Blog

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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Soil Health and Cover Crop Field Meetings:

 
 
Educational Seminars
Topics covered include:
- Integrating cover crops within conventional farming methods
- Keys to Soil Health
- Cover crop plot and soil pits
- Cover crop species options
 
Iroquois County SWCD & Leitz Farms
- Dec. 9th from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Milford Family Restaurant
    - 107 E Jones Street, Milford, IL 60953
- Weather Permitting, soil pits and a plot tour will be held after the meeting
-Please RSVP by Friday, Dec. 5th to Thad or Donna at the Iroquois SWCD
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Anhydrous Ammonia Effects on Soil Properties

By: John Woerner

 

Anhydrous ammonia is sometimes portrayed as being "bad for the soil."  A common accusation is that NH3 makes the soil hard or "burns" up the organic matter.  A long-term (10 year) study was conducted in Kansas to determine the effects of various nitrogen sources on several soil properties.  Results from the study showed that there were no significant differences in soil bulk density (a measure of soil compaction) among N sources or between N sources and untreated plots.  This was true whether bulk density

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Field Observations

by: John Woerner

Fungicide makes a difference even in 70 bushel soybeans. Applications of a fungicide plus an insecticide added over 5 bushels to already 70 bushel beans. If you made a fungicide application this year, pay attention to each variety’s response. Some varieties do respond differently.

SDS reared its ugly head in a few fields this year with dramatic affects. Several reports of SDS affecting either entire fields or wide swaths in a field with yields being dragged as low as 35 bpa. Again, pay attention to the varieties being affected and those that weren’t. Also,

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Weekly Scouting Report - September 23, 2014

Hello everyone! For the most part we have finished scouting for 2014. The main issue I’ve seen during this pre-harvest pass is stalk quality. Anthracnose came in late and has done a lot of damage across the region. Nitrogen deficiencies from elevation or nitrogen management are other causes of poor plant health. So again, I must reiterate the importance of keeping an eye on stalk strength and health when making harvest timing decisions.

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Another thing I’ve noticed is that moisture from plant to plant can change by 3-4 points. Plants that have

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KEEP AN EYE ON THOSE STALKS

Thought you were done scouting fields? Generally, as your corn reaches black layer the risks from pests and diseases diminishes dramatically, but not when it comes to stalk rots. I’m sure some of you have noticed fields that have prematurely died. Those are the fields you should take a walk in.

Harvest losses can be avoided by early harvest if stalk rot is detected at a 15-20% level. Fields should be scouted every 7-10 days until harvest or a 20% stalk rot level is observed. Harvest these fields with weakened stalks as soon as it is practical. Yes, it is a difficult

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Weekly Scouting Report - September, 16, 2014

 

Hello everyone. I hope everyone survived the wet season we witnessed last week. With that said there was not much scouting that went on, but there was a lot of discussion throughout my network about the amount of Anthracnose that is being found in the corn fields. I looked at fields yesterday and saw how it is affecting stalk and general plant health. There may be three out of ten plants that have prematurely died because of the disease. When I pushed plants to check stalk strength, these are the ones that break. With the conditions we are

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Weekly Scouting Report - September 10, 2014

Hello! We are starting our 3rd trip through corn this week. I have noticed two things in the corn I have scouted. One is the presence of ear molds, the other is anthracnose in the upper part of the plant. The yield checks we are very good. Ear consistency is very good with size differences occurring in different soil types. Low areas and low CEC areas are showing nitrogen deficiencies and that’s where I am seeing stalk issues. Below are examples of anthracnose and different ear molds.

Anthracnose

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Ear Mold

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Gibberella ear rot is caused by the

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Let ProHarvest Seeds help you with your 365-day yield strategy.

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Weekly Scouting Report - August 29, 2014

Hello everyone! We scouted corn in the Taylorville, Palmer, and Modesto areas this week. Plant health looked good with or without fungicide. Corn that was sprayed with fungicide had little Gray Leaf Spot above the ear. How will that effect yield is yet to be determined. The average growth stage for the area is ½ to ¾ milk line. According to the charts we have another 1-2 weeks before black layer. Yield estimates are very good.

While scouting soybeans this week, I saw a few insects starting to show, such as Bean Leaf Beetles, Rootworm Beetles,

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Weekly Scouting Report - August 12, 2014

 

I scouted corn fields near Hoopeston this week that were planted the end of April. The corn was in the late dough stage, not too far from denting. More corn leaf aphids are showing up, but they shouldn’t be a problem in corn with adequate moisture after pollination.

I have received a few calls about whether corn is firing from lack of nitrogen or is it just going through its normal maturity stages. Some questions I ask are: when was the nitrogen applied, how much rain have you received, what soil type and what stage is the corn in?  These

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Weekly Scouting Report - August 4, 2014

I scouted corn fields in the Streator area this week. Disease pressure has increased slightly in the past two weeks. I could see differences by hybrid at this point. Gray Leaf Spot and Common Rust are the two main diseases that I’ve found, with Northern Leaf Blight spotted occasionally. Corn leaf aphids were the most prevalent pest I found.   I did see a few rootworm beetles and Japanese beetles. Below are some pictures I took of corn leaf aphids and an explanation of what this pest can do to corn.

The corn leaf aphid is a blue-green or gray,

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Weekly Scouting Report - July 31, 2014

I scouted corn in Iroquois and Kankakee County this week and I didn’t see anything that caused concern. Insect numbers and disease pressures are low. Most applications of fungicide have been sprayed. Some fields are showing signs of nitrogen loss.

This week I decided to exhibit the R2 – R5 growth stages. I think this is important because I’ve been asked numerous times about what could go wrong this late in the season.   The vulnerability of this crop lowers as it moves through these four stages:

 

Kernel Blister Stage (Growth Stage R2)

About

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Weekly Scouting Report - July 22, 2014

I scouted soybeans this week and found bean leaf beetles. They are a quick little insect and very hard to find. As soon as they sense your presence, they fall to the ground. I entered the fields and immediately noticed leaf feeding. The feeding reminds me of what a shot gun blast would look like, having numerous small holes. I found many of them in the upper most node, feeding on the new growth. They like cooler weather and this cooler weather has them out more during the day. Late morning or early evening are normally the best time to find them.

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Fungicide: Timing is Everything

 

by: John Woerner

Fungicides prevent infections better than they cure infection.  If spores land on a plant that has already been treated, they will be killed as they start to infect.  If a plant is treated after infections are about more than 3 days old, these infections will continue to develop into lesions.  Effective disease control requires that the plant be treated just as the disease is becoming established.

 

I base my treatment threshold on proximity to the ear leaf.  From the ear leaf up is the area of the

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