Top Crop Manager

Top Crop Manager
Views from the sky

Views from the sky

Does using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) make sense for your crop operation?

Soybean sudden death syndrome

Soybean sudden death syndrome

Plant pathologist Albert Tenuta with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is collaborating with researchers in the United States to fine-tune management options for soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS).

Industry role in clubroot management

Industry role in clubroot management

Equipment, tools and footwear carrying clubroot-infested soil can easily spread this devastating canola disease from field to field.

Delving into white mould resistance

Delving into white mould resistance

The results of a recently completed project are shedding light on how soybean plants respond to white mould at the cellular and molecular levels.

Still nutritious after all these years

Still nutritious after all these years

A study of heritage and modern wheats is proving Canadian wheat is as good as ever.

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Honey Bee AirFLEX...
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North American Manure Expo comes to Canada...
For the first time ever, the North American Manure Expo is being hosted within a Canadian province. The annual show is being held August 20 and 21, 2013, at the University of Guelph’s Arkell Research Station, located near Guelph, Ontario. So, what's a Manure Expo and why should you attend? This video will provide all the dirt.
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Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitatio...
Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitation
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The population explosion...
With the world's population increasing exponentially and farmland staying the same, BASF took to the streets to ask consumers if this trend is sustainable.

Agronomy

The connection between climate and yield variability differs around the world. It is strongest in the red areas and weakest in the light green and gray areas. When it comes to variations in crop yield, climate has a big say

Jan. 27, 2015 - What impact will future climate change have on food supply? That depends in part on the extent to which variations in crop yield are attributable to variations in climate. A new report from researchers at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment has found that climate variability historically accounts for one-third of yield variability for maize, rice, wheat and soybeans worldwide — the equivalent of 36 million metric tons of food each year. This provides valuable information planners and policy makers can use to target efforts to stabilize farmer income and food supply and so boost food security in a warming world. The work was published last week in the journal Nature Communications by Deepak Ray, James Gerber, Graham MacDonald and Paul West of IonE's Global Landscapes Initiative. The researchers looked at newly available production statistics for maize, rice, wheat and soybean from 13,500 political units around the world between 1979 and 2008, along with precipitation and temperature data. The team used these data to calculate year-to-year fluctuations and estimate how much of the yield variability could be attributed to climate variability. About 32 to 39 per cent of year-to-year variability for the four crops could be explained by climate variability. This is substantial — the equivalent of 22 million metric tons of maize, 3 million metric tons of rice, 9 million metric tons of wheat, and 2 million metric tons of soybeans per year. The links between climate and yield variability differed among regions. Climate variability explained much of yield variability in some of the most productive regions, but far less in low-yielding regions. "This means that really productive areas contribute to food security by having a bumper crop when the weather is favourable, but can be hit really hard when the weather is bad and contribute disproportionately to global food insecurity," says Ray. "At the other end of the spectrum, low-yielding regions seem to be more resilient to bad-weather years but don't see big gains when the weather is ideal." Some regions, such as in parts of Asia and Africa, showed little correlation between climate variability and yield variability. More than 60 per cent of the yield variability can be explained by climate variability in regions that are important producers of major crops, including the Midwestern U.S., the North China Plains, western Europe and Japan. Depicted as global maps, the results show where and how much climate variability explains yield variability. The research team is now looking at historical records to see whether the variability attributable to climate has changed over time — and if so, what aspects of climate are most pertinent. "Yield variability can be a big problem from both economic and food supply standpoints," Ray said. "The results of this study and our follow-up work can be used to improve food system stability around the world by identifying hot spots of food insecurity today as well as those likely to be exacerbated by climate change in the future." The University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment seeks lasting solutions to Earth's biggest challenges through research, partnerships and leadership development. For more information, visit environment.umn.edu.      

Machinery

Summers develops new VRT2530  variable rate tillage tool Summers develops new VRT2530 variable rate tillage tool

Jan. 26, 2015, DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — Developed in response to customer requests, the new VRT2530 variable rate tillage tool from Summers allows the operator to adjust tillage aggressiveness on the go. It offers a mix of both conventional and vertical tillage capabilities, making it ideal for producers who want more control over their tillage results. Available in sizes up to 40 feet wide, the VRT2530 features a front row of dual-mounted disk blades and a rear row of gang-mounted coulter blades. The front disk blades are slightly concave for soil mixing and include a manually adjustable angle setting from 5 to 24 degrees. The rear coulter blades are fixed at a 0 degree angle for true vertical tillage performance. Using the unit's patented hydraulic hitch, the operator can shift weight between the front and rear blades. Placing more weight on the front increases soil mixing, and placing more weight on the rear results in more vertical tillage performance and residue sizing with less soil disturbance. Weight can be shifted equally between the front and rear to achieve a combination of benefits. "More producers are using variable rate technologies to adjust their inputs according to variations in soil conditions," said Brian Perkuhn, vice president of sales for Summers. "Now, they can adjust tillage performance in the field, too, with the VRT2530. It's a great solution for vertical tillage operations that are producing high yields with heavy residue." Five blade options are available for the rear coulter gang. A variety of field finishing attachments are also available, including three-bar harrows, four-bar harrows, rolling choppers and a harrow/rolling basket combination. The rolling baskets have a patented internal mud scraper, as well a new hydraulic lift and down pressure feature. Like all other Summers equipment, the VRT2530 is built for maximum durability and proven through many hours of testing in the field.