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.
Categories: Agronomy, Agronomy Talk
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, soil tests, potassium, corn development, POTASSIUM deficiency
Phytophthora root and stem rot is a common soil-borne disease in soybeans that is caused by the watermold, Phytophthora sojae. Phytophthora often occurs in poorly drained soils; it is most economically damaging in low-lying areas and fields that are prone to flooding.
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, PHYTOPHTHORA ROOT, PHYTOPHTHORA STEM ROT, corn diseases
Ear and kernel development is a lengthy process for a corn plant. It begins at the V5 growth stage as the plant determines kernel rows around and then continues to V12 where the potential maximum length of the ear is determined. Next comes the pollination stages where the maximum number of kernels is established and then finally, R5 when the maximum kernel size is established.
Any stresses, natural or manmade, during this process, can lead to abnormal ear set. Many of the abnormal ears and their causes are detailed below. Accurate diagnosis of these abnormalities can help prevent future problems in the field.
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, CORN STRESS, Ear DEFORMITIES, ear stress, ear formation
In recent years, the Dectes Stem Borer (Dectes texanus texanus) has become a regular pest in soybean fields throughout the lower Midwest.
Tags: soybean, Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, dectes stem borer, soybean pests
Soybean gall midge is a new pest in soybeans, first documented in Nebraska in 2011 and South Dakota in 2015. In 2018, damage was documented in 66 counties in four states (Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota) with that number increasing by 19 additional counties so far in 2019 including the northwest corner of Missouri. It was not until the fall of 2018 that the species was identified.
Tags: soybeans, Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, SEED TREATMENT, insecticides, pest, gall midge, pest management
Harvesting downed corn is one of the worst jobs on the farm. Year in and year out, there are many abiotic stresses or plant pathogens that will affect standability and ease of harvesting a corn crop. One of the most prevalent issues causing decreased standability of corn is the presence of crown rot and stalk rots. These diseases take advantage of compromised stalk tissue, and degrading it below the ear causing lodging and stalk breakage. There are, however, ways to improve the process of harvesting downed corn that can make it much smoother.
Tags: harvest, corn, Agronomy, stalk rot, down corn, standability
Ears on the ground prior to harvest is frustrating and often misunderstood. Pest damage, weather stress, reduced nitrogen (N) uptake, and genetics can all contribute to dropped ears. However, identifying the causal agent may help you implement strategies and management practices to minimize ear drop in the future.
Tags: harvest, corn, Agronomy, Ear Drop, Corn Yield Limiter
Planting delays, poor ear formation, and lack of standability are just a few reasons why some farmers may want to consider taking their corn crop for silage. When making this decision, there are a few factors to keep in mind. These include how to optimize silage quality, tonnage, agronomics, and pricing of the crop.
Tags: Agronomy, Silage, harvesting for silage, tonnage, milk line
The initiation of flowering on a soybean means that the plant is transitioning into the reproductive growth stage. Most full-season soybeans enter reproductive growth approximately 45 to 55 days after planting. Double crop soybeans will typically enter reproductive growth approximately 34 to 38 days after planting. During this time, the plant has the ability to compensate for any plant injury or adverse growing conditions. Soybeans are prolific flower producers, although more than half are typically aborted prior to pod development.
Tags: soybeans, Agronomy, soybean growth, soybean growth stages, soybean development
Corn rootworm (CRW) is a pest that, if left unmanaged, can cause economic damage in most of the Corn Belt. Damage can result from root-feeding while they are in larval form and from adult beetles clipping silks during pollination.
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Beck's Agronomy, corn rootworm, corn pests, beetles, corn root damage
Green snap, also called brittle snap, is the breakage of a corn plant usually prior to tassel during the rapid growth period of corn from about the V5 (5 visible leaf collars) – R2 (silk).
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, GREEN SNAP, brittle snap
Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) is a physiological disorder caused by a lack of iron in the soybean plant which creates the “chlorosis” symptoms. Plants with IDC have yellowing (chlorosis) beginning between the veins and progressing to a generally chlorotic canopy. Other symptoms include reduced plant growth and ultimately, lower yields. Yield reductions from IDC are a primary limitation for some farmers in certain fields.
Tags: soybeans, Agronomy, Agronomy Update, IDC, iron
Corn foliar diseases can have similar symptoms. See below for a refresher on 6 of the most common foliar diseases in Beck's marketing area. For help with a specific situation, or to learn more about management options, reach out to your local Beck's representative.
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Beck's Agronomy, Corn Disease, Agronomy Talk, Gray leaf spot, Northern corn leaf blight, southern rust, Common Rust, foliar corn diseases, brown spot, goss's wilt
Most farmers can't remember a planting season that has been any more challenging than 2019.
Tags: Agronomy, PFR, Delayed planting, Products, yield potential, APP, Prevent Plant, input costs
Take a walk with Field Agronomist and Herbicide Specialist, Austin Scott, through a Tennessee corn field and learn more about increased black cutworm pressure.
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Black Cutworm, insect pressure
As the rain is delaying planting, many farmers are becoming concerned that their corn maturities are too long. In my opinion (based on facts), here are the Top 10 reasons why you should stick with your original plan.
Tags: Agronomy, Ohio Agronomy, Delayed planting, gdu, hybrid maturities growing degree days
Can you pick a palmer from a redroot?
Weeds are off to the races this season and the first, and most important step to controlling broadleaf weeds is correct identification.
Tags: Agronomy, Weed Identification, Weeds, soil compaction, Weed Pressure
Weed competition at planting can reduce yields. As temperatures start to increase, weeds will flourish, and you will be faced with a short timeline to complete field operations. While it may be tempting to begin planting as soon as possible, it is important to make sure weeds are managed prior to planting. Attempting to control weeds after planting can interfere with your planting operations and create competition with the emerging crop for sunlight, moisture, and nutrients, reducing yields. As weeds continue to grow, they become more difficult to control.
Tags: Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, Weeds, residual herbicides, Spring Burndown, Weed Prevention
The weather we experienced this winter has caused difficulties for everyone, but for farmers, the winter of 2018-2019 has led to uncertainty when in the hopes of a normal spring planting season.
Across a large swath of the Northern Corn Belt, especially those areas where alfalfa is an integral crop, a late, wet Autumn resulted in saturated soils going into the winter months. Compounding this situation were the late December rains (in some locals approaching 2.0 in.), an extremely cold January, persistent low temperatures throughout February and multiple heavy snow events in early March. As of March 13, 2019, when this article was written, Minnesota has experienced our second inch of cold rain. And though the snow depth has gone from 26 in. to a level of 18 in. in the past 36 hours, the chances of injury to our alfalfa crop is higher than normal this year.
Tags: Agronomy, alfalfa, winterkill, alfalfa damage
Soil surface compaction can affect soybean plant height, root growth and development, pod set, and yield
Tags: soybeans, Agronomy, Soil Conditions, compaction, early-season compaction