Cold weather prevents wheat plants from breaking dormancy, so in cold springs, wheat crops may be slow to greenup. Delayed greenup is less concerning than cold damage to the wheat crop.
Chilling injury is only one part of the evaluation of winter wheat in the spring. If the fall was wet and challenging, there could be stand establishment concerns. In some low areas, the seed may have rotted in the fall. If the plant has fewer than three developed leaves going into the winter, it is more prone to injury as the crown is underdeveloped.
Categories: Agronomy, Agronomy Talk
Tags: Wheat, wheat injury, chilling injury, wheat damage, spring freeze damage
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
So, you’ve planted your crops… now, how long do you need to wait for them to emerge?
A corn crop requires moisture to emerge, about 30 percent soil moisture at minimum. It also needs about 120 Growing Degree Days (GDD) accumulated.
Tags: corn, planting, Emergence, growing degree days, GDD, soybeans. agronomy, stand counts
Early-season frost damage is a stressful physiological event that can slow plant development. The net impact of early-season frost will depend on the health of the plant before the frost, the extent and duration of the freezing temperatures,
and the growing environment following the frost.
Tags: corn, soybeans, FROST DAMAGE, freeze damage, early-season damage
The first step in initiating seed germination is imbibition of water. As the seed takes on water (up to 30 percent of its own weight for corn and 50 percent for soybeans!), enzymes within the seed start converting starch from storage forms into forms that will help feed the newly awakened embryo. Cell membranes in the seed have to rehydrate to re-initiate growth; that process can go awry in cold temperatures.
Tags: planting, Spring Planting, Soil Temperatures, Soil Moisture, cold soils, seed germination
The planter pass is the most important pass of the season. It sets the stage for everything else. Equally important is the time spent doing planter maintenance, prep, and set up. Each planter or row unit manufacturer has specific guidelines as to how to set and adjust specific equipment, so always reference the owner’s manual, but the following holds true for most planting implements.
Tags: planting, planter prep, #plant19, equipment preparation, planter preparation
Winter wheat breaks dormancy if there is a two-week period with an average temperature of at least 41°F. As soon as the plants resume growth, you need to get back out in the field so that you can make critical decisions about nitrogen, insecticide, and fungicide, and most importantly, preserving yield potential.
Categories: Agronomy Talk
Farming at a profit is more challenging when grain prices are low. Producers with owned ground and sound management can likely farm at a profit albeit at a narrower margin than previous years. Producers shelling out high cash rents will find it more difficult to operate at a profit even with sound management. Many paying high cash rent will operate at a loss. This is especially true if looking at profitability in a “site-specific” manner — considering profit/loss variability across a field or operation.
Tags: soil tests, Profit, fertilizer, inputs, crop nutrition, variable rate, fertilizer applications
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
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
We have received a lot of phone calls about down corn throughout the season.
Early on, this issue was primarily caused by saturated soils and heavy winds that pushed the corn over at the root system.
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Steve Gauck, late-season corn damage, crown rot, down corn, becks agronomy
There are numerous stalk rots that affect corn in mid to late season. Weather, nutrition and genetic disease tolerance all play major parts in the disease cycle. Plants move nutrients from the stalks to the ears during grain fill. High yields mean heavier ears. These two phenomena combined can make stalk quality issues a problem even in very high-yielding areas.
Tags: corn, Disease, stalk rot, residue management, corn stalk rot, plant stress
In this latest agronomy update, Beck’s Field Agronomist, David Hugues, addresses some of the seed quality issues farmers have been seeing in soybean fields across Missouri.
Tags: Beck's Agronomy, Missouri Agronomy, seed quality, soybean seeds, soybean disease
Tar Spot is a new phenomenon in the US. It is caused by a fungus called Phyllachora maydis, native to Central America. Tar Spot had only been identified in very isolated geographies in the U.S. until the summer of 2018. In Central America, the yield-robbing form of Tar Spot forms a complex with two other plant pathogens, neither of which have been documented in the U.S. It is unknown whether the Tar Spot organism is forming a pathogenic complex with other species present in the Midwest.
Tags: corn, Disease, tar spot
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
Now is the time that many of you will be making some decisions regarding fungicide and insecticide applications on your soybeans.
Categories: Agronomy, S Indiana