• Rod Swoboda

    Will Your Corn Beat The Frost?

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on September 3, 2013

    Hotter than normal weather the last half of August added heat units to Iowa's late-planted, slow-growing 2013 corn crop. The crop had been lagging in development all summer. The recent blast of heat helped speed up crop maturity somewhat. But many Iowa fields still need more time to develop the crop. Iowa needs a later-than-normal frost this fall. In a nutshell, that's what Iowa State University Extension corn agronomist Roger Elmore told the crowd attending a field day August…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Ethanol And Corn In Victory Lane At Iowa Speedway

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on July 22, 2013

    In more ways than one, ethanol was the winner in The American Ethanol 200, a truck race at the Iowa Speedway at Newton on July 13. Prior to the NASCAR race, Syngenta officials held a press conference at the track to make an important announcement involving the seed company's new Enogen corn. They announced that the firm will contribute $1 to the renewable fuels industry for every acre planted with the new Enogen trait technology, beginning with this year's growing season. "We…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Can't Plant? Put Your Empty Fields To Good Use

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on June 17, 2013

    It's mid-June and Iowa farmers are still trying to get their intended soybean acres planted, but time is running out. For corn, many have already thrown in the towel. Mother Nature hasn't been helping out as thunderstorms roll through again every time the remaining fields get almost dry enough to plant. As of June 9 statewide Iowa still had 40% of its intended 2013 soybean acreage yet to be planted. The deadline to plant soybeans was June 15 to receive full crop insurance…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Is This Heaven?

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on May 6, 2013

    Not so pretty. That's how you describe 6 inches of snow on the ground in Iowa on May 2 and 3, 2013. Snow is pretty when it clings to trees in winter. But when it's clinging to everything the first couple days of May -- not pretty. It's not winter. And you know you need to be planting corn. Not shoveling snow. It was strange. First time for school cancellations in May due to snow. I called a farmer in northern Iowa at Forest City where they had a foot of snow on the ground and…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Rain Makes Mud, And That Is Good

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 12, 2013

    The drought has been steadily lifting, and even in the northern and western Corn Belt, farmers are finally getting what they've needed -- some rain. It's at least a start at recharging subsoil moisture supplies in the driest areas. The rains are nine months too late for last year's crop, but with 2013 planting just around the corner, rain that fell on Iowa and western Corn Belt states this week was indeed welcome. Of course, one good rain doesn't break a drought and while…

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