Bridging the Yield Gap with Soil Productivity

As farmers navigate the reality of higher production costs, the biological farming space will continue to draw attention. Many farmers identify yield gaps as a significant concern looking forward to 2022.
 
Yield gaps are those differences between what is applied vs. what is realized. We often think yield gaps are negative; however, yield gaps present opportunities. Opportunities for nutrient management recovery through enhanced soil productivity and biological farming systems.
 
One of the primary ecosystem drivers of soil …

CUSTOMER SUCCESS: A struggling hay field finds a solution.

Paul Burrs, a first-generation farmer from Northern Illinois, who owns and operates Hickory Ridge Farm, found his testimony for Midwestern BioAg this year. “Midwestern BioAg is going to fit well with what I need in the future,” said Burrs.
Burrs grew up working on a local farm throughout high school where he dug into his passion for agriculture and found his employer to be instrumental in helping him start his career. Upon graduating high school, Burrs went on to study agronomy at Illinois State University.

From the Ground Up | Summer 2021

From the Ground Up Newsletter | Summer 2021

Calcium | Bailey’s Bit About Nutrition

Calcium: The Trucker of All Nutrients
First, we need to start in the soil. Calcium has many roles in the soil. Calcium aids in maintaining soil physical properties, and in reclaiming sodic soils. Calcium contributes to soil fertility by helping maintain a flocculated clay and therefore provides more aeration. Soil structure and water holding capacity are improved when soils are rich in calcium. Calcium also stimulates the growth of beneficial soil microorganisms, including nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and helps counteract toxins in the soil and in the plant.

Selecting the Right Calcium Source for Your Soil

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 …

Research Shows Bio-Cal® Improves Yields by 10.7%

Findings from an alfalfa fertility study show Midwestern BioAg’s Bio-Cal® can increase forage yields by 10.7 percent when used in combination with a conventional alfalfa fertility program. The study is conducted in partnership with the independent Great Lakes Agricultural Research Service in Delavan, Wisconsin, and will run for an additional two years to track long-term yield performance and soil health benefits.
“Bio-Cal is time tested and field proven,” said Iowa-based Midwestern BioAg sales consultant Firman Hershberger.

Growing Farm Margins with High-Quality Forages

Ten years ago, Plaetz Dairy came to Midwestern BioAg looking to improve their conventional dairy farm. Farmers Bruce and Sherry were struggling with feed quality, a problem they hoped Midwestern BioAg’s forage program could help them solve.
“Everything we grow is fed to the cows,” Bruce said. “Before switching to BioAg, we spent a lot of money on feed, protein and minerals trying to keep cows healthy. A big problem was that our cows didn’t like their hay.

Are Your Forages the Best They Can Be?

Now that your 2014 forages are harvested it is a good time for you and your consultant to evaluate them and your ration.
What are we seeing this fall?  There are some reports of this year’s Corn Silage feeding better (more digestible) than the 2013 crop with a 2-3 lb. bump in milk production with higher yields in general. This is causing some farms to feed leftover 2013 silage to low group cows and the 2014 crop to higher production cows.

Do Better on the Land You Have

I recently read a New York Times article on soaring farmland prices. An 80-acre Iowa farm sold on auction for $10,600/acre to the local John Deere dealer/owner. As he said, where else do you go with money? Farmers are not the only ones who make money as farmers do better; our economy will do better, too. We hate paying taxes and always keep investing in our businesses, the perfect plan for America.
So where is that Iowa family who sold that farm going with their money?