Beck's Blog

From Our Family Farm to Yours

9

Oct

2014

Agronomy Update

Green Stem of Soybeans

Author: Mark Apelt

Every year there are some soybean fields where the stems stay green while the soybeans are mature and at the ideal moisture. Sometimes the leaves fall off the plant and sometimes they remain green and stay on. The one common symptom for most cases (except fungicides and genetics) is that there is not a heavy pod load on the plant. There are numerous factors that can cause a less than ideal pod load. In this article are just a few items that may contribute to green stem.

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12

Sep

2014

Agronomy Update

E. Indiana and Ohio: Continuous Soybean Management Considerations

Author: Mark Apelt

There are some farmers who are considering growing more soybeans next year and may have some continuous soybean rotations. There are a few management considerations to think about as you make your seed purchases for next year.

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5

Sep

2014

Agronomy Update

Crop Observations - Increased Aphids and When to Plant Cover Crops

Author: Mark Apelt

Crop Observation- Aphids
In the last few weeks there has been an increase in aphids in corn. Aphids have been everywhere on the plant including the leaves, leaf sheaths, and husks. The picture below shows an aphid population on a corn leaf.

Cover Crops
Harvest may be later this year than what it has been in the past few years. For this reason, you may be wondering about when or if to plant cover crops into corn. Most cover crops that overwinter need about five to six weeks of growth for winterhardiness.

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28

Aug

2014

Agronomy Update

Why is My Corn Tipping Back and Potassium Deficiency in Soybeans

Author: Mark Apelt

Projections are for another bumper corn crop in Ohio and Indiana. Time will tell if we beat the average yield for both states of 177 Bu./A. from 2013. As I travel around both states, however, it is not difficult to find ears of corn and spots in the field where corn is tipping back. With such ideal conditions during pollination, many growers are wondering why this is happening. To understand this we may need to review a little about pollination.


 
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4

Aug

2014

Agronomy Update

Is It Too Late to Spray Fungicides on Corn for NCLB?

Author: Mark Apelt

Most areas of Ohio and Indiana are in or have finished pollination. Some areas are past brown silk and are in the milk stage. Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB) continues to spread and can easily be found in many fields in Indiana and Ohio.  Is it worthwhile to spray for this disease this late? 

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30

Jul

2014

Agronomy Update

White Mold, Soybean Fungicides, and Pollination

Author: Mark Apelt

White Mold
The last year we had a significant amount of white mold pressure was 2009. As you may (or may not) recall, 2009 was below average as far as temperatures were concerned. Highs were generally in the 70s and low 80s and lows were in the 50s and 60s during July. When we look at July 2014 so far, we are following a similar pattern.

Soybean Fungicides: Are they worth it?
We are approaching or are at the R3 stage of soybeans in many fields. The R3 stage is when there are pods developing on the lower nodes (there still will be flowers on the upper nodes as the stages in soybeans overlap). As a general rule, most fungicides are recommended at the R3 stage of growth. The question is, are they worth it?

Checking for Successful Pollination
Many areas are just beginning pollination while many other areas are completing pollination. How successful has pollination been this year? An easy way to determine is to do the shake test.

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17

Jul

2014

Agronomy Update

Corn Disease Update, Yellow Soybeans, and Good Wheat Yields

Author: Mark Apelt

Corn Disease Update
Last week we reported that Gray Leaf Spot was being found in many corn fields. This week there is Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB) moving into some areas, especially those areas that had a rain early last week.

Cold Temperatures
The next few days are forecast to be well below average for temperatures. Usually this time of year we are talking about heat and drought and its effect on pollination.

Soybean Update
Although soybeans appear to be improving, there are still some areas where soybeans are staying yellow. Most of this yellowing has to do with water tolerance.

Wheat Yields
Most growers in our area have harvested wheat this year and many were surprised by how good the yields were. With the colder than normal winter and warmer than normal temperatures during grain fill, why were the yields so good?

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14

Jul

2014

Agronomy Update

E. Indiana and Ohio: Grey Leaf Spot Showing Up in Corn and Soybean Observations

Author: Mark Apelt

In the past week I have started to see some corn leaf diseases, specifically Gray leaf spot (GLS), in many corn fields. The GLS has been seen in both both corn/corn on corn after soybean rotations. The picture below was taken from a field that was corn after soybeans and was not pollinating yet. As you can see there was plenty of disease on this leaf.

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4

Jul

2014

Agronomy Update

E. Indiana and Ohio: Giant Ragweed and Marestail, Brittle Snap of Corn and Yellow Soybeans

Author: Mark Apelt

With all the rain we have received in certain areas there have been several farmers who have not had the opportunity to apply their post emerge herbicides. Many fields have giant ragweed and marestail escapes. Let’s talk about options for each.

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27

Jun

2014

Agronomy Update

E.Indiana and Ohio: Results of Planting Depth Study Were Quite Surprising

Author: Mark Apelt

During the past there has been much discussion and research regarding the ideal planting depth for corn. Surprisingly, there has been relatively little research done on the ideal planting depth for soybeans. If you do a web search for ideal planting depth of soybeans the results will vary from as shallow as ¾” deep to <2.5” deep. That is quite a range!

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12

Jun

2014

Agronomy Update

E. Indiana and Ohio: Yellow Beans, Rapid Growth Syndrome, and Floppy Corn

Author: Mark Apelt

Yellow Beans
While driving through Indiana and Ohio there are many soybean fields that are pale yellow in color. We have had adequate moisture and above average temperatures, so what is going on?

Rapid Growth Syndrome
Recently, there have been a few reports of corn that looks like it is getting wrapped up in itself. This is known as rapid growth syndrome or some call it twisted whorl syndrome.

Floppy Corn
There have been a few reports of corn that is leaning over after storms from last Wednesday. Genetics do not seem to play a role as many companies and hybrids have shown this symptom.

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5

Jun

2014

Agronomy Update

E. Indiana and Ohio: Crop Observations, Pythium, Breaking Necks and Replant in Soybeans

Author: Mark Apelt

In the past week there have been reports of fields having plants that are dying. The plants below are a good example of what is being seen. The symptoms range from plants not growing or appearing to shrink since surrounding plants are growing, to the whorl of the plant being yellow or brown, and the lowest leaves being a dark green; to totally dead plants.

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28

May

2014

Agronomy Update

E. Indiana and Ohio: Sidedressing and Nitrogen Rates in Corn

Author: Mark Apelt

Do I use a nitrification inhibitor while sidedressing corn?
Many growers are or will be sidedressing corn shortly. One question we often get this time of year is, “Do I use a nitrification inhibitor?”

What is the optimum nitrogen rate in corn?
Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® has been conducting nitrogen (N) rate studies for the past five years. Over this period they have found that the Economic Optimum Nitrogen Rate is about 178 lbs./A. for corn after soybeans and 212 lbs./A. for corn after corn.

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21

May

2014

Agronomy Update

E. Indiana and Ohio: Soybean Health and Population

Author: Mark Apelt

Why do my soybeans look like they are dying? This week we have had numerous reports throughout Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky regarding soybeans that are not looking as healthy as we like. The majority of soybeans have the outside of the cotyledons that look brown as well as the hypocotyl, especially when in the neck stage. This appears to be happening to all varieties from all companies, so it is not product specific.

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14

May

2014

Agronomy Update

E. Indiana and Ohio: Water Ponding, Black Cutworm, and Crop Observations

Author: Mark Apelt

Water Ponding
According to NASS, there were 4.6 and 5.6 days suitable for field work in Ohio and Indiana, respectively. Several areas in both states received greater than 2” of rain this past weekend and water was ponding in several fields.

Black Cutworm
We need to be on the lookout for black cutworms cutting plants in the next week or so. Black cutworms do not overwinter in Ohio or Indiana but are blown in on storm fronts in April and May.

Crop Observations to Date
--- Emergence, temperatures, rotary hoeing and planting time

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7

May

2014

Agronomy Update

E. Indiana and Ohio: Fungicide, Planting Depth, and Unhealthy Emergence

Author: Mark Apelt

Protecting the Flag “Leaf”
In the next few weeks we will be approaching the time for fungicide applications on wheat. Applying fungicides at or immediately after flag leaf appearance provides the best protection against foliar diseases.

Do I Adjust Planting Depth?
Some farmers are thinking about shallowing up their planting depth to get the corn out of the ground quicker since it is getting a little later. Is this a good idea?

My Corn Has Emerged But is Yellow in Color
More than likely the corn planted so far is going to be colorful. Unfortunately, the color it is turning is not the healthy dark green we were expecting

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29

Apr

2014

Agronomy Update

E. Indiana and Ohio: Nitrogen Loss and Wheat Update

Author: Mark Apelt

How much nitrogen are you losing?
Every year there are questions regarding nitrogen (N) loss from spring storms. This will cause some N loss, but exactly how much is not known. We can take an educated guess by understanding how N reacts in the soil.

Wheat Update
According to NASS, approximately 24% of Ohio and 43% of Indiana’s wheat is jointing. The further north you go, the more behind it is and therefore not jointing yet.

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22

Apr

2014

Agronomy Update

E. Indiana and Ohio: Planting Time and Depth

Author: Mark Apelt

Should I Be Planting Yet?
The calendar says we should be planting, the soil moisture level in many areas says we should be planting, but the forecast calls for cool weather into next week.

How Deep Should I Plant Corn?
As mentioned in the previous article, the weather is predicted to stay below normal for the next week. If you decide to plant, should you plant shallower due to the colder weather?

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16

Apr

2014

Agronomy Update

E. Indiana and Ohio: Anhydrous Ammonia Application, Seed Spacing, and Terminating Cover Crops

Author: Mark Apelt

How long do I wait between applying anhydrous ammonia and planting?
Based on how the 2014 season is shaping up so far, we will be doing many field activities all at once. One question on many farmers mind is “How long do I need to wait between applying anhydrous (NH3) and planting?”

Uniform Seed Spacing for Maximum Yield-- How important is uniform seed spacing?
According to research from Purdue University-very important! Purdue looked at plant to plant spacing over a 6 year period and measured yield loss. They measured the plant to plant distance over a 30 foot area in 2-3 areas of a field.

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