As seen in Illinois AgriNews

Because of the benefits corn and soybean growers are seeing associated with Cover Crop applications, the number of acres being planted to Cover Crops continues to rise.

At the same time, with more persistent weeds showing tolerance to glyphosate herbicide programs in recent years, another rising trend involves growers adding tank mix partners and other modes of action that provide some residual weed control for their Cash Crops.

When these two trends converge, it can be problematic, leaving growers wondering about the effect that any related herbicide residue

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Some may feel the 2016 crop is off and running at a slower than desirable pace with just 66% of the state's corn crop planted.  When compared to recent history, we are well beyond the five year average of 38%.  This would mimic what I have been hearing across our sales territories from our Seed Specialists.  The recent rains and cool weather have slowed recent progress on those numbers but we are in very good shape nonetheless.  Our current GDU accumulation is running a little behind schedule, with 440 GDU's accumulated (Normal, IL.).  Based on an April

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As seen in Illinois AgriNews -

When accounting for the broad range of factors that can affect yield potential, it’s extremely important to evaluate the soil’s micronutrient profile—that mix of seven essential minerals growers can often overlook while making more conventional NPK fertility decisions.

Why Micronutrients Are Important

Crop production involves 16 basic elements, seven of which are micronutrients—boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc—that all serve

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Killing Annual Ryegrass

Annual ryegrass is an outstanding cover crop for building soil health.  The goal is a successful control following the first herbicide application.  There are several key factors to keep in mind when it comes to terminating this cover crop.
- Glyphosate requires a minimum air temperature of 60 degrees
- Soil temperature should be 45 degrees
- Spray after the dew is dry and stop by mid-afternoon to allow 4-5 hours of sunlight for herbicide to translocate
Top Growth
- Allow your stand to be completely green and grow 6 to
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As seen in Illinois AgriNews -

To optimize corn production, producers should today pay close attention to carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and mineralization, as they manage soil nutrients in the spring and fall. The fall harvest date and the spring’s temperature and moisture levels have a significant impact on the breakdown of crop residue and mineralization, the release of nutrients into the soil.

Breakdown of Crop Residue

We know that the higher the carbon–nitrogen ratio

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As seen in Illinois AgriNews on February 9th 2016

When is innovation just high-tech hoopla, and when does it have a real place on the farm? That’s the question many growers are pondering with the rise of the agricultural drone—a device that, while intriguing, leaves many wondering how they could really put one to productive use in an ag operation.

But, before dismissing the notion, growers ought to consider the data. In one study, for example, conducted by Informa Economics and Measure (Des Moines Register, July 21, 2015), researchers projected that, through the use of drones, corn,

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Matching Soils to Ear Type when Selecting Hybrids

As seen in January 14th Agrinews


Apart from having productivity goals that extend beyond a single season, 365-day yield strategies to increase APH are also characterized by multiple, sometimes subtle, decisions that, collectively, expand yield potential.

As growers refine their hybrid packages for 2016, one of the understated factors worth considering involves the process of selecting ear type and leaf orientation based on soil characteristics. 


Low-Productivity Acres = Flex Ear + Open-Architecture Leaf


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ProHarvest President, Randy Wilken, addresses members at the 27th annual Independent Professional Seed

Association (IPSA) conference in St. Louis, Missouri. After serving as the Association’s first Vice President in

2015, Randy is stepping into the role of IPSA President for 2016.

The opportunities before independent seed companies in today’s market are tremendous. Since its formation in 1989, the Independent Professional SeedAssociation (IPSA) has served as an advocate for growers and customers, now representing nearly 100 seed companies in 25 states, as well as Canada and Mexico.

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Topics Covered:

- Long term research on cover crops- Illinois State University
- Cover crop establishment and spring management considerations
- Managing Herbicides for a cover crop program
- New Products for 2016

February 3rd, 2016
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, Bloomington Airport
3202 East Empire Street, Bloomington, IL 61704
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Lunch provided.  Open to everyone, free of charge.  Please RSVP by January 25, 2016 to the Ashkum office at 866.807.7015.

Check out our News and Events to find an event near you.  We will be updating this daily with field

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Topics covered include:

- Improvements for soil health

- Cover Crops that work

- Informational networking with exhibitors & speakers

Times: 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Dates and Locations of the seminars:

January 26th, 2016 
The I Hotel and Conference Center
1900 South First Street, Champaign, IL 

January 27th, 2016
Lewis and Clark Community College
5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, IL 

January 28th, 2016
The Camden Centre
2701 First Street East, Milan, IL 

Register online here or contact the Ashkum office (866.807.7015) for a registration form.  $20 registration

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As seen in Illinois AgriNews on October 23th 2015

With all the work that growers have to tackle this time of year, it may seem premature to think about 2016 spring planting. Yet, shifting from a linear, “one season at a time” approach to a more 365-day yield strategy can pay measurable dividends—especially in increasing actual production-harvest numbers. 

The fact of the matter is growers can proactively affect 2016-yield potential right now by making a few postharvest decisions to promote an ideal seedbed for next season.

Optimize Fall Tillage Opportunities

Fall tillage

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As seen in Illinois AgriNews on September 18th 2015

The dry, warm weather in August has quickly matured crops, and it won’t be long before combines start rolling. For optimum yield potential and labor efficiency, growers can use five factors to evaluate their fields and establish a smart harvest-sequence schedule.

  1. Overall plant health

Developing a harvest strategy starts with looking broadly at each field’s overall plant health. Some trouble-free fields can withstand a little drydown, depending on prior nitrogen management and drainage. More likely, however, given the wet spring and

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Join us for a great meal
 and new product information.

Tuesday, August 18

4:00-8:00 p.m.

Plot tours throughout the evening for corn, soybeans, and cover crops.


Drone demonstration over fields. See how this innovative technology can benefit your business.

Yield 365 Strategy: What Growers Can Expect This Fall? -presented by Sean Jordal, Agronomist.

How To Produce High-Yielding Soybeans? -presented

by Doug Goodman, Peterson Genetics.

Join Us!



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As we wind ourselves through the dog days of summer, I thought a summary of agronomic opportunities in corn would be good to review.

1.) Pollination:  The most critical 5 - 8 days of your corn plants life.  At this point the corn plant stops developing more leaves and root mass has primarily established.  Stresses endured during this time period and beyond directly impact final yield.

a.) Most corn pollination takes place mid-morning to early afternoon, when conditions are dry and before the hottest portion of the day.

b.) An average ear has between 750-1000 silks.  Each

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The delays this spring and early summer attributable to heavy rainfall, many of the corn and especially soybean fields that didn't get a foundation herbicide are starting to get a little, well for lack of a better term, UGLY.  With this in mind I thought a quick reminder of usage rates and tank-mix partners might be helpful this week.  I just hope we get a chance to use them.

Glyphosate can be applied over the top of Roundup Ready soybeans up to 1.5 lb ae/acre.  This is equivalent to 44 fl oz of Roundup PowerMax/WeatherMax, 48 fl oz of Touchdown Total or Durango DMA/Duramax, or

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In an effort to avoid sounding like a broken record, I am going to avoid dwelling on the abundant blessings we have received over the past several weeks in the form of liquid sunshine.

This past week Emerson Nafziger put out a nice article focused on Nitrogen availability and the current rainfall totals we have accumulated.  Please take a minute to read through his article.  Here is the link, click here.


Some other issues that are starting to pop up across the corn fields would be the potential for Gray Leaf Spot (GLS).  With all the surface moisture on the corn

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If rain makes grain then there sure should be lots of yield, or so you would think.  The challenge is too much of any weather pattern can turn out to be counterproductive.  With all of the moisture, we also need clear skies and direct sunshine so photosynthesis can convert the available water into energy for the plant.

Plants are only able to utilize a portion of the solar radiation spectrum.  This portion is known as "Photosynthetically Active Radiation" or PAR which is estimated to be only 40-50% of the total radiation available from the sun.  PAR is generally reduced by

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Performance, ROI Come Down to Timing, Testing

As seen in Illinois Agrinews on June 12th, 2015

ASHKUM, Ill.—As crops are emerging across the Midwest, growers who hold different nitrogen-management views and techniques all generally share the same question: “Do I have enough nitrogen to maximize my yield?”

The good news is, even after emergence and faced with the typical unknowns about the weather ahead, growers still have options.

Application Rates and Methodology

Multiple studies and on-farm reports point to a sound rule that says for every bushel of yield, a corn plant demands approximately

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Well, another week has come and gone.  Not a bad week overall.  Planting percentages have added a couple more points in both corn and soybeans and, grain markets have improved.  It appears that most of the corn is planted.  There are scattered fields of soybeans to get in yet.  Fields need to dry following a rainy weekend.  Area growers reported rainfall totals ranging from .5 to nearly 4 inches.  There were some reports of minimal hail damage.  Nitrogen applications and post herbicide treatments have been made where soils are dry enough for

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The 2015 crop is off and running at what some may feel is at a snail’s pace, but when compared to recent history we are ahead of last year and far beyond the five year history.  In the May 10th USDA report Illinois reported corn planting at 88% completed and soybeans at 33%, which are both 10% higher than 2014 and over 20% higher than the average since 2010.  This would mimic what I have been hearing across our sales territories from our Seed Specialists.  The recent rains and cool weather has slowed recent progress on those numbers but we are in very good shape none the

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A review of Corn+Soybean Digest’s “9 Basics for Top Soybean Yields” article published on December 8, 2014. In the article, Susan Winsor of the Digest talks with three rising stars in soybean production—graduate students Adam Gaspar, Ethan Smidt and David Marburger, who collectively make up the Bean Team at the University of Wisconsin. Their super mission was topping 87 bushels per acre by using nine basic agriculture techniques. In this article, we’ll explore my take on the accomplishment of these young men.

One of my first observations is that the young farmers focus on costs, but not

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"In order to increase our chances at profitability, cattle producers must reduce feed costs and this can be done most effectively through aggressive management of our forages. The best returns from pasture fertilization will depend on effective utilization through well-managed livestock and forage programs"

- Doug Hanson, Seed Specialist/Forage Seeds Lead

Click here to read the full article on fertilizing forages from the Jan./Feb. 2014 IL Beef Magazine.

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Recommendations for Frost Seeding

Evergraze White Clover is a high yielding, easy to establish ladino white clover.  This variety works great in close grazing situations and is very persistent in dry conditions.  Click here for the Evergraze tech sheet.  Ladino white clover is seeded at approximately 4 to 6 pounds per acre.

Freedom Red Clover is an excellent companion to most cool season grasses for both grazing and haying. Freedom has reduced stem pubescence and large leaves that make it ideal for grazing and hay production. Click here for the Freedom Red Clover tech

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Big argument for growers as the 2015 growing season begins to unfold. An article from the University of Wisconsin, "Do we Grow Another Bushel or Save A Buck?" outlines some of the most important management decisions that growers face in the 2015 season.  The big problem for 2015 is the expected decreased price of corn commodities. Because 2014 was a huge crop year, growers face either growing more corn to earn the same amount of money or cutting costs to help raise the ROI on growing less corn.

In a candid interview with Sean Jordal, we look at what is happening within the industry and

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Winter Meetings - 2015

Conservation Cropping Seminars
Topics covered include:
- Improvements for soil health
- Cover Crops that work
- Informational networking with exhibitors & speakers
Times: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Dates and Locations of the seminars:
January 27th, 2015 
DeKalb County Farm Bureau Building
1350 W Prairie Dr., Sycamore, IL
February 4th, 2015
Lake Land College
5001 Lake Land Blvd., West Building Room 123, Mattoon, IL
Click here for a campus map.
Feruary 18th, 2015 
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle, University Union
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December 03


ProHarvest Seeds’ Announcement


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