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Authors: Don Robison, Seed Administrator, Indiana State Seed Lab, Office of Indiana State Chemist Cover crops have increased in interest and acres planted substantially in the past decade.  Indiana has now had three consecutive years of over one million acres of cover crops planted.  While cover crops are beneficial, there is an underlying issue among some of the species being utilized by Indiana farmers.  Weed seeds in the cover crop seed!  The Indiana State Seed Lab, which is housed in the Office of Indiana State Chemist, conducts hundreds of seed tests on cover crop seed each year. These tests include investigations for the presence of noxious weed seed, seed purity, germination, seed count and other quality measures.  The vast majority of cover crop seed sources are passing these tests at a high rate.  There is one glaring exception – cereal rye.  Starting with 2016 and continuing through ’17 and ’18[Read More…]

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Authors: Jim Camberato and Bob Nielsen Summary Sulfur (S) deficiency is becoming more common in Indiana crops because S emissions from coal-fired power plants have decreased over the past few decades and, thus, so has atmospheric S deposition. We conducted 11 large plot strip trials at 7 locations to examine corn yield response to S applied as ammonium thiosulfate (ATS) in starter and/or sidedress nitrogen fertilizers. Grain yield was increased by sidedress S in 6 of 11 trials. At responsive sites, yield increases ranged from 4 to 22 bu/acre and averaged 14 bu/acre. Sulfur in starter fertilizer only, increased corn grain at only one location. Sulfur for crops from air and soil In the past, atmospheric deposition of sulfur (S) from the burning of coal provided enough S to satisfy crop needs. Pollution controls and conversion of power plants from coal to natural gas have greatly reduced S deposition, increasing[Read More…]

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Author: John E. Woodmansee, Purdue Extension Educator, Agriculture/Natural Resources COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. — The Purdue Crop Performance Program (PCPP) annual Corn and Soybean Performance Trial Bulletin was recently posted online. The corn and soybean results are compiled from the 2018 growing season. Phil Devillez, program director, reported that over 40 trial results were collected from 13 test locations across Indiana. The PCPP is designed to help farmers and other agriculturalist compare crop data across Indiana.​ The Purdue Crop Performance Program is designed to help farmers and other agriculturalist compare crop data across Indiana and the surrounding states. “What makes this program unique is the multi-state corn or soybean databases,” said Devillez. “The databases are a tool used to effectively search and compare crop test results.” The databases are distinctive to Purdue University with results from The Ohio State University, Michigan State University, University of Kentucky and the University of Illinois. For[Read More…]

Author: John Obermeyer A wonderful reference to understand which Bt-traited corn has efficacy against specific insects is the “Handy Bt Trait Table.” New in this update are the known insects resistant to Bt toxins. This table, produced by Chris DiFonzo, Field Crops Entomologist at Michigan State University, can be downloaded HERE.

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Author: NOAA’s Regional Climate Services Program Typical El Niño Winter Pattern Highlights for the Great Lakes An El Niño develops when sea surface temperatures are warmer than average in the equatorial Pacific for an extended time. This is important to North America because El Niño can impact our weather patterns, especially in the winter. Although each El Niño is different, there are some general patterns that are predictable. For instance, the polar jet stream is typically farther north than usual, while the Pacific jet stream remains across the southern U.S. This pattern brings above-normal temperatures to much of the Great Lakes region, particularly across the north. This does not mean cold weather will not happen this winter, but extreme cold weather events may be milder and less frequent. El Niño Outlook As of October, the winter outlooks for the region show that below-normal precipitation is favored for the central and[Read More…]

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