Production Blog
Pam Smith DTN\Progressive Farmer Crops Technology Editor

Thursday 08/27/15

Walk This Way
Waterhemp has come on with a vengeance across the Midwest this season. Some Illinois farmers are calling on chopping crews to fight back.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 12:36PM CDT 08/27/15 by Pam Smith | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday 08/25/15

Crop Tour Gleanings
Four days of walking fields and pulling samples serves up some agronomic views on the Midwest crop.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 11:00AM CDT 08/25/15 by Pam Smith | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Monday 08/17/15

Nitrogen Management Tools Debut
Full-season management is the goal of 360 Yield Center. A hands-on field day focused on high-intensity nitrogen management.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 11:50AM CDT 08/17/15 by Pam Smith | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
For what? So we can grow 2.50 corn again.No thanks been there done that. I say lets all grow 120 bu. corn and get something for it.
Posted by Raymond Simpkins at 5:24PM CDT 08/22/15

Friday 08/14/15

Do Your Own Yield Check
Early wet conditions will make for an interesting Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour this year. Let the assessments begin.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 3:08PM CDT 08/14/15 by Pam Smith | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Friday 08/07/15

Are You Seeing Spots?
The early wet season has created some curious spots in some cornfields. Time to connect the dots.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 12:01PM CDT 08/07/15 by Pam Smith | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Friday 07/24/15

A Tough Country
A challenging farming season brings reflection and thoughts about what is important.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 3:10PM CDT 07/24/15 by Pam Smith | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
agriculture requires scientific basis look at you tube ;geoengineering whistleblower
Posted by Jerome Fitzgerald at 9:05PM CDT 07/29/15

Monday 07/13/15

Muddy Boots Muddy Thinking
Corn diseases, dropped soybean pods, yellow crops and overall variability lead to some hard questions on what to do next.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:07PM CDT 07/13/15 by Pam Smith | Post a Comment
Comments (2)
Pam, You may have read my blog response to Bryce and Joel. I traveled from Michigan to Texas and didn't see many acres I would give much for. I am like you I don't think the corn will recover, not sure you will have any ears to count in a month. I have never seen so much water covering acre after acre in Ill. Ind. and Oh. Came back home though Tenn. and Ky. It was better but not great.We have good looking corn here but beans are in bad shape, stunted and yellow.
Posted by Raymond Simpkins at 9:05AM CDT 07/14/15
Thanks for writing Raymond. I must say our crops look fantastic smack in the center of Illinois. I'm heading out in the morning across Missouri and parts of Iowa and Nebraska. I'll cross through my home area in western Illinois where I know for a fact they got smacked around again last night.
Posted by Pamela Smith at 5:54PM CDT 07/14/15

Friday 06/19/15

The Pollinator's Dilemma
The push to help pollinators continues to grow and neonic seed treatments remain at the center of the controversy.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:19PM CDT 06/19/15 by Pam Smith | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
geoengineering kills bees
Posted by Jerome Fitzgerald at 9:07PM CDT 07/29/15

Friday 06/12/15

Weeds Gone Wild
Post spray timing is critical and sometimes complicated by wet weather and windy conditions.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 4:47PM CDT 06/12/15 by Pam Smith | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Friday 06/05/15

A Week of Growth
Six days later, the diamond pattern in Bob Wieland's soybean is starting to close. It's soybean season in central Illinois.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 1:11PM CDT 06/05/15 by Pam Smith | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Monday 06/01/15

Put Crop Theories to Test
Hunting for ways to reduce weed pressure and costs led to an innovative new soybean planting strategy for this Illinois grower.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:58PM CDT 06/01/15 by Pam Smith | Post a Comment
Comments (7)
Pam,I planted beans that way 8-10 years ago only in no-till. I did it for a couple of years in 2 angling fields, so I planted straight first then followed the angle side. I planted the same final pop. As I did in 30 in. rows and did not see any yield advantage. Just made them harder to spray and also every time the grain head divider crossed the row it would flatten a patch of beans.
Posted by Raymond Simpkins at 5:54PM CDT 06/01/15
Nothing wrong with trying, however, this concept doubles the planting time, planting fuel consumption and wear on the equipment.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 7:13AM CDT 06/02/15
Good point on added time/fuel, etc. I have to admit that I found the patterns so much fun to photograph. I was near there yesterday and took another look, they sure are growing fast. I'll post another photo soon. I wonder if a draper head would take care of that harvesting issue Raymond?
Posted by Pamela Smith at 5:51PM CDT 06/03/15
Guess some are lucky enough to make it to the same field twice. Rained in NE Kansas 33 out of last 38 days. would like to plant just once.
Posted by bryan paden at 12:42PM CDT 06/07/15
Pam it is the dividers that mash down the beans on each end of the head. A draper helps feed the material into the machine more efficiently than an auger conveyed machine. What I never will understand is why you would spend the big bucks on a draper then cut beans on an angle but I see it done everywhere. A friend of mine told me it was so he had a purpose for the auto steer he purchased. We split 30 inch rows and did diamonds 20 years ago and they did not yield any different than 30 inch rows. For 20 years now manufacturers and university people have been telling us we need narrower rows on soybeans and I bet I have done 10 side by sides over the years. The yield advantage that you do get {on our farm} does not come close to paying for the extra equipment costs and seed. Jeff Stocks
Posted by Unknown at 12:40PM CDT 06/12/15
Bryan that makes it super tough to get a crop in for sure. Sending good thoughts â?¦please be safe when you do get into the field and start pushing to get it in.
Posted by Pamela Smith at 2:00PM CDT 06/12/15
Jeff--thanks for the observations. I've had a couple of people email me and tell me the same. It's great that you did the side-by-sides and figured it out before investing in a new system.
Posted by Pamela Smith at 7:37PM CDT 06/12/15

Friday 05/22/15

Put Your Scouting Boots On
Black cutworm, pigweed, armyworm and a host of diseases and other agronomic situations are showing up already this spring. Time to take a look.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:23PM CDT 05/22/15 by Pam Smith | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Friday 05/15/15

Don't Eat These Daisies
That weed turning fields into a beautiful sea of yellow is actually a noxious adversary.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 11:39AM CDT 05/15/15 by Pam Smith | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Thursday 05/07/15

Weighing Neonics
Two new studies on the effect of neonicotinoids on various types of bees have caught the public's eye. But what do they mean for agriculture and the fate of seed treatments under review by the EPA?[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:29PM CDT 05/07/15 by Emily Unglesbee | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
A study I read claimed that neonic seed treatments only exhibited 2 ppb in the plant's flowers - far below toxic levels. Also, I've always wondered how I can spray insecticide on a field for soybean aphids and still have good pollination - are we placing too much emphasis on a single pollinator? Witch hunters tell us that w/o honeybees life on this planet will become extinct. However, honey bees are actually an invasive species to this country.
Posted by Curt Zingula at 6:49AM CDT 05/08/15

Monday 05/04/15

Separating Wheat From Chaff
Winter wheat prospects dim as disease blows in.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 6:20AM CDT 05/04/15 by Pam Smith | Post a Comment
Comments (3)
We always get enlightened when we read posts and articles from DTN progressive farmer. Valuable info on wheat farming for our students at of Agriculture and Veterinary Science, University of Nairobi)
Posted by Timothy Miringu at 12:39AM CDT 05/05/15
Nice article Pam. Here in Northwestern OK the wheat is looking good in places but not great. We had little rains during the winter season but spring is bring the rains this year so far on the Hard Red Winter wheat. With the rains also can bring on rust that some farmers have been able to get sprayed with others not so fortunate. With spraying, waiting for the winds to slow down enough,the rains to stop and not being able to spray for wheat rust one month before harvest has been very challenging. Looking forward to see what Rhonda Brooks brings back with her report.
Posted by Gordon Stebens at 8:49AM CDT 05/05/15
So far Rhonda is getting a good shower with lots of rain in central Kansas. Nothing like getting in and out of cars all day and being wet. I'm mentally sending her a strong cup of coffee. Don't forget to monitor her Twitter feeds, they are getting interesting!
Posted by Pamela Smith at 2:08PM CDT 05/05/15
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Recent Blog Posts
  • Walk This Way
  • Crop Tour Gleanings
  • Nitrogen Management Tools Debut
  • Do Your Own Yield Check
  • Are You Seeing Spots?
  • A Tough Country
  • Muddy Boots Muddy Thinking
  • The Pollinator's Dilemma
  • Weeds Gone Wild
  • A Week of Growth
  • Put Crop Theories to Test
  • Put Your Scouting Boots On
  • Don't Eat These Daisies
  • Weighing Neonics
  • Separating Wheat From Chaff
  • New Stink Bug Expands Range
  • Watching Wheat
  • My Own Personal Bee-Gate
  • Spring Weed Race
  • Untangle Traits