The February issue of Wallaces Farmer contains the article “Time to pick crop insurance,” reminding farmers of the March 15 deadline to sign up for insurance on their 2010 crops.
One question many farmers have about purchasing insurance is whether to purchase by basic unit, enterprise unit or optional units. The four choices of crop insurance include:
Optional units: Each farm and crop is insured separately. If you farm three different farms in a county, each has its own coverage.
Basic units: Your owned and rented acres in the same county are combined, but each crop is separate.
Enterprise units: All acres of the same crop in the same county are combined. So, all your corn acres are insured separately from your bean acres.
Whole Farm units: All your corn and bean acres in the county are combined.
Work with your crop insurance agent to better understand each form available before determining the best option for your farm. Click here for more information that may help you make your crop insurance decisions.
Corn and Soybean Digest’s February issue included a story titled, “When bad things happen to good seeds.” The article discussed how an early spring bed isn’t an ideal situation for seeds and how avoiding germination and emergence problems can boost yields.
“We put our expensive seeds into an environment that’s stressful,” says Bill Wiebold, University of Missouri Extension plant scientist. “Unfortunately, a number of bad things – including things other than diseases and insect pests – can happen to high-quality seeds.”
We asked our own Mark Grundmeier, seed product manager, about his thoughts.
“The trend has been to plant earlier and earlier over the past decade. While this practice – in general – has increased yields, there are some pitfalls to watch for and avoid. Farmers should avoid planting into soils that are too wet. This practice always causes problems later due to side-wall compaction and/or uneven emergence. When planting soybeans into cool soils, farmers should consider the use of a fungicide seed treatment such as Latham SoyShield to prevent the advent of seedling diseases.”
The article contained a number of good tips for planting preparation:
- Monitor soil temperature. Wait to plant until the soil temperature is 50° F, lowering your risk of poor emergence.
- Avoid compacting the soil. Delay tilling and planting until the soil is dry enough to minimize compaction.
- Make sure your planter is well tuned. It should open the seed furrow without sidewall compaction.
- Stop the planter often and look. Make sure you are getting uniform seed depth and good seed-to-soil contact.
Click here to read the full article.
Please let us know if you have any questions we can help with.
As you all know, agriculture has faced a lot of attacks in the media this year. We don’t have to go very far back to see the reports and events that have made life difficult for some of our friends in agriculture. First, H1N1 is referred to as the swine flu and nearly cripples the pork industry. Just two weeks ago, Nightline aired a story on the dairy industry that was bias even in its title, “Disturbing Reality of Dairy Land.” Then, just last week, CBS aired a report on antibiotics in livestock and littered the report with references to “factory farming.”
Before I get too upset, I’ll first state my agreement with an editor who said the media reports sensational stories, because that’s what we viewers/readers have decided we want. It’s not speculation. It’s proven. So, they grab the sensational.
However, I still feel these reporters could have done a better job at airing the truth. Because, the truth as I know it first hand from the dairy industry, is that the majority of producers care for their animals better than we care for our pets. Providing regular vet visits to ensure health, taking care of hoof treatments, and providing a nutritionist who has them on a healthy diet. And the truth, as I know it from the pork industry, is that the antibiotics given to their animals are only antibiotics approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat pigs, and are administered when pigs are sick, susceptible or exposed to illness. Click here for more information.
When someone talks about agriculture negatively, it’s important that we all speak – with one voice – about the truth of agricultural practices. Spread the message about how you care for your land and water. Let them know your passion for your work, and your dedication to helping feed our world. That’s the true story.
What stories are you going to share with consumers?