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PONTIAC, Ill. — When agronomist Jason Webster welcomed “extreme yield guys” from across the nation to the Precision Technology Institute Farm’s test plots here earlier in August, he was a little disappointed. One walked into the field and told Webster he didn’t expect the field would produce 400 bu./acre corn.
Recently I was fortunate to be “behind the scenes” as a guest while I listened to Tenzin Botsford tell the story of how he and his wife, Stacey, came to be owners of Red Door Farm near Athens, Wisconsin. Botsford’s talk was part of the Marathon County Historical Society’s oral-history project.
The heyday for Palmer amaranth introductions in Iowa was 2016 with the planting of native seed mixes contaminated with Palmer amaranth. I am aware of more than 30 counties where Palmer amaranth was found in CRP fields following planting of contaminated seed mixes.
Peninsula Pride Farms is a producer-led watershed-protection group in southern Door and Kewaunee counties. It has hosted two field events in spring 2021. Called “Conservation Conversations” the informal events provide farmers an opportunity to openly discuss topics. Mike Vandenhouten, a crop farmer in southern Door County, hosted Apr. 24 a Conservation Conversation at his farm to discuss the next steps after planting 100 pounds of oats and 2.5 pounds of tillage radish as a cover crop in fall 2020. He recently began planting oats as a cover crop in fall 2020 and is no-till-planting this spring.
Farmers for Lake Country is a producer-led group in the Oconomowoc River Watershed. It’s entering its sixth year of promoting soil health and water-friendly farming practices across a watershed that crosses four counties. A core group of six members as well as additional participating farmers are involved in no-till and cover-crop practices. The group is experimenting with newer practices such as “planting green” and inter-seeding.
Spring has sprung; it’s time to plant fields, gardens, flowerbeds and containers. When we look at seed packets we see the picture of what the seed will become. Those packets also tell us all the information we need to know to care for our plants, as well as what sort of harvest we can expect and when.