Person: Dick Sloan
April 4, 2018
Successfully raising corn after a
cover crop requires timely cover
crop termination and N fertilization.
Commonly, farmers terminate a cover
crop 2-3 weeks prior to planting corn
but generally do not need to apply any
more N than if they did not use a cover
• Farmer-cooperators Dick Sloan and
Tim Sieren compared terminating their
cover crops approx. 3 weeks prior to
planting corn with terminating their
cover crops within 3 days of planting
corn. They also investigated N fertilizer
timing and rates across the cover crop
• Delaying cover crop termination
until a few days before planting
corn increased cover crop biomass
production in the spring.
• Terminating the cover crop a few
days before planting corn generally
resulted in reduced yields at both farms
regardless of N strategy.
• Fall manure with 35 lb N/ac at corn
planting and 90 lb N/ac at side-dress
resulted in no yield drag at Sloan’s
when the cover crop was terminated 3
days before planting corn.
November 20, 2017
Ahead of our annual conference last month, we held a short course titled “Conserving $$ and Soil.” Often the conservation of farm production input costs and soil might be considered at odds with one another. Soil conservation efforts are thought to cost money to implement and/or they might involve producing less which would in turn lose […]
February 1, 2017
Passing on knowledge from farmer to farmer works because farmers are credible to each other. Supporting this farmer-led model is what we strive to do at Practical Farmers of Iowa. Our 2017 annual conference, “Pass It On” (Jan. 201-21 – learn more here), celebrates this model and the impact of farmer-to-farmer learning on farmers’ confidence […]
December 15, 2016
Delaying cover crop termination until corn planting is commonly understood to cause corn yield drag. However, the potential for increased cover crop growth by delaying termination has farmers wondering if that yield drag is true and/or can be overcome. Farmer-cooperator Dick Sloan planted corn on the same date (May 5) following two cover crop termination dates: […]
December 5, 2016
In a Nutshell
• Delaying cover crop termination until
corn planting is commonly understood
to cause corn yield drag. However,
the potential for increased cover crop
growth by delaying termination has
farmers wondering if that yield drag is
true and/or can be overcome.
• Farmer-cooperator Dick Sloan planted
corn on the same date (May 5)
following two cover crop termination
dates: 2 weeks prior to planting corn
(early) and 2 days prior to planting corn
• Sloan saw a 5 bu/ac corn yield
reduction with the late termination
• Corn stands were not affected by cover
crop termination date.
• Soil temperatures were slightly warmer
for one week in May in the early
November 17, 2016
• Two farmers tested Spray strips and
No-Spray control strips of cereal rye for
• This project was a secondary project
within “Fungicide and Plant Growth
Regulator Effect on Cereal Rye
Production” (Gailans et al., 2016).
• At Sieren’s farm, no propiconazole
residue was found above the
detectable limit of 0.05 ppm in No-
Spray control strips.
• At Sloan’s farm, metconazole residues
of 0.02 ppm were found in both control
strip samples, compared to the 1.30
ppm baseline residue level in the
October 20, 2016
In recent years, a growing number of farmers have become interested in raising their own cereal rye seed to use as cover crop seed. However, fungal diseases and lodging can present challenges to raising small grain crops, like cereal rye, in Iowa. Warm and humid conditions during heading and grain fill periods are conducive to fungal […]
October 10, 2016
In a Nutshell
• Fungal diseases and lodging can
present challenges to raising small
grain crops, like cereal rye, in Iowa.
• Farmer-cooperators investigated the
use of fungicides and plant growth
regulators on cereal rye seed crops
to determine effects on yield and
• Across four fields at three farms, in only
one instance, when a fungicide was
paired with a growth regulator, were
cereal rye seed yields and financial
• Germination percentage of harvested
seed was generally greater than 90%
regardless of treatment.
September 30, 2016
Dick Sloan farms near Rowley in northeastern Iowa. For the past two years, he has conducted on-farm research on soybeans grown from neonicotinoid-treated and untreated seeds, and found no differences in yield. As a result, he has been able to cut input costs on his farm. Matt O’Neal, research entomologist at Iowa State University, will discuss recent research on the possible negative impacts of neonicotinoids, along with management alternatives for growers.
March 9, 2016