COL Corn, edible beans respond to zinc

Only corn and edible beans respond to zinc fertilizer, says George Rehm, University of Minnesota Extension agronomist.

Zinc is a micronutrient that's essential for corn growth and usually the soil supplies enough to support optimum crop production in most of Minnesota.

However, there are situations where zinc, when added to a fertilizer program, will produce profitable increases in crop yield.

Zinc fertilization isn't complicated. Of the major crops grown in this state, research tells us that only corn and dry, edible beans respond to zinc fertilization. Analysis of a soil sample for zinc is the best management tool available to accurately predict the need, Rehm said.

Recordkeeping systems developed


In an effort to help livestock producers keep track of land applications of manure, two types of record-keeping systems have recently been developed. The records help farmers make more efficient use of manure as fertilizer and help prevent it from being washed away.

The University of Minnesota Extension Service has published a comprehensive pocket-size Field Record booklet that can be used for keeping all field records, including manure, fertilizer and pesticide applications. It also includes tillage, soil testing and harvest information.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has developed forms for manure application records needed to comply with feedlot regulations. The forms are available in a computer spreadsheet information.

Call local Extension and MPCA offices for more information.

Pasture management key element

Pasture management contributes to conservation and environmental planning in several ways, including carbon sequestration, improved soil quality and better water quality, says Mahdi Al-Kaisi, Iowa State University Extension agronomist.

"Carbon sequestration is a leading issue in agriculture right now, and pasture is a natural carbon storage facility,'' he said. "Carbon storage can be maximized in pasture due to the stability of the cropping system -- mostly grasses.''

Several pasture management practices facilitate carbon sequestration such as better management of timberland, limiting livestock access to fragile timberland and riparian areas and managing those areas where hooves can expose soil, Al-Kaisi said.


Many farmers will also notice that carbon sequestration practices also lead to an improvement in production, environmental quality and long-term sustainability.

Iowa ag statistics book available

The 2004 edition of Iowa Agricultural Statistics is available from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

The book includes 2003 government data related to agriculture, including grain and livestock production; farmland values; and weather information.

Additional information includes county-by-county reports on livestock and crop production and data on grain and meat exports. The book also includes data provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture via the 2002 Census of Agriculture.

The book costs $10 and can be ordered from the Marketing and Communications Division, Iowa Farm Bureau, 5400 University Ave., West Des Moines, IA 50266. Make checks out to the Iowa Farm Bureau.

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