This installment of 5 Ag stories to read reminds growers to check soybeans for white mold, and to be sure they're in compliance when it comes to the new conservation measures in the 2014 Farm Bill. There are Q&As for those who need some tips on farmland leases, and ideas on reducing yield loss when it's time to harvest corn. Finally, read some funny lessons learned from farm mistakes.
1. 1. White mold concerns.
<p>If white mold has previously been a problem in your soybean fields, those fields should be assessed for risk of white mold as soybeans approach flowering, according to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. The disease can survive for many years and incidence can be sporadic. </p>
<p><em>“White mold development is favored by cool, cloudy, wet, humid weather at flowering,” says Damon Smith, assistant professor of plant pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The disease is more problematic in soybeans in high-yield environments where high plant populations, narrow row spacing, and an early-closing canopy are commonly used.”</em></p>
<p><strong><a href="http://wfbf.com/ag-newswire/white-mold-in-soybeans-a-concern-across-midw... target="_blank">Read the story.</a></strong></p>
<p><em>Photo: Roger Schmidt, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bugwood.org</em></p>
2. 2. Farm bill conservation compliance.
<p>The USDA is reminding farmers of changes to conservation compliance in the 2014 Farm Bill. Certifications have to be on file for highly erodible land and wetland conservation in order for premium support to be paid under the federal crop insurance program.</p>
<p><em>For farmers to be eligible for premium support on their federal crop insurance, a completed and signed AD-1026 form must be on file with the FSA. Since many FSA and Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) programs have this requirement, most producers should already have an AD-1026 on file. If producers have not filed, they must do so by June 1, 2015.</em></p>
<p><strong><a href="http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAOC/bulletins/c5adf3" target="_blank">Read the story.</a></strong></p>
<p><em>Photo: Tim McCabe, NRCS</em></p>
3. 3. Farmland lease FAQ.
<p>The University of Illinois has a Q&A for farmers who have questions about farmland leases. From fair rates to share leases to equipment, there are answers to common lease questions. </p>
<p><strong><a href="http://agecon.unl.edu/lease-faqs" target="_blank">Read the story.</a></strong></p>
4. 4. Reduce yield loss.
<p>Rob Little, Indiana farmer, first noticed a drop in dry corn yields when he completed harvest in a field where he had been interrupted by an earlier, wetter start. After experiencing the phenomenon repeatedly, he made it standard practice to harvest corn wetter, in the 22-25% moisture range.</p>
<p><em>“This is worth a minimum of 10 bushels/acre to reduce phantom losses,” says Little, who frequently places at or near the top in state and national NCGA yield contests in the no-till division. “So I have up to another 15-20 bushels/acre to pay for extra drying costs.”</em></p>
<p><strong><a href="http://cornandsoybeandigest.com/corn/harvest-corn-higher-moisture-reduce... target="_blank">Read the story.</a></strong></p>
5. 5. Farm lessons learned.
<p>Farm Industry News blogger Jeff Ryan talks about some logistics mistakes in his latest blog post. And it’s hilarious. And probably fairly relatable. My favorite paragraph:</p>
<p><em>Let’s say, hypothetically, that you take your ATV out in the spring to check on field conditions. Remember how it’s a 2-wd? Hypothetically, let’s say you’ve now buried your four-wheeler in the field. Not in a distant field where you’ll never be found, either. No, you’re stuck not all that far from the buildings, but still close enough to the road that the list of witnesses is going to be lengthy. They will ride you about your incident for years to come. </em></p>
<p><strong><a href="http://farmindustrynews.com/blog/army-one" target="_blank">Read the blog.</a></strong></p>