Aerial seeding less viable for cover crops with drought

Aerial seeding less viable for cover crops with drought.
OTTUMWA — With harvest approaching farmers are considering options for cover crops for fall and next spring to prevent erosion during the winter season.
According to Dustin Vande Hoef, the communication director at the Iowa Department of Agriculture, this method might not be new but with the increasing popularity of cover crops this method has also seen increased adoption over the past 5 years.
“Farmers have a few options for seeding cover crop, aerial is popular this time of year,” said Vande Hoef.
Normally aerial seeding can provides a few advantages by allowing farmers to seed cover crops while crops are still in the field and ground equipment can’t be used.
Unfortunately with the current drought conditions, aerial seeding’s viability is limited because it generally requires moist, friable soil for the seeds to germinate.
Charles Brown says used aerial seeding for cover crops in the past, but drilled last year and will again this year.
With the drought this year farmers could be waiting a bit longer, which shortens the window for planting certain varieties of cover crops.
“We can probably wait till November for cereal rye,” said Brown, “If you are wanting to use radishes or turnips they need to be seeded much sooner.” “Cover crops aren’t the only means to combat winter erosion though.
No-till strip-till and minimum till can all help with erosion,” said Vande Hoef.

Urgency is a matter of perception

(Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)) After massive rainfalls in 2008, one early morning in June, our fire chief updated Cedar Falls city staff and City Council members on the latest flood conditions; parts of the city were already flooded badly.
All other plans were put on hold.
There was no arguing, no dithering.
Now, imagine if at that time a well-financed group ran many ads on radio, TV and newspapers all over the region, and had published opinion pieces in local newspapers and had placed guest experts on radio talk shows, floating stories that we don’t know for sure whether a flood is coming, let’s not overreact, and that all this talk of floods is a hoax.
What would happen if public officials fell for such falsehoods instead of acting based on evidence?
Similarly, for the past many decades, global agribusiness agents in Iowa have been working hard to make sure Iowa’s public officials and residents do not perceive and do not act on the urgency of polluted streams, the urgency of soil erosion and contaminated drinking water, or the urgency of Iowans well-being compromised by massive animal confinement operations, or by annual spraying of 35 million pounds of corn and bean pesticides.
And yet, through math, ecology and health sciences, we have robust and overwhelming evidence of these realities, meaning — IOWANS ARE IN DANGER — much like the flood data that compelled Cedar Falls officials to perceive the emergency of flood and act immediately.
If a foreign power had caused so much destruction in our state, we would send in the Marines.
I imagine a command post would be set up immediately for coordinating a massive mobilization in Iowa.
We finally would realize that we cannot allow Iowa’s soil and water to be degraded for the sake of foreign trade, and demand that we abandon the cheap-corn federal policies that have, in effect, incentivized water pollution and soil erosion.

Concept of Prevention, Control and Eradication of weed

Concept of Prevention, Control and Eradication of weed.
Preventive measures/methods i) Pure and clean crop seeds and seed certification Always use pure, clean crop seeds, which do not add seeds of the existing or new weed species to the soil seed bank.
Similarly weeds not controlled by measures adopted should be removed from the field before they flowered vii) Sand, soil from an infested area should not be transported and used to a clean or cultivated area.
Weed Quarantine Law enforces isolation of an area where a serious weed has established and prevents further movement of the weed into a non-infested area.
No consignment of plants and plant products such as seeds of coarse cereals, pulses, oilseeds and fodder seeds and seeds/stock materials of fruit plants for propagation, if found infested or infected with a quarantine pest or contaminated with noxious weed seeds shall be permitted to be imported.
For example, in crop field, simazine (triazines) is used @ 1.0-2.0 kg/ha depending on soil type, soil pH and organic matter content, but the same as a soil sterilant, may be used as high as 40 kg/ha or more on pathways, roadsides, fence lines, industrial and factory premises and other non-crop areas.
They use to use “control” to mean control of weeds and definitely not to mean management of weeds.
Generally when a single method is exercised towards control of pests/weeds, it is more a control than management aspect of pests/weeds.
However, control still bears significance when many farmers use only herbicide to control weeds in crops.
Successful weed management requires proper plant identification, selection of effective management methods and monitoring the effects over time.

Basic microbiology research study unexpectedly uncovers practical findings for growers

Basic microbiology research study unexpectedly uncovers practical findings for growers.
Cover cropping also has its risks, especially if dying cover crops encourage disease pressure that passes on to the next crop.
Such is the unexpected lesson behind a recent study published in Phytobiomes, a new open-access journal of The American Phytopathological Society.
In this recently-published article, titled "Isolation of Cultivation-Resistant Oomycetes, First Detected as Amplicon Sequences, from Roots of Herbicide-Terminated Winter Rye," Dr. Matthew G. Bakker and several other researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service set out to describe the microbiology of dying rye cover crop roots and how their microbial communities changed over time in a field setting.
Among the many microorganisms detected, they found that several less-known species of oomycetes, including Pythium and Lagena species, were commonly associated with cereal rye cover crops.
While this research was originally meant to be basic, the study unexpectedly turned out to have some very practical findings.
In addition to describing and validating the microbiology of these rye cover crop roots, their work revealed that the Pythium species naturally passed on to the corn plants as they sprouted into seedlings, resulting in seedling disease.
"This study tells a neat story about how new research techniques can lead to unpredictable findings with important and practical applications," said Bakker.
"Another interesting aspect of this study was that the most abundant species of Pythium in the cover crop roots was different on one side of the field than on the other.
Other benefits of this study include… An improved understanding of the microbiology of dying plants in natural and managed ecosystems The demonstrated importance of using DNA technology to help detect the microbial communities associated with crops, as microorganisms can be difficult to cultivate in the laboratory An improved understanding of the ecology of oomycetes — and of the potential for shared pathogens between cover crops and grain crops Bakker hopes this and similar work will spark more research in root-soil dynamics.

Snap beans hard to grow in cover crop residue

Snap beans hard to grow in cover crop residue.
"We designed a study to look at a scenario that had a better chance of success.
We used snap bean, which is relatively large-seeded, and planted later to allow sufficient time to grow and then kill a cover crop."
In both Illinois and Washington, Williams and USDA-ARS agronomist Rick Boydston grew vetch, rye, and a combination of the two cover crops before killing them with a roller-crimper — a machine that evenly flattens and crimps standing plant biomass — or with a combination of the roller-crimper and a burndown herbicide.
Instead, vetch became weedy and caused yield losses in snap bean.
"Another issue was adequate seed-to-soil contact, which can become a challenge with excessive plant residues on the soil surface.
No-till snap bean performance and weed response following rye and vetch cover crops.
"Snap beans hard to grow in cover crop residue."
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
"Snap beans hard to grow in cover crop residue."