Beck's Blog

From Our Family Farm to Yours

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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26

Sep

2016

Agronomy Update

15 Tips for Successfully Growing Soft Red Winter Wheat in the Midwest

Author: Chad Kalaher
  1. Variety Selection. Select varieties that are best suited for your operation’s needs, whether that’s based on maturity for harvest timing and soybean double-cropping, straw and/or grain yield, management level, or a combination of these needs. In addition, maturity and harvest timing may be important for timely manure management, summer drainage tile projects, or timely cover-crop seeding. Utilize data from universities, third-party testing services, seed companies, and local performance-based product recommendations from your Beck’s representative to help select the best varieties available. University of Illinois research from 2013 and 2014 shows a 20 percent difference in grain yield just by selecting top-performing wheat varieties.
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20

Jul

2016

Agronomy Update

Fungicides, Insecticides and Disease Development...

Author: Chad Kalaher

I have received a number of calls from customers over the past few weeks, so I wanted to provide some updates on a few of the hot topics as we continue to monitor the development of our corn and soybean crops. 

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23

May

2016

Agronomy Update

Dealing with Delayed Planting or Replant?

Author: Chad Kalaher

In some areas, the window of opportunity for planting corn, and environmental conditions that followed, were not ideal for rapid germination and emergence. The cold soils and excessive rainfall we experienced shortly after planting has led to uneven emergence, delayed emergence, and an onset of seedling blights. We have also seen the use of rotary hoes in some areas with crusted soils. 

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28

Apr

2016

Agronomy Update

Considerations for Wheat Fungicide Applications

Author: Chad Kalaher

Most of the wheat in our area was planted between October 1-10, with the majority planted by October 7. Along with timely planting, the warm fall promoted excellent fall growth and tillering for overwintering. I noticed a few challenges this spring where seeding depth was too shallow or significant residue created poor seed-to-soil contact. I continue to see that the best stands are the ones where residue has been evenly-distributed and lightly incorporated with a vertical tillage tool or disk prior to seeding. No-till also continues to work well where the seed is placed deep enough for good seed-to-soil contact.


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21

Oct

2015

Agronomy Update

Confused About Your Soil Potassium Readings?

Author: Chad Kalaher

Soil fertility tests can be a moving target since soil chemistry is constantly changing, the soil is a living organism, and crop removal is different each year. Because of these and other factors, results can be dynamic over time. Potassium soil test results this fall have been lower than expected, even with a proper history of recent K2O fertilization. In talking with several farmers and reputable Midwest soil testing lab scientists about these results, lower potassium readings have led to many questions this fall.

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7

May

2015

Agronomy Update

Emergence and Growth Stage Updates for Corn, Soybeans and Wheat

Author: Chad Kalaher

Other than cool soil temperatures during much of April, most farmers experienced near ideal soil conditions (moisture and texture) for planting corn. For April-planted corn, 10-15 days to emergence has been a common range. As of May 6, all the corn I have looked at that was planted on or before April 24, has emerged. If you have corn that was planted in April, that has been in the ground for more than 14 days and has not yet emerged, a field visit may be necessary to determine the cause and evaluate the potential need for replant.

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29

Apr

2015

Agronomy Update

Time Period For Corn Emergence

Author: Chad Kalaher

Some areas throughout my geography began planting corn as early as April 1 - 6. Other notable planting windows have been April 10 - 17 and April 21 - 24. Soil texture and moisture have been desirable for field work in these areas, however, cold soil temperatures and rainfall forecasts have been a concern recently. 

I have been asked several questions about the number of days required for corn emergence...

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24

Apr

2015

Agronomy Update

Effects of Freezing Temperatures on Wheat

Author: Chad Kalaher

With the cold temperatures we experienced last week, I wanted to share some key points on the effects of freezing temperatures on wheat. Some of this information is courtesy of our regional product specialist in Ohio, Mark Apelt.

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30

May

2014

Agronomy Update

NE Illinois and NW Indiana: Soybean Emergence Issues and Sulfur Deficiency in Corn

Author: Chad Kalaher

Soybean Emergence Issues
A large amount of soybeans were planted throughout the area May 7-12. Unfortunately, on May 14 the weather turned unseasonably cool and wet, with daily high temperatures only reaching the 50s for four consecutive days.

Sulfur Deficiency in Corn
Sulfur is an essential nutrient for crop production. Historically, however, sulfur has not been a common component of crop fertility programs. Sulfur has naturally been supplied through atmospheric deposition, manure application, and mineralization of organic matter.

Nitrification Inhibitors for Sidedressing Nitrogen (N)
Many growers are or will be sidedressing corn shortly. One question we often get this time of year is, “Do I use a nitrification inhibitor?” As is often the case, it is not an easy answer.

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1

May

2014

Agronomy Update

NE Illinois and NW Indiana: Predicting Corn Emergence and Soybean Inoculants

Author: Chad Kalaher

CORN PLANTING PROGRESS – Predicting Emergence
During April 10-12 corn planting was slow in isolated areas primarily near Springfield, IL followed by a cool, wet period. Planting resumed again April 17 in a general triangle that was formed by areas around Springfield, Bloomington and Champaign.

SOYBEAN INOCULANT
Part of the soybean high-yield equation includes the use of premium seed treatments. While Beck’s Escalate yield enhancement system is an industry-leading seed treatment combination of fungicides, insecticides, and growth promoter, Optimize® liquid inoculant was also offered on many varieties this year with the nematode control products VOTiVO® or Clariva™.

SOYBEAN SEEDING RATE
The proper soybean seeding rate has been a topic of discussion with growers, agronomists and university personnel for decades. Although final, consistent and uniform stands of 100,000-125,000 soybean plants/acre has generally been accepted to maximize economic return, many factors can influence the optimum seeding rate.

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17

Apr

2014

Agronomy Update

NE Illinois & NW Indiana: Zinc, Tissue Sampling, and Wheat Progress

Author: Chad Kalaher

ADD ZINC TO YOUR STARTER FERTILIZER PROGRAM
One of the common questions I have been getting lately is definitely not a new one. “Should I be using liquid starter fertilizer at planting for corn?” While some farmers in the Midwest have been using starter for many years, others are just getting started.

TISSUE SAMPLING FOR HIGHER YIELDS
Have you mastered the “Seven Wonders of the Corn Yield World” and “The Six Secrets of Soybean Success?” Most likely, your answer is “No, but I give it my best shot to control what I can!” Although Dr. Fred Below’s recipes do not include foliar nutrition, plants lacking optimum levels of macro and/or micronutrients usually fail to produce high yields.

WHEAT CROP STATUS UPDATE
The wheat crop in our area has gone through one of the coldest winters on record. Growth stage currently ranges from Feekes 2- Feekes 4. Using October 12 as a planting date, we are 321 wheat growing degree days (GDDs) behind the previous year through April 12. If we have average temperatures in the last half of April, this will correlate to a two week delay. Given that some fields didn’t get planted until the last week of October, we are closer to a delay of 3-4 weeks.

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