has the skills, knowledge, experience, and support to successfully lead Growmark into the future. The Board has great confidence in him and his ability to lead the multitude of talented employees throughout the Gromark System."

Jim Spradlin Will Helm Growmark as CEO

Spradlin is a 1982 business administration and economics graduate of Illinois College, Jacksonville.  He has held various positions within the Growmark System of cooperatives, including controller of Schuyler-Brown FS, regional administrative director, general manager of Piatt Service Company, general manager of Ag-Land FS, and region manager (Central Ill.), energy division manager, agronomy division manager, and vice president of agronomy for Growmark.  Jim is one of five members of the Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture's Industry Advisory Council.  He serves on the board of directors for The Fertilizer Institute, and is a former local director of Rotary International.

"Growmark and its FS member companies have a long-standing reputation as a progressive and reliable supplier of quality products and services, for being easy to do business with, and for its highly-trained employees who operate with integrity," Spradlin says. "It is truly an honor to have the have support of the Growmark Board of Directors as we work together to guide the Growmark System."

Source: Growmark
Lodged Corn Can Recover

Lodged Corn Can Recover

Corn crops that are leaning or lodged may be impacted by rootless corn syndrome, according to  Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist. Rootless corn occurs when there is limited nodal root development, Thomison says. Plants exhibiting rootless corn symptoms are often leaning or lodged.

"The condition, typically caused by dry soil conditions under hot temperatures and windy days, is generally seen in plants from about the three-leaf stage to the eight-leaf stage of development," Thomison says. "Growers with impacted fields will see plants that have fallen over after a strong wind because there is a limited number or no nodal roots supporting them."

Lodged Corn Can Recover

In addition to dry soils, rootless corn is caused by shallow plantings, compacted soils and loose or cloddy soil conditions, he said.

"Nodal roots are very sensitive to high temperatures," Thomison says. "Hot, dry conditions prevent nodal roots from growing."

But these plants can recover.

"I'd tell growers not to panic or tear up the field," Thomison says. "The plants just need a good rain to help generate nodal root development.

"Give the plants some time and after the next rain and cooler temperatures, take another look at the plants. The cooler temperatures and rain will help tremendously."

Growers can also help alleviate rootless corn by cultivating the plants that are still standing by throwing soil around the exposed roots, he said.

Some Ohio growers have reported experiencing this condition this year, Thomison says.

"So far, it's been a very localized problem, but I suspect other fields had this issue but may have recovered before it was noticed," he says.

Growers should take note, however, that affected corn maybe vulnerable to root potential lodging issues at maturity.

"In that case, the corn should be harvested as soon as grain moisture conditions allow," Thomison says.

Source; OSU Extension

Most Of Iowa's Corn, Soybeans Still Rate "Good to Excellent"

Most Of Iowa's Corn, Soybeans Still Rate "Good to Excellent"

Three months ago 82% of Iowa was in some form of drought. Now the drought is done, thanks to continued rain the last half of June. In many areas that rain has been heavy and the storms have kept adding more water than needed on already saturated soil. "We have too much water some areas of the state, especially northern and western Iowa," notes Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. His farm near Spirit Lake is one of those that has experienced ponding and flooded areas of fields.

PONDING: Despite another week of heavy rain in Iowa, with flooding and ponding in some fields, USDA's weekly crop condition report as of June 29 shows most of the state's corn and soybeans rate good to excellent. However, more rain, wind and hail hit some areas June 30, which doesn't show up in this week's survey.

"Unfortunately, strong storms have continued to roll across the state, causing isolated damage and leaving fields very wet and drowning out some crops," notes Northey.  "Between the wet spots, however, Iowa's crops remain in pretty good condition overall, with 79% of the corn and 75% of the soybeans rated in good to excellent condition in the latest USDA weekly survey."

Iowa corn rates 79% good to excellent, soybeans are 75%
The survey is based on conditions as of June 29, and more storms with heavy rain, hail and high winds rolled across parts of the state on June 30. Damage from the June 30 weather activity isn't reflected in this latest Iowa Crops & Weather Report.

Nationally, the U.S. corn crop is rated 75% good to excellent; soybeans are 72% good to excellent as of June 29. The complete weekly report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's site or on USDA's site. The report summary follows here:

CROP REPORT: Recurring rains continued to limit fieldwork in Iowa during the week ending June 29, 2014, according to the USDA's National Ag Statistics Service. In Iowa statewide there were just 2.2 days suitable for fieldwork. A few producers were able to do a little spraying and herbicide application between storms.

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Precipitation raised soil moisture levels again this week. Topsoil moisture levels rated zero percent very short, 3% short, 61% adequate and 36% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 9% short, 68% adequate and 22% surplus. With the exception of southeast Iowa, every district in the state had over one-quarter of its topsoil in surplus condition.

Some cornfields in Iowa are beginning to silk
There were isolated reports of corn silking as of June 29. Corn condition rated 1% very poor, 4% poor, 16% fair, 56% good and 23% excellent. Six percent of the soybean acreage was blooming, 10 days ahead of the previous year but 2 days behind normal. Bean condition rated 1% very poor, 5% poor, 19% fair, 57% good and 18% excellent.

In Iowa 86% of the oat crop has headed, 4 percentage points above last year but 2 points behind the 5-year average. In Iowa, 11% of the oat acreage has turned color, 5 points ahead of last year but 13 percentage points behind average. Oat condition rated zero percent very poor, 2% poor, 24% fair, 61% good and 13% excellent.

The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 90% complete on June 29, 3 points ahead of both last year and average. Hay condition was rated 1% very poor, 5% poor, 26% fair, 52% good and 16% excellent. Pasture condition rated 1% very poor, 3% poor, 22% fair, 53% good and 21% excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as good except for dealing with increased insect pressure and flooded pastures and feedlots.

Could end up as Iowa's third wettest June in 141 years

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for week ending June 29, 2014

By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

It was another very wet week across much of Iowa. Most of the rain fell in three events with each bringing rain to most of the state.

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The first event on Sunday (June 22) brought greatest rains to southeast Iowa with up to 3.85 inches of rain reported in Burlington. The second event from Thursday (June 26) morning through Friday (June 27) afternoon brought the heaviest rains to central Iowa with 5.45 inches at Adel (Dallas County) and 5.40 inches at Maxwell (Story County). The last event on Saturday (June 28) brought widespread rain to the east two-thirds of the state with a maximum total of 2.62 inches just west of Osceola. Additional locally heavy rain fell after the cut-off for this report on Sunday (June 29) night and Monday (June 30).

Rain totals ranged from 0.17 at Lester to 7.6 inches at Maxwell
Weekly rain totals varied from 0.17 inches at Lester in Lyon County (northwest corner of Iowa) to 7.60 inches at Maxwell (central Iowa). Statewide average precipitation was 2.22 inches or nearly double the weekly normal of 1.17 inches. Meanwhile temperatures were near, or slightly above, normal throughout the week. Temperature extremes varied from morning lows of 55 degrees at Sac City on Tuesday (June 24) morning, as well as at Atlantic, Audubon and Battle Creek on Wednesday (June 25) morning to a Wednesday afternoon high of 89 degrees at Donnellson. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 0.6 degrees above normal. Preliminary data suggests this was the third wettest June in 141 years of Iowa rainfall records (behind 1947 and 2010).

Welcome To Monsoon Season In Iowa

Welcome To Monsoon Season In Iowa

Thunderstorms—accompanied by high winds and hail in some locations across Iowa—continued to dump excessive amounts of water on already saturated soils yesterday, the last day of June. Some of the ponds that began appearing in fields in northern, central and western Iowa during the last week or so have now become lakes as a result of heavy rain the past several days.

TOO MUCH RAIN: Storms in Iowa the past several days have brought hail, wind and flooded fields. Crop insurance adjusters will be assessing the damage. Some farmers are wondering what their options are for planting summer forage or cover crops on lost acres.

"As we all know, weather can change in a matter of days and hot, dry weather could dominate in July and August," observes Clarke McGrath, Iowa State University Extension field agronomist at Harlan in western Iowa. "The good news with all this recent rain is our subsoils are pretty well re-charged with moisture in most of Iowa."

The bad news is there are fields that have been flooded from heavy rains. Significant erosion has occurred as well. "Let's hope for periodic, timely, gentle rains the rest of this growing season," says McGrath. "We surely don't need hail. Our hail plots—where we are studying the replant vs. leaving marginal stands question—are telling us that while damaged plants are resilient, sustained wet weather is a recipe for disease. These hailed-upon fields could use some drier weather as well."

Assessing hail and flood damage to corn and soybeans
Brian Lang, ISU Extension field agronomist in northeast Iowa, along with Mark Johnson, ISU agronomist in central Iowa, provide the following information for corn and soybean growers trying to figure out what to do with fields that have been hit by hail and flooding this late in the game. "It's July 1, so your options are limited," notes Lang.

"This past week most of the 10-county area I cover in central Iowa received abundant rainfall, with 4.5 or more inches common," says Johnson. "Corn and soybeans are growing and developing nicely, and there's very little problem with insects or disease. In fact, ISU Extension entomologist Erin Hodgson reminds us that any insect in the larval stage will suffocate in saturated soil in about 24 hours. So, if the soil is fully saturated for 24-plus hours, insects such as corn rootworm larvae will suffocate."

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If you are trying to assess hail damage to corn and beans, the ISU agronomists offer the following information and observations.

* Corn grain production: The best reference to sort out potential hail damage to corn is publication NCH-1, Assessing Hail Damage to Corn. The publication is due for a revision, but the information is still very useful.  Plant staging by hail insurance adjusters is done a bit different than universities using the "collar" system. They count to the uppermost leaf that's 40% to 50% exposed from the whorl and whose tip points below a horizontal line (Leaf 5 in Figure 1 in publication linked above).

* Corn silage production: Here's a summary of research by the University of Wisconsin and Penn State University examining the effects of hail damage on yield and quality of corn silage.

* Soybeans: Soybeans in the vegetative stages that only suffer defoliation from hail basically have no yield loss. However, if the hail causes stem breakage or bruising, hail adjusters have detailed instruction to follow on how to assess potential yield loss. Although, many times when bruising occurs, the insurance settlement is deferred and yield is checked at harvest. The basics on evaluating soybeans (and corn) that is still in the vegetative stage is provided at this link.

* Alfalfa: Management decisions after hail hits alfalfa depend on several factors…new seeding or established stand; hay or haylage; and planned days to next harvest vs. amount of damage. This article provides recommendations.

* Foliar fungicides: Some people suggest applying a foliar fungicide to corn and soybeans that have been hit by hail. However, the use of foliar fungicides following hail damage does not help the crop any more than does applying foliar fungicides on non-hailed crops. That's not to say you won't get a yield response, but the yield response is not greater in the hail damage situation. The main disease issues with plants following hail damage are bacterial related. Bacteria, if present, are able to enter the plant wounds that were caused by hail. Fungi do not enter. Common disease flare-ups following hail storms are Goss's wilt in cornBacterial blight in soybeans, and bacterial leaf spot in alfalfa.

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Flood damage to crops depends on several factors
The extent of flood damage to plants is related to temperature of the water, amount of water motion and duration of the flood. Flooded plants have shorter survival windows with warmer temperatures, plants caught within water flow paths, and plants completely submerged.

* Corn plants—how long can they survive flooding? Young corn can survive flooded conditions lasting 4 days under cooler temperatures (< mid-60ºF), about 2 days under warm temperatures (mid-70ºF), and as little as 24-hours under hot weather. Flooded plants with leaves above the water line are able to survive longer. Once water recedes, surviving plants will resume growth within 3 to 5 days. Plant survival could be confirmed by examining the color of the growing point, although by the time you could get back in the field with any equipment, it should be quite obvious what did not survive. 

Silt deposited in corn plant whorls often gets pushed out with plant growth and doesn't cause any problems. However, it is possible for disease to be carried with the soil and infect the plants sometimes causing "Crazy Top".  More information on the effects of flooding on young corn is available here.

* Soybean plants—how long can they survive flooding? Soybean survival is similar to corn survival, but beans are a bit more tolerant to flooding. Research from Minnesota shows flooding for 6 days or more may result in plant loss. With warmer temperatures soybean plants in flooded soils may only survive a few days. Yield losses are seldom noted in fields flooded for 48 hours or less.

Four days or more of flooding stresses the bean crop, delays the plants' growth, and causes plants be shorter with fewer nodes. Flooding for 6 days or more can depress yields significantly, while flooding for a week or more may result in significant (or entire) losses of stand. The rate of field drying after a flooding event also plays a large role in soybean survival (Sullivan et al, 2001).

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Also, researchers have found yield reductions to be much greater on flooded clay soils than on silt loam soils when flooded for the same period of time (Scott et al, 1989). At V4 stage of soybean growth, these researchers reported yield losses of 1.8 bushels per acre per day of flooding on a clay soil and 0.8 bushels per acre per day on a silt loam soil.

Wet and flooded soils are especially favorable for soilborne, moisture-loving pathogens Pythium and Phytophthora. Pythium appears to cause most damage to seedlings of soybean or corn, and Phytophthora can damage soybean seedlings or start infections in the early summer that may develop and kill soybean plants later in the summer.

* Forages: An ISU ICM Newsletter article reported on similar conditions in 2007 covering the basic concerns with flooded hay and pasture stands. If flooded forage has noticeable silt deposits, it will not ensile/ferment well, and will be unpalatable. If possible, wait for another rain to wash off the silt, otherwise it might only be useful as bedding material.

Alternative forages—what can you plant on "lost" acres?
Any consideration of a crop/forage option planted into corn or soybean acres lost to flood or hail must first take into account herbicides previously applied to the land. Read the labels to sort out your options.

* Forage and cover crop considerations for flooded fields: If you're thinking about putting some summer forage in drowned-out spots, read this article written by recently retired ISU Extension forage specialist Steve Barnhart. He wrote it in 2010, another flood year, explaining the options.

* Comparison of yield & quality of summer forages: This article from research at Arlington Wisconsin compares both yield and quality of various July 1 planted forage options.

How much nitrogen is lost from flooded soils? Some areas of Iowa have recently received heavy rainfall, resulting in soils saturated or with standing water. This article by ISU Extension soil fertility specialist John Sawyer discusses these issues.

Home cleanup, basement, mold & mildew, etc. Go to ISU's "Recovering from Disasters" web site.