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What farmers are reading this week, April 10-17

U.S. corn planting begins in a few Midwest states.

This week, planting started for a few Corn Belt states, according to the USDA’s Crop Progress Report.

With some farmers starting, one specialist says temperatures still need to be monitored before planting corn in some areas.

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Soil conditions may be right, but hold off on corn planting

AMES, IA - March into early April has been warm enough and dry enough to the point that soil conditions are good for planting. The calendar date is a bit early; after all the crop insurance, replanting is April 11. Regardless, many are pondering if they should be planting corn already, and some maybe already have.

Mark Licht is an Extension cropping systems specialist at Iowa State University. He says now’s the time to exercise caution and patience. The five- to 10-day weather forecast is moving to the cooler side of things with many daytime temperatures forecast to be below 40°F and nighttime temperatures below freezing. Additionally, date of planting trials in Iowa and surrounding states suggest that maximum yields come from planting dates after mid-April. Here are a couple things to consider that might halt the desire to plant ahead of this forecasted cold spell.

Read more here.

Farmers urged to be patient with new-crop pricing, analyst says

With the coronavirus changing the world in a matter of weeks, one could say the world has been turned upside down.

In the midst of the pandemic, worries, fears, and uncertainties surround us 24-7. There is no escaping it. Everyone and everything is affected.

Read more here.

USDA’s first Crop Progress Report shows 3% of corn planted

INDIANOLA, Iowa — The U.S. corn planting pace is at a single digit, with most states behind a year ago.

On Monday, the USDA released its first 2020 Crop Progress Report that includes corn planting ratings.

Read more here.

Switch iron to LEDs

That LED lights provide superior illumination on machinery is testified to by the fact that most manufacturers are equipping their high-horsepower tractors, combines, self-propelled sprayers, and forage harvesters with this lighting either as standard or optional equipment.

The popularity of upgrading older machinery to LEDs is rapidly growing due to the myriad retrofit options now available on the market. LED retrofit options have proliferated in recent years, as will-fit  plug-and-play replacements are available for many of the most popular tractor models going back to the early 1970s. When complete kits are not available, there is a wide variety of individual lights available.

Read more here.

Brazil's farmers see big soybean crops, record-high prices, record sales

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The month of April is expected to be another big month for soybean sales out of Brazil.

Read more and watch here.

Top Listen of the Week

Introducing horses to spring pasture

You know how your digestive system feels when you’ve eaten too much rich food? Your horses can relate. When first put out on pasture in the spring after winter confinement, their metabolism isn’t accustomed to the lush forage, leading to uncomfortable side effects.

Ann Swinker is an Extension horse specialist at Penn State University. She says sudden changes in diet affect the ratio and proportion of microbes in the digestive system.

Read more and listen here.

Top Watch of the Week

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Agronomy Tip: Create a Crop Scouting Tool Kit

A farmer scouting soybeans. If you plan to spend time scouting your fields, put together a crop scouting tool kit for your comfort and efficiency.

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