Water is an extremely valuable input in agriculture, whether delivered through rain, snow or irrigation. This fact was made very apparent during the kickoff presentation at the recent Iowa Water Conference. In his presentation Water Issues in the Developing World, Dick Schultz (Iowa State University) detailed the different sources of water in our world. While it seems that there is “water, water, everywhere”, only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water, the balance resides in the oceans.
Of that fresh water, 69% is in glaciers, 30% is groundwater, 0.3% lakes, 0.06% soil moisture, 0.04% in the atmosphere, 0.06% in rivers and 0.003% in the biosphere. He went on to point out that 50% of the fresh water is in 6 areas: Canada, Russia, Tibet, Columbia, Brazil and Indonesia.
Water has been a hot topic in the US news with stories of the California drought, an extremely snowy winter in the east and nutrient reduction strategies in the Midwest. A quick look at the Drought Monitor shows that drought conditions extend from California to Illinois. Continue reading →
We have written quite a bit about planting date effects on corn grain yield (high moisture and dry corn). What about its effects on corn silage? As planting date becomes more delayed, there is an increased likelihood that fields intended for grain will be harvested for silage, especially if the year remains cool.
Figure 1. Corn forage yield response of full-season hybrids (104-108 RM) to planting date during 2003 to 2012 at Arlington, WI (N= 235 plots).
The grain yield response of full-season hybrids to planting date at Arlington for the last 10 years has been described previously. These treatments were established using 8-row plots; four rows were harvested for silage Continue reading →
Want to learn a lot about crops, climate, culture, and change, all in a short period of time? Check out the Speed Science Resources available on our website. They include both factsheets and short videos and are approved for use in educational, research, and extension settings. Factsheet topics vary from the nitrogen cycle, to cover crops, to drainage water management. The videos cover climate change, soil core sampling, modeling and analysis of soil, and many other topics. Here’s an example of a video. Check it out and tell us what you think!