Articles by Dan Crummett

Ahead of the Curve

On-the-Go Weed Control

Driven by increasing occurrences of herbicide resistance and a push to reduce pesticide use, the companies behind today’s weed control innovations are leveraging everything from artificial intelligence to lasers to drones to target weeds where they grow.
Folks interested in the future of agricultural weed control are spending a lot of time following the dollars being spent on precision technology and artificial intelligence (AI) as major farm equipment and chemical companies collaborate to improve the efficiency of their products.
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Farming the Drought with No-Till Flexibility

Veteran Kansas no-tiller farms around dry High Plains weather, seeking to eliminate summer fallow when possible and using conserved soil moisture to grow something on every acre throughout the season.
Farming 25 miles southeast of Dodge City in southwestern Kansas with limited irrigation, long-time no-tiller Lance Feikert says it’s difficult to set a rotation schedule and stick with it because of rainfall variability.
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Ahead of the Curve

Field Tests Underway for Electric Planter

Iowa start-up Salin 247 is field testing an autonomous electric drive unit for no-tilling corn and soybeans.
With a lifetime of farming experience and degrees in agronomy and economics, Dave Krog says he’s trying to whittle variable and fixed costs from today’s equipment outlays with an electric, autonomous drive unit aimed squarely at the 24-row planter market.
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Cashing in with Cover Forages Between No-Till Wheat Crops

Oklahoma no-tiller squeezes in a profitable late-summer, early-fall grazing period on cover crops he sows immediately behind his combine. The practice adds $100-150 per acre in cattle gains.
Northwestern Oklahoma no-tiller Jimmy Emmons quit plowing 10 years ago to begin rebuilding his soils and says by adding diverse cover crop mixes to his operation over the same period he’s cut his farm’s overall purchased fertilizer use by 85%.
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Fuel or Fertilizer: Green Ammonia

A fledgling ammonia-for-fuel industry is sparking interest in an electrically powered, carbon-free infrastructure that could rewrite ledger books for anhydrous ammonia fertilizer.
When anhydrous ammonia jumped to over $1,400 per ton in late 2021, growers intensified their scramble to find black ink on 2022’s farm spreadsheets — a long-term challenge, considering natural gas, the main feedstock for NH3 fertilizer, entered the new year trading at nearly record-high prices.
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Soil Function Key to Regenerative No-Till

Putting soil health at the center of a no-till operation can take a farm from status quo to truly regenerative with balanced and diversified soil biology, improved aggregate stability, increased water infiltration rates and improved nutrient cycling.

Longtime soil conservationist Barry Fisher says improving soil health requires well-planned, step-by-step actions aimed at specific goals. However, taking those steps can seems daunting, especially if they add complexity to a system that seems to be working well.

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Deep-Rooted Kernza Shows Promise as Dual-Purpose Perennial Crop

Kernza, a specialty grain crop developed by The Land Institute, is a perennial cool-season, dual-purpose crop that can provide high-quality winter grazing as well as grain in the summer.

The land institute's nearly 20-year-old breeding program with intermediate wheatgrass is on track to perfect a no-tiller’s “dream come true” — a cool season perennial that can be managed for both winter grazing and a grain crop the following summer.

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Concerted Battle with Tar Spot of Corn Continues

While seed choices are limited, plant pathologists urge growers to attempt to select hybrids for tar spot resistance and be ready to make fungicide applications at the first sign of the disease in their fields.
While seed choices are limited, plant pathologists urge growers to attempt to select hybrids for tar spot resistance and be ready to make fungicide applications at the first sign of the disease in their fields.
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