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Glen Howell

Glen Howell

Is your Nitrogen still there?

With the recent rainfall events, now is a great time to make sure that the nitrogen you applied earlier is still there. 

Jim Fawcett, ISU Extension Agronomist, posted some comments about doing this

The Iowa Soybean Association, through their On-Farm Network, has some great information on the impact of spring rainfall on nitrogen.  You can review their 2010 Conference Presentations here  Iowa's guide for nitrogen recommendations is 

Ohio State University has 5 questions to Help Evaluate Your Nitrogen Loss

Remember that plant available sulfur is in the sulfate (SO4)- form, which makes it susceptible to leaching.  Make sure to include some sulfur (like SuperCal SO4) in your sidedress application!


Doubling Food Production

You have likely seen several articles about the need for continued increases in food production to meet a growing population.  Dr. Harold Reetz, formerly with the International Plant Nutrition Institute, recently wrote a very good article about the need for new champions to help raise the yield bar.  Please read more here:

I have an enormous respect for the farmers & others who have been seen as stretching the yield barrier.  I grew up surrounded by farm magazine articles about fantastic corn yields by Herman Warsaw and Francis Childs.  Recently Kip Cullers has been doing the same with soybeans.  We definitely need to continue striving for more production, but we also need to verify that we grow food that is healthy & nutritious.  Many farmers, agronomists, & consultants are working together to help in this effort, recognizing that there is more to a successful outcome than just the "Big 3" nutrients.


Yield Starts Here is a blog for farmers, focusing on increasing yield and profitability by focusing on the soil. It is managed by Craig Dick, a Blogronomist and Sales and Marketing Manager at Calcium Products. Find other articles by Craig and guest writers at .


Corn Crop 2011

There is a lot of apprehension in the upper Midwest about the condition & size of the 2011 corn crop.  Many dealers & farmers have shared concerns that the yields will not match up with what we have come to expect, or with the market demands.

Why not?  Many factors, including:

  • Delays in getting the crop planted in many areas
  • Slow growth & development due to cool growing conditions
  • Significant flooding along the Mississippi & Missouri river corridors, and their tributaries
  • Very warm conditions during the critical month of July.  Pollination & grain fill typically happens in July
  • Drought in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas & the southern Plains.  This has moved east & north into Illinois, Indiana & Ohio recently
  • Summer storms with high wind & hail.  I have heard of at least several hundred acres in IA & NE that were destroyed by a storm last night.

The beef industry is already preparing itself for smaller corn supplies.  Will cattle feeders use less corn in the future?  Here's 1 opinion:

How are crops in your area?  What is the outlook?

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