Beck's Blog

From Our Family Farm to Yours

5

Jul

2018

Agronomy Update: 15 In. Soybean Population Study

Author: Austin Scott

Check out this agronomy update to see how our 15 in. row population study is progressing at our PFR research plot in Murray, Kentucky!

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Categories: Agronomy, Kentucky, Tennessee

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26

Jun

2018

Agronomy Update: The Time of Day Effect with the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend System

Author: Austin Scott

Most farmers are aware of the "Time of Day Effect" when it comes to applying Liberty® herbicide on LibertyLink® soybeans.

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Categories: Agronomy, Kentucky, Tennessee

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22

Jun

2018

Agronomy Update: Residual Herbicides for Use in Double Crop or High Biomass Situations

Author: Austin Scott

I recently attended Dr. Larry Steckel's University of Tennessee Weed Tour and I wanted to give you an update on a few of the new herbicide programs that are coming out that can be used in double crop or high biomass situations.

Check out the video below to see the difference in residual formulations from this cover crop termination study.

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24

May

2018

Agronomy Update: Identifying Pigweed

Author: Austin Scott

When scouting fields over the last few weeks I have seen a number of weeds popping up in corn and soybean fields across Beck's southern marketing area. 
 

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Categories: Agronomy, Kentucky, Tennessee

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7

Feb

2018

Agronomy Update

How Does Your Wheat Look

Author: Austin Scott

Did this year's freezing temperatures affect your yield potential?

While total wheat acres are down this year due to commodity prices, there there are still several thousand acres of Beck’s wheat planted throughout the South.

Unfortunately, that wheat has had a very troubled start this season. During planting, we experienced several weeks of dry weather that slowed emergence and even delayed planting. Then, in early January, we experienced two weather events that brought below normal temperatures (single digits in some areas) for extended periods of time. I have had several concerned farmers call and ask me if these weather events damaged their wheat crop and, true to my agronomist nature, my answer has been, “it depends on several factors.”

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5

Jun

2017

Agronomy Update

Where Did Your Soybean Stand Go?

Author: Austin Scott

I feel like this year has been a big set up. We had excellent planting conditions in late March and early April, and we were able to get a lot of crops planted. Then Mother Nature took a turn for the worst, and the following three weeks were cold, wet, and cloudy. Much of our corn struggled to emerge and lacked the early season vigor I would typically like to see. However, we were only accumulating five to ten growing degree units (GDUs) per day, so it was somewhat expected. Seed treated with Beck’s Escalate yield enhancement system really had an advantage this year! Now that the weather has warmed up and we’ve started seeing the sun again, the corn that wasn’t underwater for too long is starting to look much better. Most of my service calls recently have been in regards to soybeans, or really the lack thereof. Even though each field has the potential to be completely different, I have started to notice a pattern. There have been two major culprits of soybean loss this year: PPO or Group 14 herbicides (especially in soybeans that were treated with ILeVo®) and slugs.

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2

Jun

2017

Agronomy Update

Soybean Slug Damage

Author: Austin Scott

Over the past few weeks, I've observed a high amount of soybean slug damage that has become a problem as of late.
 
These slugs actually eat soybean plants as they come up through the ground and because common insecticides are not active on them, they have the potential to cause yield loss.

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Categories: Agronomy, Kentucky, Tennessee

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15

May

2017

Agronomy Update

Wheat Update from Southwest Kentucky

Author: Austin Scott

Back in March, a majority of my territory experienced a freeze event. And while our wheat grew out of it and was looking very healthy, we are now seeing some damage.   

 

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1

May

2017

Agronomy Update

Too Much Rain? What Now?

Author: Austin Scott

Many parts of Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky have received over 4 in. of rain in a very short amount of time which has caused severe flooding in some areas. Because of this, I have received a number of questions from farmers wondering how long corn can survive under water and how much of their nitrogen (N) will still be there when the water finally recedes.

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12

Apr

2017

Agronomy Update

Wheat Head Scab Updates

Author: Austin Scott

Much of the wheat throughout my territory is now between Feekes 10 (head in boot) and Feekes 10.1 (grain head visible). This means that within the next two weeks, it will be time to start making fungicide applications to protect our wheat against Fusarium head blight (head scab).

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3

Apr

2017

Agronomy Update

What are Inoculants and Should I Use Them?

Author: Austin Scott

Do you know what the most abundant element in the air is? It’s not oxygen. It’s not hydrogen. It’s actually nitrogen (N). That’s right, one of the biggest input costs on your farm is actually floating around in the air you’re breathing. But since it’s a diatomic molecule (N2=gas), your corn crop can’t access it. Therefore, you have to buy and apply it to your crop. Soybeans, on the other hand, are legumes which means they can capture that free-floating N gas and, with the help of some soil microbes, convert it to a usable form of N.

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23

Mar

2017

Agronomy Update

Wheat Follow-up with Austin Scott: Assessing Freeze Damage

Author: Austin Scott

Beck’s agronomist, Austin Scott, provides an update to last week’s wheat webinar on freeze damage.

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13

Mar

2017

Agronomy Update

Time to Prep Your Planter

Author: Austin Scott

We are at the start of another challenging year with low commodity prices and shrinking margins. To succeed in a down market, we have to set ourselves up for success from the start. The best way to do that is to utilize all of your tools to their fullest potential. That means making sure your planter is ready for the field before it’s time to plant. Accuracy of plant spacing, seed depth, and seed-to-soil contact are the keys to achieving a picket fence stand and maximizing a crop’s yield potential. Below is a list of things to check before you pull out of the shop.
 

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6

Mar

2017

Agronomy Update

Early Burndown Options

Author: Austin Scott

God willing, planters will be rolling through fields within the next four to five weeks. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start thinking about burndown options. We’ve had a very mild winter (as you can tell by the size of our wheat!) and many winter annuals have grown much larger than usual. This should be taken into consideration when thinking about those hard-to-control winter weeds like Italian ryegrass and marestail. 

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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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2

Jan

2017

Agronomy Update

Soil Tests 101: How to Read Your Results

Author: Austin Scott

One of the staples for growing healthy, high-yielding crops is to maintain good soil fertility. That’s why most agronomists will suggest soil sampling every two to three years to evaluate how your fields are holding up. These tests however are not always the easiest to read and many farmers often need help interpreting the results. Here are some key tips and areas to focus on when evaluating your soil test report. 

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7

Nov

2016

Agronomy Update

Dust It In, Bust the Bin!

Author: Austin Scott

Even though wheat acres are down quite a bit this year, I’ve seen a lot of drills running through fields over the past month. I’ve also heard the old adage, “dust it in, bust the bin” more times than I can count. While it was ok at first, it’s now starting to worry me. 

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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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20

Sep

2016

Agronomy Update

Stalk Rot in Corn? Time to Prioritize Harvest!

Author: Austin Scott

Harvest time is finally here and for most of us in the South, this will be the year to forget! Parts of Tennessee encountered the worst drought we’ve seen since 2012. On the other end of the spectrum, parts of Kentucky, southern Indiana, and southern Illinois caught more rain than they could handle for most of the year. The Missouri Bootheel couldn’t make up its mind if it wanted to be too dry or too wet! All of these crazy environmental conditions have led to some serious standability issues in our corn. Just about every corn field I’ve been in recently has shown signs of premature death and stalk rot. This is something we see every year, but some years are worse than others and may require a little more planning before harvest.

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5

Jul

2016

Agronomy Update

How to Get the Most Out of Liberty® Herbicide

Author: Austin Scott

At the moment, Liberty® (glufosinate) is the only post-emergence herbicide available to control glyphosate and PPO-resistant Palmer amaranth and waterhemp. So naturally, we need this herbicide to perform to the best of its ability. There are a few things you can do to enhance the efficacy of your LibertyLink® herbicide program. Below I have outlined the best management practices for post-emergence Liberty applications.



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