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.
Categories: Agronomy, Kentucky, Tennessee, Field News
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.
Categories: Agronomy, Kentucky, Tennessee
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.
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.
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).
Tags: Agronomy, Wheat, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, Head Scab, fungicide on wheat
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.
Beck’s agronomist, Austin Scott, provides an update to last week’s wheat webinar on freeze damage.
Tags: Agronomy, Agronomy Update, Wheat, Austin Scott, freeze damage
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.
Tags: planting, Agronomy, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, plant17, plant spacing, seed depth, seed-to-soil contact, planter prep
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.
Tags: Agronomy, Herbicide, Marestail, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, burndown, Dicamba, AgChat, Italian Ryegrass, graminicide, horseweed
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).
Tags: Agronomy, Cover Crops, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, AgChat, Weed Suppression, Roller Crimper, Cover Crop Termination
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.
Tags: Beck's Blog, AgTalk, Agronomy, Agronomy Update, agronomist, Beck's Agronomist, soil tests, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, soil fertility, soil pH
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.
Tags: harvest, Agronomy, Beck's, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, Ag Chat, WHEAT PLANTING, DRILLING WHEAT, SEED TREATMENT, ESCALATE
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.
Tags: Practical Farm Research, Agronomy, Beck's, Cover Crops, PFR, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, Ag Chat, Cover Crop Solutions, Fall Cover Crop, yield benefits, fall harvest, herbicide carryover on cover crops, cover crop mix
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.
Tags: harvest, corn harvest, Agronomy, Beck's, stalk rot, stalk lodging, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, Ag Chat, standability issues in corn, stalk lodge, corn pinch test, corn push test, Anthracnose stalk rot in corn, Fusarium stalk rot in corn
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.
Tags: Beck's Blog, corn, AgTalk, Agronomy, Agronomy Update, LibertyLink, agronomist, Beck's Agronomist, Waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, Liberty
A lot of our early planted corn is already in the reproductive stage, or will be within the next week. A majority of the phone calls I’ve recently received are from farmers asking “should I spray a fungicide?” This is a tricky question. On one hand, you don’t want to throw money at a corn crop when it’s not warranted, but on the other hand you don’t want to lose potential yield by not protecting your crop. So the million-dollar question is, “what should I do?”
Tags: Beck's Blog, AgTalk, Agronomy, Agronomy Update, agronomist, Beck's Agronomist, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, FUNGICIDE APPLICATIONS ON CORN
As the southernmost agronomist for Beck’s, I’m usually the first one to see which pest(s) will be the worst, and this year is no exception. Although I haven’t seen much disease or insect pressure (up to this point), I have received numerous calls about yellow tops, white spots, or purpling in corn. With that, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to explain some of these “corn syndromes.”
Tags: Beck's Blog, AgTalk, Agronomy, Agronomy Update, Kentucky PFR, Rapid Growth Syndrome, agronomist, Beck's Agronomist, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, Corn Syndromes, Silverleaf Syndrome, Purple Corn Syndrome
Deciding when to replant a failed stand of corn can be a difficult decision to make. More often than not, it turns in to an emotional decision rather than a logical one based off of yield potential. Over the last seven years, Beck’s has been conducting studies at our Kentucky Practical Farm Research (PFR)® site to evaluate when exactly it is no longer beneficial for a farmer to replant.
Tags: Beck's Blog, AgTalk, Agronomy, Agronomy Update, Kentucky PFR, agronomist, Beck's Agronomist, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, Replant, replant decisions for corn
I’ve been out looking at wheat fields and plots this spring I have noticed stripe rust at a couple locations. This disease has already been identified in Kentucky and Tennessee as well as several surrounding states, and it appears to be moving north.
Tags: Beck's Blog, AgTalk, Agronomy, Agronomy Update, agronomist, Beck's Agronomist, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, Kentucky wheat, Tennessee wheat, Stripe rust, leaf rust, wheat disease
The warm weather we’ve been experiencing has given farmers the opportunity to get out and start getting fields ready for planting. I wanted to address some issues I’ve seen this year concerning volunteer wheat and ryegrass escaping burndown applications.
The warm winter we had provided these weeds ample opportunity for growth and as we all know, the bigger the weed the harder it is to control. A common burndown program in the south is Roundup® + dicamba. While this is usually a very good program, it can leave room for survivors to make it through. Dr. Larry Steckel, UT Extension Weed Scientist, wrote an article a few years back describing how dicamba can sometimes antagonize the grass control of glyphosate. This is not always the case, but on bigger, tougher weeds (volunteer wheat and ryegrass) it sometimes shows.
Categories: Kentucky, Tennessee
Tags: Beck's Blog, AgTalk, Agronomy, Agronomy Update, agronomist, Beck's Agronomist, Austin Scott, Kentucky Agronomy, Tennessee Agronomy, Kentucky wheat, Tennessee wheat, BURNDOWN ESCAPES, WEED MANAGEMENT IN KENTUCKY, WEED MANAGEMENT IN TENNESSEE
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