Posted on October 27, 2021 at 9:08 AM by Iowa Corn
MONTHLY UPDATE FROM BEN GLEASON, IOWA CORN SUSTAINABLE PROGRAMS MANAGER
Happy Harvest! Hope everyone is staying safe during this busy time!
Colder weather has arrived, and soil temperatures are slowly reaching the safe zone for fall nitrogen applications. Risk of nitrogen loss is reduced when soil temperatures are consistently below 50 degrees. Drought conditions may not have impacted yields as expected but did reduce nitrogen losses to air and water leaving higher than usual soil nitrate levels (see map below). Be sure to test your soil to account for this nitrogen and make sure it doesn’t leave the soil and cause water quality problems in the spring. Here are some nitrogen management recommendations:
Verify soil nitrate levels with soil testing.
Use a nitrogen stabilizer e.g. N-Serve.
Reduce nitrogen rates or apply nitrogen in spring or in-season.
Plant cover crops. The Iowa Department of Agriculture is offering a $5 crop insurance discount for cover crop acres.
While careful nitrogen management improves profitability, some acres are consistently unprofitable. These acres can be planted to wildlife habitat and enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to improve profitability. The National Corn Growers Association has a new partnership with Pheasants Forever that provides free field visits from Farm Bill biologists to address these acres. Click here for more information.
With harvest entering the home stretch, there are some big events coming up for your consideration:
November 30 Cover Crop Boot Camp in Ankeny
December 1-2 Integrated Crop Management Conference in Ames
December 6-7 The Big Soil Health Event in Riverside
Stay safe! And keep your nitrogen safe!
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November 3 Water & Climate Co-Benefits, Webinar
November 10 Oxbow Field Day, Lu Verne
November 10 Boone River Study, Webinar
November 11 Cover Crop Field Day, Nashua
November 16 Cover Crop Field Day, Kanawha
November 16-17 National Cover Crop Summit, Virtual
November 17 Cover Crop & Saturated Buffer Field Day, Walcott
November 18 Southfork Watershed Forum, Iowa Falls
November 23 Drainage Research Forum, Ames
November 30 Cover Crop Boot Camp, Ankeny
December 1-2 Integrated Crop Management Conference, Ames
December 6-7 The Big Soil Health Event, Riverside
December 8 Microbiomes, Webinar
Farmer to Farmer: Why Choose Cover Crops?
At a field day panel discussion, Iowa farmers share their reasons for choosing to plant cover crops. Profitability was a popular answer!