Author

Doyle Oerter, Senior Staff Agronomist

Doyle is a senior staff agronomist at FBN. He graduated from Kearney State College with bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry in 1972. After working as a research technician for the University of Nebraska for three years, Doyle started his career as an independent consulting agronomist in 1978. He was the owner/operator of Midwest Crop Consulting, Inc., of Holdrege, Nebraska, for 37 years, giving unbiased agronomic field scouting and agronomic advice on all aspects of farming. In the fall of 2015, he became senior account manager and in-house agronomist for Midwest Agronomy, LLC, a chemical sales company in Lincoln, Nebraska. Doyle is eager to use his hands-on experience to answer questions and resolve problems that arise on today's farms.


As harvest season quickly approaches, it’s important to keep your operation moving smoothly and efficiently. For many farms, harvest aids are an essential part of this goal. What Are the Benefits of Harvest Aids?  Harvest aids are used to desiccate weeds that can interfere with harvest. Left green, these weeds can go through your harvest equipment and impact its efficiency, causing possible harvest losses, decreased grain quality, and loss of profit potential.  While harvest aids don’t speed up maturity, expedite drydown, or increase yields, they can help reduce the production of seed from weeds, depending on the weeds present and their growth stage, as well as the herbicide used. Corn Harvest Aids Used primarily to keep weed escapes out of your combine, common corn harvest aids include AIM® EC ,  Willowood Paraquat * and Ag Saver Glyphosate. At application, corn should be at least to full dent with the milk line two-thirds down to avoid any yield losses.  Soybean Harvest Aids Similar to corn applications, soybean harvest aids are primarily used to manage weeds, but they also desiccate and remove all the green soybean material that could otherwise gum up your harvest equipment.  To avoid yield loss, soybeans need to be at least at the R7 growth stage. While there are some costs associated with harvest aid application, benefits including an earlier harvest date, less dockage at delivery and a possible bonus for early delivery can outweigh these factors.  The most commonly used soybean harvest aids include AIM® EC and  Willowood Paraquat *. As always, read and follow all label directions when using harvest aids. Coverage, rates, timing and adjuvant use may vary. Buy Harvest Aids Through FBN Direct Double down on savings and convenience when you shop for ag chemicals on FBN Direct. Using FBN’s convenient online store, simply search for the products you need with transparent pricing information and get them shipped directly to your farm. It’s just one of many ways we’re making farming better for farmers. __ Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First", and “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.  “Aim” is a registered trademark of FMC Corporation. “AgSaver” is a registered trademark of AgSaver, LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, state and local laws.  We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must have a valid applicator license to use restricted use pesticides.  Please consult your state department of agriculture for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted use pesticides, as some products require specific record-keeping requirements. All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific agronomic, business,or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. *RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDE Due to acute toxicity. For retail sale to and use by certified applicators only – NOT to be used by uncertified persons working under the supervision of a certified applicator. Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, adjuvants, and biostimulants can be ordered online and via mobile app. Please contact an FBN Sales representative for fertilizer and seed orders.


We hear a lot of questions about applying herbicides during warm weather. Crops are currently battling with summer annuals like waterhemp, which emerge, grow and thrive in hot conditions and are naturally drought tolerant. The optimum temperature for photosynthesis in waterhemp ranges from 68 -104°F, so these weeds are thriving even with these warm temperatures. Ensuring Effective Herbicide Applications in Warm Weather Here are some quick tips on making sure your applications are still effective in the heat. 1. Use higher labeled rates of Roundup® brand herbicides to help offset thicker cuticles and lower translocation rates. Applying translocated herbicides , including Roundup® brand herbicides, in hot, dry conditions can result in delayed or reduced weed control. That’s because plants conserve water through changes in both the composition and thickness of the cuticle on the leaf surface when weather is hot and dry, which can create a barrier to herbicide absorption. Plus, herbicide movement within the plant may be reduced due to a slower rate of translocation and metabolism. 2. Use the full rate of ammonium sulfate (AMS) at 17lbs per 100 gallons of spray solution. Using the full rate is particularly important when hard water is a concern. The AMS will aid in maximizing the availability of Roundup® brand herbicides for uptake by target weeds. 3. Consider adding 0.25% v/v non-ionic surfactant for weeds like lambsquarters. Adding a surfactant, as allowed per label directions with Roundup® brand herbicides, can be a good way to counter the effects of warm weather, particularly when dealing with thick-cuticle weeds like lambsquarters. 4. Beware of crop damage when taking advantage of increased effectiveness of contact herbicides. The activity of contact herbicides is increased on all plants at higher temperatures, so the weeds will be more susceptible to those treatments when it’s hot. Increased activity may provide improved weed control, but can also result in greater crop injury potential. 5. Consider postponing PPO-inhibiting herbicide applications. Contact herbicides that contain PPO-inhibiting herbicides need to be used with caution as temperatures increase to 85 degrees and above. If the temperature is over 90°F and weed size allows, consider postponing PPO-inhibiting applications to reduce the risk of crop injury. PPO-inhibiting herbicides are most effective when applied on weeds that are 4 inches tall or less. 6. Use a surfactant with PPO-inhibiting herbicides to increase crop response. Not all PPO-inhibiting herbicides cause the same amount of crop response, so if crop response is a concern, consider adding a surfactant like Methylated Seed Oil (MSO) and/or Crop Oil Concentrate (COC) to your tank-mix when spraying in warm weather. Download Your Free Spraying Application Guide While the tips above will help ensure your chemical applications are still effective even in soaring temperatures, it's important to make sure you're not only using the right chemicals but that you're also spraying properly. Get tips from the experts at FBN in our free guide, Spraying Tips for the DIY Farmer . In the guide, you'll learn: Four key steps to a successful spray Record-keeping essentials Tips for effectively limiting spray drift Jar test best practices for tank mix compatibility Click here to download the free guide. Copyright © 2015 - 2021 Farmer's Business Network Canada, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, "Farmers Business Network," "FBN," "FBN Direct" and "Farmers First" are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Roundup is a registered trademark of the Monsanto Company. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix.


Article Practices

How to Control Winter Weeds

We all know that weeds during the growing season can have a negative impact on crop yields.  It is important to remember, though, that winter annuals—such as marestail, henbit, downy brome, field pennycress, annual ryegrass and shepherd’s purse—can also be detrimental to your operation. Winter weeds can: Rob the soil of nutrients and water; Delay soil warm up in the spring; and  Impact the efficiency of planting equipment.  All of these issues can lead to decreased yield potential in the following year’s crop. Winter annual seeds germinate from early fall into December. Broadleaf species generally form a rosette to overwinter and will flower and produce seed by late June to complete the life cycle. Use a fall-applied herbicide to treat winter annuals Treatment of winter annual weeds in the fall is a reliable way to get acceptable weed control. Fall treatments can often be less expensive and deliver better control than spring-applied herbicides. The concern of off-target drift is also less of an issue in the fall because there are no actively growing crops. There are many herbicides from which to select for winter annual weed control. For fields you’ll be planting to corn, some options include the following: 2,4D LV6 dicamba flumioxazin , glyphosate paraquat , Autumn™ Super 51 WDG Basis® Blend On fields planned for soybeans, here are some options for your herbicide toolbox: 2,4D LV6 dicamba flumioxazin glyphosate paraquat Aim® Willowood Sulfen Chlorim Enlite® Application rates will vary according to soil type, weed density and weed stage of growth, so be sure to consult with an agronomist before spraying this fall. When choosing a residual herbicide, remember to check for any plantback restrictions that could impact the next year’s crop. If a long residual herbicide is fall-applied, annual spring emerging weeds can sometimes be controlled into mid-May. That could mean a more timely spring planting with reduced competition.  Herbicide resistance in winter annuals might be an issue in your region. If that’s the case, you might want to consider spray mixes that utilize multiple modes of action for more effective control. Why don’t more farmers control weeds in the fall? There seem to be two primary reasons why farmers hold out on fall herbicide applications: 1. Not enough time or labor Most years, harvest takes every hour and every person available. But when harvest delays occur, there may be sufficient time to apply herbicides. Even hiring a commercial sprayer can be cost effective in some situations. 2. Not enough cash left in the current year’s cropping budget Remember that the price of the chemistry chosen for next spring will likely be higher when compared to the price of fall-applied herbicides. Also, weed control will most likely be less effective in the spring, due to the size of overwintering weeds. Find the right inputs for your operation with FBN Direct® You can double down on savings and convenience when you shop for ag chemicals on FBN Direct . Simply buy the products you need online and get them shipped directly to your farm. It’s just one of many different ways we’re making farming better for farmers . Autumn™ Super 51 WDG is a trademark of Bayer CropScience. Basis® Blend and Enlite® are registered trademarks of DuPont Crop Protection. Aim® EC Herbicide is a registered trademark of FMC Corporation. Copyright © 2014 - 2020 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN" and "Farmers Business Network" are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. FBN Direct Services are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed. FBN Direct is a service mark of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, adjuvants, and biostimulants can be ordered online and via mobile app. Please contact an FBN Sales representative for fertilizer and seed orders. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix.


In some areas of North America, harvest is already underway; for others, those activities are fast approaching. This is a culmination for farmers: a time to see what your hard work and investment—along with some occasional worrying—has produced.  But harvest season isn’t just about yields. This is a perfect opportunity to evaluate the decisions you made throughout the year. Questions to ask yourself during harvest Take time as you roll through the fields to jot down any details about this year’s production while they are fresh in your mind. No detail is insignificant, and most will be valuable for future planning. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you begin harvest this year: 1. How did my seed selection meet expectations for this field? Consider all the traits and characteristics you selected for, including any GMO traits, plant population, early vigor, disease tolerance, standability, etc. Did you need everything in the bag or could you have done without some traits? Could conventional seed have achieved the same yield level at a lesser cost per acre? 2. What weeds, diseases or insect damage were present? Identify the weeds, diseases and insect damage present at harvest. Considering the pesticide program used, was control acceptable? Could anything have been done differently to obtain a better result? And would generics have saved some input dollars? Is it time to utilize some different actives or modes of action? Look out for stalk rots and check grain quality to ensure that disease and insects weren’t a bigger issue than you originally expected. Start maximizing your profit potential. 3. Did my fertility program make the grade? Examine the plants and the grain being harvested. Was the fertility program adequate throughout the season and did it produce quality grain? Were any nutrient deficiencies identified, and would your farm have benefited from tissue testing throughout the growing season? Also, make sure that your crop is getting the nutrients it needs at the times when it needs them the most.  4. How did the recommended nutrients impact my soil?  An annual soil test should be done at the same time each year to ensure proper fertility for the crop to be grown. Soil tests can also aid in locating areas with issues that need to be corrected.  5. Did my equipment do what my farm needed? Machinery that is worn out, or not properly calibrated, can have an impact on your planting and harvest. Using the wrong equipment can lead to compaction and other soil issues. Did the equipment you have do an acceptable job during cultivation, planting, spraying and harvesting? Would replacing or updating equipment improve on-farm efficiency or soil health? Could there be a tax advantage to purchasing new equipment? 6. Did I purchase the right crop insurance policy and coverage?  Crop insurance is part of your overall risk management plan. Consider if there are any changes you should make for 2021. Know the options that are available to you, and if necessary, get a second opinion. Evaluate your fields separately to get the most out of your acres. Check with your agronomist and your neighbors to see what worked—and what didn’t—on farms in your area. Proper chemistry selection leads to increased pesticide efficacy, and substantial savings could be a reality in many fields. Your observations will be a valuable tool in making cropping plans for 2021 and beyond.  Find the right inputs for your operation with FBN Direct℠ You can double down on savings and convenience when you shop for ag chemicals on FBN Direct . Simply buy the products you need online and get them shipped directly to your farm. It’s just one of many different ways we’re making farming better for farmers . Copyright © 2014 - 2020 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN" and "Farmers Business Network" are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. FBN Direct Services are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed. FBN Direct is a service mark of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, adjuvants, and biostimulants can be ordered online and via mobile app. Please contact an FBN Sales representative for fertilizer and seed orders. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix.


Keeping control of mid-season insect pests in your corn crop is vital to protecting yield potential. We’ve discussed how corn rootworm , European corn borer and western bean cutworm can inflict harm to your crop, so you’ll want to stay on top of pressure with good scouting and timely applications when needed. Let’s turn our attention now to three more pests—spider mites, grasshoppers and fall armyworms—that, while less prolific, can nevertheless impact your bottom line.  Spider Mites Spider mites are a pest to watch for as corn plants approach VT growth stage or better. Adult mites are the size of a grain of salt and are prolific.  There are two common types of spider mites found in the Corn Belt: Banks grass mites (BGM), which can be found on the lower leaves of corn plants and do not normally cause economic losses; and two-spotted mites (TSM), which are identified in the adult stage by a yellowish-brown body with two dark spots on their backs and can cause substantial yield loss.  How to control spider mites in corn TSM populations favor drought conditions and windy dusty areas. Scouting should start at VT and focus on field borders on the south and west sides of your fields. Dusty roads adjacent to these borders can also further movement of the mites and can create a larger infested area.  The webbing the TSM creates to protect the egg and nymph stages is difficult for an insecticide to penetrate, so a systemic insecticide such as bifenthrin , lambda-cy or chlorpyrifos may be required to gain control. Spot treatment for TSM is possible if they are found early enough. Are you paying a fair price for insecticide applications? Grasshoppers While not a typical pest, grasshoppers can potentially become an issue in corn when drought is present. These conditions push grasshoppers to scour for food sources, causing damage by feeding on corn leaves, silks and ears. In extreme cases, they can strip leaves to nothing but a midrib. Grasshopper eggs overwinter in clusters in the soil, with nymphs hatching in late May or early June. If food is scarce, nymphs will move to nearby vegetation or crops for food. Areas prone to grasshoppers such as grass waterways should be scouted for any that may be migrating into corn fields.  How to control grasshoppers in corn If grasshoppers are present in the field, check five separate locations, noting the number of nymphs and adult grasshoppers per square yard. If levels of 15 nymphs or 8 adult grasshoppers per square yard near field borders—or 3 adults per square yard within a part of the field—are found, treatment with bifenthrin or chlorpyrifos may be needed. You may be able to perform a targeted spot treatment without having to treat a whole field, depending on where the populations are located. Fall Armyworms Fall armyworms are a common pest that rarely meets the economic threshold for treatment. Adult moths are attracted to late-maturing corn, where they will lay their eggs. Larvae arrive late in the season and feed on corn leaves, causing damage in patches throughout the field that is similar in appearance to that of hail injury. Applying an insecticide is usually not economical for control unless larvae are less than 1.25 inch long with plants are under stress and 75 percent of plants have whorl feeding damage. Address pest pressure all season long with FBN Direct℠ You can double down on savings and convenience when you shop for ag chemicals on FBN Direct . Simply buy the crop protection products you need online and get them shipped directly to your farm—or schedule free pick-up at your local FBN Hub . It’s just one of many different ways we’re making farming better for farmers . Copyright © 2014 - 2020 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN" and "Farmers Business Network" are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. FBN Direct Services are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed. FBN Direct is a service mark of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, adjuvants, and biostimulants can be ordered online and via mobile app. Please contact an FBN Sales representative for fertilizer and seed orders. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix.


If you’ve ever dealt with significant pressure from corn rootworm beetles in your fields, you know how severely this insect pest can impact corn production if not properly controlled. In fact, you might see as much as 15 percent yield loss on average for each root node that is pruned due to larval feeding. 1 High populations of rootworm beetles can scrape the chlorophyll from corn leaf surfaces. This results in less leaf area to manufacture sugars to be translocated to the corn kernels, limiting kernel fill and translating to significant economic damage.  Adult rootworm beetles also feed on corn silks during pollination, leading to poor pollination and limiting the number of kernels to be produced.  To make matters worse, adult beetle feeding can also provide entry points for secondary pests and disease.  Planting Bt hybrids is one way to reduce the threat of rootworm pressure. But if you’ve planted non-Bt and/or conventional corn—or if you’re experiencing resistance issues after planting Bt corn—it’s important to know what to look for and how to control rootworm beetles in your fields. And while control is most ideal in the larval stage, sometimes a mid-season rescue treatment is necessary and can help you protect your crop against rootworm beetles. Are you paying a fair price for insecticide applications? What should you look for when scouting for rootworms? Emerging from the soil between late June and the middle of August, adult beetles will mate and, approximately 14 days after emergence, the female rootworm beetles deposit their eggs into the soil near the corn plant’s root zone.  There are three types of corn rootworms, and the way to identify which species is present in your fields is to find the pest in its adult beetle stage of the life cycle. Here is a bit more information about each species: Western Corn Rootworm  Western Corn Rootworm (WCR) is the most common rootworm beetle and most damaging species across the Corn Belt. The adult beetle is yellow with black stripes to almost completely black. Northern Corn Rootworm Northern Corn Rootworm (NCR) are usually found in smaller numbers than WCR in the northern portion of the Corn Belt. NCR have the unique ability to enter an extended diapause stage, meaning they can remain in the egg stage of its life cycle for an extra year. This allows NCR to survive in a one-year crop rotation system. NCR are lime green in color. Southern Corn Rootworm Southern Corn Rootworm (SCR) generally causes the least damage of the 3 types, but there can be situations where adult SCR beetles must be controlled to protect against silk clipping during corn pollination. SCR eggs do not survive the winter in most of the Corn Belt, but they are still of some concern in the southern Corn Belt. The adult beetles are yellow to light-green with black dots on the back.  How do you control rootworm pressure in your corn crop? Timely scouting and treatments are needed, but you can achieve acceptable corn rootworm control growing non-Bt and/or conventional corn hybrids. Here are a few methods: Crop rotation practices One method is to utilize a one-year crop rotation to another crop, such as soybeans or wheat. Crop rotation practices work quite well for Western Corn Rootworm (WCR) but not for Northern Corn Rootworms (NCR), which can enter an extended diapause and require a 2-year rotation. Spraying for larval control There is no reliable method to achieve total control over rootworm larvae once your corn is planted, but many insecticides are available for in-furrow application to provide larval control. Scouting beetle populations during the growing season in fields planned for corn next year will indicate if a soil insecticide will be required in the spring. Using a Group 3A insecticide product such as Bifenthrin LFR —or, if not adding it to your starter fertilizer, an emulsifiable concentrate like Willowood Bifenthrin 2EC —will help you address rootworm pressure at planting. You can achieve some degree of control by timing your insecticide application for when female beetles become gravid , or full of eggs, and before egg deposition takes place. This will sometimes require two treatments in highly populated fields. You may also want to consider spraying when silk clipping is evident in order to protect your corn during the pollination period. Spraying for adult rootworm beetles Several insecticides are labeled to control the adult beetles, as well, and can be applied by air, by ground or through a sprinkler system. You’ll want to again use a Group 3A insecticide such as Willowood Lambda-Cy 1EC or Willowood Bifenthrin 2EC to manage adult rootworm beetles in your fields. Always read and follow the label directions for any insecticide to be used. Address pest pressure all season long with FBN Direct℠ You can double down on savings and convenience when you shop for ag chemicals on FBN Direct . Simply buy the crop protection products you need online and get them shipped directly to your farm—or schedule free pick-up at your local FBN Hub . It’s just one of many different ways we’re making farming better for farmers . Sources: Willowood is a trademark of Generic Crop Science LLC. 1. Corn Rootworm Management Update , Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Copyright © 2014 - 2020 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN" and "Farmers Business Network" are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. FBN Direct Services are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed. FBN Direct is a service mark of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, adjuvants, and biostimulants can be ordered online and via mobile app. Please contact an FBN Sales representative for fertilizer and seed orders. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix.


By the time you’ve reached the middle of the growing season, your corn crop is hopefully standing tall with ears that are developing kernels.  But that also means now is the time to keep a keen eye out for the mid-season insect pressure that could get in the way of your yield potential.  Let’s take a closer look at two pests—the European Corn Borer and Western Bean Cutworm—to be on the lookout for in order to protect your corn crop this growing season. Are you paying a fair price for insecticide applications? European Corn Borer The European Corn Borer (ECB) is a species of moth whose life cycle has four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult moth. When second-generation ECB moths mate, the female moth lays eggs in clusters of 5 to 30 on the underside of the ear zone leaves, usually near the midrib. These eggs are creamy white in color and resemble fish scales.  Once they hatch, the larvae feed on remaining pollen in leaf axils and corn silks, eventually entering the shanks of ears, ear tips and upper half of corn stalks.  How will ECB affect your corn crop? ECB larvae can inflict harm to your crop in the following ways:  Stalk Damage ECB-inflicted damage to the stalk can translate to harvest issues due to weakened, broken and lodged stalks. This also provides an entry point for additional insects and possible disease. Shank Feeding When ECB larvae feed on the ear shank, it may cause ear droppage and make the ear unharvestable. This can result in significant yield loss at the end of the season. Ear Tip Feeding Ear tip feeding by ECB larvae can lead to kernel loss, which will also impact your yield. How do you scout for and control ECB?  Most farmers in North America protect against the pest by planting Bt-corn, but you can still control ECB when growing conventional corn with effective scouting and timely insecticide applications. ECB does its most damage in its larval stage, and that is where control measures should be applied. Once the larvae have entered the stalk, shank or ear tip, it is very difficult for any insecticide to achieve acceptable control.  Local extension agencies usually report black light trap information regarding ECB moth flights in your area, which helps in knowing when egg and larva scouting should begin.  Scouting needs to be done on a weekly basis, as small larvae are far easier to control. You’ll want to examine 20 to 25 plants in five random locations across each field to look for the presence of eggs and larval evidence.  Generally speaking, when 25 to 30 percent of plants are infested with ECB, control is going to be economical; this depends, however, on the cost of treatment and the current price of corn.  Treatment Options and Application Rates:  Warrior® with Zeon® Technology or Willowood Lambda-Cy 1EC (Rate of 2.56-3.84 oz/a) Capture® 2EC CAL or Willowood Bifenthrin 2EC (Rate of 2.1-6.4 oz/a) Western Bean Cutworm Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) is another pest that is capable of causing significant yield losses in corn production.  WBC moths emerge from the soil in early July and begin to lay eggs a week before tassel emergence. This can continue for 3 to 4 weeks, through the milk stage of your corn. Eggs are laid in clusters from 5 to 50 on the surface leaves in the top half of plants.  How will WBC affect your corn crop? WBC eggs hatch within 5 to 10 days, and the small larvae begin to feed on pollen in the tassel.  After all the pollen has been shed, larvae move to the ears, feeding on the silks and developing kernels. Unlike the cannibalistic corn earworm, multiple WBC larvae can exist on each ear. And each larva can feed on and destroy up to 12-20 kernels.  This damage also allows secondary insects and disease to enter the ear, lowering the grain quality.  How do you scout for and control WBC?  Once the WBC larvae enter the ear, they are protected from insecticides. But with diligent weekly scouting and properly timed insecticide applications, WBC control is possible. Treatment is suggested when 4 to 8 percent of corn plants exhibit infestation.  Treatment Options and Application Rates:  Warrior® with Zeon® Technology or Willowood Lambda-Cy 1EC (Rate of 1.92-3.20 oz/a) Capture® 2EC CAL or Willowood Bifenthrin 2EC (Rate of 2.1-6.4 oz/a) Address pest pressure all season long with FBN Direct® You can double down on savings and convenience when you shop for ag chemicals on FBN Direct . Simply buy the crop protection products you need online and get them shipped directly to your farm—or schedule free pick-up at your local FBN Hub . It’s just one of many different ways we’re making farming better for farmers . Warrior® with Zeon® Technology is a registered trademark of Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC. Capture® 2EC-CAL is a registered trademark of FMC Corporation. Copyright © 2014 - 2020 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN" and "Farmers Business Network" are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. FBN Direct Services are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed. FBN Direct is a service mark of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, adjuvants, and biostimulants can be ordered online and via mobile app. Please contact an FBN Sales representative for fertilizer and seed orders. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix.


Once your crop is in the ground, there are still many critical decisions to be made that can help you protect the yield potential you planted at the beginning of the season. One of the primary decisions you face is which post-emergence herbicide(s) to use on your crops. Hopefully, you were able to start out with clean, weed-free fields . But depending on conditions at and after planting, it’s possible that you could see some weed escapes that you’ll need to control in order to bridge the gap between planting and canopy. Before making any decisions about herbicide applications, you’ll want to make sure you know how to read a pesticide label and take some time to scout your fields in order to assess crop growth and pest pressure. Building your in-season management plan? How to determine which herbicide(s) to use in your fields There are two main factors that should play into your herbicide selection: 1. Crop growth stage or height As you know, many crop-related factors play into your herbicide decision. Most of the efficacy and timing for a majority of herbicides is based not only upon the crop in the field, but also on its growth stage or height. For example: Glyphosate * can be broadcast on up to 24-inch corn, or, if drop nozzles are used, 30-inch corn. Atrazine can be used pre-emergence, pre-plant or post-emergence, but only on up to 12-inch tall corn. Aim® is labeled for use in corn at the V8-V14 growth stages. Armezon® can be used up to the V8 stage of corn. *Please note: Never use a post-emergence application of glyphosate on crops that are not traited for glyphosate tolerance. 2. Weed presence and characteristics The offensive weeds themselves will also help you determine which herbicide will work best. You’ll want to consider whether you’re dealing with broadleaf or grass weeds (different herbicides are labeled for each), if the weeds have emerged, how tall they are and whether or not it’s possible they have developed resistance to a particular herbicide.  Putting together a complete package Incorporating multiple modes of action is key to fighting weeds and accounting for herbicide resistance.  Furthermore, different herbicides will impact plants in different ways—through the roots, shoots or leaves—which is why including compatible herbicides in your post-emergence spray is vital.  It’s also important to overlap your pre-emergence application with a residual and to use chemicals with residual control in your clean-up spray as well. Here’s an example of this strategy: Using glyphosate in your pre-emergence application along with a product such as Bicep II MAGNUM® —which incorporates atrazine and s-metolachlor—gives you three modes of action. Then using Callisto® and dicamba in your post-emergence spray can clean up any escapes and provide some late residual control.  In total, that’s five modes of action to combat weeds in your field. A weed that is up is harder to kill, so you’ll likely want to use a herbicide that can be picked up by the roots. Dicamba, for example, can be picked up by the roots, shoots or leaves, while Prowl® is only taken in by the shoot. Determining your application rate Each ag chemical product label will display a range of application rates. The best rate for your farm and fields can be determined based on weed size, population density, weather and method of application.  As a general rule, the larger the weed or scope of the outbreak, the higher the application rate you’ll need. This is especially true if it’s hot and dry, which will cause the plant to slow down its processes and therefore absorb the herbicide more gradually.  Under moderately normal conditions a medium rate will work, while a lower rate simply allows for weed escapes all too often.  PRO-TIP: In an effort to maximize the efficiency of your post-emergence spray(s), make sure you consider which adjuvants to use in your tank mix. Address your management needs all season long with FBN Direct® You can double down on savings and convenience when you shop for ag chemicals on FBN Direct . Simply buy the crop protection products you need online and get them shipped directly to your farm—or schedule free pick-up at your local FBN Hub . It’s just one of many different ways we’re making farming better for farmers. Bicep II MAGNUM® and Callisto® are registered trademarks of Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC. Prowl® and Armezon® are registered trademarks of BASF Ag Products. Aim® Herbicide is a registered trademark of FMC Corporation.Copyright © 2014 - 2020 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN" and "Farmers Business Network" are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. FBN Direct Services are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed. FBN Direct is a service mark of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, adjuvants, and biostimulants can be ordered online and via mobile app. Please contact an FBN Sales representative for fertilizer and seed orders. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix.


With milder-than-normal temperatures throughout the Corn Belt last fall and this winter, you may be wondering if you'll face increased insect pressure during the 2020 growing season.  The answer is... maybe . Each insect has its own unique method to aid winter survival, so let’s take a closer look at a few common pests that might be overwintering in your fields . Corn insects that overwinter  European Corn Borer (ECB) For European Corn Borer, the last generation prior to the onset of winter produces overwintering larvae. As these larvae enter the final instar stage of growth, they bore into corn cobs, corn stalks and weed stems to overwinter. These areas provide protection from predators and act as insulation from the severe cold.  Next the larvae enter a state of diapause —similar to hibernation in vertebrate animals—which allows them to suspend development into the pupal stage. The diapause period varies by temperature and day length and ends when spring conditions are favorable for development to resume. They then progress to the pupal stage and emerge as a moth to produce the season’s first generation of ECB. Bird predation and fungal disease can also impact larval survival. ECB may have a greater-than-normal survival rate in 2020. Western Corn Rootworm (WCR) Western Corn Rootworm have only one generation per year. The adult female beetle deposits its eggs at variable depths in the soil of corn fields. Eggs at deeper depths (3+ inches) have a greater survival rate than those deposited at shallower depths. Soil moisture and crop surface reside act as insulation to help protect the fragile eggs. Tillage can destroy some eggs, as well as expose some to winterkill; however, this does not provide adequate egg loss to use as a control measure. Based on this information, WCR may have a greater survival rate than normal for 2020.  Soybean insects that overwinter Bean Leaf Beetles (BLB) Bean Leaf Beetles overwinter in the adult beetle stage of growth. They are quite susceptible to cold temperatures and protect themselves from low temperatures by hiding under crop residues, in grassy ditches and by entering cracks in the soil.  A greater-than-normal percentage of adult BLB may be present this spring. Begin scouting your earliest planted soybean fields as they emerge. Grasshoppers Most grasshoppers overwinter as eggs in the soil—usually in fence rows, waterways or road ditches—or in the soil of the growing crop. Eggs are usually clustered in groups of 25 to 50 and covered with a glue-like substance that attaches the soil around the egg cluster to build a pod-like formation. This offers protection from cold temperatures and moisture changes. Extreme low temperatures and wet conditions at hatching can reduce grasshopper survival rates.  You should expect a greater survival rate in 2020 for grasshoppers. This insect pest can cause serious economic loss, so scout field borders for nymph grasshopper feeding as crops emerge. When it comes to weather, things can always change before planting season begins. But it’s safe to predict a greater survival rate for insects heading into the 2020 growing season with the information we currently have. Let’s build a management strategy together Ready to get ahead of pest pressure heading into the 2020 growing season? You'll enjoy fair, nationwide pricing when you buy inputs online through FBN Direct . Plus our growing network of FBN Hubs means you can also purchase the products you need in-season and schedule free, convenient pickup at a Hub near you.  And as an FBN member, you can discuss pest pressure, evaluate products and build a management strategy for your operation with support from our FBN Agronomy team. Just call or text (605) 223-4224 to connect with one of our senior agronomists today. "Bean Leaf Beetle" by UnitedSoybeanBoard is licensed under CC BY 2.0 ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL USE INSTRUCTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix. This information should not be used as a replacement for consulting the applicable product label. Consult the label for the most complete and up-to-date information about any referenced product. Readers must have a valid applicator license to use restricted use pesticides. Please consult your state department of agriculture for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted use pesticides, as some products require specific record-keeping requirements.


We’ve identified plenty of reasons to buy ag chemicals now , but you may still feel a bit unsure about making most input decisions prior to spring. You’ve completed another long and challenging crop year and have entered the busyness of the holiday season, so it’s no surprise you’re feeling this way.  But you might be missing out on significant savings and the chance to start building your management strategy before the new year begins. Three myths about buying inputs now—and why you should ignore them Let’s take a moment to unpack three myths we’ve heard and how you can take advantage of buying inputs online before the year’s end to maximize your profit potential next year. 1. It’s better to wait until next season to evaluate your needs You’ll need to respond to some unexpected pest pressure in-season, for sure, but you also probably know which ag chemicals will definitely be part of your strategy. Rather than putting off buying those inputs, you can lock in year-end pricing now and position yourself to manage insects, weeds and disease heading into the next crop year. Using FBN Savings Finder, you can create a report of products you’ve purchased in the past and we’ll show you how much you can save this year buying alternative products with the same active ingredient through FBN Direct℠ .  2. You need cash flow before buying inputs Particularly on the heels of a challenging crop season and delayed harvest activities in many regions, you may be facing a capital shortfall right now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t buy inputs before the end of the year. We offer competitive rates for input purchases through FBN Direct℠ . Once approved for financing, you can take advantage of year-end pricing on ag chemicals to support your bottom line. Plus it’s not too late for you to join our 0% Club with a qualifying purchase and buy inputs interest-free all season long .  And if you do have the cash flow you need right now, we’re offering a 4% discount on cash purchases on FBN Direct now through December 31, 2019. 3. It’s too hard to store chemicals over the winter months With a little bit of research, you can determine which chemistries require temperature control and learn about other storage precautions. Our online store gives you access to use-specific label information and support from our FBN Agronomy team—simply call or text 605-223-4224—to help you with any questions about storage or application when buying inputs. Plus, with FBN Direct you can make your input purchases now and schedule delivery or pick-up from one of our hubs when you need them in the spring. Buy your inputs now with FBN Direct Don’t wait until spring to take care of your input needs for next season. You can buy seed, crop protection, fertilizers, adjuvants and biostimulants online through FBN Direct now and start getting ready for the next crop year before 2020 even begins. © 2015-2019 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network,” “FBN,” and “Farmers First” are registered service marks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. Products on FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed and where products are registered, if applicable. Terms and conditions apply. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL USE INSTRUCTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix. This information should not be used as a replacement for consulting the applicable product label. Consult the label for the most complete and up-to-date information about any referenced product. Readers must have a valid applicator license to use restricted use pesticides. Please consult your state department of agriculture for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted use pesticides, as some products require specific record-keeping requirements.