A Promising Research Update From Iowa

Friday, January 10, 2014

It’s been a very cold winter so far in Iowa.  Just last week we had temperatures of -20 and wind chills of -50.  I visited the Richland Research Farm today to check on snow cover which can help insulate plants from the extreme cold we are experiencing.  Even though we have had about 14” of snow in the past month, there was very little clinging to the flat wind-swept ground in Richland.  The white mustard cover crop we planted last fall has winter-killed as planned.  The turf and forage plants seeded last May are brown and dormant, waiting for warmer days.  In September we planted another round of turf and forage plots.  Unfortunately, it was a very dry early fall so the plots that did come up have very small, vulnerable plants.  It will be interesting to see what survived come Spring.   Read More

Don't Wait for Rain

Friday, November 01, 2013

If you want to plant pasture grass seed this fall, don't wait for the rain. Mother Nature does not wait. When plants reach maturity naturally they will drop their seed regardless of whether there is moisture or not. When it’s time to plant, plant the seed. The seeds will sit in the soil until it rains, and then the grass will germinate. Waiting for rain only delays your planting time and can lower your chances of establishing a strong grass stand before winter. Read More

What is the State of the Supply of Your Grass Seed Crop?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Most cool season turf grasses are in a balanced, to less than favorable state. This coupled with the Pacific Northwest weird weather patterns this past year (Super Dry Fall, very wet early winter, very dry late winter, hotter than normal spring, and cool early summer, and now dry) may cause some quality issues. The result maybe some heartburn for those looking for high quality seed at a good price, it may just not be there.  Read More

Our Richland, Iowa Research Farm

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It’s cover crop season across the Northern States and I have been on the run attending field days in Nebraska and visiting dairy farmers in Wisconsin. This is a good time of the year to attend field days to see how farmers are planting their cover crops and what species they are using. Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative out of Indiana are hosting field days in the coming weeks where farmers and seed industry representatives can learn about what’s new in cover cropping.
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