Agronomy Talk





Author: Dale Viktora

Potassium (K) plays vital roles within corn plants for carbohydrate, nutrient, and water flow. It is instrumental in gas exchange from the plant to the atmosphere as it regulates the opening and closing of the stomata of the leaf; it is also a key component in cell walls which add to stalk strength. Potassium is essential for photosynthesis, maximizing water use efficiency, helping maintain plant health, increasing test weight of grain, and nitrogen use efficiency. A corn plant requires almost as much K as nitrogen (N); however, when looking at soil test values across the Midwest, soil test K values have been falling. This is largely due to increased grain yields removing higher amounts of K from the soil and insufficient K applications.

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Agronomy Talk: Fertilizer Recommendation Strategies in a Low Crop Price Environment

Author: David Hughes

Farming at a profit is more challenging when grain prices are low. Producers with owned ground and sound management can likely farm at a profit albeit at a narrower margin than previous years. Producers shelling out high cash rents will find it more difficult to operate at a profit even with sound management. Many paying high cash rent will operate at a loss. This is especially true if looking at profitability in a “site-specific” manner — considering profit/loss variability across a field or operation.

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Agronomy Update

Weed Control Reminders

Author: David Hughes

Happy New Year from your Beck’s Missouri agronomy team! Alex, Clint, Norm, Matt and I look forward to the opportunity to help you succeed in 2017. With timely information, research, field diagnosis and experience, our goal is to help you make this year the most profitable it can be. Growing row crops in a low market environment can be challenging and requires us to sharpen and apply our management skills.  

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Agronomy Update

Soil Tests 101: How to Read Your Results

Author: Austin Scott

One of the staples for growing healthy, high-yielding crops is to maintain good soil fertility. That’s why most agronomists will suggest soil sampling every two to three years to evaluate how your fields are holding up. These tests however are not always the easiest to read and many farmers often need help interpreting the results. Here are some key tips and areas to focus on when evaluating your soil test report. 

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NW Illinois & Iowa - Craig Kilby, CCA

Fall Fertility Decisions

Author: Craig Kilby

Fall fertility decisions in northwest Illinois have traditionally been based on crop removal and recent soil test levels. That may remain unchanged for some in 2015, while others may find the need to adjust levels lower due to economics. The cost to apply major nutrients like P and K have not dropped at the same rate as grain prices, resulting in heightened interest of economical use of these nutrients. Referring to soil test information, P and K can be allocated to only those areas most likely to respond to applications. Be sure to review critical levels of nutrients for corn, soybean, wheat, and alfalfa. The probability and magnitude of return to P and K fertilizer will increase when applied to soil test levels below the critical level.

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