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Tips for Designing and Planting a Winter Garden

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

Tips for Designing and Planting a Winter Garden

  Just because the seasons are changing does not mean your garden has to go into complete hibernation. There are a lot of different blooms that you can use to add color to your winter garden, but you also want to make sure you design the right garden based on the climate and your personal preferences. Use these tips to create a winter garden that everyone will be envious of and that you can enjoy all season long. Know Where You Want to Plant The first thing you need to determine is where you will be planting the seeds. By determining this component, you are able to figure out what kind of sunlight you can offer to the plants. This will help you to determine which seeds you should plant and which ones you need to stay away from. Once you have figured out where you will plant, you can determine if you have full sunlight in the area or partial sunlight. You can also determine if there is good drainage in the soil, which is important for winter flowers in many cases. Find Seeds and Flowers Next, you’ll want to find out which seeds you want to plant. There are a lot of options available on our website including some good mixes to help get you started. Some winter plants offer full blooms in moderate areas, while others really only offer added greenery for the winter. This is something you want to look into because if you’re looking for full blooms, you’ll want to find the right seeds. You not only want to make sure that the seed is ideal for the location, but also ideal based on what you want to create with your winter space. Creating a winter garden is not difficult to do once you know what you need to do to ensure success and once you take the time to figure out what you want. Browse through our selection of both winter and summer plant seeds to find the best mix for you. 

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Wildflower Mixes for Your Climate

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

Wildflower Mixes for Your Climate

  For large-scale, carefree landscaping, nothing beats wildflowers. The right wildflower seed mix will help you control erosion and weeds, while attracting pollinating bees and beneficial insects to your ornamental and edible gardens. But while wildflowers are prized for their hardiness, not every species will succeed in every climate. Finding the Best Wildflower Seed Mix A wildflower seed mix that contains hardy annuals and regional perennials will give your plot the best chance at success. Many “annuals” tend to reseed themselves in wildflower meadows, so that you often don’t have to re-plant your favorites. ●Midwest Moist summers and extreme winters characterize the Midwest. It’s also among the windiest regions in North America. For that reason, hardy wildflower blends are a must. Try annuals such as Corn Poppy and Plains Coreopsis. For perennials, good options include Shasta Daisy, Black-Eyed Susan, Ox-Eye Sunflower, Thickspike Grayfeather, and Gray-Headed Coneflower. ●Northeast The Northeast’s winters are among the coldest in the nation. In addition, heavy snowfall and rainy springs mean that wildflowers need to be able to withstand both extreme cold and moist soil in the growing season. Annuals suitable for Northeast meadows include Arroyo Lupine, Bird’s Eyes, and Tidy-Tips. Perennials to include in your blend include Blue Flax, Blazing Star, and Pale Evening Primrose. ●Southeast The good news is that the Southeast’s short winters make for a longer growing season. What’s challenging? Hot, humid conditions can cause rotting and plant disease in plants that aren’t able to withstand the moist conditions. Good annuals to seed in your meadow include Baby’s Breath, Sulfur Cosmos and Corn Poppies. Perennials that do well in the Southeast include Plains Coreopsis, Black-Eyed Susan, Purple Coneflower, and Blue Flax. ●Northwest Plenty of rain, mild winters, and cool summer nights characterize many parts of the Northwest. That adds up to a need for wildflowers that don’t mind wet roots and fluctuating conditions. For annuals, good options include Baby Blue Eyes, Bird’s Eyes, Five-Spot, and Chinese Houses. Be sure to add perennials such as Yellow Lupine, Russell Lupine, and Lance-Leaved Coreopsis. ●Southwest The Southwestern climate delivers scorching, dry summers and mild winters. Plants that do best in this region are ones which are drought-hardy and don’t wilt in high temperatures. Good options for wildflower annuals are Baby’s Breath, Corn Poppy, and Sulfur Cosmos. Include perennials such as Lemon Mint, Four O-Clocks, Scarlet Sage, and Tree Mallow. Don’t be surprised if some annuals and perennials overlap by region; wildflowers are among the most reliably hardy plants. They're often able to thrive in multiple conditions. It’s also important to remember that there are several micro-climates within the larger regions. Higher elevations will need hardier plants, for example. Check out our online store to find the perfect wildflower mix today!

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Growing High-Yielding Oats

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

Growing High-Yielding Oats

  We feel like we have always done a great job providing our growers and dealers with high quality seed oats at competitive prices, but we’ve maybe fallen short educating on the “how-tos” of oat growing. Growing 100-bushel oats is far from unachievable, but we need to start looking at the finer details. We have put together this basic manual with hopes that our growers can improve their oat yields and quality. Here’s the quick and dirty… YOU MUST TREAT YOUR OATS LIKE A CROP This cannot be stressed enough. Oats require attention/fertility just as corn and soybeans do Get them in early Oats are tough. Calibrate your drill For high yielding oats, you need population. Shoot for 100 lbs/acre or 1.0 to 1.3 million plants per acre. Start with a clean seed bed A clean seed bed will allow for firm seed-to-soil contact. When no-tilling, it is pertinent to ensure coulters and press wheels are functioning properly. USE A FUNGICIDE The usage of a fungicide can be the difference between an okay oat crop and a tremendous oat crop. In a 2018 trial at the University of Wisconsin, the use of Trivapro at 13.7 oz/acre resulted in an average increase of 38 bu/acre across four oat varieties. Spraying a fungicide at Feekes Stage 8 will greatly benefit you oat crop. Overall yields will be better, test weights will be higher, standability will increase, and crown rust incidences will be lower. The graphic below shows what an oat plant will look like throughout the 11 Feekes Stages. Nutrient Removal Chart – This is what it takes to grow a 100-bushel oat crop Grain Straw (If Removed) Total Removal Nitrogen 78# 31# 99# Phosphorus 29# 16# 45# Potassium 20# 95# 115# Sulfur 8# 11# 19#

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Crop Rotation & Cover Crops

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

Crop Rotation & Cover Crops

  A common question regarding cover crops is how they work into my crop rotation? A corn/soybean rotation is an extremely typical rotation for the use of cover crops. Adding small grains, such as oats, barley or pea blends can add additional opportunity to use cover crops into your rotation. Proper use of cover crops into your crop rotation can help weed control, reduce water runoff and decrease the reliance on other crop inputs. Planning and understanding what cover crop seed can accomplish, along with your main goals, will improve your land over time.  When considering how to use cover crops into your crop rotation, follow the below do’s and don'ts. DO’s Develop a plan As any farmer knows, a plan can change due to mother nature so flexibility is key. Set your main goals Eg. Provide weed control, add organic matter, additional grazing, reduce soil erosion … Just a few goals to ponder. Use multiple species Such as brassicas, legumes, broadleaves and grasses Understand how, and best way, to eliminate cover crops Take your herbicide program into consideration. Many herbicide programs will not allow a successful cover crop due to their residual activity Have patience! DON’Ts Overseed cover crops hHigher seeding rates doesn’t necessarily lead to better results and increases your costs. We’re not harvesting these for yield, having a carpet-type catch isn’t exactly necessary. Use radish after corn and before soybeans Radish is a white mold host. Give up after one year Cover crops are not a ‘quick’ fix  Winter rye, known as the “king” of cover crops, is the most widely used cover crop. Also known as cereal rye, this species allows late growth into the fall and comes back early in the spring to combat weeds. Rye seed is typically inexpensive, easy to plant, germinates quickly and can be planted later than most other species; all extremely beneficial traits of an effective cover crop seed. Rye seed is also one of the easiest species to work into your crop rotation. Other common species of cover crop seed that can be worked into your crop rotation include crimson clover, daikon radish, oats, barley and turnips to name just a few. A large list of species can be included into a cover crop seeding plan and all present their own list of benefits and challenges. Understanding what each seed can accomplish on your farm will provide soil improvement over time. Again, cover crops are NOT a quick fix and many goals can take years to accomplish. Our team at Elk Mound Seed can always help you develop a cover crop seed strategy depending on your crop rotation, main goals and budget.

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Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

Farmers Spring To Do List: Evaluate Alfalfa Winterkill

  As we near the planting season, farmers are getting outside and assessing their alfalfa fields. Below are some tips when looking out in your alfalfa field to determine any winterkill. What to Look for with Alfalfa Winterkill Frozen and dried-up crown tissue are signs of alfalfa winterkill, and the crown and upper root become even more susceptible to cold. Furthermore, the tissue is more likely to be damaged because the crown becomes exposed to low temperatures when elevated above the protection of the soil. Alfalfa will often pop out of the ground when pulled, with little effort, because the tap root has already been completely severed by the action of the ice pushing up on the crown, often occurring at 2 to 10 inches below the soil line. Steps to follow when determining winter kill: Know where to look Field with inadequate drainage Low fertility fields Ice - when ice surrounds the roots it cuts off oxygen to the plant Check Your Fields Dig up alfalfa roots Identify plant health Monitoring stand counts Determine if re-establishment is needed Have a plan Determine long term and short term options Below are some examples of what alfalfa winterkill looks like: UW-Extension Office Article on Alfalfa Stand Assessment What Farmers Should Consider if They are Suffering Alfalfa Winterkill Thankfully, farmers have an alternative that will allow them to come back from the upset of alfalfa winterkill. Alfalfa winterkill is not the end of your season. An emergency can help cover your forage loss. Check out at our pea blends (peas/oats, peas/barley or pea/triticale) for a quick, emergency forage.

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Prepare Your Lawn & Garden Starting in January

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

Prepare Your Lawn & Garden Starting in January

  For lawn and gardening enthusiasts, planting season can’t come soon enough. But as any seasoned gardener will tell you, gardening doesn’t start the moment you put the seed in the ground. Much preparation has to be done before the seed hits the ground. No matter how small or large your lawn or garden, you can begin preparing for the season as early as January when the ground is still covered in ice and snow. Here’s what you can do to prepare your lawn and garden starting in January. Review and Plan A lot of what you do in January includes reviewing last year’s performance, as well as planning for how you’ll do better this upcoming year. Here are some ways to achieve this: ●Take inventory and get your online orders ready. Try to order only what you think you’ll need so that you don’t waste seeds. ●Start online shopping now. Companies such as Elk Mound Seed already have an extensive inventory of seeds ready to sell and plant. ●Review your performance from last year. How did your flower garden, lawn, or vegetable garden do? What could you have done better? What problems did you experience that you need to overcome this year? ●Rethink your garden design. Pay attention to areas that need more sun. You may also need to expand or shrink your garden depending on how much time and effort you can give to the project. ●Do you keep a garden journal? Review it and adjust it as needed. Assess the Current Condition of Your Plants ●Check all of your seeds and bulbs. Do you notice any rotting, discoloration, or dead inventory? Get rid of them if they are rotten. If not, you may want to refresh them a little by spraying some water on them. ●Check outdoor plants for ground heaving. If the ground is heaving and pushing up the plant, then mulch the plant. You can even recycle your old Christmas tree and use it as mulch. ●Wintertime is the perfect time to prune your plants, winter flowers, or winter vegetables. You may also want to spend some time clearing out any brush. Education and Enrichment ●See if any local farm or home improvement businesses are giving mini seminars during the winter to help farmers prepare for the upcoming season. ●Go online to find some gardening resources and online publications. ●Check our website and read our blog. We are always updating information on best gardening practices, best environmental conditions for plants, and tips on how to make your garden grow. Order Your Elk Mound Seeds Online Today! If you are looking for organic seed products for your garden, landscape, or plot, contact Elk Mound Seed Company. We offer a wide selection of seed products for farms and properties across the Midwest. To learn more about our products or to order your seeds, you can browse our website and order online. You can also contact us at 800-401-7333, or you can message us at sales@Elkmoundseed.com.

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Understanding the Carbon to Nitrogen (C:N) Ratio and Its Importance in Cropping Systems

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

Understanding the Carbon to Nitrogen (C:N) Ratio and Its Importance in Cropping Systems

  What is the Carbon Nitrogen Ratio? The carbon to nitrogen ratio is a measure of comparing the mass of carbon to nitrogen in a sample of soil. Varying ratios can have an effect on residue decomposition, nutrient cycling, and ultimately microbial populations. Simply put higher carbon to nitrogen ratios will decompose more slowly than lower ratios. An ideal microbial diet consists of a 24:1 C:N ratio and microbes will be most efficient at decomposing plant residues at this ratio. With a 24:1 C:N ratio, microbes will break down residues relatively quickly so take this into consideration when planning for soil cover.   So how should I use this knowledge to plan for cover crops? As stated above, C:N ratios should be balanced in such a way that the microbes have a healthy diet, but ratios should be high enough to maintain soil cover. When planting cover crops, take into consideration the residue from the previous crop and the C:N ratios in the products in the cover crops. As a rule of thumb, corn does best following a low C:N ratio cover crop and soybeans do best when following a higher C:N ratio cover crop.

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Popular Deer Food Plot Seeds

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

Popular Deer Food Plot Seeds

  Some people devote their time and attention keeping deer away from their plants, but we hunters are always ready to draw deer onto our land each hunting season. Since there are so many options to draw deer in each year, we have to do a bit of planning ahead of time. So which plants will you have in your food plot this season? Our food plot experts are here to give some advice. Deer Food Plots When it comes to food that would appeal to deer, you have to be specific. In the Midwest, deer tend to eat more alfalfa, clover, corn, and soybeans. Other crops that deer can't get enough of are orchard grass, peas, chicory, kale, sorghum, alfalfa, turnips, soybeans, and peas. Even if deer end up missing out on the buffet of food you've planted for them, there's still plenty of great meals that other animals, like turkey, ducks, and geese, might find appealing. Another food that deer can't get enough of are nutritious nuts. For example: Acorns and chestnuts are a top choice for deer when nearby vegetation is slowly declining. Do Your Homework So before you start selecting the food you plan on planting in your plot, you could benefit greatly from local farmers and wildlife experts for additional information regarding the area you plan on planting seeds in. For example: You'll quickly realize that deer will ignore your plot if you select a food that is abundant in your region. If there's a cornfield nearby, why would a deer want to visit your tiny corn plot if they can feast all day elsewhere? That's why you need to plan ahead before you simply grab some seeds and start planting. The more you do your research, the more likely your plot will be your success. Also, it's important to understand that your plot shouldn't be near a road. Vehicles tend to scare off animals, so keep it away from a road if possible. Another thing to consider is to keep your deer food plot away from an area that is prone to floods. A flood can render your hard work useless, so make sure your plot will remain safe after a severe storm. Considering the information above, adding the right type of plants can make your plot incredibly popular among deer. Thankfully, Elk Mound Seed can provide you with more information regarding deer feeding plots and so much more. Browse through our selection to find the right seed to plant! 

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Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

The Importance of Reading Herbicide Labels for Glyphosate Tolerant Crops

Reading and interpreting a herbicide label has become increasingly difficult over the past several years as weeds have become more difficult to control in many settings. To combat these difficulties, herbicide manufacturers have been adding other active ingredients to popular products such as Roundup®. This has generated a tremendous amount of confusion and has resulted in injuring or killing products we did not intend to kill. This is where the importance of taking a close look at your herbicide label comes into play.  When purchasing your herbicide for glyphosate tolerant products, the label should show glyphosate and only glyphosate as the active ingredient.  Diquat dibromide has been commonly added to products labeled as Roundup® to help the glyphosate work more effectively and more quickly.  This can result in crop injury or death when these products are applied once the crop has emerged.  The images below show a sample of a herbicide label that would be acceptable to use on glyphosate tolerant crops as well as a label that shouldn’t be used on glyphosate tolerant crops. If you ever have a question regarding reading your herbicide label, please do not hesitate to reach out to the experts at Elk Mound Seed.

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The Best Grass Seed to Plant in the Midwest

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

The Best Grass Seed to Plant in the Midwest

  Before planting new grass in the great Midwest, you'll quickly realize that there's quite a bit of research involved before you can make a selection. Why? Well, not all grass is alike and some grass grows better depending on the location or climate. In addition to this, many need to take into consideration such details regarding the characteristics of their property. For example, a shady yard might need more or less care than a yard exposed to full sunlight. Here are some great grasses we recommend that thrive in the Midwest: ●Fine Fescue Fine fescue is a popular choice in the Midwest. This grass requires less maintenance than most grasses, and it has no problem adjusting to shade. In addition to this, it can handle low pH levels, poor soil quality, and it can tolerate shade. Fine fescue can also tolerate foot traffic and doesn't require a lot of fertilizer. One can simply plant fine fescue by itself, but many mix it with Kentucky Bluegrass. ●Perennial Ryegrass Perennial Ryegrass is for the homeowner who doesn't want to wait forever for a seed to establish. This is one of the many reasons why individuals turn to this seed for their lawns. It has a quick germination window, and it works great when blended with Kentucky Bluegrass. In addition to this, it can tolerate foot traffic as well. ●Tall Fescue When it comes to low maintenance areas, tall fescue is an ideal choice. It can handle diseases, pests, and help soil that has low levels of nutrients. It is capable of germinating quickly, yet it still falls behind perennial ryegrass. To make matters even better, it can tolerate drought and foot traffic. ●Kentucky Bluegrass Kentucky Bluegrass is known as one of the most that properties used in the Midwest. Between the hardiness and the appealing look, homeowners cannot get enough of it. In addition to this, Kentucky Bluegrass carries the ability to fill in its own damaged areas without the need of the owner reseeding. However, it should be mentioned that one needs to mow, water, and fertilize the grass because it is high maintenance. This grass can handle a harsh winter, but it will require full sun. If you plan on putting it in an area with shade, mixing it with some fine fescue might do the trick. Buy Online Today Considering the information above, adding the right grass can do wonders for your yard. Thankfully, Elk Mound Seed carries a wide variety of native Midwestern grasses. Browse our selection today!

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Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

The Value of Cover Crops... Survey Says

  Who doesn’t like the results of a good survey? This one in particular has us excited. We’ve been talking with farmers about cover crops for quite a few years now. Recently, the calls are coming in, and farmers are seeing the value of cover crops. The results of 2016-2017 National Cover Crop Survey demonstrates that even further. The survey was conducted by CTIC(Conservation Technology Information Center) with funding support from USDA-SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) program and ASTA (American Seed Trade Association). A group of over 2,000 farmers responded, and of this population 88% of them have planted some cover crops. Impressive statistic! The results of this survey provide a first-hand account of why farmers are planting cover crops. Due to this value that farmers gain from cover crops, the survey revealed that farmers have increased their planting of cover crops acreage and in turn yields have improved. While soil building is a relatively slow process, this chart below shows us some exciting statistics.  Learn More about Cover Crops As it proves from the information above, farmers are onboard with cover crops. So, what’s next for cover crops? How can this trend go even further? The fact is...there is not a one size fits all cover crop. There are many different species that can be implemented in many different systems which all perform differently. And it’s not as simple as having one cover crop to suit your land and soil--more often, farmers are being advised to plant a “cocktail” of cover crops that will create the perfect formula and promote the best possible scenario for their fields. In the past, farmers have been tasked to blend their cover crops themselves--but those days are over. At EMS, we look to mix and bag custom blends of cover crops according to what farmers need. We work hard to stock the widest variety of cover crops so that we can offer the best balance of seeds that will get your soil the best payoff. We have the knowledge of how cover crops perform, and we have completed many tests to better our understanding. Every season, we look to pass this knowledge onto our farmers--we’re just a phone call away at 800-401-7333.

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How to Prepare Your Seedbed Before Planting Corn

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

How to Prepare Your Seedbed Before Planting Corn

  The goal of preparing your seedbed for corn growth is to develop a firm bed with minimum moisture loss or wind erosion. With some practice and patience, you can achieve this over time as you become a better farmer. Corn germination depends on the temperature of the soil. In an ideal environment, the soil should reach between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit during early May. You can apply nitrogen fertilizers by broadcasting the ammonium nitrate on the surface and relying on the rain to work the fertilizer into the ground. ●Ideal Dates for Seeding Ideally, you should seed the corn between May 1 and May 15. If you plant the seed earlier, you may run into problems with morning frost. If you seed the corn later than May 15, you may get a smaller yield. You should also consider the same for silage. If you plant the silage early, you will get the best results with higher quality silage. ●Depth You should plant corn in warm, moist soil with enough coverage to protect it against birds, mice, and some insects. The recommended depth is 1.5 to 2 inches into the ground. If you plant the corn too shallow, warm daytime temperatures could dry out the surface. If you plant the corn below three inches, the seeds will be exposed to cool soil temperatures. This can lead to seed rot. ●Rate There are several factors that determine the seed rate, such as soil type, fertility, drainage, planting dates, location, and the reason why you are planting the corn. When looking at rates, you should look for 1,000 kernels/acre. However, the plant stand count is more accurate for optimal growth. Ideally, you want to plant 24,000 to 26,000 corn stalks per acre. ●Row Width Average row widths range from 30 to 36 inches. The main consideration when establishing your row width is the type of equipment you will be using to nurture and harvest the corn. You must be able to get through the rows. ●Seed Treatment Growers should only purchase and use high-quality seed corn to get optimum yields. Being picky about your corn seed also keeps the agricultural standards high across the industry. It also ensures that the corn is edible and delicious. You should encounter few problems with vigor and germination corn levels. Contact Elk Mound Seed Company If you are looking for seed products for your garden, landscape, or plot, contact Elk Mound Seed today. We offer a wide selection of seed products for farms and properties across the Midwest. To learn more about our products or to order your seeds, you can browse our website and order online. You can also contact us at 800-401-7333, or you can message us at sales@Elkmoundseed.com.

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Why and How Farmers Can Benefit from Social Media

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

Why and How Farmers Can Benefit from Social Media

  Agriculture. Farming. Social Media. When you hear these together, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe you think that these have nothing in common. Why would people be talking about farming on Facebook? How can agriculture be trending on Twitter? I thought only my kids were on social media…. In recent years, social media has become a place for farmers and agricultural minds to congregate, share information and collaborate news and happenings with one another and consumers. If there is something to be known regarding agriculture and farming, it can be found on social media. Writers, researchers, knowledge sources, and even farmers themselves are not turning to social media to connect and look for news and information regarding their specialty. Why Farmers Can Benefit from Social Media Social media allows farmers to connect with consumers--sharing information that builds knowledge and awareness for their focus and trade. A farmer that grows conventional seed corn (link to seed corn page) may use social media to share images of the progress of their growth during the season. They may also share insights and seed corn news--things that the average person may not know. That same farmer may also use social media to connect with and follow the activity of seed corn researchers to learn more about seed corn advancements for the upcoming season. How Farmers Can Benefit from Social Media In a world of evolving technology, social media is allowing for farmers to expand their visibility and build a rapport with immediate and even unexpected stakeholders. Sometimes, consumers often forget that the food on their table is created in thanks to a farmer, and that the clothing they wear also comes from the work of a farmer. Going to social media--the place where today’s culture gathers--farmers are able to speak to the average person and share their efforts and expand awareness for agriculture and what it provides our society. In turn, farmers will also find that they are able to learn of news and happenings maybe even more quickly than they would if they were to pick up the paper in a couple of days. Social media brings news right to our fingertips. Farmers can become more knowledgeable, more quickly--giving them more time to focus on what is really important... their farm and a successful season. Where Do You Begin? Social media takes practice. If you were to visit Twitter for the very first time tomorrow, you may find yourself very overwhelmed by the activity and not know where to begin. That’s okay! We encourage you to take to Google and research some social media tactics for beginners--you will be sure to find a great collection of helpful articles. We hope to see more and more farmers and agriculturalists on social media. Whether you are just beginning your social media adventure or you are a seasoned social media participant, we would be honored to have you follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

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Does Using Sized Corn Seed Improve Yields?

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

Does Using Sized Corn Seed Improve Yields?

  Are you wondering if all that talk of ordering a particular size of seed corn has anything to do with a farm's ability to see significant profits? At Elk Mound Seed, we do offer the chance to order sized seed, keep this in mind for next year's crop. Read on to learn more about seed corn and how sizing affects your yields. What is Sized Corn Seed? The size and shape of seed corn is determined by where each kernel grows on the ear of corn. Small and round seeds are grown at the tip of the ear, while large and flat units grow at the base of the ear. When you order and plant a specific seed size, you are planting seeds from a variety of sources that all meet the same size requirement determined by the sorting machine at the processing plant. It became popular as planting equipment became automated, and uniform seeds helped to attain the proper density of seeds during planting. Does it Really Improve Crop Yields? The ability of any seed to germinate and produce a hearty stalk with healthy ears of corn is determined by the health of its parent stalk and ear—not its shape. Your sized seed mix may include small, round seeds from both robust and stressed crops. Not every seed in the batch will produce an equally healthy stalk of corn. However, your planter will put down a more uniform layer without over or under-seeding, which is a significant determining factor in the overall success of your field. Using sized seed does see a more consistent yield compared to mixed sized seed. Adjusting Your Planter will Improve Performance If your preferred size of seed is not available for your planting period, you can still harvest an excellent crop by adjusting your planter to meet the average size of the seed supplied. Large flat kernels, medium round, or small and flat kernels from a single source will all germinate and grow at the same speed. It is the genetics of the hybrid of seed used that will have a greater impact on your overall yield and should always be your primary determining factor when shopping for seed. Order Your Seed Today At Elk Mound Seed, we carry a large variety of seed corn options including conventional varieties, Pilgrim varieties, silage-specific varieties, open pollinated, and even organic. You can browse through our large selection of seed corn, and now, you can purchase online! 

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No Smooth Bromegrass?  Now What!?

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

No Smooth Bromegrass? Now What!?

  With a near-total crop failure with Smooth Bromegrass, the team at Elk Mound Seed has been bombarded with questions on which varieties for forage grasses are viable substitutions for a long-time favorite. Despite the bad news, Elk Mound Seed has managed to procure a very limited supply of Smooth Brome and we've also got supply of Meadow Brome, an extremely suitable substitution. Meadow brome shares many of the favored qualities of Smooth Brome, with added palatability and more timely maturity when planted with alfalfa. Smooth Bromegrass vs. Meadow Bromegrass They’re both going to be very comparable when considering forage quality Meadow brome will have quicker regrowth and will be more comparable to alfalfa in maturity Meadow brome will establish a little more slowly than smooth brome Meadow brome will not spread as aggressively as smooth brome; less likely to overtake an alfalfa stand Meadow brome is slightly less winter-hardy. Smooth brome is extremely winter-hardy, so this shouldn’t be a major concern While we don't like sharing bad news about seed shortages, we're proud to be able to provide several other quality substitutions for any forage needs.  If you've got any in-depth questions and would like to speak with a qualified, experienced professional, call the experts at Elk Mound Seed at 715-879-5556   "Establishing Roots, Building Relationships"

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Spring Lawn Cleanup

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

Spring Lawn Cleanup

  As the snow piles clear and the sunshine makes its way to your overwintering lawn, it becomes time to perform that spring cleanup. To help prepare your lawn for a great start we have put together a simple step-by-step guide for the spring. Our experts at Elk Mound Seed can help advise on any of the steps to help get your lawn in the right direction. Spring Cleanup Step-by-Step Guide Remove all debris from the yard (including leaves, dead grass, rocks, pet droppings, etc.). Level and repair any areas that have been damaged from snow removal or ice melt. Overseed in necessary areas that were winter killed or damaged. Fertilize and/or lime your lawn with recommended soil requirements from a Lawn & Garden soil test. This small investment will go a long way getting the proper nutrients to your soil. NOTE: Do not use our crabgrass preventer fertilizer (19-0-0) when overseeding. This will prevent any new seedlings from sprouting. Get that lawn mower ready: Tune up if necessary Check sharpness of lawn mower blades. Dull blades can damage and injure grass. Mowing your lawn for the first time. Allow your lawn to grow higher than normal mowing height. NOTE: Mowing your lawn on a higher setting helps grass outcompete weeds. Aerate your lawn (only late spring if this step was not done the previous fall - fall is ideal for aeration of lawn). We hope these tips will help your lawn become envied throughout your neighborhood. As always, if we left any questions unanswered, please don’t hesitate to call us at 800-401-7333 or email us at sales@elkmoundseed.com.

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Keeping Deer from Your Wildflowers

Articles – by David Harden – May 15, 2024

Keeping Deer from Your Wildflowers

  You’ve done the work to prepare your soil and site for wildflowers. You’ve planted at the correct time with proper depth and seeding rate. You begin to experience what a full wildflower patch or field can look like and then come the deer and they munch all your flowers away! This scenario is common among wildflowers, especially in areas where the deer herd is abundant. The question then becomes, how can I keep the deer away from my wildflowers? First, let’s begin at the planting stage. Sowing wildflowers that are not very palatable to deer will lessen the chance they choose to browse your fields. We at Elk Mound Seed carry a specific deer resistant wildflower mix, that is an excellent option. Additionally, individual species such as Wild Bergamont / Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) are a few popular flowers less attractive to deer. However, even these less palatable flowers may still be grazed by wildlife if the herd population is large and forage availability is low. Second, the surrounding forage availability can also affect deer feeding on your wildflowers. If neighboring properties have food plots or row crops such as corn or soybeans, it could become more or less challenging depending on the deer herd population. If these properties provide enough forage for the deer herd, your wildflowers may be left alone. However, if your neighbor’s properties attract a large deer herd and the field doesn’t provide enough forage, they may wander onto your property for additional forage. Thirdly, fencing can help keep deer from your wildflowers. Similarly to what gardeners do to keep their crops flourishing, fencing can keep deer and other wildlife from your wildflowers. A downside of this option is it can become quite costly, depending on the size of your plot. In conclusion, preparation of wildflowers seeds you are planting, understanding your surrounding area’s deer herd and forage availability and, if available, fencing will help you develop a lush, wildflower patch. Our team at Elk Mound Seed is always available to assist with questions.

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