Beck's Blog

From Our Family Farm to Yours

17

May

2016

Agronomy Update

Ohio Fields Showing Signs of Frost Damage

Author: Alex Johnson

The cool temperatures we have experienced over the last several nights have led to questions regarding frost damage. We are seeing some signs of frost damage here at our Ohio Practical Farm Research (PFR)® location, however we won’t know the severity of this damage until three to five days following the frost event. With the low temperatures leading up to this recent frost event, the hardening off process had started making our crops more tolerant of cool temperatures. Wet soils and dew present helps to maintain soil temperatures, thereby decreasing the risk of injury.

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6

May

2016

Agronomy Update

When Will My Corn Come Up?

Author: Alex Johnson

Over the past week, much of Ohio has received excess rainfall that has slowed fieldwork and planting almost to a halt. As of May 1, 2016, the USDA reported that 27 percent of Ohio’s corn was planted, but only 1 percent had emerged. With the cool, wet weather we have had, emergence is taking longer than usual. It’s tempting to look at the calendar and start to get concerned if your corn isn’t coming up in 7 to10 days like you might have expected. If you are looking at your planted fields and wondering when you will start to see rows of corn, the following information should help you understand when you might expect to see those small green spikes

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25

Apr

2016

Agronomy Update

Evaluating Pottinger High Speed Tillage Tool

Author: Alex Johnson

This spring I had the opportunity to demo a tillage tool I have been very curious about, the TERRADISC 4001 manufactured by Pottinger. This tool is what I refer to as a high speed disc or compact disc. It is a one-pass tillage tool that can take corn residue and till it to be plant-ready with just one pass. 

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21

Apr

2016

Agronomy Update

Rain Coming? Stop Planting?

Author: Alex Johnson

The first drink of water corn or soybean seed takes is important. A rain event within 24 hours of planting can cause lower yields and possibly a thin stand. A small, light rain (such as 0.1 in.) doesn’t seem to have an adverse effect, but larger rain events often do.

So the million-dollar question is, “do I plant today or do I stop because a rain is coming?” If you are looking for some data to help you make that decision, we have a tool for you...

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12

Jan

2016

Agronomy Update

What do Residual Herbicides Have to Do with Raising Higher-Yielding Soybeans?

Author: Alex Johnson

I’m writing this agronomy update in response to the question so many Beck’s customers have been asking. What do I do about residual herbicides on SOYBEANS this year? What makes a farmer ask this question? Most customers were happy with the weed control they saw in 2015 and are planning to use the same program in 2016. But others had soybeans that were stunted, which raised some concern.

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10

Dec

2015

Agronomy Update

Effects of Early Maturing Corn and Soybeans on Cover Crops

Author: Alex Johnson

Have you ever considered planting an earlier maturity soybean variety or corn hybrid so that you could plant your cover crop earlier in the fall? The question is, how much time will it gain you by dropping to an earlier maturity? This past fall, I set out to answer just that. After months of note taking and studying our soybean show plot (planted April 29) at the Ohio Practical Farm Research (PFR)® site, I am excited to share my findings!  

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16

Oct

2015

Agronomy Update

Corn and Soybeans Getting Too Dry?

Author: Alex Johnson

“How much money are we losing by not hauling in the water?” That’s the question some farmers have been asking this year. Late summer and fall were very dry and warm this year, which caused corn and soybeans to dry down fast and early. As usual, soybean harvest began and beans quickly dried down below 13 percent during harvest. In some areas, corn is getting dryer than 15 percent moisture in the field. Not only is some corn coming out of the field dry this year, in some cases it is TOO dry. Whenever corn gets dryer than 15 percent (15.5 percent at some elevators) it means you are hauling in less pounds to the elevator than you could have. It is water that you are not selling that you could have with no dock-age. So how much does it cost?

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6

Oct

2015

Agronomy Update

Crown Rot in Ohio Corn Fields

Author: Alex Johnson

This week I wanted to give a quick update on the crown rot that I am seeing in corn fields this year. Crown rot is caused by early wet conditions followed by a stress later in the season. Crown rots, stalk rots and cannibalization can affect standability. Therefore, these fields should be prioritized for early harvest. Check out the video to learn more!

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30

Sep

2015

Agronomy Update

Fight SDS and Soybean Cyst Nematodes

Author: Alex Johnson

Over the past few weeks, I have joined a few of our Beck's customers in the field to take a look at their ILeVO® treated soybean tests. ILeVO is a new seed treatment from Bayer CropScience that is the only solution for Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) that has activity against nematodes.

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12

Aug

2015

Agronomy Update

Crop Differences by Planting Date, Stalk Concerns & Current USDA Numbers

Author: Alex Johnson

This week, Rachel and I highlight the corn planting date study here at Beck’s London, OH Practical Farm Research (PFR)® site. Check out the video to learn more about the differences we are seeing in our crop based on the different planting dates tested. Our May 4, 2015 planting date is one example of the large differences in yield we are expecting!

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7

Aug

2015

Agronomy Update

Watch out for Waterhemp

Author: Alex Johnson

Keep an eye out for this weed! I’ve found waterhemp in many parts of the state, not just western Ohio.

As I have been asking farmers about this weed, I have estimated that over 90 percent of them don’t know how to identify it. It appears that we are in a similar position this year with waterhemp as we were with marestail five to seven years ago.

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4

Aug

2015

Agronomy Update

Closing Wheel Study and Disease Presence

Author: Alex Johnson

In this week’s video, I revisit the closing wheel study at Beck’s London Practical Farm Research® (PFR) site.The consequences of closing wheel choice go beyond emergence time – let’s look at the roots…

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24

Jul

2015

Agronomy Update

Testing UAV Usefulness in the Field

Author: Alex Johnson

This summer I’ve been using a quadcopter (UAV) to see how this tool can be helpful not just to me as an agronomist, but how it could benefit the everyday farmer as well. One of our interns, Kalen, has been exploring this same question while using his UAV at our Practical Farm Research (PFR)® facility in London, OH.

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15

Jul

2015

Agronomy Update

Update on Escalate™ Soybean Study and Wheat Vomitoxin

Author: Alex Johnson

On June 4, we sent a video highlighting the Beck’s Escalate™ vs. Untreated Study at the London, Ohio Practical Farm Research (PFR)® site. In the video, we did an early comparison of soybean treatments, evaluating the differences between Escalate treated vs non-treated soybeans. 

This past week, we headed back out to the test plot in effort to provide you with updates on this study and the differences we are continuing to see.

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13

Jul

2015

Agronomy Update

To Spray or Not to Spray?

Author: Alex Johnson

One of the most prominent questions we get from farmers is whether or not they should spray fungicide. Is it worth the input cost? What research do we have to support any potential ROI they might see? 

This week we will let our video do the talking. Click below for an extensive update on foliar diseases and what we are seeing in farms across Ohio.

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3

Jul

2015

Agronomy Update

Updates from the Field - Foliar Disease

Author: Alex Johnson

I have been seeing the start of foliar disease in both corn and soybean across the state. Generally speaking, I am seeing more foliar disease than normal. Be sure to get out and monitor your fields prior to the optimum time for fungicide applications to see if spraying is warranted. 

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25

Jun

2015

Agronomy Update

Water Damage and Spraying Soybeans

Author: Alex Johnson

Standing water from excessive rainfall this month has left some Ohio crops in a bad spot. Here are some of my favorite pictures from across our region. In all seriousness, the wet June conditions could contribute to a number of potential concerns including nitrogen loss, stunting, crazy top, and crop death.

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17

Jun

2015

Agronomy Update

Corn and Soybean Tissue Testing

Author: Alex Johnson

Tissue testing is one of the best tools in our agronomy toolbox as farmers. It is useful for progressive farmers who want to evaluate nutrient uptake in their crop or diagnose problem areas. Tissue testing can also help you determine if your crops are getting the secondary and micronutrients they need! So why is tissue testing important? If you find a nutrient deficiency in the plants, there is still time for foliar application to increase the yield of this year’s crop, or at least adjust your nutrient program for next year. In paying attention to the small details, you can push your yield barrier higher.

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10

Jun

2015

Agronomy Update

Nitrogen Studies and Rapid Growth Syndrome

Author: Alex Johnson

In this week’s Agronomy Update, Beck’s sales intern Rachel Garen and I take you through some of the exciting nitrogen research studies we are conducting here at the London, OH Practical Farm Research (PFR)® site. I have also been experiencing numerous calls and made a number of field visits across the state of Ohio, which have rendered comparisons of yellow corn plants for many different reasons. One major cause of yellowing corn plants is rapid growth syndrome, which is a result of both weather and hybrid variety.

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4

Jun

2015

Agronomy Update

Seeding Rate, PFR Video Update, and Nitrogen Rates for Ohio

Author: Alex Johnson

Across the state of Ohio, many farmers have been done planting for at least a week or two. Unfortunately, there are others that haven't been so lucky.  Rain has been a challenge, leaving some acres of soybeans left to plant across the state. The question then becomes, how do we adjust our seeding rate when planting soybeans this late?

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