Agronomy Talk

28

May

2019

Agronomy Talk: Fallow Syndrome

Author: Jim Schwartz

For some farmers this year, their acres will likely not be planted in row crops and decisions will have to be made regarding how to manage them. Weed control will be a key management practice for those acres, however, simply killing the weeds and keeping the ground bare could lead to consequences in the following year due to a condition called fallow syndrome. 

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6

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Cover Crops: Termination Timing and Weed Suppression

Author: Austin Scott

Cover crop acres have been steadily on the rise for the last few years. According to a recent survey by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Department, farmers in the U.S. increased their cover crop acres by 147 percent from 2014 to 2016. But, this rapid adoption did not come without growing pains. Many farmers have struggled with terminating their cover crops on time and, in many cases, the cover crop persisted into the growing season and actually became detrimental to yield. 

Cover crop acres have been steadily on the rise for the last few years. According to a recent survey by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Department, farmers in the U.S. increased their cover crop acres by 147 percent from 2014 to 2016. But, this rapid adoption did not arise without growing pains. Many farmers have struggled with terminating their cover crops on time and, in many cases, the cover crop persisted into the growing season and actually became detrimental to yield. How and when you should kill your cover crop will be dependent on the cash crop you’re planting as well as the species and growth stage of your cover crop.

Many farmers are using cereal crops (cereal rye, wheat, etc.) as a part of their mixture because of their relatively low cost and ability to produce biomass above and below ground. Soybeans have a greater ability to overcome cereal competition early in the year so termination can be delayed up to 7 to 14 days after planting. Corn lacks the early season “grit” that soybeans have and thus, the cereal cover should be terminated at least 14 days ahead of planting. University of Tennessee Weed Scientists Dr. Garret Montgomery and Dr. Larry Steckel have seen a negative impact on corn stands and early season vigor when a standalone cereal cover crop was used. However, when a legume (vetch) was introduced to the mix, a significant difference in vigor was seen (Figure 1).
 

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4

Oct

2016

Agronomy Update

Cover Crops: When, How, and What About Herbicide Carryover?

Author: Austin Scott

Cover crops offer a variety of benefits from reducing erosion to adding nutrients to your soil. When I start a conversation with a farmer about cover crops, my first question is always, “what are your goals for the cover crop?” Cover crops are used for many different reasons so it’s important to know why you need them before you plant. A pre-determined goal will help you decide which cover crop or cover crop mixture you should plant on your farm. 

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6

May

2016

Agronomy Update

When Will My Corn Come Up?

Author: Alex Johnson

Over the past week, much of Ohio has received excess rainfall that has slowed fieldwork and planting almost to a halt. As of May 1, 2016, the USDA reported that 27 percent of Ohio’s corn was planted, but only 1 percent had emerged. With the cool, wet weather we have had, emergence is taking longer than usual. It’s tempting to look at the calendar and start to get concerned if your corn isn’t coming up in 7 to10 days like you might have expected. If you are looking at your planted fields and wondering when you will start to see rows of corn, the following information should help you understand when you might expect to see those small green spikes

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10

Dec

2015

Agronomy Update

Effects of Early Maturing Corn and Soybeans on Cover Crops

Author: Alex Johnson

Have you ever considered planting an earlier maturity soybean variety or corn hybrid so that you could plant your cover crop earlier in the fall? The question is, how much time will it gain you by dropping to an earlier maturity? This past fall, I set out to answer just that. After months of note taking and studying our soybean show plot (planted April 29) at the Ohio Practical Farm Research (PFR)® site, I am excited to share my findings!  

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20

Oct

2015

S. Indiana - Steve Gauck, CCA

Evaluate Fungicide Applications During Harvest

Author: Steve Gauck

This year can be called the year of leaf diseases! We have seen gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, and even southern rust. Corn has filled out well, but stalk quality is a concern as plants have cannibalized with the late dry stress. Harvest will be a chance for us to evaluate our fungicide applications. Many diseases came in late and the residual from the fungicide may be gone. In some cases, these diseases may not have affected yield dramatically. If you are planning to go corn after corn, consider what diseases you had and plant a hybrid with good tolerance to them.

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20

Oct

2015

Missouri - David Hughes, CCA

Time to Grow Winter Wheat in Missouri

Author: David Hughes

Throughout the month of August I had the privilege to work alongside Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® staff, conducting agronomy research tours at Beck’s Field Shows at both our Henderson, KY and Effingham, IL locations as well as Becknology™ Days in Atlanta, IN. Beck’s PFR program embodies the essence of Beck’s values (teamwork, integrity, innovation, adaptability, commitment, and passion) like no other agronomy program with which I have been associated. From the beginning, Beck’s founders have demonstrated a passion for observing and measuring the components of successful crop production from which they adapt and innovate to improve production systems. The PFR program is the natural evolution of this process, and its research data is now something we as Missouri farmers can access and deploy in our corn, soybean, and wheat production systems.

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20

Oct

2015

N. Indiana & Michigan - Denny Cobb, CPAG

Restoring Soil Health After Harvest

Author: Denny Cobb

As harvest progresses, you will see yield variabilities that are unparalleled. For many farmers, this will be a first time experience! You will see hybrids and varieties respond with wide yield swings. Just about any stress you can think of has shown up in our region this growing season. Rainfall intensity and frequent occurrences, planting delays, nitrogen losses, and compaction are the big four. Any one, or a combination of these, will hinder product performance this year.

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20

Sep

2015

S. Indiana - Steve Gauck, CCA

Good Planting Seasons Start with Harvest

Author: Steve Gauck

This is our one last chance to scout fields and evaluate the year before harvest begins. As you walk corn fields, be sure to evaluate disease levels and look to see which hybrids handled diseases better. Ask yourself if you are happy with your fungicide applications. Look at grain fill and pollination. Take a final assessment of weed control, record notes on what weeds are present and if they need to be targeted next year. In soybeans, be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth. It has been identified in southern Indiana and we do not want to run the combine through a patch of it and spread the seeds out.

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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

Sep

2015

N. Indiana & Michigan - Denny Cobb, CPAG

Helping Cure Compaction and Stagnant Soils with Cover Crops

Author: Denny Cobb

This early fall period gives farmers the opportunity to implement management practices that will benefit them during the 2016 crop season and beyond. Our agronomic area experienced extraordinary rainfall events this past season. The intensive rain events of 2015 have created surface compaction as well as stagnant soils with limited amounts of oxygen and micro life. Cover crops are an excellent means to help cure these issues.

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5

Sep

2014

Agronomy Update

Crop Observations - Increased Aphids and When to Plant Cover Crops

Author: Mark Apelt

Crop Observation- Aphids
In the last few weeks there has been an increase in aphids in corn. Aphids have been everywhere on the plant including the leaves, leaf sheaths, and husks. The picture below shows an aphid population on a corn leaf.

Cover Crops
Harvest may be later this year than what it has been in the past few years. For this reason, you may be wondering about when or if to plant cover crops into corn. Most cover crops that overwinter need about five to six weeks of growth for winterhardiness.

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