News & Events
Adam Baldwin, who farms in central Kansas, said although he hasn’t planted his grain sorghum yet, he’s looking forward to a successful growing season thanks to much needed moisture that he received late in the spring.
“We’re set up to have a really good crop this year,” he said. “Although we’re getting in the field later than we planned, planting later is typically better for the crop.”
Corn planting dates varied this spring depending on soil moisture and temperature, both of which are critical for proper germination. Information from Iowa State University’s extension and outreach office indicates corn planting in Iowa during a typical year can take place any time from early April to mid-May, depending on the location.
The February issue of Grain News included updates on this year’s outlook for the U.S. grain planting, growing and harvest seasons with three producers: Greg Alber, corn farmer from Iowa; Adam Baldwin, sorghum farmer from Kansas; and Mark Seastrand, barley farmer from North Dakota. This issue checks in with these farmers to learn how their crops are progressing.
The Obama Administration’s efforts to normalize trade with Cuba continue, with an announcement this week that embassies will re-open in Havana and Washington this summer. However, many trade restrictions remain in place that can only be effectively addressed by the U.S. Congress – and that continue to stymie U.S. grain exports to Cuba.
Biotechnology is a critical tool used by U.S. corn farmers to produce a safe, high-yielding, quality crop in varying growing conditions while reducing the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Still, the genetic quality, diversity and specificity in a bag of corn seed begins with a conventional breeding program that develops germplasm that is specific for the soil and environment where it is intended to grow.
Sorghum grows throughout the world in wide-ranging environments and growing conditions. This high level of variety provides a broad genetic base from which researchers can develop desirable traits quickly and effectively.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, are making their way into precision agriculture as a valuable tool for monitoring crop health. While this technology is heavily used for agriculture in some areas of the world, such as Japan, drones in agriculture are relatively new in the United States.
Multiple forms of technology are available to improve production on the United States’ 2 million farms of all sizes. Beyond computer and Internet access, which is available on about 71 percent of U.S. crop farms (2013 report), various methods of technology are used in coordination with one another to increase efficiency, minimize labor and enhance sustainability.
When U.S. farmers replaced their horse-drawn equipment with tractors in the early 1900s, their crop productivity took a mighty leap forward. Technology on the farm has continually evolved to increase efficiency, improve yields and drive production and profitability. In the 21st century, this is due in part to the development of precision agriculture tools.