Production and Harvesting

Information on forage and grazing management of crops such as wheat, alfalfa, fescue, sorghum, corn, rye, canola, clover and birdsfoot trefoil. Tips on determining pasture yield, no-till crop management, crop rotation, silage, haylage and baleage.

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Calves grazing in warm season annuals as part of the USDA-NRCS Management Intensive Grazing demonstration at Ag Progress Days (S. Duiker)
Soil Compaction When Grazing in a Wet Summer - News News
Managing soil compaction while grazing can be a challenge in a wet summer like we are experiencing now, but it can be done, as we learned last week at Ag Progress Days. More
Overgrazing pastures compromises pasture production and exposes the soil to erosion
Avoid Overgrazing Your Pastures - Articles Articles

Avoid Overgrazing Your Pastures

Justin Brackenrich, Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

The summer is upon us and cool season grasses are slowing down their growth. This is the time to pay attention so you don’t overgraze those pastures. More
Hairy vetch, rye, annual ryegrass, and clover cover crop being grazed. Photo Credit: Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State University
Grazing Crop Residues and Cover Crops - Articles Articles

Grazing Crop Residues and Cover Crops

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

Grazing has been largely excluded from our croplands but is receiving new interest as an additional profit center for farmers as well as a way to improve soil. More
Potential to Integrate Grazing into No-Till Systems
Potential to Integrate Grazing into No-Till Systems - Articles Articles

Potential to Integrate Grazing into No-Till Systems

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

This publication details rotating perennial pastures with annual crops, grazing cover crops, and grazing crop residue—all of which show promise to improve profit and soil health and increase diversity on crop farms. More
Meters, Tubes and Coulters; Take Time for Planter Maintenance
Meters, Tubes and Coulters; Take Time for Planter Maintenance - Articles Articles
Many problems with no-till can often be traced back to poor planter performance. More
Residue Distribution Critical for No-till Success
Residue Distribution Critical for No-till Success - Articles Articles

Residue Distribution Critical for No-till Success

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

Did you know that no-till planting starts at harvest? Uniformly distributed crop residue is critical to obtaining a good stand of the next crop. More
From Feast to Famine – Running Out of Water!
From Feast to Famine – Running Out of Water! - Articles Articles

From Feast to Famine – Running Out of Water!

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

The major reason for yield failure in Pennsylvania is lack of moisture during the summer. So what can farmers do to make the most of natural precipitation? More
Planting Green – A New Cover Crop Management Technique
Planting Green – A New Cover Crop Management Technique - Articles Articles
Learn how this no-till farming practice can turn primary crops like corn and soybeans into cover crops, and improve soil conservation and pest management. More
Gerald Holmes, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, Bugwood.org
No-Till Alfalfa - Articles Articles

No-Till Alfalfa

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

No-till alfalfa should be part and parcel of a no-till system. More
Figure 1. Crushing knife rolls on combine head don't cut the stalks but merely crush them so decomposers have many points for attacking the stalks while they remain attached to the root
Corn Residue Management - Articles Articles

Corn Residue Management

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

Tips to help you plant into it this fall or next spring. More
Figure 1. Checking soil conditions and planting depth is essential for a successful start to the growing season.
Monitor Soil Conditions and Planter Performance for Optimal Results - Articles Articles
Use the ‘ball test’ to assess soil conditions and attention to details for planter setup to avoid sidewall compaction and hopefully ensure a good stand. More
Calibrating your Grain Drill
Calibrating your Grain Drill - Articles Articles

Calibrating your Grain Drill

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

A well maintained and calibrated drill can improve your stands, and increase yields while lowering your seed costs. More
The Time for Planter Maintenance is Here
The Time for Planter Maintenance is Here - Articles Articles

The Time for Planter Maintenance is Here

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

Issues with yield reductions in no-tillage can often be traced back to failure to guarantee accurate seed placement. More
Calibration of Grain/Seed Drills
Calibration of Grain/Seed Drills - Articles Articles

Calibration of Grain/Seed Drills

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA, Ron Hoover

The seed delivery system in drills is not as precise as that used in planters because they use flutes or sponges to meter seed instead of seed singulation. More
Photo credit: bigstockphoto.com
Seed and Seedling Biology - Articles Articles

Seed and Seedling Biology

Lee Stivers, Tianna DuPont

In order to grow food with a minimum of external inputs, organic producers need to understand much about the biology of plants and ecological systems. More
Mowing with a scythe.
Mowing with a Scythe - Articles Articles

Mowing with a Scythe

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

The scythe is an instrument used to cut grass or shrub. This article gives a description of different types of scythes, the parts of the scythe, and sharpening and mowing techniques. More