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
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
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
Broad areas of the Corn Belt have experienced one of the most challenging planting season in recent memory. Farmers did what they do best, and bided their time for a planting window. Corn acres from South Dakota to Ohio were planted weeks later than what is typical. And while many farmers are already worn out from the extended planting season, most are more nervous about what’s to come.
The good news is that late planted acres still have great yield potential. If Mother Nature starts cooperating, this season has abundant hope of producing competitive yields.
Tags: corn, Scouting, Pollination, Nitrogen, insect pressure, Disease, Agronomy Talk, Delayed planting, late-planted corn
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
When a farmer ends up with damaged grain at harvest, the best thing to do is sell it as quickly as possible. However, sometimes due to the obligation to fulfill contracts or the ability to utilize bin space to capture carry in the market, it becomes necessary to store damaged grain.
Tags: Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, grain storage, damaged grain
High rainfall and warm temperatures after maturity physically cause the soybean pod to swell and shrink. Any structural weakness in the pod from diseases or insect feeding will allow moisture into the pod where it affects the soybean itself. The pods then split open from the physical stress of swelling with moisture. Soybeans exposed to warm temperature and high moisture are also subject to germinating in the pod. All soybean varieties are susceptible to damage in exceptionally wet years.
Tags: Agronomy, Beck's Agronomy, Soybean Diseases, Agronomy Talk, discolored soybeans, soybean damage
We are having a particularly wet harvest in many areas. Keep an eye out for deteriorating grain quality. Here’s a good reference guide from Steve Gauck on ear molds in corn.
Tags: Steve Gauck, Agronomy Talk, ear molds, trichoderma, penicillum, gibberella, fusarium, diplodia, aspergillus
In this agronomy update, Nate Mayer and Jerry Mathis, Field Agronomist for Beck's Hybrids, evaluate late-season stalk integrity as we prepare for harvest.
Tags: Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, stalk quality, agronomy blog
It's pollination time in Southern Indiana and this agronomy update is all about checking how well your corn is pollinating.
Categories: Agronomy, S Indiana, Agronomy Talk
Tags: Agronomy Talk, Ag Talk, agronomy blog, ag blog, corn pollination
Every year when April rolls around, I get excited about two things: baseball season and getting those planters rolling! Hi, I’m your new southern Illinois field agronomist, Sean Nettleton. For my first ever Agronomy Talk, I wanted to keep it simple and talk about what I think is the most important pass we make in the field - planting!
Categories: Agronomy Talk
Tags: Illinois Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, Sean Nettleton
Finally, that time of year has arrived... planting season! With many farmers preparing to plant and others already rolling through the field, there are a few things to keep in mind this spring. The first is to get your planter set. It’s always wise to inspect your planter and service it before you have half your crop planted.
Tags: Agronomy Talk, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy
Does tax deadline time mean it’s time to plant soybeans? Trends over the past couple of decades have shown that farmers continue to plant corn earlier as farm sizes increase and we continue to push for higher yields. On the other hand, farmers often wait to plant soybeans until later in the year. Beck’s 10-year Practical Farm Research (PFR)® data demonstrates that the highest average soybean yields were obtained when planting occurred between April 15 and May 15.
Tags: Iowa Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, Pat Hollaway
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.
Tags: Craig Kilby, Illinois Agronomy, Agronomy Talk
Corn planting is underway for many farmers and we are implementing the field plans we have made since harvest. A critical component of our planning is hybrid placement. Putting the right product in the right field or sub-field area is important to maximizing performance. Efforts made by you, your dealer, seed advisor, and agronomist to position hybrids accurately for maximum yield only come to fruition if followed when the planter hits the field.
Tags: Missouri Agronomy, David Hughes, Agronomy Talk
How early should I plant corn? We ask ourselves that question every spring because unfortunately, the correct answer is illusive. It really depends on many variables that we have very little ability to control. Below are a few factors to consider when trying to answer this question for your own farm.
Tags: indiana agronomy, Brent Minett, Ohio Agronomy, Agronomy Talk