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2021 October Stewardship Advocate

Posted on October 27, 2021 at 9:08 AM by Iowa Corn


October 2021 

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: 

Stay safe!  And keep your nitrogen safe! 


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Latest Information 

Nitrogen Patience:  More Than a Virtue 

Muscatine to Partner with Farmers on Water Quality Goals 

ISU Professor Urges Soil Testing and Cover Crops to Counter Fertilizer Challenges in 2022   

Iowa Farmer Amazed by Conservation Advancements   

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck:  Time Your Manure and Anhydrous Applications Well 

Restoring Wetlands More Popular for Landowners 

Fall Tillage:  Benefit or Detriment to Soil? 

Soil Health Practices Are Paying Off 

American Bumble Bee Moves Toward Endangered Species Protection 

Considering Carbon:  Overview of Existing Market Structures 

Upcoming Events 

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 video 

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! 


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