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Agronomy Talk

NW Illinois & Iowa - Craig Kilby, CCA

Scouting Fields And Residue Management

Published on Sunday, September 20, 2015

Before harvest begins, take this last opportunity to scout fields and evaluate the crop in corn fields, pay close attention to the disease levels and note hybrids which handled disease better. Are you happy with your fungicide decisions and applications? Make a final assessment of weed control, noting which weeds are present and if they need to be targeted next year. In soybeans, check for insect and disease pressure and be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth. It has been identified in many areas of northwest Illinois and you don’t want to run your combine through a patch of it when each plant may contain one million seeds. If you suspect a new weed in your fields this fall, call your Becks dealer or agronomist to identify it.

As you roll your combine out in preparation for harvest, be thinking about its residue spreader. Uneven spreading of chaff will be an obstacle for early spring planting. Adjust your combine to spread chaff as wide as the header. It will ensure uniform soil nutrient, moisture levels next spring resulting in more uniform germination and emergence. Decisions on cover crops should be made soon as seeding prior to harvest provides better stand establishment and fall growth.

Author: Craig Kilby