Beck's Blog

From Our Family Farm to Yours

23

Mar

2017

Agronomy Update

WHEAT FOLLOW-UP WITH Sean Nettleton: ASSESSING FREEZE DAMAGE

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

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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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23

Mar

2017

Agronomy Update

Wheat Follow-up with Chad Kalaher: Assessing Freeze Damage

Author: Chad Kalaher

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

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14

Mar

2017

Agronomy Update

Optimum Missouri Planting Dates

Author: Alex Long

We are midway through March and have experienced some above average temperatures that have left many of us feeling as though our corn planters should be running. We have actually heard a few reports of corn being planted around the state, but I believe it is in your best interest to be patient and postpone your planting operations for just a little bit longer.

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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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27

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Large Seed and Central Fill Planter Setting Recommendations

Author: Denny Cobb

Low commodity prices have drastically reduced margins this year and the best way to make a profit will be to utilize all of your tools to their fullest potential. That means making sure your planter is ready for the field before its time to plant.

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22

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Management Considerations for Continuous Soybean Rotations

Author: Luke Schulte

Many farmers across the state are having discussions around what their crop rotation will be for the coming year. Should they keep their rotation the same? Or would it be economically advantageous to plant more soybeans? In my experience, many farmers typically debate this question but then end up staying the course and keeping their rotation intact. This year however feels a little different.

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22

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Your Wheat and the Warmer Weather

Earlier this month I sent an update discussing how the warmer weather could affect nitrogen (N) applications on wheat. With another stretch of unseasonably warm weather upon us, I thought it would be a great time to provide a quick update on our wheat crop.

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21

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Don't Let the Warm Weather Fool You

Author: Jon Skinner

With unseasonably warm weather predicted over the next week in northern Illinois and Wisconsin, I anticipate seeing equipment hit the field for early spring field work. These early field applications can benefit any farming operation when done properly. Patience is very important as most of the compaction during a season occurs with the first pass of the year. 

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16

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Managing Continuous Soybeans

Over the past few seasons, soybean yields as a whole have been pretty impressive. As a strategy to combat lower grain prices, many farmers are taking a closer look at soybean after soybean, or even continuous soybean, rotations. This is especially true for farmers with acres that may not always be best suited to grow corn. Some things to think about when considering a soybean after soybean scenario are fertility, disease management, planting rate, and weed control. 

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13

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Seed to Soil: It’s Getting Close!

Author: David Hughes

This time of year, I anxiously await two things – planting season and baseball. “Watch the ball hit the bat” rings out from dads as they cheer their sons on in batting cages all over the country. In farming, it is just as important to see the seed hit the soil. Nothing is more important or more exciting than getting that perfect stand at planting. After all, you can’t score if you don’t get on base.

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10

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Wheat Updates Continued...

Author: David Hughes

Kansas State Plant Pathologist Erick De DeWolf has put out, in my opinion, the most accurate winter wheat fungicide efficacy ratings. You can review it here. In it, he summarizes performance ratings and also provides insight we can utilize as we make plans for fungicide applications on our wheat this year.

In addition to these ratings, I wanted to share with you a few thoughts I had looking back on the 2016 season.

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8

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

2017 Wheat Outlook

Author: Steve Gauck

We have been experiencing warmer than usual temperatures this winter in Southern Indiana. In terms of wheat, this warm weather has not concerned me as it is what happens in early spring that affects yield the most. The two factors that have the biggest impact on our quest to achieving high-yielding wheat are scouting and nitrogen (N) management. As you begin to evaluate your wheat stand, one of the most important things to remember is to perform stand checks. This can be done with a 1 x 1 ft. square, as shown below. Be sure to take counts at multiple locations that represent different landscape positions in your fields.

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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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3

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

2017 Wheat Updates

Author: David Hughes

I’ve recently had the opportunity to scout a few wheat fields and I wanted to share with you a few updates. 

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3

Feb

2017

Agronomy Update

Wheat Updates and Nitrogen Managment

I’ve received a few calls over the past few weeks from wheat farmers inquiring whether or not their wheat fields were starting to break dormancy. From what I’ve seen, the answer is yes. Many wheat fields have in fact “greened up” over the last couple of weeks. With temperatures reaching the mid-60s on January 21 and 22, and nighttime temperatures remaining above freezing until around January 26, a definite change has taken place across southern Illinois wheat fields.

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9

Jan

2017

Agronomy Update

Weed Control Reminders

Author: David Hughes

Happy New Year from your Beck’s Missouri agronomy team! Alex, Clint, Norm, Matt and I look forward to the opportunity to help you succeed in 2017. With timely information, research, field diagnosis and experience, our goal is to help you make this year the most profitable it can be. Growing row crops in a low market environment can be challenging and requires us to sharpen and apply our management skills.  

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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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18

Nov

2016

Agronomy Update

XtendiMax™ is Now Labeled for Use...

Author: Luke Schulte

By now many of you are probably aware that the EPA has approved the use of the herbicide XtendiMax™ with VaporGrip™ technology for in-crop use in dicamba tolerant soybeans. The Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans will have tolerance to both glyphosate as well as dicamba. Currently, the XtendiMax label only has a two-year registration. The EPA has reserved the right to rescind the label if they feel the product is being misused, is having a negative impact on the environment and general public impact, or is having a high number of off-target incidents.

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