Author

Holly Thrasher

Holly Thrasher

Holly grew up in South Central Kansas, and her connection to agriculture began by spending countless hours working with her grandpa on the farm where she grew up. Holly earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in agronomy from Kansas State University. Her career in the seed industry includes roles ranging from senior research associate to technical seed manager and dealer recruitment and training. Fun fact about Holly: As a senior at Kansas State, she served as the National Corresponding Secretary for the Students in Agronomy, Soils and Environment Sciences (SASES).


Jun 09, 2020

by Holly Thrasher

One of the biggest concerns we hear from farmers thinking about growing conventional corn is the issue of weed control. But the reality of a conventional corn herbicide program is that the only time you use your typical glyphosate or glufosinate spray is .  And there are plenty of other available options in your weed control toolbox for use prior to and after emergence. Start Clean, Stay Clean: The key to weed management in conventional corn The same is true for any crop, but getting off to a good start with effective burndown and pre-emergence weed control is particularly essential when growing conventional corn. Prior to emergence, you can utilize glyphosate or glufosinate as part of your burndown program, along with any recommended or required adjuvants and additional products—such as approved broadleaf controlling herbicides—to increase your modes of action to help control weeds and grass right from the beginning.  There are many premix and multiple-MOA herbicide plans that can provide effective residual control of weeds, so be sure to chat with a member of the Agronomy team or your local Hub to determine which options are best for your operation.  How do you control weeds post-emergence? When timed correctly, your burndown and pre-emergence efforts to fight weed pressure have the potential to get your corn crop to the point where it reaches full canopy, which provides shade and serves as a natural defense against new weed growth.  If a one-pass program doesn't provide effective weed control prior to canopy, however, you still have the option to apply any post-emergent weed control herbicides over conventional corn you normally would with traited corn— . Without these two products available in your post-emergent herbicide program for conventional corn, you may be concerned about grass escapes. If in a worst-case scenario you do see grass breakthroughs prior to then, a targeted rescue application of a nicosulfuron product, such as Accent® Q , can help bridge the gap. This may add a small amount of cost to your management strategy, but it can keep your field clean until Mother Nature steps in and ensures your crop isn’t facing competition for water and nutrients during its critical development periods. Focus on your ROI by growing conventional corn Ready to give conventional corn another look? Find out how planting conventional corn seed from can help you save on input costs and potentially boost return on investment on your operation. 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.


Jun 08, 2020

by Holly Thrasher

At this point in the season, most corn is in the ground for farmers —and we hope that you are all seeing even emergence in every field by now. But for some of you, weather challenges—either before, at or since planting—or any number of other issues may have led to concerns about the need to replant at least some part of your corn crop. So how do you know if you should replant? Replanting is not a decision to be taken lightly. In order to determine whether or not to replant, you’ll want to start by assessing your stand count. Here is a common method:  1. First, measure out 1,000th of an acre. You can do this based on row width. For example: 20-inch row spacing: 26 feet, 2 inches  30-inch row spacing: 17 feet, 5 inches 36-inch row spacing: 14 feet, 6 inches 2. Next, count all the live plants in the given row. 3. Repeat this process across multiple parts of the field, and average your findings.  4. Multiply this number by 1,000 to find your per acre plant population.   Once you have calculated your stand count, you’ll then have to evaluate what’s best for your operation. There are many factors that play into a replant decision, including: Yield potential as of the new planting date compared to yield potential of a reduced stand Increased costs (labor, fuel, etc.) of tearing up the original stand and planting new seed Insurance coverage and replant guarantees Need help evaluating your replant options?  We know how difficult some of these decisions can be. Contact a member of the team to help ensure you’re making the best possible decision for your farm and fields and explore your replant options.How do you control weeds post-emergence? The sprout logo, "FBN" and "Farmers Business Network" are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. “F2F Genetics Network” is a trademark of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. F2F Genetics Network branded seed products and other seed products are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed. Terms & Conditions are subject to change at any time and without notice. See sales order form for additional terms and conditions. All sales are subject to entrance into a Master Distribution Agreement, where applicable, and the terms and conditions set forth therein.


Jun 04, 2020

by Holly Thrasher

If you’re planning a sidedress fertilizer application of nitrogen (N) for your crops, you may want to consider utilizing a nitrogen stabilizer to help get the most out of that application. That’s because plant-usable forms of nitrogen are often lost through the processes of denitrification, leaching or volatilization, which means a portion of the nitrogen you put down in your fields won’t ever reach your crops. In other words, you’re basically tossing a portion of your nitrogen budget to the wind. This loss of N can decrease crop quality and yields at the end of the season, and that ultimately impacts your bottom line. What are nitrogen stabilizers and how do they work? There are many nitrogen stabilizers that can be applied with each of these sources to slow the process of nitrogen converting to nitrate (NO3) for the plant’s use.  It’s important to note that stabilizers alone won’t increase yield—they simply protect the usability of the N fertilizer that helps the plant reach its yield potential. Nitrification Inhibitors  Nitrification inhibitors slow the nitrifying bacteria that convert ammonium (NH4) to nitrate. While both forms are usable by the plant, nitrate is more likely to be lost to leaching and denitrification. This stabilizer will achieve their greatest benefit on wet or poorly drained soils. Urease Inhibitors Urease inhibitors are applied to urea and urea-containing fertilizers, such as UAN, and prevent it from converting to ammonia (NH3) gas, which is subsequently lost to the air. These are most effective for surface applications and in no-till scenarios, where N is more prone to volatilization.  Slow-release Coated Fertilizers  These are conventional fertilizers that have a water-insoluble coating of sulfur and/or polymers. The coating allows the fertilizer to provide a gradual supply of N to the plant.  Selecting and using the right nitrogen stabilizer can lead to more efficient, optimized use of your applied N. And for farmers who might over-apply to compensate for N loss, can translate to a lower overall spend from the fertilizer line item in your budget.  Weather and other environmental conditions can impact any of the above options, so be mindful of your own unique context and/or consult an agronomist when selecting a nitrogen stabilizer for your farm and fields. Looking to apply fertilizer on your operation? Take care of your fertilizer needs through and get them delivered straight to your farm—or schedule free pick-up at your local Hub . Plus as an member, you can chat with a member of our Agronomy team to get answers to questions about fertilizers and other measures you can take to promote crop health. 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.


Jun 02, 2020

by Holly Thrasher

Managing plant nutrition in soybeans can sometimes be a little confusing. What nutrients will your crop get naturally from the soil? When do you need to provide additional nutrients to ensure a healthy soybean crop?  Some farmers will fertilize corn for two successive crops, leaving soybeans to scavenge for the nutrients that remain. But to achieve optimal soybean yields, you may need a more focused plan for nutrient management.  Potassium is a vital part of a robust nutrient plan  Potassium (K) plays an important role in the plant, influencing photosynthesis and metabolism. More specifically, it helps regulate the opening and closing of the stomata, which facilitate the exchange of water and gas vapor in and out of the plant.  In soybeans, K needs are high: Around 1.4 lbs potash (K2O) is removed per bushel. By means of comparison, a 200-bushel corn crop will remove around 50 lbs of K2O per acre, while a 70-bushel soybean crop will remove 84 lbs per acre.  Because most soil tests will come back with sufficient K levels. The issue is that K is mostly immobile in the soil—meaning it doesn’t move easily to the plant in the same way nitrogen does. K occurs in the soil in 3 different forms: This form is water soluble and held on the exchange sites of clay particles. This type represents about 1-2 percent of K in soils and is what you will find measured in soil tests.  The amount of this that can become available will depend on several factors, mainly the dominant type of clay.  This form represents 90-98 percent of K found in soils and can become available over time as the minerals weather. Since many farmers are using minimum or no-till systems, the available K in soils has become even more concentrated in the top few inches of soil—away from the root zone.  There are other environmental factors that will affect K availability. Because it moves by diffusion, drought conditions will worsen the uptake of K by plants. Drought will also trap K between clay particles as part of a shrink/swell phenomenon. Also, compaction will limit root growth and the ability to explore soil surfaces with available K. This means deficiencies will show up first on the lower, older leaves and then move up the plant (an exception to this rule is in fast-maturing crops like wheat and cotton, which can show deficiencies in new leaves). In soybeans, K deficiency will present as yellowing along leaf margins, followed by scorching and dieback.  Addressing a possible K deficiency The first step toward addressing potential K deficiencies would be to utilize a soil test to see what your potassium levels are. Even if your results are above the critical level, you may still want to consider a K application to ensure the concentration is high enough in the root zone for the amount the crop will need.  The ideal situation would be to fertilize before each crop, accounting for nutrient removal rates. If you have an actively growing soybean crop, tissue sampling can help to determine if deficiencies are present. This can also help you to form a game plan for nutrient management in future crops. Pay particular attention to the following Sandy soils with low CEC (cation exchange capacity); these soils can struggle to hold potassium, so keep a close eye on K levels. Coarse soils with low CEC as well as organic soils, you should avoid fall-applied K in these types of soils. Timing and placing your application One of the best options for providing adequate potassium to your soybean crop is to broadcast and incorporate K prior to planting.  Surface applications of K can also be effective in no-till managed acres. You may deep band K, but research has shown that the best benefit for soybeans would be if soybeans are planted directly over deep-banded rows. Take care of your management needs with You can double down on savings and convenience when you shop for inputs on . 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 . 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.


May 27, 2020

by Holly Thrasher

When we talk about the fight against weeds in your soybean fields, herbicides and seeds with herbicide tolerance are often the first things that come to mind.  Over the years, the development of soybeans with tolerance to glyphosate, glufosinate, dicamba and 2,4-D have made a huge impact on the way we farm, adding more options to the weed control toolbox from which farmers can work. But herbicides aren’t your only option for keeping your soybean fields clean. Row spacing can play a significant role in your in-season weed control program. Farmers today utilize a variety of row spacings when planting soybeans , ranging from 7.5 to 38 inches. Those wider row spacings leave a lot of open area between the plants that the canopy eventually has to cover to block weeds from the sunlight they need to grow.  In fact, canopy closure typically happens 15 days sooner in 15-inch rows than it does in 30-inch rows—that’s two fewer weeks that weeds have to develop in your fields! This is especially important when timing or weather becomes an issue.  Another big plus of this agronomic practice is that narrower rows can more efficiently intercept light. And since light is what drives dry matter production, some farmers have seen an increase of 3-4 bushels per acre in their narrower row setups.  If your equipment isn’t set up for narrow rows, then you may not be ready to take on new or unexpected operating costs. A thicker canopy can also make certain diseases, such as white mold, more difficult to control.  There are many tools available to keep soybeans clean throughout the growing season. Starting clean is key in the fight for weed-free fields, but herbicide sprays, row spacing and, in some areas, conventional tillage are all methods you can use to limit weed competition all year long.  Get quality genetics at a fair price At , we’re committed to giving you access to high-performing hybrids and varieties at a fair price, helping you focus on return on investment for your operation. Chat with one of our team members to see which seeds might be a good fit for your farm and fields.


May 07, 2020

by Holly Thrasher

If your wheat crop made it healthily to this point in the growing season, you’re probably thinking about what you can do now to protect your yield. A fungicide application may be the right choice for your operation. How do fungicides support a healthy wheat crop? Fungicides can bring a substantial benefit to your wheat crop by improving plant health, increasing stability and protecting yield. Fungicides do their best work in fighting the yield-limiting effects of diseases such as stripe rust, head scab and powdery mildew—all diseases that can wreak havoc on a crop.  Three classes of fungicide Preventative fungicides These protect wheat from diseases before they are present in the field. These include fungicides with strobilurin as the primary active ingredient, such as Quadris® and Headline® Curative fungicides These stop the spread of disease after it has infected the plant. These include those with triazoles as the active ingredient, such as Tilt® , Caramba® and Folicur® . Combination fungicides These are a mix of both preventative and curative fungicides and can protect plants from disease, while stopping the spread of disease already in the plant. These include products such as TwinLine® , Quilt Xcel® and Stratego® . When should you apply fungicide to wheat? If you’re experiencing early-season disease pressure in your wheat, then you’ll want to apply fungicide early on.  However, if you think you’ll only have one opportunity to apply fungicide to your crop, applying at flag leaf emergence will help you achieve your highest ROI potential. The flag leaf is the leaf driving the photosynthesis that supports head and grain development, so you’ll want to put your biggest effort into protecting it. You should wait for the flag leaf if disease pressure is low. If the conditions are right for disease pressure, however, it can pop up at any time—so pay close attention to conditions should you need to apply a preventative fungicide in your fields. 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 . Simply buy the crop protection 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.


Apr 14, 2020

by Holly Thrasher

When you plant this spring, there’s a strong possibility that the seeds in your fields won’t have quick and easy access to everything they need to get off to a strong, healthy start. While some nutrients like nitrogen and sulfur can move freely through your soil, many other essential nutrients—phosphorus and potassium, for example, and micronutrients such as zinc—are immobile and need to be placed as close as possible to the root zone for the plant to take full advantage of available benefits. Starter fertilizers can help your crop get off to a strong start You want your crop to put all of its available energy toward achieving maximum yield potential—not stretching for those vital early-season nutrients. This is where a starter fertilizer can play a significant role in the health of your crop. By placing a starter fertilizer near your seed, you can set your crop up for a more uniform stand, better emergence in cool, wet soils and aided early growth.  Research has shown that starter fertilizers can be especially beneficial in no-till or high residue systems, coarse-textured soils and soils that test low for phosphorus. How to determine the right starter fertilizer and placement One of the most significant steps to selecting the right starter fertilizer for your crops is to determine its salt index —the sum of the nitrogen, potassium and sulfur in your fertilizer source. A 10-34-0 fertilizer, for example, would have a lower salt index than a UAN fertilizer. Once you’ve determined a product’s salt index, you’ll want to consider your soil type to help determine the proper amount of fertilizer to place close to your seeds without damaging them or inhibiting their growth.  And no matter what type of soils on which you utilize starter fertilizers, placement in proximity to the seed is key. Those aforementioned immobile nutrients need to be placed close to the root zone, but too much nitrogen or sulfur can have a negative impact on overall germination. Still have questions? As an member, you can call (605) 223-4224 to chat with a member of our Agronomy team. You can also learn more about starter fertilizer options available through and determine what might work best for your operation. Take care of your pre-season and in-season management needs with You can double down on savings convenience when you shop for ag chemicals on . Simply buy the crop protection 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 . 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. Sources: 1. Using Starter Fertilizers in Corn, Grain Sorghum and Soybeans , University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Publications 2. How Much Salt Is in the Fertilizer , University of Illinois 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.


Dec 05, 2019

by Holly Thrasher

Often referred to as tumbleweed, kochia is a plant native to central and eastern parts of Europe and Asia. Kochia has historically been used for hay and silage, helping U.S. livestock producers survive the droughts of the 1930s and 1950s. While kochia isn’t known for having good forage quality, when plants are young they are easily consumed by all classes of livestock. It also provides valuable cover and food for upland game birds, deer and pronghorn.  Kochia is well adapted to the hot, dry conditions of the Great Plains and western regions of the U.S. and Canada. But like many weeds, it can rob moisture and valuable nutrients away from your crops. Since it tends to grow in areas of the West where moisture is already limited, this can be especially concerning. Early-emerging kochia can reduce crop yields by up to 70 percent. 2 What is most concerning is that it has been found to have resistance to herbicides in several groups, including: Group 2 - ALS inhibitors Group 4 - Synthetic auxins Group 5 - Photosystem II inhibitors Group 9 - EPSP synthase inhibitors Why we see resistance in kochia Much like in our previous discussions about resistance in Palmer amaranth and waterhemp , kochia is able to develop resistance rapidly due to high genetic diversity, short seed life and heavy reliance on herbicides for control. Each growing season, a single kochia plant can produce up to 30,000 seeds, and mature seeds can germinate immediately if conditions are optimal. In fact, kochia can begin germination as soon as the top 1-1.5 inches of topsoil are frost-free and temperatures reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 1 Kochia seed can germinate in 2-3 hours under favorable conditions. 2 Multiple flushes of weeds can occur throughout the growing season, sometimes from March all the way to late August or early September.  One thing that makes kochia unique is the way it disperses its seeds. When the mature plant breaks off at the base, it becomes a tumbleweed and spreads its seeds as it rolls by.   How to manage kochia Crop rotation is key for controlling kochia and limiting resistance issues. Rotating crops is also beneficial because there are more effective herbicide control options for grass crops than broadleaf, especially post-emergence. It is important to control kochia at or before planting because of its fast moving emergence patterns and dense populations. There are few effective post-emergence options for kochia in broadleaf crops.  Planting cover crops and utilizing tillage practices can be an effective line of defense against kochia populations. Using a soil-applied/pre-emerge herbicide with residual activity is going to be critical in your herbicide program—catching this difficult-to-control weed before it germinates or while it is still small will increase your odds of control. Here are some herbicide options for controlling kochia in both soil-applied/pre-emerge and post-emerge scenarios. Soil-applied herbicide options 2 : Dicamba, atrazine, metribuzin, Scoparia® , Spartan® , Sharpen® powered by Kixor® herbicide , glyphosate , Zidua® Dicamba, Valor® , atrazine, Balance® Flexx , Callisto® , Sharpen® powered by Kixor® herbicide , Zidua® Dicamba, atrazine, Sharpen® powered by Kixor® Authority® XL Herbicide , Valor® , metribuzin, Sharpen® powered by Kixor® herbicide , Zidua® , Spartan® Post-emergence herbicide options 2 : Dicamba, Starane® , glyphosate , paraquat, Sharpen® powered by Kixor® herbicide Glyphosate , glufosinate , paraquat, Sharpen® powered by Kixor® herbicide Dicamba, Starane® , atrazine, Callisto® , Laudis® Herbicide , Armezon® herbicide , Zidua® Huskie® Herbicide , dicamba, Starane® , atrazine metribuzin, Zidua® , Cobra® Herbicide Huskie® Herbicide , Zidua® , dicamba, Starane® Glyphosate Glufosinate Spray coverage and volume, adequate herbicide rates, proper adjuvant selection and tank mix partners are all critical factors in getting successful weed control and preventing further resistance to MOAs. Remember that use of single MOA herbicides is what helped create the challenges we now face in getting effective weed control. Looking for herbicides to control kochia and other weeds? You can build a solid management strategy and save money when you buy ag chemicals through . As a member of the network, you can unlock low prices on hundreds of quality products to help your operation maximize its profit potential.


Oct 24, 2019

by Holly Thrasher

Across the Northern Corn Belt, the weather events of 2019 made for a delayed planting window and, in many areas, saturated soils throughout the growing season. As we look at harvest, persistently wet soils could leave many farmers waiting for the ground to freeze in order to get their crops safely out of the field. Trying to harvest in wet conditions can lead to a variety of issues, including field compaction and rutting and wet corn. Compaction can take years to correct in order to bring your field back to its best condition. Wet corn can lead to high artificial drying costs, lower test weights and an overall hit to your anticipated bottom line. In a perfect growing season, we can all agree that the best plan would be to allow grain to dry down to the ideal moisture in the field before winter arrives. But perfect growing seasons are few and far between. So, would it be possible to wait until spring to harvest your corn? A closer look at corn drydown over winter Research out of Ohio shows that grain moisture declines about 1 percent for every 24 to 29 growing degree days. In a warm, dry fall with mature grain, they measured about 0.75 to 0.92 percent per day, but in a cool fall they measured about 0.32 to 0.35 percent per day. At some point in mid to late November, the temperatures become cool and the drying rate starts to become negligible. When temperatures drop to the 20s and below, corn will freeze and dry over the winter. 3 Below is a chart from North Dakota State University 4 that provides an estimate of corn drydown as it sits through the normal harvest window and into the spring. As you can see, minimal drydown occurs throughout the winter months thanks to cooler temperatures. For those unable to get their corn out in the fall or early winter, it might make more sense to wait until spring when drying occurs more quickly.  Yield loss is the major concern We can’t look at drydown as the single consideration, however. Leaving corn to overwinter in the field comes with its own list of concerns, including: Winter’s cold, wet conditions can make it difficult to control root, stalk and ear rots that can occur, leading to dropped ears, lower grain quality and fallen or broken stalks.    Varieties with high stalk and root strength scores will stand better over winter. Those with lower scores should be prioritized for earlier harvest as snowfall and wet soils can lead to issues, such as fallen or broken stalks and dropped ears.   In some areas, foraging wildlife can be a concern and a major factor in yield loss for corn left in the field during the winter months. Heavy snows, winds and other weather events can be especially detrimental to standing corn. Be aware of crop insurance deadlines, as these may fall before your crop is scheduled to be harvested. The chart below from the University of Wisconsin 1 demonstrates the percent of yield loss of a location in Arlington, Wisc., when corn was left over winter before harvest. It is important to note that 2000 was a year with heavy snow, while 2001 had little snow cover. Making the right decision for your farm Your biggest consideration should be your bottom line: Will the cost of drying this fall outweigh the revenue lost from winter crop damage? 1 Once you’ve considered all the unexpected variables, if the value of the corn lost over winter is greater than anticipated drying costs of wet-harvested corn this fall, then it makes sense to go ahead and get it out of the field. If drying and storage will cost more than anticipated losses, then waiting to harvest until spring is a viable consideration.  Planning for next planting season? Even if your harvest timing is thrown off this year, you still need to develop a plan for next season. Have you considered planting conventional corn in your fields? Check out our Conventional Corn Production Guide for tips on how to achieve results growing conventional corn next year. http://corn.agronomy.wisc.edu/Teams/TG001.pdf https://www.farmprogress.com/story-should-you-let-corn-stand-in-the-field-over-winter-9-33359 https://extension.psu.edu/corn-drydown-issues https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/news/newsreleases/2019/oct-6-2019/expect-high-moisture-corn-at-harvest


Oct 14, 2019

by Holly Thrasher

While fall harvest marks the end of the season for many row crops, it is just the beginning for winter wheat. Winter wheat’s length of exposure in the field -- nine months, in many cases -- makes early-season establishment vital to a successful crop. U.S. farmers generally grow one of two classes of winter wheat: hard red winter (HRW), which is grown from Texas to Montana; and soft red winter (SRW), which thrives in areas of higher humidity throughout the East and Southeast. Regardless of which class you’re growing, here are three key considerations to promote early-season success for winter wheat: fertility, seed treatment and weed control. Early-season fertility is important for proper stand establishment.  Taking a representative soil sample will provide the best roadmap when considering specific fertility needs. Based on your soil test results, you can determine if nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) or liming applications are needed to support early-season fertility.  Nitrogen Applications Nitrogen is essential to getting your wheat crop off to a good start. Due to the length of the growing season, you may want to consider doing a split N application instead of applying 100 percent upfront to minimize the likelihood of nitrogen losses. Split applications also allow you to time nitrogen availability when the crop needs it the most (the highest N uptake is between tillering and flowering stage).  Crop fertility needs are unique to your farm, but Kansas State University research suggests that Nitrogen rates of 20-30 lbs can aid proper stand establishment and tillering in winter wheat. 1 Phosphorus Applications There is a strong correlation between phosphorus levels and tillering in the fall. If your soil test results reveal low phosphorus levels, P applications -- either as starter phosphorus with the seed or band-applied close to the seed -- are important to consider as well. 1 Phosphorus also aids in strong root development, which may in turn decrease winterkill. 2 When determining application rates, consult your local extension publications in conjunction with your soil test results.  9 Liming You may also contend with low or high soil pH levels, depending on your location. Phosphorus management is important with high soil pH (~7.5-8.5), as this can tie up P and limit its availability. 3 If soil pH levels fall to the 5.5-6.5 range, you may want to prioritize liming in the future. Low soil pH can be a concern, particularly early in the season when root systems are mostly near the surface where lower pH levels tend to exist.  Consult your soil test results to assess the risk of aluminum toxicity and whether or not pH adjustment is necessary. If you’re unable to apply lime prior to seeding, you can still manage either concern through variety selection or P application. 1 Seed treatment can safeguard against common threats The fungicide portion of a seed treatment can be effective in protecting against seed- and soil-borne diseases such as common bunt, loose smut, ergot and root and seedling diseases caused by Fusarium infection. 6 In addition to disease protection, some seed treatments also contain insecticides -- including imidacloprid , thiamethoxam and clothianidin -- that can help minimize the impact of pests such as wireworms and aphids. 8 You can utilize the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s handy table of common wheat seed treatments to compare active ingredients and mode of action when choosing fungicidal seed treatment. 7 And be sure to invest in a treatment that will best protect your crop against threatening diseases and insects specific to your region. Read this next: Seed Treatment Basics: Do you know what’s being added to your seed? Managing weeds will set the stage for a healthy crop Starting with a weed-free seed bed is vital to a healthy winter wheat crop. Consider utilizing tillage practices or a burndown herbicide application to gain a clean seed bed prior to planting.  By scouting early and often, you will be able to identify weed pressure and determine what herbicide program best fits your crop’s needs. Be on the lookout for winter annual broad leaves such as henbit, tansy mustard, field pennycress and shepherds-purse as well as winter annual grasses like downy brome, feral rye and jointed goatgrass. 5 Fall is also the best time gain control of marestail. Sulfonylurea, dicamba and 2,4-D herbicides labeled for use in wheat are excellent options to consider for control of winter annuals. 5 Gain more insight on your fields with precision mapping Before making any pre- or in-season decisions, download our Precision Mapping Guide to learn how you can utilize precision maps to develop a more effective field-by-field strategy. https://webapp.agron.ksu.edu/agr_social/article/wheat-seeding-tips-for-good-stand-establishment-353-2 http://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/ec143.pdf https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs142p2_053254.pdf https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/c529.pdf https://cropwatch.unl.edu/weed-management-winter-wheat https://cropwatch.unl.edu/2018/should-i-plant-treated-wheat-seed https://cropwatch.unl.edu/documents/Table%201.%20Wheat%20Seed%20Treatment%20Fungicides-REV.pdf http://msuextension.org/publications/AgandNaturalResources/MT199608AG.pdf http://www.ipni.net/article/IPNI-3296 http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/id/id125/id125.pdf https://amarillo.tamu.edu/files/2017/08/Winter-Wheat-Management-Calendar.pdf http://wheat.okstate.edu/variety-testing/2018-19-wvt-results/201819CentralRegionSummaryYieldResults.pdf/wheat-management