Agronomy Talk

12

May

2017

Agronomy Update

PPO Injury on Soybeans

Author: Craig Kilby

Join field agronomist and herbicide specialist, Craig Kilby, at Beck’s Downs IL PFR site as he evaluates recent issues that have occurred as a result of a pre-emergent herbicide application over the top of soybeans.

The soybeans in this field were planted on April 19 and April 20 followed by a herbicide application that was applied over the top the next day. While PPO herbicides are effective and a great option for many herbicide platforms, they can cause injury on soybeans. Check out the video to learn more.

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1

Apr

2017

W. CENTRAL ILLINOIS - CRAIG KILBY, CCA

Winter Annual Weeds Flourish in Record Temperatures

Author: Craig Kilby

Record temperatures throughout winter and spring have made outdoor activity pleasant for people and crop pests alike. Winter annual weeds in particular have flourished, reaching sizes and ground cover densities never seen before.

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19

Oct

2016

W. CENTRAL ILLINOIS - CRAIG KILBY, CCA

2016: What Worked and What Didn't

Author: Craig Kilby

When the 2016 harvest is behind us, it will be critical to review product performance and integral management practices. This is the time to learn what worked well, what didn’t work, and why. Although each season is unique, trends can indicate a strong relationship which demands attention. 

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23

Sep

2016

W. CENTRAL ILLINOIS - CRAIG KILBY, CCA

Central Illinois Corn and Soybean Updates

Author: Craig Kilby

The 2016 crop continues to mature, though it may not be quite as fast or large as many predicted just a few weeks earlier.

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31

Aug

2016

W. Central ILLINOIS - CRAIG KILBY, CCA

Late Infections of NCLB and GLS Should Not Limit Yields

Author: Craig Kilby

The 2016 crop continues to progress toward maturity with above average growing degree days and is pointing to an early corn harvest. Since last month’s issue, high temperatures during the weeks surrounding pollination alternated from well below to well above normal. The varying temperature periods served to prevent both northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) and gray leaf spot (GLS) from enjoying favorable conditions for extended periods.

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13

Jul

2016

NW ILLINOIS - CRAIG KILBY, CCA

Scouting the Pollination Progress of Your Corn

Author: Craig Kilby

It’s time to check the success of corn pollination in your fields. Corn across northwest Illinois has experienced ideal weather since the middle of May. We’ve seen good planting conditions, timely rainfall, and above-average temperatures in June that have moved the crop forward. As a result, our pollination window is much earlier than last year.

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22

Jun

2016

NW ILLINOIS - CRAIG KILBY, CCA

Scouting Corn and Soybean Fields

Author: Craig Kilby

Scouting corn and soybean fields weekly in June will enable you to identify any yield-limiting concerns in time to address them.

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26

May

2016

NW Illinois - Craig Kilby, CCA

Indentify Yield-Limiting Issues Now Instead of Harvest

Author: Craig Kilby

Greetings! May is generally the ideal time to assess corn plants at the V2 to V8 growth stages to provide the best opportunity for top yield. Diagnosing any issues that could limit yield are much easier to identify today than at harvest. Therefore, scout each field to score and record populations, plant health, roots,soil conditions, weed control, and the crop’s nutritional needs.

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14

Apr

2016

NW Illinois - Craig Kilby, CCA

Planting Fundamentals

Author: Craig Kilby

April is here and our minds become overwhelmed with everything happening on the farm. Let’s put all the excitement (or possibly anxiety) aside for a minute and focus on planting fundamentals as this will set the yield potential for the year. If you’re not certain that everything on your planter is ready, check out Jason Webster’s planter prep video on YouTube. It can be found here. Make sure to have a planting prescription prepared and follow it. 

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20

Oct

2015

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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20

Sep

2015

NW Illinois & Iowa - Craig Kilby, CCA

Scouting Fields And Residue Management

Author: Craig Kilby

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.

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20

Aug

2015

NW Illinois - Craig Kilby, CCA

Take Time To Discover The “Why” In Your Fields

Author: Craig Kilby

With the completion of late-season applications, corn and soybeans are advancing quickly to maturity. But before the combines roll, take the opportunity to evaluate management decisions made throughout the season. Significant differences become more evident as the crop finishes its reproductive phase. The combine will tell us the results, but the most important knowledge is the “why”. Take time, prior to harvest, to discover the “why” in your fields.

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20

Jul

2015

NW Illinois & Iowa - Craig Kilby, CCA

Wet Spring Factors into Fungicide Decisions

Author: Craig Kilby

Another wet spring has provided an ideal environment for diseases. Wheat has already shown the evidence of foliar diseases such as head scab, even where fungicides were applied in a timely manner. The incidence of Pythium on both corn and soybeans, and anthracnose is present in many corn on corn fields in the area.

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20

Jun

2015

NW Illinois & Iowa - Craig Kilby, CCA

Protect High Yield Potential with Scouting

Author: Craig Kilby

The 2015 corn crop in my area is off to an amazing start. The first planting window began in the second week of April, and pushed corn development earlier throughout the season compared to recent years.

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20

May

2015

NW Illinois & Iowa - Craig Kilby, CCA

Assess Crop Input Decisions

Author: Craig Kilby

As the calendar rolls into May, it becomes an ideal time to assess the performance of several crop input decisions. Decisions such as planting depth, population, seedbed preparation, stand establishment, fertilizer applications, nutrition plans, and insect management are all fresh in your mind. Make small observations today and record them to help further interpret harvest yield and field performance later this season. Make a checklist of the following items as you investigate your fields: 

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20

Apr

2015

NW Illinois & Iowa - Craig Kilby, CCA

High Potential for Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) & Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS)

Author: Craig Kilby

There is a high potential for soybean cyst nematode (SCN) and sudden death syndrome (SDS) in 2015. Fields returning to soybeans in 2015 that were soybeans in 2013 may have much higher SCN numbers than you know. It is certainly possible if fields haven’t been tested for SCN since 2013. That concern is based on the dry 2013 growing season across much of western Illinois, northern Missouri, and Iowa.

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16

Oct

2014

Iowa & NW Illinois - Craig Kilby, CCA

The 2014 crop continues its march toward maturity.

Author: Craig Kilby
The 2014 crop continues its march toward maturity. But it may not be quite as fast or large as expectations earlier in the season.
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7

Aug

2014

Iowa & NW Illinois - Craig Kilby, CCA

Our 2014 growing season may be headed for the record books.

Author: Craig Kilby
Our 2014 growing season may be headed for the record books. Weather has been nearly ideal across
much of the area.
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1

Jul

2014

Iowa & NW Illinois

Need For Information, Testing Products and Management Inputs

Author: Craig Kilby

The need for information, from testing products and management inputs, has never been higher. In order to multiply our efforts to meet this need, the Beck’s PFR® Partners program has been greatly expanded in western Illinois for 2014.

Thank you to those participating this year. Each farmer shares a passion for testing and gaining information to improve their profitability. Some applied corn fungicide on their farm in the past weeks to measure results of V5 applications. Others are about to apply nitrogen at V10 to determine yield response from various rates and recommendations In addition to vital management information, the farmer receives assistance from Beck’s agronomy staff with planning and periodic monitoring of test plots.

The combination of on-farm information and agronomy provides our PFR Partners a handsome return on their time and investment. I want to extend an invitation to other farmers interested in participating in PFR Partners in 2015. To sign up or learn more, contact your local Beck’s dealer, seed advisor, or agronomist.

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2

Jun

2014

Iowa & NW Illinois

Winter Wheat Crop Conditions

Author: Craig Kilby

Harsh winter weather took its toll on the winter wheat crop across northern Illinois and Iowa. As I walked fields last month, many no longer had adequate populations and were flagged for replant. Of the fields retaining enough population to keep, nearly all contained areas of very thin or absent stands.

Often, these thin spots had a high number of seedling winter annual weeds with plenty of sunlight. So farmers should be prepared to apply herbicides to wheat in 2014 to protect crop yield and your profitability. They need to also be familiar with the weed species present in their fields, herbicides labeled for control, and the product application guidelines. Most of those herbicides can be safely applied before wheat reaches jointing (Feekes stage 6).

As wheat growth advances past jointing, herbicide choices become much more limited. Always read and follow all herbicide label recommendations.

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