In 1993, the team at R & G Miller & Sons, Inc. opted to make the switch to organic dairy farming. “We weren’t satisfied with the way things were going on the farm,” said Ron Miller, general farm manager. “After becoming organic certified on all 1,550 acres and feeding our cattle organic feed for a year, we became fully organic certified in 1997. Since the transition, our yields have gone up, and I’ve only seen one alfalfa field on the farm that could benefit from pesticide …
Last year, Midwestern BioAg conducted a survey to help evaluate our customer service and products. Survey participants were chosen at random, and over 360 customers responded. We gained key insight into areas where we can improve administratively, and also gained better understanding of what matters most to our customers. From the analysis, a few key findings emerged:
- Soil heath matters. A majority of our customers reported that they do business with us to improve soil health on their farms.
Forage test components and benchmarks have changed considerably over the years. In this Q&A, we sat down with Midwestern BioAg’s Director of Nutrition Dave Meidl to gain a deeper understanding of forage test components and how test results can be used to inform management decisions on dairy farms.
Q: How can I use trace mineral data from my forage test to improve results on my farm?
Plants have the unique ability to transform inorganic minerals from the soil or fertilizer into organic, highly available …
Calcium plays a vital role in plant growth, specifically cell wall formation, cell division and pollination. It also signals plants to respond to drought and heat stress, activates many plant enzyme systems and helps plants absorb other nutrients. Calcium also promotes healthy soil structure by loosening soils and stabilizing organic matter, which increases soil water- and nutrient-holding capacity.
When evaluating calcium needs on your farm, we recommend looking at three key factors on your soil test: Soil pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and percent base saturation …
A hardy perennial crop, alfalfa typically overwinters in the Midwest well. However, a variety of environmental and management factors can have big impacts on a stand’s ability to overwinter successfully. Understanding these factors and how to manage them can help increase stand life and yield potential.
What is Winter Injury?
Winter injury can occur for a variety of reasons, but lack of snow cover and unusual freeze-thaw cycles are two of the most common causes. “Alfalfa plants can typically tolerate three weeks of winter injury before …
Mycotoxins are poisons produced by mold. While mold presence does not always indicate mycotoxin contamination, it does increase the likelihood of mycotoxin contamination in feedstuffs.
We’re seeing increasing cases of mycotoxin contamination on farms. It can be confusing for producers because their feedstuffs appear fine and harvest conditions did not suggest excessive mold formation. But many conditions can cause mycotoxin contamination. This includes drought conditions and excessive rainfall, hail damage, and improper feed storage and feeding conditions.
Findings from a 2016 University of Nebraska-Lincoln study show TerraNu fertilizers have a comparable impact on corn yields as other types of manure and anaerobically digested organic matter. The study tracked the impact of various sources of organic-matter based material, including bio-solids, poultry manure and feedlot manure. The advantage of TerraNu fertilizer is that it is much lighter than manure, storable and easy to transport, and supplies a guaranteed nutrient analysis in every granule for precision application.
Now available for the 2017 growing season, L-CBF 7-21-3 MKP is a high-phosphorus liquid starter manufactured by QLF Agronomy. Like other L-CBF products, 7-21-3 is formulated with a molasses base to help stimulate soil microbes, support plant growth and maximize crop yield potential early in the season.
“L-CBF 7-21-3 conveniently offers many of the same plant health benefits of all our molasses-based fertilizers, and also contains a balanced blend of high-quality phosphorus,” said Tim Chitwood of QLF Agronomy.
Soil testing has become a fundamental best management practice in crop production. The knowledge provided by these tests allows growers to apply the exact amount of nutrients needed in each field, helping avoid over or under application of valuable crop inputs. In this Q&A, we sat down with Midwestern BioAg’s lead soil technician, Andrew Cory, to learn more about the benefits of soil sampling and the services available to Midwestern BioAg customers.
What soil sampling services are available?
Depending on where and when tillage is applied, it can both help and hinder soil structure and soil biology. Tillage systems are not one-size-fits-all, so it’s important to have a specific goal in mind before tilling in the fall or spring.
Illinois-based sales consultant and Certified Crop Adviser Ben Adolph offers the following advice when selecting tillage strategies for your farm.
How can tillage impact soil structure and life?
Adolph: Over tilling can damage soil structure, which decreases pore size …