Categories: Agronomy Talk
Tags: Agronomy, Beck's Agronomists, Beck's Agronomy, Agronomy Update
Tags: Beck's Hybrids, Agronomy, Beck's Agronomists, Beck's Agronomy, Agronomy Update
This is always a fun, yet often stressful, time of year. Our crops are in the ground, we are watching them grow, and waiting in anticipation for what harvest will bring to us. While you are watching, think about what changes you may want to make for next year. Did your planter work the way you wanted? Are you spotting any nutrient deficiencies? Have you taken tissue samples to know what your plants need? Have you dug up your root systems to check for potential insect damage or compaction layers? I would encourage each one of you to call your Beck’s dealer or seed advisor to walk fields and discuss plans for next year. A good plan makes for a successful year.
The western half of my area has been exceptionally dry this spring, allowing for rapid corn and soybean planting. By May 10, most farmers have completed their operations. The central, eastern and northern areas have been about seven days behind due to cooler soil temperatures and greater soil moisture conditions. However, warmer air temperatures allowed them to complete planting around Mother’s Day. Regardless of location, now is the time for close monitoring of root establishment. Corn should be checked frequently from emergence to the V6 stage of growth. Stunting or restrictions of the root system during this time can have an adverse effect on the future development of the entire plant. Some things to watch for are excessively dry or wet soil conditions, cold soil temperatures, insect or herbicide damage, and sidewall or tillage compaction. Corn, if planted deep enough, will develop four nodal root systems below ground. These “money roots” contribute greatly to maximizing kernel row potential.
Scouting is critical and is a great time to evaluate your stands and planter performance. As corn reaches V4-V6, it is transitioning from getting energy from the seed to the roots. Take time to dig plants now and look at root health. Also, remember to look for sidewall compaction. These things help you plan for next year, or give the chance to improve this crop. We also need to be looking at our weed control. We want 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 applications are also being made. If you are concerned about how much nitrogen (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 PFR® studies show the economic return on N over the past five years has been 178 units of applied N in corn following soybeans.
Well-timed herbicide applications are key to a successful crop and managing resistance. To reduce the potential for weed reproduction and yield loss, it is best to start and stay clean throughout the season. As temperatures warmed up, the winter annual weeds became more noticeable. Burndown applications were made to control them in corn and soybeans, and herbicides were applied to wheat. Preplant/pre-emergence residual applications were also made to prevent weed growth in the early part of the growing season. So how do we maintain that control? Timely post-emergence applications of herbicides are critical to maintaining good weed control. Glyphosate resistant weed species like marestail, waterhemp and Palmer amaranth are difficult to control and must be sprayed prior to reaching a height that reduces herbicide effectiveness. Using herbicides with multiple sites of action are more effective for control as well as preventing further resistance of these weed species. Remember to scout your fields this season to control the weeds before they control your yields.
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.
Tags: Agronomy, Beck's Agronomists, Agronomy Update, Iowa Agronomy News, Illinois Agronomy News
ADD ZINC TO YOUR STARTER FERTILIZER PROGRAM
One of the common questions I have been getting lately is definitely not a new one. “Should I be using liquid starter fertilizer at planting for corn?” While some farmers in the Midwest have been using starter for many years, others are just getting started.
TISSUE SAMPLING FOR HIGHER YIELDS
Have you mastered the “Seven Wonders of the Corn Yield World” and “The Six Secrets of Soybean Success?” Most likely, your answer is “No, but I give it my best shot to control what I can!” Although Dr. Fred Below’s recipes do not include foliar nutrition, plants lacking optimum levels of macro and/or micronutrients usually fail to produce high yields.
WHEAT CROP STATUS UPDATE
The wheat crop in our area has gone through one of the coldest winters on record. Growth stage currently ranges from Feekes 2- Feekes 4. Using October 12 as a planting date, we are 321 wheat growing degree days (GDDs) behind the previous year through April 12. If we have average temperatures in the last half of April, this will correlate to a two week delay. Given that some fields didn’t get planted until the last week of October, we are closer to a delay of 3-4 weeks.
Categories: Agronomy, NE Illinois, NW Indiana
Tags: Beck's Blog, Beck's Hybrids, corn seed, soybean seed, Chad Kalaher, Agronomy, Beck's Agronomists, Beck's Agronomy, Tissue Sampling, Wheat Updates, Adding Zinc to Fertilizer Program, Zinc