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Agronomy Talk


Scouting for Root Health and Weed Control

Published on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Scouting is critical to the success of your crop. Now is a great time to evaluate your stands and the job your planter did. As corn reaches the V4 to V6 growth stage, it is transitioning from receiving energy from the seed to getting all of its energy from the roots. Take time to dig plants now and look at the root health. Are all the roots white? Do you see any damage from insect feeding? Do the same thing for soybeans and look at their root structure. Is your soybean planter keeping up with yourcorn planter? These things help you plan for next year, and can give you the chance to improve this year’s crop.

We also need to be looking at our weed control. What weeds are there? How big are they? We want our post applications to target weeds smaller than 4 in. tall. If you used a pre-emerge herbicide, did you get the control you wanted? What weeds escaped? Should you look at a different program next year?

Sidedress nitrogen (N) applications are also being made. If you are concerned about how much N to apply, you can take a tissue test, or a Pre-Sidedress Nitrate Test (PSNT) to determine how much N is there and set your rates from that information. Our Practical Farm Research (PFR)® studies show the economic return on N over the past seven years has been 180 units of applied N in corn following soybeans.

Author: Steve Gauck