Beck's Blog

From Our Family Farm to Yours

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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20

Apr

2016

Agronomy Update

Wheat Updates and What to Scout For

Author: Mark Apelt

Was there any effect on the wheat crop as a result of the cold temperatures from last weekend? As I have been looking at wheat fields throughout Ohio this past week, I was worried the cold temperatures might have frozen some of the developing wheat heads. I was especially concerned for areas in southern Ohio where the wheat was further along.

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11

Apr

2016

Agronomy Update

Scout for Rust Today!

Author: Austin Scott

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. 

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8

Apr

2016

Agronomy Update

Prepping Your Planter: Settings per Seed Size

Author: Denny Cobb

Have you received unusual or uncommon seed sizes this year? If so, I have included some initial planter setting suggestions based on various planters, seed sizes and weights.  

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15

Mar

2016

Agronomy Update

You Want Me to Put How Many Seeds Where?

Author: David Hughes

As we get closer to planting, many farmers develop, or consider developing, variable seeding rate prescriptions for their fields. Experience levels vary and, as might be expected, accuracy in prescribing the correct seeding rate in a given field location for any given year varies as well. I thought this would be a good time to share some of my experience as well as my findings from a variable rate corn seeding project I conducted this past growing season.

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7

Mar

2016

Agronomy Update

Is Your Planter Ready?

Author: Austin Scott

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. I’ve made a list of a few things to check before you pull out of the shop.

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25

Feb

2016

Agronomy Update

Evaluating Your Wheat Stands

Author: Steve Gauck

Many farmers have been asking about wheat 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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8

Feb

2016

Agronomy Update

Wheat Stand and Topdress Nitrogen Evaluation Before Spring Thaw

Author: David Hughes

Wheat fields will be breaking dormancy soon if they have not already. The weeks leading up to spring thaw are when we need to evaluate stands for retention and topdress nitrogen (N) management. Almost all intensive wheat management strategies are “timing-critical” and require knowledge and understanding of wheat growth stages.

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1

Feb

2016

Agronomy Update

Spring Wheat Management

Author: Austin Scott

By now, many farmers are preparing for spring wheat management. In this article, I want to focus primarily on early season insecticide and herbicide applications.

I would first like to point out that all Beck’s wheat comes treated with our Escalate™ yield enhancement system, which has shown a yield increase of 4 to 7 Bu./A. at harvest. This means a lot when managing insects and disease.

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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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7

Jan

2016

Agronomy Update

Winter Kill in Wheat and What to Scout For

Author: Austin Scott

I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday season! I am the new Field Agronomist for Beck's southern marketing area and wanted to take this opportunity to say hello and address a concern some of our southern farmers may be experiencing.

As I sit here in shorts and a T-shirt, I can’t help but notice the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve had. While it’s nice to sit on the porch in 70 degree weather and drink coffee, I’ve gotten a few calls concerning fall wheat growth. The landlord might think the green wheat field looks good, but “winter kill” is becoming a concern for many farmers.

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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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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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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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17

Aug

2015

Agronomy Update

How to Properly Identify SDS in Your Fields

Author: Denny Cobb

In Christy’s final scouting report for the summer, she discusses the Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) she has been seeing throughout soybean fields in central Indiana. We were pleased to have Christy as our sales intern this summer and hope you have found her scouting reports informative. We wish her the best as she heads back to Purdue University for fall classes. 

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Categories: Agronomy, N Indiana, Michigan

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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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10

Aug

2015

Agronomy Update

Corn Tip Loss, NCLB Persists, and Japanese Beetle Damage

Author: Denny Cobb

This week, central Indiana sales intern Christy Kettler provides an update on crop condition and insect pressure she has been seeing while scouting area fields.  

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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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