ARTICLES BY BILL SPIEGEL
Kansas Wheat Tour Takes Off, Expects Another Weak Crop By: 05/05/2015 @ 9:33am

A record turnout for the annual Wheat Quality Council Winter Wheat Tour of Kansas will see a wide variety of wheat conditions over the three-day tour. That's according to Aaron Harries, director of…

Successful Land Sale: Large Missouri Auction Averages $3,200 By: 04/29/2015 @ 9:04am

The land market may be softening a tad, but it may not yet be as dramatic as what The sale April 23 of 1,195 acres in northeast Missouri was fairly strong - not great, but not bad given that the land for…

Successful Land Sale: North Dakota Auction Shows Softening Prices By: 04/24/2015 @ 9:08am

Land prices in northern North Dakota are beginning to soften, based on results of a land sale in Towner County on April 21. About 1,361 acres, divided into four tracts, netted about $2.31 million, or $1,700…

Successful Land Sale: Nebraska Organic Farm Averages $8,426 per Acre By: 04/16/2015 @ 11:23am

It's not often that a big chunk of certified organic farmland is sold at auction, so the sale of 441 acres in Merrick County is an interesting case study. Tim Johnson, agent at Farmers National was in…

Three Great New Technologies for Grain Sorghum By: 04/16/2015 @ 8:46am

That more farmers are thinking about growing grain sorghum this year is a testament to the crop's nitrogen- and water-efficiency. Grain sorghum has been a staple crop throughout much of the High Plains…

Wheat Benefits from Chloride By: 04/10/2015 @ 10:12am

There’s no sure thing when it comes to improving wheat yields.Research shows, however, that a narrow region of the Wheat Belt stretching from Oklahoma to South Dakota often gets immediate payback with a…

Avoid These 7 Cover Crop Mistakes By: 04/09/2015 @ 10:22am

Cover crops have plenty of perks: soil health improvements, fewer weeds, and improved cash crop yields. Still, many farmers are leery of planting cover crops. The reason? Fear of failure. Don’t let this…

Successful Land Sale: Illinois Land Sales for $11,798 per Acre By: 04/08/2015 @ 8:24pm

Dan Sullivan has said it before: Farmers will pay good money for good farmland. Based on the results of an April 8 auction, his firm - Sullivan Auctioneers, of Hamilton, Illinois - sold another good…

Successful Land Sale: Black Hawk County Iowa Farm Averages $11,000 By: 04/01/2015 @ 3:53pm

The sale of 303 acres of Black Hawk County farmland on March 24 proves there still is great demand for great ground. The sale netted $3.35 million, or more than $11,000 per acre. That's a good price…

Wheat Crop Hanging On, Needs a Rain By: 03/30/2015 @ 8:51pm

A one-day driving tour of central Kansas Monday told a clear picture of that state's wheat crop: an above average 2015 wheat crop so far, but without rain, it could head downhill in a hurry.Daryl Strouts…

Dryness, Disease Ganging Up on 2015 Winter Wheat Crop By: 03/25/2015 @ 1:21pm

As if winter wheat farmers aren't already concerned enough about winterkill in the 2015 crop, now they need to keep an eye on stripe rust. Reports from Bob Hunger, Extension wheat pathologist at…

Successful Land Sale: Flint Hills Native Grass Averages $2,200 By: 03/24/2015 @ 5:30pm

The tallgrass prairie of eastern Kansas is to cattle grazing like what Beethoven is to music. It just doesn't get much better for the beef producer. Stocker calves grazing the native tallgrass prairie in…

Winter Wheat Farmers Anxious About Winter Injury Symptoms By: 03/19/2015 @ 2:07pm

About this time each year, the winter wheat crop in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska breaks dormancy, shedding its cold-damaged leaves and beginning its journey toward a summer harvest. Except this year. While…

Successful Land Sale: Wabash County, Illinois, Sale Soars Past Previous Highs By: 03/17/2015 @ 11:47am

A successful land sale simply boils down to which bidder wants the land more. The March 14 land sale of Wabash County land in Illinois is a perfect example. Two tracts of four selling at auction topped…

Hybrid Wheat on the Horizon By: 03/13/2015 @ 2:28pm

Bayer CropScience and Syngenta’s AgriPro brand are plunging headlong into successful commercialization of hybrid wheat lines. Each company should have its products available to farmers by the end of the…

App Delivers Wheat-Yield Estimate By: 03/13/2015 @ 2:21pm

A new smartphone application from the Kansas Wheat Alliance (KWA) will help winter wheat farmers estimate wheat yields as early as six to eight weeks before harvest. The Kansas Wheat Yield Calculator app is…

Agronomists: Army Cutworms Marching Across Winter Wheat, Canola By: 03/12/2015 @ 4:20pm

Source: KSU and OSUWith the onset of warmer temperatures, winter canola, winter wheat and alfalfa has broken dormancy, and Extension specialists in both Oklahoma and Kansas are warning that army cutworms are…

Successful Land Sales: Illinois Farm Tops $10K Per Acre; North Dakota Ranch brings $7.4 Million By: 03/11/2015 @ 9:45am

The sale of 260.12 acres south of Monmouth, Illinois, on March 4, marked the end of a family-farming era. The sale, conducted by Van Adkisson Auction Service, satisfied the Gillen Family Estate. Three brothers…

Farmers are Willing to Spend Top Dollar for Top Quality Land By: 03/09/2015 @ 2:45pm

Since we launched the weekly "Successful Land Sale" on www.Agriculture.com, in February, we've noticed a few trends in the farmland auction business. Our coverage so far has included at least one land…

Watch Wheat Fertility By: 03/04/2015 @ 3:39pm

A topdress nitrogen application to winter wheat is a step toward a successful harvest. Growers should consider timing, source, rate, and application method of a winter or spring topdress application, according…

Canola Boosts Wheat Yields By: 03/04/2015 @ 3:34pm

In southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma, fields of winter wheat blanket the earth almost as far as the eye can see. This is wheat country. Increasingly, however, those expanses of waving gold wheat are broken…

Successful Farm Sale: NW Kansas Dryland Brings $3,100 per Acre By: 03/03/2015 @ 3:12pm

East of Colby, Kansas, in Thomas County is a sweet spot, where the farmers are progressive, and the farming has been good the past few years. So you can imagine that when a half section of top-quality dryland…

Disease, Insect Issues Popping Up in Winter Wheat Crop By: 03/03/2015 @ 9:05am

If growing hard red winter wheat were a marathon, the 2015 crop would be at the 13-mile mark. Many marathoners power through aches and pains at the halfway point, and the wheat crop needs to do the same. From…

IRS Extends Tax Deadline for Farms, Ranches Using Health Insurance Marketplace By: 02/28/2015 @ 1:27pm

If you're one of the farmers or ranchers who enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplace and are scrambling to complete your tax return in time for the March 2 deadline, you can breathe easy for a few…

NWF Launches National Wheat Yield Contest By: 02/26/2015 @ 10:32pm

A new wheat yield contest will help identify the nation's top wheat growers, drive innovation, and urge experimentation with new production technologies, the National Wheat Foundation (NWF) announced…

Nebraska Growers See Growing Opportunities with Cover Crops By: 02/25/2015 @ 11:39am

There are so many opportunities that cover crops present to farmers, Ben Steffen wonders if they might pave the way for helping young people return to the farm. Steffen, who farms near Burr, Nebraska, has…

Successful Land Sale: South Dakota Sale Nets $4,573/Acre By: 02/24/2015 @ 10:27am

In South Dakota, a given tract of land may sell publicly once per century. So when tightly held land is selling at auction, you can bet there will be a lot of interest. On February 20, Wieman Land and Auction…

Central Illinois Land Sale Fetches $14,560 Per Acre By: 02/18/2015 @ 10:30am

Location, location, location.  It counts just as much in agriculture real estate as it does in residential real estate, says Kurt Aumann, CEO of Aumann Auction, Springfield, Illinois. On February 17, the…

6 Lessons From Soybean School By: 02/11/2015 @ 1:50pm

Growers attending the Soybean Schools sponsored by Kansas State University across that state last week were treated to daylong sessions of improving production practices. If you missed them, here are some…

12 Tips to Make No-till a Success By: 02/05/2015 @ 10:37am

A panel discussion at this year's No-till on the Plains Winter Conference in Salina focused on several ways to make no-till a success in the High Plains. Panelists included Mark Watson, who farms near…

No-till, Diverse Rotations Help Oklahoma Farmer Beat the Heat By: 02/04/2015 @ 3:02pm

In southwest Oklahoma, acre after acre, mile after mile, farmers here grow winter wheat and graze cattle. That's pretty much it. Alan Mindeman, who owns Apache Seed Farms near Apache, grows wheat, but his…

Companion Crops Boost Wheat Stubble Health By: 01/28/2015 @ 4:09pm

After harvest in the summer, many wheat farmers plant a double-crop cash crop. Others plant a cover crop. Some farmers do both. For the last five years, Robin Griffeth and his son, Kelly, have used a strategy…

Warm Temps, Dry Conditions Cause Concern in Winter Wheat Belt By: 01/27/2015 @ 12:04pm

Warm temperatures and dry topsoil conditions this month are combining to cause some concern about the condition of the U.S. winter wheat crop. Snow falling in west Texas gave partial relief to the dry…

Growing Grain Sorghum? 3 Things to Think About By: 01/26/2015 @ 9:54am

Grain sorghum production has been getting a lot of attention lately, from last week's article in the Wall Street Journal about the crop's growing clout in the…

6 Takeaways from Corn School By: 01/20/2015 @ 10:50am

Even though domestic stocks of corn are plentiful, betting on U.S. corn for 2015 is a good move, says Greg Krissek, CEO of the Kansas Corn Growers Association and Kansas Corn Commission.  Speaking at…

No Silver Bullet for Pigweed, Waterhemp Control in Corn By: 01/18/2015 @ 11:00pm

Ah, the good old days . . . when glyphosate alone could provide effective weed control on waterhemp and palmer amaranth (both commonly called pigweeds). Not only have these weeds developed resistance to…

Three Easy Steps to Boost Soybean Yields By: 01/09/2015 @ 12:09pm

In areas were soybean producers routinely have yields of less than 70 bushels per acre, the challenges are many: not enough precipitation, varieties that may not be ideal for the location, poor soils, and…

Control Mustards in Wheat This Winter By: 12/10/2014 @ 5:01pm

Look carefully, and you may notice tiny mustard weeds in your winter wheat fields. Now is the time to take care of them, says Dallas Peterson, weed specialist at Kansas State University's Department of…

New Canola Hybrid Has Non-GM Resistance to SU Herbicide By: 11/22/2014 @ 12:09pm

Spring canola producers will have new tools to combat glyphosate-resistant weeds in 2015. Cibus Global and Rotam introduced last week a nontransgenic, sulfonylurea herbicide-resistant canola hybrid, plus…

Smartphone App Helps Producers Determine Wheat Yield By: 11/04/2014 @ 10:18pm

A new smartphone application, or app, from the Kansas Wheat Alliance will help wheat farmers in Kansas estimate wheat yields as early as six to eight weeks before harvest.  The Kansas Wheat Yield…

Grassroots Experiment Wonders: Can Cover Crops Provide Enough Nitrogen for Winter Wheat? By: 10/31/2014 @ 10:06am

Carl Coleman, Dillon, South Carolina, is conducting cover crop research on his farm using university protocols. The project’s funding source the long-term no-till is using, however, is unusual: the…

Winter Annual Weed Control Now Saves Nitrogen, Boosts Yield By: 10/29/2014 @ 3:39pm

Many winter annual weeds are appearing in fields throughout the Corn Belt, and Nathan Mueller suggests farmers should treat these problem weeds as soon as possible. Mueller, agronomy extension educator at…

When Should You Apply Cheatgrass Herbicide in Wheat? By: 10/27/2014 @ 4:40pm

Wheat farmers aren't looking for more ways to spend money, but if cheatgrass is a persistent, or even potential, problem in their wheat fields, then application of a cheatgrass herbicide may give more…

4 Reasons Your Wheat May be Slow to Emerge By: 10/03/2014 @ 4:36pm

If your winter wheat stand is spotty, it's best to figure out why so that you can make plans to re-plant, if necessary. Jim Shroyer, professor-emeritus of agronomy at Kansas State University, says poor…

Wheat Following Sorghum? Glyphosate Can Help By: 09/22/2014 @ 10:18am

Planting wheat into just-harvested sorghum stubble often has mixed results. Oftentimes, sorghum plants are still green, and the alleopathic effect of sorghum can compromise the wheat stand.  An application…

8 Ways Cover Crops Pay By: 09/16/2014 @ 4:52pm

Take a good look at any idle land in your area. Left unchecked, it will soon proliferate with weeds. That's Mother Nature at work, says Paul Jasa, engineer in biological agriculture systems at the…

Research Discovery Could Boost Sorghum Yields By: 09/15/2014 @ 2:33pm

The USDA Agricultural Research Service in Lubbock, Texas, is working on development of an improved sorghum hybrid - one that would increase the number of sorghum seeds per head by close to 60%, resulting in a…

Eight Ways to Improve Wheat Planting Success By: 08/29/2014 @ 3:55pm

Whatever the soil moisture conditions at wheat planting time, there are a few important steps producers can take to improve their chances of getting a good stand of wheat, says Jim Shroyer, Kansas State…

Haney Soil Test Can Help Producers Maximize Fertilizer Inputs By: 08/29/2014 @ 12:30pm

A relatively new soil test developed by USDA soil scientists can help farmers measure soil health in their farm fields, and provide a customized soil health scorecard with recommendations on how to improve…

Promise of UAV as Crop Scouting Tool Highlighted at Ohlde Seed Farms Field Day By: 08/21/2014 @ 5:21am

It may be a few years before you pilot your own unmanned aerial vehicle over farm fields as a scouting tool, but farmers are finding value in the quality and speed of data that UAVs can…

Alta Seeds to Launch First Herbicide Tolerant Sorghum Hybrids in 2016 By: 08/05/2014 @ 5:05pm

The sorghum industry’s first herbicide-tolerant grain sorghum hybrid should be available to farmers.  Alta Seeds has been testing the hybrid, which features resistance to an ALS herbicide called…

Winter Wheat Growers Learn of Two New Varieties for 2015 By: 07/31/2014 @ 2:56pm

Winter wheat producers in the central U.S. learned of two new wheat varieties on July 31. Syngenta announced the launch of SY Clearstone CL2 for Montana and western North Dakota; meanwhile, Kansas State…

Farm Foundation, Noble Foundation Team Up for 'Soil Renaissance' By: 07/18/2014 @ 4:06pm

A new partnership is working to develop a protocol that standardizes efforts to measure soil health and help farmers develop soil-nutrient tests that are based on soil-health testing…

Five Questions with Wyffels Hybrids’ Director of Research By: 07/16/2014 @ 10:10am

Shane Meis, director of research at Wyffels Corn Hybrids, is charged with developing new corn hybrids that ensure success in the cornfields of the Geneseo, Illinois, company's customers. A…

Kohl: The Easy Money's Been Made By: 07/11/2014 @ 11:44am

We’ve all heard the long-term outlook: The world population will reach 9 billion people by 2050, and 70% more food will be needed with 70% fewer resources.David Kohl, professor emeritus of ag economics at…

Winter Wheat: Act Fast to Secure Seed By: 06/24/2014 @ 9:15pm

Before the 2014 wheat harvest has finished for farmers in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas, the 2015 crop is already off to a rough start.Supplies of certified seed in these states are limited, thanks to…

Bayer CropScience Launches Credenz Soybean Brand By: 06/19/2014 @ 1:36pm

Bayer CropScience has entered the commercial soybean business with its new Credenz brand of commercial varieties, available this month for the 2015 crop year in select U.S. markets. Growers in the south…

Expect Sugarcane Aphids to Move North into Sorghum States By: 06/16/2014 @ 4:17pm

Not since greenbugs swarmed onto grain sorghum 80 years ago has there been an aphid wreaking as much havoc on grain sorghum acres as the sugarcane aphid. Until this year, much of the impact of these sucking…

BASF Product Updates Include Urease Inhibitor, Dicamba Herbicide By: 06/14/2014 @ 10:31am

At its bi-annual summit for the agricultural media, BASF announced several innovations. Some are now available or will soon debut in 2015; others may hit the market in a decade or so. BASF spends $2 million…

In the Land of Winter Wheat, Durum Could Fit By: 06/05/2014 @ 5:10pm

Kansas routinely places first in the total number of winter wheat bushels grown by farmers. And while Kansas State University researchers continue to have a robust wheat breeding program, they also are…

Is a Soil Thermometer a No-tiller’s Go-to Tool? By: 06/04/2014 @ 1:32pm

Soil covered with old crop residue, or cover crop residue, can make a huge difference in the amount of soil microbial activity taking place on your farm.A simple soil thermometer – less than $10 at your…

Wheat Stem Sawflies Moving South Into Winter Wheat States By: 06/02/2014 @ 7:25am

For decades, wheat stem sawflies have been a problem for spring wheat farmers in Canada, North Dakota, and Montana. In recent years, however, the annual pest has moved south, wreaking havoc in winter wheat…

South Dakota Wheat Growers Can Use Fungal Disease Forecasting Tool By: 05/28/2014 @ 7:37am

The winter wheat crop in South Dakota may have the greatest yield potential of any in the nation. Timely precipitation and good growing conditions have helped nurture the crop in the Mount Rushmore State…

Dust Bowl V.2: Hot, Dry Conditions Create Domino Effect By: 05/15/2014 @ 10:48am

The dust has settled, but for how long no one can be sure. At any moment, the winds may blow, moving the topsoil -- soil that took Mother Nature generations to craft -- even farther from its origin. One farmer…

Kansas Wheat Tour Participants Expect 261-Million-Bushel Crop By: 05/02/2014 @ 8:14am

The numbers are in, and the 2014 Kansas Wheat Crop will total 260.6 million bushels, which would be the worst since 1996.  The average yield, calculated from 587 stops over three days, was 33.2 bushels per…

Drought, Wind are Hallmarks of Wheat Tour Day 2 By: 05/01/2014 @ 1:44pm

It was expected that Day 2 of the annual Wheat Quality Council Hard Winter Wheat Tour would highlight some of the state’s worst winter wheat. And sure enough, drought and high winds have taken a tremendous…

Wheat Tour Estimates 34.7 Bushels an Acre; Worst Day-One Average in More Than a Decade By: 04/30/2014 @ 11:02am

July wheat futures rose 16 cents Tuesday, in part due to rumblings from day one of the Hard Winter Wheat Tour through northern Kansas. Tour participants estimated the yield from 271 field stops in…

Kansas Wheat Tour Takes Off By: 04/29/2014 @ 8:09am

Nearly 70 wheat millers, buyers, exporters, USDA employees, farmers and journalists have begun the annual three-day tour across Kansas wheat fields, sponsored by the Wheat Quality Council. The Hard Red Winter…

Four Tips for Sorghum Planting Success By: 04/24/2014 @ 10:26am

Grain sorghum planting is in full-swing throughout the Central Plains, and as it moves northward, there are some practices successful sorghum growers use to get the crop off to a good start. 1. Plant the…

Freeze Could Hit Hard Red Winter Wheat Fields By: 04/16/2014 @ 9:35am

The condition of the hard red winter wheat crop in the states of Oklahoma and Kansas is precarious after temperatures dropped below freezing April 14-15. July Hard Red Winter wheat futures settled up 23 cents…

Army Cutworms Marching Through Wheat, Canola and Alfalfa Fields By: 04/07/2014 @ 2:20pm

Adding insult to the injury that is dryness and spotty winterkill for crops that are beginning to green up this spring, army cutworms are marching throughout wheat, alfalfa and canola fields in the Central…

Topdress Wheat by Feekes Growth Stage 5 By: 04/01/2014 @ 12:42pm

Winter wheat in the Central Plains has been slower than usual to break dormancy, thanks to colder than normal temperatures this winter. Now that the crop is beginning to green up and grow, farmers are…

Wheat Winterkill Damage Ranges in Kansas, Oklahoma By: 03/25/2014 @ 12:39pm

A few weeks of spring-like weather have helped bring the winter wheat crop out of dormancy in the southern Plains, thus giving clarity to the severity of wheat winterkill damage in Oklahoma and Kansas…

Wheat champ pushes yields By: 12/18/2013 @ 7:50am

Winter wheat is a crop that many farmers tend to plant and forget. One Kansas farmer, however, finds that winter wheat can respond to higher management levels, even in dry years. “Wheat is the toughest crop…

Repurposing goes mainstream By: 05/17/2013 @ 12:38pm

At a warehouse in eastern Denver, stacks of surplus materials will quickly jog the mind of innovative farmers and ranchers. A pile of rubber tracks removed from bulldozers are snapped up to be used as nonslip…

Syngenta's AgriPro aims for hybrid wheat by 2020 By: 03/11/2013 @ 2:14pm

Syngenta's AgriPro unit is three years into its hybrid wheat project at the company's Hard Red Winter wheat unit near Manhattan, Kansas. Syngenta is going all-in on wheat hybrids; the company built…

Hybrid wheat's comeback By: 03/11/2013 @ 1:31pm

Nearly 90 years after DuPont Pioneer successfully commercialized the first hybrid corn plants, the company plans to revolutionize the wheat industry in the same way.Pioneer announced its intent in February to…

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