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Mark M. Alley

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
Agronomy Handbook, 2000 May 1, 2009 424-100
Corn Fertility Update – Spring 2010 Jun 11, 2010 3006-1448
Corn Planting Dates in the Piedmont and Valley Regions of Virginia: How Early is Early? May 1, 2009 424-032
Corn Planting Dates in the Virginia Coastal Plain: How early is early? May 1, 2009 424-033
Deep Tillage Prior to No-Till Corn: Research and Recommendations May 1, 2009 424-053
Fertilizer Types and Calculating Application Rates Aug 4, 2009 424-035
Growing Bread Wheat in the Mid-Atlantic Region

The more than 55 million people who live in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States want to purchase processed grain foods such as bread and other dough products made from hard, or bread, wheat. 

May 1, 2009 424-024
Growing Hulless Barley in the Mid-Atlantic May 1, 2009 424-022
Intensive Soft Red Winter Wheat Production

New and successful techniques have been developed for intensive soft red winter wheat management by a multidisciplinary research and Extension team at Virginia Tech. Research was started in the early 1980's and continues today. The guidelines presented in this manual and the accompanying videotape are based on that research.

May 1, 2009 424-803
Interpreting Yield Maps - "I gotta yield map - now what?"

Yield monitors are the first step many producers take into the age of precision farming. While their cost is reasonable, the commitment of time and resources required to effectively use this technology is significant. A yield monitor, combined with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, is simply an electronic tool that collects data on crop performance for a given year. The monitor measures and records information such as crop mass, moisture, area covered, and location. Yield data are automatically calculated from these variables.

May 1, 2009 442-509
Nitrogen Fertilization of Winter Barley: Principles and Recommendations May 1, 2009 424-801
Nitrogen Management for Winter Wheat: Principles and Recommendations May 1, 2009 424-026
Nitrogen Soil Testing For Corn in Virginia

An adequate supply of plant-available nitrogen (N) is crucial for efficient corn production, and corn N requirements are greater than any other nutrient. For example, a corn crop yielding 150 bushels per acre typically contains about 165 lbs N in the grain and stover, or approximately 1.1 lbs N/bu grain. These calculations are based on actual N uptake, and allowances must be made for actual fertilizer use efficiency and soil N availability.

May 1, 2009 418-016
Nitrogen and Phosphorous Fertilization of Corn May 1, 2009 424-027
No-Tillage Small Grain Production in Virginia May 1, 2009 424-005
Pop-up and/or Starter Fertilizers for Corn Mar 8, 2010 3002-1438
Precision Farming Tools: GPS Navigation

For a review of the principles of GPS to locate specific field points, refer to this GPS Tutorial (Trimble Navigation Limited, 2008). GPS and associated navigation systems are used in many types of agricultural operations. These systems are useful particularly in applying pesticides, lime, and fertilizers and in tracking wide planters/drills or large grain-harvesting platforms. GPS navigation tools can replace foam for sprayers and planter/drill-disk markers for making parallel swaths across a field. Navigation systems help operators reduce skips and overlaps, especially when using methods that rely on visual estimation of swath distance and/or counting rows. This technology reduces the chance of misapplication of agrochemicals and has the potential to safeguard water quality. Also, GPS navigation can be used to keep implements in the same traffic pattern year-to-year (controlled traffic), thus minimizing adverse effects of implement traffic.

May 1, 2009 442-501
Precision Farming Tools: Global Positioning System (GPS)

Precision Farming. Modern agricultural management practices are changing from assuming homogenous fields to attempting to address field variability by dividing the field into smaller zones and managing these zones separately. Precision farming can be defined as the gathering of information dealing with spatial and temporal variation within a field and then using that information to manage inputs and practices (Precision Farming: A Comprehensive Approach, Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) publication 442-500). Precision farming is made possible by linking computers, on-the-go sensors, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and other devices. This publication discusses GPS principles and the technology that makes it possible.

May 1, 2009 442-503
Precision Farming Tools: Soil Electrical Conductivity

Soil electrical conductivity (EC) is a measurement that correlates with soil properties that affect crop productivity, including soil texture, cation exchange capacity (CEC), drainage conditions, organic matter level, salinity, and subsoil characteristics. This publication discusses: 1) How, with field verification, soil EC can be related to specific soil properties that affect crop yield, such as topsoil depth, pH, salt concentrations, and available water-holding capacity; 2) Soil EC maps often visually correspond to patterns on yield maps and can help explain yield variation; and 3) Other uses of soil EC maps (Table 1), including developing management zones, guiding directed soil sampling, assigning variable rates of crop inputs, fine tuning NRCS soil maps, improving the placement and interpretation of on-farm tests, salinity diagnosis, and planning drainage remediation.

May 1, 2009 442-508
Precision Farming Tools: Variable-Rate Application

There are a number of questions that must be answered before establishing a site-specific crop management (SSCM) program. Many of these questions are economic, some are agronomic and environmental, and others are technology-related. This publication is intended to discuss variable-rate devices that are available, while providing an understanding of which technologies might best fit a cropping system and production management strategy.

Aug 1, 2011 442-505
Precision Farming Tools: Yield Monitor

Using yield monitors is the first step many producers take in precision farming (Precision Farming: A Comprehensive Approach, Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) publication 442-500). A yield monitor, combined with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, is an electronic tool that collects data on crop performance for a given year. The yield monitor for grain measures and records information such as grain flow, grain moisture, area covered, and location. Yields are automatically calculated. Yield monitors also are available for commodities such as peanuts, cotton, forage silage, and sugar beets. These monitors have some elements in common with grain-yield monitors. While the cost of a yield monitor is reasonable, the commitment of time and resources required to effectively use this technology can be significant.

May 1, 2009 442-502
Precision Farming: A Comprehensive Approach

Precision Farming (PF), also referred to as precision agriculture or variable rate technology, is the process used to vary management of crop production across a field. Midwestern farmers have been using PF technologies for several years and it is now becoming popular in Virginia. This publication introduces the principles and terminology used in PF. Crop producers can use this information to gain a working knowledge of PF and develop the ability to implement PF technologies in traditional crop production.

May 1, 2009 442-500
Sources of Lime for Acid Soils in Virginia May 1, 2009 452-510
Successful No-Tillage Corn Production Jul 29, 2009 424-030
Using the Virginia Cooperative Extension Climate Analysis Web Tool to Better Manage and Predict Wheat Development

Wheat development is affected by nutrients, water, light, and other factors; but temperature consistently determines how quickly or slowly plants move ahead in forming leaves, roots, tillers, and grain heads. The plant's development stage at any point during the season is affected very predictably by how warm or cool the season has been up to that point. This knowledge, combined with educated guesses about how the rest of the growing season will progress, can be extremely valuable information to the grower, who can then make more informed management decisions to include predicting the maturity/harvest schedule.

May 1, 2009 424-004
Using the Virginia Cooperative Extension Climate Analysis Web Tool to Develop a Corn Planting Strategy

With adequate soil moisture, early-planted corn generally out yields late-planted corn due to its better use of sunlight during June and July. The goal for most producers is to plant as early as possible and still achieve rapid emergence and a good crop stand.

May 1, 2009 424-003
Using the Virginia Cooperative Extension Climate Analysis Web Tool to Monitor, Predict, and Manage Corn Development

How a corn crop develops is affected by many factors: fertilization, rainfall, sunny or cloudy weather, hybrid or maturity group, etc. But these factors generally play second fiddle to temperature in determining when a corn crop tassels or is ready to harvest. Many years of observation have shown that plant development at any point during the season is affected very predictably by how warm or cool the season has been to that point. This knowledge, combined with projections about the remainder of the growing season, can sometimes be used to make mid-season adjustments in management and to predict harvest schedules.

May 1, 2009 424-055
Virginia Landowner’s Guide to the Carbon Market May 28, 2009 442-138
Virginia No-Till Fact Sheet Series Number Five - Understanding Ammonia Volatilization from Fertilizers Aug 27, 2009 2908-1404
Virginia No-Till Fact Sheet Series Number Six - Nitrogen Fertilizer Sources and Properties Aug 27, 2009 2908-1405
Virginia No-Till Fact Sheet Series Number Two: Nitrogen Fertilizer Injection in No-Till Systems Nov 16, 2010 3011-1516
Wheat Planted Without Fertilizer: Fall 2008

There is apparently a significant acreage of winter wheat that was planted without any fertilizer applied at planting. The “plan” for this wheat may be to see if wheat prices increase and/or fertilizer prices decrease through the winter to levels that enable growers to make a profit. While this type of plan is very understandable with the wheat crop economics that have existed from September through the first of December, careful evaluation of the crop and selective use of fertilizers and weed control can increase potential yields and profits. The following discussion offers some ideas for advisers and growers to consider.

May 1, 2009 2812-1023