Volume 2, Issue 3
March 25, 2019
This newsletter is an update on current topics and events in agriculture in Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marshall, Polk, Story, Tama, and Warren counties.

Meaghan Anderson
Extension Field Agronomist

ISU Extension & Outreach
220 H Avenue
Nevada, Iowa 50201

Office:  515.382.6551
Cell:     319.331.0058


Upcoming Events

IDALS Apr 19 - Dec 19 Pesticide Testing Schedule

March 26 - Final Women's Agronomy in the Field winter session, online

March 26 - Cover Crop and No-Till Workshop, Jefferson

March 27 -
Madison Co. Ag Coffee, Winterset

March 27 -
Cover Crop and Grazing Workshop, Chariton

March 27 -
Cover Crop Field Day, Prairie City

March 28 - Cover Crop and No-Till Workshop, Williams

March 30 - Crop Scout School, Ames

Handy Links

Central Iowa Crop Update
Updates from an agronomist and weed nerd in central Iowa.

In this issue:

  • Madison County Ag Coffee
  • Last chance private pesticide applicator trainings
  • Online dicamba training available now
  • Spring field operations
  • Flood resources and disaster assistance
  • Forage resources for this spring
  • Conducting your own on-farm trials

Catch the latest ag news in (near) real time

While many of us at ISUEO Ag and Natural Resources have newsletters that come out every several weeks, a growing number of us have social media accounts that provide timely crop production information (news, scouting info, etc.) on a faster basis. My Twitter account is accessible at @mjanders1, and you can find other specialists and various ISUEO accounts on this list.

Madison County Ag Coffee

The growing season is fast approaching, but it's not too late to visit about new and persistent issues that will be important for the 2019 growing season. I'll be hosting an Ag Coffee with the Madison County Extension Office in Winterset on March 27 to discuss new concerns with waterhemp management and new tactics for control of it and other troublesome weeds.


Last chance private pesticide applicator trainings

Each spring many county extension offices across the state offer "last chance" private pesticide applicator trainings for those who missed the in-person workshops over the winter. See the list below if you missed earlier opportunities for this training!
  • April 12, 9:00 a.m. - Dallas County Extension (28059 Fairground Rd., Adel)
  • April 12, 9:30 a.m. - Boone County Extension (1327 SE Marshall St., Boone)
  • April 12, 9:30 a.m. - Guthrie County Extension (212 State St., Guthrie Center)
  • April 12, 1:30 p.m. - Hardin County Extension (524 Lawler St., Iowa Falls)
  • April 15, 9:00 a.m. - Madison County Extension (117 N. John Wayne Dr., Winterset)

Please call the county office prior to the training date to confirm the time and location of the training. You can find contact information for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county offices here.

Online dicamba training available now 

Farmers planning to use the new dicamba products approved for use in soybeans (XtendiMax, FeXapan, or Engenia) must maintain a pesticide applicator's license for the state of Iowa and must also attend a special dicamba training each year. Most in-person dicamba trainings are finished for the winter, but you can still complete this training in an online format. 

Each company has an online training available and online training from one provider qualifies as training for all the dicamba-based products. Access the online training from Bayer (XtendiMax), BASF (Engenia), and Corteva (FeXapan) at the links on their names.

Spring field operations

Finally, the weather is nice and I can foresee a point where we can return to the fields and get some much-needed work done. Even soil temperatures are climbing into the mid 40s and the frost has gone out across much of the area. I've compiled a list of our recent ICM News articles that may be useful as you prepare to get in the field this spring.

Anhydrous Ammonia. A significant amount of anhydrous ammonia has yet to be applied for the 2019 growing season. Our ICM News has several articles that will be useful to those planning to apply it yet this spring either before or after crop planting. You can read up on how anhydrous ammonia works in our soil, find tips and good practices for spring applications of anhydrous ammonia, and review equipment considerations for application. If you'd like to check what ISU research says about nitrogen rates for central Iowa in 2019, check out the Corn N Rate Calculator and input your N price and expected crop value per bushel to get an idea of N rates.

Wet conditions and spring fieldwork. With the amount of field work left to do, it may be necessary to prioritize what gets done first based on field conditions or what is a necessity vs. a want. Read up on assessing soil moisture and field conditions prior to fieldwork in this article. Mark Licht also has some considerations if tillage prior to soybeans is falling to the bottom of the priority list. Soybean research in Iowa shows they are not yield responsive to tillage, allowing more flexibility with no-till prior to soybeans.

Winter annual burndown treatments. Consider an early spring burndown application if you've got horseweed (marestail) or field pennycress problems and did not get fields treated last fall. Herbicide applications made prior to planting increase consistency of control of winter annual weeds like these as many of these weeds are either flowering or beginning to bolt, where the stems elongate, at the time of crop planting. Achieving full control of weeds at these stages becomes difficult. Effective burndown treatments should follow herbicide label suggestions for carrier type, carrier volume, nozzle type, and environmental considerations. Treatments made on sunny days with warm daytime and nighttime temperatures will generally be more successful than those in cooler conditions. Read more here.

Cover crop termination. Follow the tips to success for cover crop termination in my recent ICM News article found here. Iowa State University research suggests that a cereal rye cover crop should be terminated 10-14 days prior to planting corn in order to minimize potential yield effects on the crop and glyphosate is the most consistently successful termination option for cereal rye this early in the growing season. If you've got a cereal rye cover crop planted prior to soybean, read up here about some of the factors that may impact whether it provides weed suppression.


Flood resources and disaster assistance

Most of central Iowa has successfully avoided serious flooding as a result of the snowmelt and rainfall, but rain is expected again soon, so we are not totally out of the woods yet. Some areas to our west and south are suffering from an inundation of water, so please pass on the following information to anyone you know who might need flood resources. The USDA has information on this website about disaster assistance for farms.

Keep up with our flood resources and ICM News for the latest information. Several of the best resources I've seen are ones on stored grain flooding, Midwest Climate Hub flooding resources, and an alert to check private wells for contamination after flooding. We hope everyone stays safe and that water levels return to normal as soon as possible. Please don't hesitate to reach out to a local ISU Extension and Outreach field specialist if you've got questions about flooding as it relates to your farm, insurance, livestock, stored grain, or anything else you can think of. Find our specialists at this link.


Forage resources for this spring

For those with forages, check out the articles listed below.

Make pasture improvements with frost seeding or interseeding

Alfalfa Winter Survival - a complicated subject


Conducting your own on-farm trials

Are you testing out a new product or still using a product that you haven't checked the benefit of in several years? Everyone has the capability of doing their own on-farm research in order to look at the value of individual inputs or practices. This is something we can help you set up and evaluate, or you can use some of our information on conducting your own on-farm trials to set something up yourself!

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Iowa State University Extension and Outreach does not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or status as a U.S. veteran. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies may be directed to the Diversity Officer, 2150 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, Ames, Iowa 50011, 515-294-1482, All other inquiries may be directed to 800-262-3804.

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