Waterhemp’s rise to the Cornbelt’s worst weed is one of the Cornbelt’s more fascinating weed-related events over the past 40 years. Waterhemp is native to the United States but is a relative newcomer to crop fields. Prior to waterhemp’s ascent, redroot pigweed and smooth pigweed were the pigweed species most commonly found in crop fields.
Changes in crop production and migration of the western biotype with weedy tendencies have contributed to the problems posed by waterhemp.
The combination of prolific seed production, prolonged emergence, persistent seed, and propensity for herbicide resistance creates a formidable foe. While all the causes of waterhemp’s rise to success are not fully understood, it is clear waterhemp is ideally suited to the production system that dominates the Cornbelt. For more details, check out the entire story from Iowa State University.
Wet corn and the propane shortage
The late harvest has caused higher moisture corn than normal. Since most farm dryers and some elevator dryers operate on propane gas (LP), the LP distribution backup has caused wet corn to be held, either in storage, or in the field.
Immaturity has also made 2019 corn harder to dry. Elevators are reporting 5-10% increases in energy use per unit of moisture removed.
Elevators using natural gas are also getting behind with more moisture to remove, more energy required per unit of moisture, and in many cases higher yields than expected.
For more details, check the entire story out from Iowa State University.
Gopher Coffee Shop podcast: Tar spot of corn
Educators Ryan Miller and Brad Carlson sit down with Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist with the Department of Plant Pathology, to learn a little about Dean’s background, his history with Extension and to discuss diseases of corn and soybean in Minnesota. In 2015, tar spot of corn was first identified in northern Indiana and Illinois. Since then we have watched tar spot spread across the corn producing region of the U.S. Most recently tar spot of corn was confirmed in Minnesota and in this installment of the Gopher Coffee Shop podcast, we chat with Dean about this disease and its potential to affect Minnesota’s corn production.
Check out the podcast here.
Crop Protection Network launches new disease loss estimate tool
The Crop Protection Network (CPN) recently launched its new “Field Crop Disease Loss Calculator” research tool, complete with years of historical data for estimated losses caused by disease in corn and soybeans in the U.S. and Ontario, Canada. The calculator sources annual disease loss estimates from university experts, coupled with data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and can be sorted by state, U.S. region, crop and disease.
The calculator interphase was designed to provide easier access to and dissemination of estimated disease loss data to researchers, educators and policy makers. The estimate outputs from the calculator help provide a snapshot of disease severity in regards to economic impacts over time, which can help to inform research needs to prevent economic damage through best practices research. Such an example includes the disease frogeye leaf spot of soybean.
Those interested in reviewing or using the Field Crop Disease Loss Calculator may visit loss.cropprotectionnetwork.org.
A good rule of thumb is to cool grain any time the average air temperature is around 20 degrees F cooler than the grain temperature. Repeat this cooling cycle until the grain temperature is 30-40 degrees F for winter storage. This storage temperature minimizes insect activity and mold growth in the stored grain. Cooling grain below 30 degrees F has little added benefit and can cause ice to form in the grain. Air humidity makes little difference when cooling grain.
When cooling, the cooling front moves through the bin in a wave, so the grain temperature where the air exits will stay fairly steady until the cooling front gets there. The hours required for cooling the whole bin can be estimated as 15 divided by the cubic feet per minute of airflow per bushel of grain in the bin (cfm/bu). If you don’t know how much airflow per bushel your fan provides, you can estimate it using the calculator on the U of M fan selection for grain bins webpage. Select the crop stored, choose fan(s), and enter bin parameters, then find cfm/bu for the grain depth that you have stored in the bin.
For bins set up for drying, a cooling front may pass through the bin in less than one day. Bins with only small aeration fans may require a week or more. For example, if the fan(s) provide 0.15 cfm/bu, then the time for cooling the bin would be 15/0.15 = 100 hours, or about 4 days.
Friday is finally here! For many parts of the country, the weather was the top story this week as snow and extreme cold (for November) struck. So we thought you would enjoy this comic.