Author

LeRoy Toohey

LeRoy Toohey


Dec 02, 2019

by LeRoy Toohey

Glufosinate herbicide has been around in various formulations for many years, dating all the way back to the 1990s with the introduction of Liberty ® herbicide products.  Today you have access to formulations from many different manufacturers, some packaging the same active ingredients under multiple brand names. This is often because products may be labeled for different uses, which is why you must always read and follow the label instructions when selecting herbicides. Same active ingredient, different uses The following examples use the same active ingredient— 24.5 percent glufosinate ammonium —but may be labeled differently as to where they can be applied: Willowood Glufosinate 280SL Willowood Glufosinate 280SL (OT) Liberty ® 280 SL Ignite ® 280 SL Rely ® 280 Cheetah ® Herbicide Leopard™ Herbicide Which glufosinate product should you use? As with all herbicides, understanding which weeds you have and the size of those weeds will greatly improve your chances of successful control. Scouting your fields in advance of an herbicide application is the best way to figure out application timing and rates.  Once you have read the label on the product you plan to use, you can apply glufosinate throughout the growing season in conjunction with crop height restrictions as a post-emergence application product on LibertyLink ® tolerant crops.  ® Soybeans, cotton, corn and canola all have LibertyLink ® options, but confirm with your seed provider that you are purchasing the correct products to which you can apply glufosinate post-emergence.  Combination herbicide tolerances are also available, stacking glufosinate with other herbicide chemistries. Enlist™ E3, XtendFlex ® , Agrisure ® and SmartStax ® have the glufosinate trait combined with other herbicide traits. Confirm on the seed tag that glufosinate and other herbicides are approved for application. Glufosinate herbicides can be applied as a standalone burndown herbicide in the fall and spring, but it is better to tank mix with different herbicide modes of action to reduce chances of seeing resistant weeds in your fields. Remember to always perform a jar test to confirm compatibility. No matter when you plan to apply glufosinate, always remember to add the appropriate adjuvant and surfactant. Rates and approved adjuvants can vary by region and tank mix partners; consult the herbicide label to figure out what you need in your area.  Lastly, keep excellent records during spring planting to ensure you know where you’ve planted LibertyLink ® crops and promote a positive experience with glufosinate. Looking for more affordable solutions to pest pressure? With , you can buy generic ag chemical products online —including glufosinate herbicide —and achieve significant savings for your operation. Plus, you’ll receive hands-on support from an Agronomy team that does not work on commission to help protect your bottom line. ® ® ® ® ® ® ®


Nov 21, 2019

by LeRoy Toohey

Your corn crop can face many different insects throughout the growing season, and it seems like they always arrive when the crop is at its most vulnerable growth stage.  Insect pests have evolved their life cycles to match corn development stages. And many of the most detrimental insects overwinter in plant residue, fencelines, waterways or wooded areas, just waiting for the chance to attack.  Learn which insect pests overwinter  Some pests overwinter in northern climates as eggs, larvae, pupae or adults. These include:  Western Rootworm  Northern Rootworm European Corn Borer  Western Bean Cutworm  Wireworms  Japanese Beetle  True White Grubs  Corn Flea Beetle  Common Stalk Borer  Seedcorn Maggot  Stinkbugs  Differential Grasshopper  Billbug  Two-spotted Spider Mite Insect pests that overwinter in northern regions due to cold temperatures include: Southern Rootworm Black Cutworm True Armyworm Fall Armyworm Corn Leaf Aphid Corn Earworm Pay close attention to certain variables  It is important to understand how insect pests impacted your operation this year. Most insect populations vary from year to year depending on many factors, including excessive moisture, drought, prevailing winds, tillage, winter survivability and other environmental conditions.  Winter temperatures greatly influence whether or not an insect can overwinter in northern regions. There is no set line separating northern and southern regions in the U.S. when it comes to overwintering pests. In some years, Kansas and the southern parts of Missouri and Illinois can be considered part of the southern region if winter temperatures are moderate.  Build your strategy to prepare for next year Understanding which pests were present this season is important when making sound decisions for the next. And, as always, timely scouting throughout the year is key any effective management strategy.  1. Know the limitations of traited seed You might have planted fully traited seed in the past in hopes of protecting your crop from insect damage. But while fully traited seed is effective at managing some insects, these seeds can be expensive and will not protect your crop from all insects. Don’t be fooled into thinking that planting traited seed is the be-all and end-all of your insect management strategy.  2. Use common tillage practices wisely Conventional tillage in the fall and spring is a good tool to use when trying to minimize overwintering insect pests. Burying residue—where many overwintering insect pests live—helps to lower overwinter survival numbers. Keep in mind that you must balance tillage practices with other agronomic concerns, such as erosion and overall soil structure. The more you till the soil, the more soil structure loss you’ll see.  3. Take a look at seed treatments and herbicide applications Seed treatments are a great tool for protecting against early-season pests, too, and insecticides applied post-emergence when needed can also protect your investment. Here are a few great post-emergence insecticides: Lambda-Cy 1EC ( Warrior® )  Bifenthrin 2EC ( Sniper® )  Chlorpyrifos ( Lorsban® 4E ) Permethrin ( Astro® ) Esfenvalerate ( Asana® XL ) Beta-cyfluthrin ( Baythroid® XL ) Carbaryl ( Sevin® SL ) Below-ground insecticide options at planting time include: Clothianidin ( Poncho® ) Bifenthrin LFC ( Bifenture® LFC, Capture® LFR ) Tefluthrin ( Force® 3G ) Chlorpyrifos ( Lorsban® 15G ) Thiamethoxam ( Cruiser® 5FS ) Remember to ALWAYS read and follow label instructions. Perform a compatibility jar test prior to mixing any products in your sprayer tank. Reviewing your scouting records and understanding which insects overwinter—and which ones don’t—will help you be proactive heading into the next growing season. Want to step up your field scouting game? Scouting your fields can provide you with greater insight into building an effective management strategy. Download our free Precision Mapping Guide to see how you can use data-driven insights on your operation.


Nov 12, 2019

by LeRoy Toohey

With harvest wrapping up across most of the corn belt, it’s time to start thinking about next season’s input needs. One of the best ways to build your plan for next year is to consider what happened this season. Let’s look at the fungal diseases you may have seen this year and discuss what you can do to better prepare yourself for the next season’s crop.  What to Look Out For Growers in the southern regions already understand that many fungal pathogens overwinter, due to milder winters. There are a few that survive in southern area, but generally can’t overwinter in the northern climates. These are blown northerly from overwintering sites in the south during the growing season. This includes:  Common Rust Southern Rust 1 Southern Corn Leaf Blight (Bipolaris maydis) 2 Some fungal pathogens overwinter in the northern and southern climates. Major examples are: Northern Corn Leaf Blight Northern Corn Leaf Spot Gray Leaf Spot Anthracnose Leaf Blight 1 Tar Spot 5 There are others that can overwintering in northern climates to a lesser degree, such as: Diplodia Leaf Streak Physoderma Brown Spot Eyespot 1 Common Smut Fungus ( Head Smut Fungus 4 Prepare Now for Next Year’s Crop Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to scout your fields to identify fungal disease that may have impacted your crop this year. Many fungal diseases can be minimized by turning crop residue under with tillage practices . By burying infected residue, many fungal pathogens can’t survive, making the time of infection shorter the following year. Tillage works well on many fungal pathogens, but it does not completely eradicate the problem.  If you utilize minimum tillage or no-till, expect fungal pathogens to potentially return. Focus on crop rotation and reducing host plants in weedy areas or fence lines. Corn is a grass, and grasses that grow next to your fields or in weedy areas of your fields can provide a place for pathogens to survive and possibly infect your upcoming crop. Another option to consider is limiting stressors that weaken the crop. Soil compaction, cold soil temperatures early in the season, excessively wet spring soils, soil fertility and seed treatment all contribute to a plant’s ability to fight pathogens later in the season.  Most seed companies capture ratings from poor to excellent on common fungal pathogens. Understanding these ratings will help you balance fungal resistance with yield expectations.  Develop a Chemical Plan That Protects Your Bottom Line Products utilizing active ingredients such as azoxystrobin, propiconazole or tebuconazole work well against these fungal pathogens. This includes fungicides such as Quadris ® or Quilt Xcel ® , Tilt ® and Custodia ® (and generic equivalents).Timely scouting and timely applications can greatly increase your bottom line. Foliar disease impacts corn plants at a different rate every season, but understanding which pathogens we can suppress with tillage this fall and which ones overwinter in your area will greatly help you prepare for 2020. Foliar diseases that are not fungal pathogens, but sometimes get confused as fungal disease, include:  Stewart’s Wilt (Pantoea stewartii), which overwinters in the corn flea beetle,  Goss’s Wilt and Blight (Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis), which overwinter in residue borne bacterium 1 Maize Dwarf Mosaic Virus 3 Holcus Spot 6 Fungicides have no effect on bacterial or viral pathogens, so save your money and focus on genetic resistance when selecting seed varieties. Scout Your Fields with Greater Insights As we mentioned, scouting your fields is a must if you want to stay ahead of fungal diseases in next year's crops. You can up your scouting game utilizing precision maps and data specific to your farm and fields.  Quadris Ⓡ , Quilt Xcel Ⓡ and Tilt Ⓡ are registered and unregistered trademarks of Syngenta. Custodia Ⓡ is a registered trademark of an ADAMA Group Company. https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/fieldcroppathology/files/2010/09/Corn_Foliar_Disease_Cards.pdf https://cropprotectionnetwork.org/resources/articles/diseases/southern-corn-leaf-blight-of-corn https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/corn-diseases-symptoms-scouting-and-management https://ag.purdue.edu/ipia/Documents/afghanistan/SPS%20Documents/Maize-Diseases-Handout-English.pdf https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/BP/BP-90-W.pdf https://extension.umn.edu/corn-pest-management/holcus-spot-corn


Oct 16, 2019

by LeRoy Toohey

Marestail ( ), also known as horseweed, has become one of the most difficult weeds to manage -- especially in no-till soybean systems. 3 Marestail is a winter annual that can germinate in early fall or the following spring. Starting from a rosette cluster of leaves, stem elongation occurs quickly, with rapid growth up to 3-7 feet high. This occurs more quickly on the plants that germinated in the fall, as compared to spring germinating plants. 1 Once mature, marestail seeds are distributed mostly by wind, and a single plant can produce up to 200,000 seeds with around 80 percent viability. These seeds can germinate immediately after falling from the mother plant and can do so on top of the soil. 4 Do I need to consider a fall herbicide application? The primary goal of a fall herbicide treatment is to control small seedlings and rosettes. The best way to determine if one is necessary is to scout fields just before or right after harvest. Depending on your location, applications can be made through November, but daytime temperatures at least in the mid-50s are needed for adequate control with herbicides. 3 Fall herbicide applications are also beneficial because inclement weather may interfere with early spring treatments, enabling plants to grow too large to be controlled by herbicides. Keep in mind, however, that these fall applications might not be a replacement for pre-plant or pre-emergence herbicide treatment the following spring. 1 Herbicide resistance should be considered when dealing with marestail. If you have used certain herbicides in the past with limited success, you may have a resistance issue. When selecting herbicides, look at the mode of action group to confirm you are not using the same mode of action over and over. That would increase the chances of developing resistance. Marestail has confirmed cases of resistance with herbicide Group 2 (Classic®, Pursuit®), Groups 5 and 7 (atrazine, linuron), Group 9 (glyphosate) and Group 22 (paraquat) 2 , but not all locations will have resistance to all of these herbicides. Remember that timely fall and spring tillage, as well as certain cover crops like cereal rye planted before or after crop harvest in the fall, can also help to control marestail. 4 Ideas for your fall burndown program Application rates should be specific to marestail populations and plant height. If your marestail pressure is high or there is a history of heavy marestail pressure, mix 8 fl oz/A of dicamba , 16 fl oz/A of 2,4-D ester ,  32 fl oz/A of glyphosate and a residual herbicide that contains active ingredients like metribuzin or flumioxazin . 4 Whatever residual products you add in the fall, make sure these products will not interfere with your planned crop rotation the following spring.  If you feel your weed pressure is low to medium or if the field has had little marestail pressure in the past, a good post-harvest herbicide mix may be to apply 16 fl oz/A of 2,4-D ester with glyphosate at 32 fl oz/A. This mix can also be enhanced with 8 fl oz/A of dicamba DMA.  In all scenarios, always read and follow the label instructions. Adjuvant recommendations are specific to each herbicide, so make sure you are adding the label-recommended combinations. Check your state regulations specifically around dicamba use to ensure that you are in compliance with local regulations. Marestail can be a tough weed to control, but timely scouting and application of approved herbicides can make it less of a challenge. Scout your fields this fall and take action where needed. Marestail is sneaky -- if you see a few now, you can bet you will see thousands in the spring. Ready to put your winter weed management plan to work? With , you can purchase chemical applications online and have them delivered straight to your farm.  Pursuit® herbicide is a registered trademark of BASF Ag Products. Classic® Herbicide is a registered trademark of DuPont Crop Protection. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any crop chemical 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 or weed, and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix. http://iwilltakeaction.com/weed/horseweed http://iwilltakeaction.com/uploads/files/55620-1-ta-hrm-weed-chart-poster-fnl-hr.pdf https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/cropnews/2017/10/fall-marestail-horseweed-management https://cropwatch.unl.edu/2018/management-glyphosate-resistant-marestail-fall https://reader.mediawiremobile.com/USB/issues/200925/viewer?page=53 https://ag.purdue.edu/btny/weedscience/Documents/marestail%20fact%202014%20latest.pdf https://weedscience.missouri.edu/publications/50737_FINAL_FactSheet_Horseweed.pdf https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF3014.pdf https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/GWC/GWC-9-W.pdf


Oct 04, 2019

by LeRoy Toohey

Every year we see manufacturers rolling out new implements, universities releasing studies and smart neighbors making suggestions for your operation.  Like most questions in agriculture, the answer depends on your goals and expectations. Understanding the role of soil structure considering Over time, good soil structure can provide numerous benefits to your fields 1 , including: Reduce bulk density Improve aggregate stability Increase organic matter Lower soil erosion Improve soil fertility Improve water infiltration Increase microbial activity Resist compaction Increase available water The impact of compaction on soil structure Compaction is a principal reason growers till. Aggressive primary tillage implements -- such as in-line subsoil rippers, disk rippers and moldboard plows -- can destroy soil structure, but they can also help alleviate compaction issues.  Fieldwide compaction develops from multiple trips across your soil throughout the growing season -- especially during harvest. Heavy grain carts and combines can cause compaction, the potential for which increases on wet, saturated soils. Consider reducing the weight on your combine and grain carts by unloading more often. Also, driving the tractor/grain cart in a track previously created by the combine can help minimize field wide compaction concerns. The majority of compaction occurs after the first pass by the combine, so you can lower the footprint of your equipment by following the same path.  How to offset compaction with tillage If you decide to limit tillage this fall, focus on the double-tracked areas of the field, leaving the rest to a less aggressive tillage plan or even no-till. Keep in mind, even when the soils are not saturated, surface compaction can occur. 2 The key to removing compaction with tillage is understanding the depth of the compaction pan. Don’t grab the deepest tillage implement you own; rather, till only a couple of inches below the pan. Trench compaction caused by a tractor or combine should be handled through multiple light tillage passes with a less aggressive implement at an angle to fill in the trench. 3 If the compaction zone is excessively deep, consider filling the trench and leave the rest to Mother Nature. Field tile may be beneficial if you find your equipment making deep, compacting trenches. Remember, the best way to combat soil compaction is prevention. Once compaction occurs, it can take years for the land to become highly productive again.  Understanding your goals and expectations will help you decide whether to till or not to till. Whatever you decide, do your best to protect the soil for future generations. (3-minute read) 1. https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/fall-tillage-and-tillage-equipment 2. https://extension.umn.edu/soil-management-and-health/fall-tillage-wet-soil-conditions 3. https://extension.umn.edu/soil-management-and-health/tillage-implements#sources-1232660


Oct 04, 2019

by LeRoy Toohey

As you begin planning for the next growing season, you might be wondering, “ Does tillage (still) fit into my farm operation? ”  Before making any decisions, here’s a quick refresher on two tillage options -- no-till/reduced tillage and conventional tillage -- and what they can do for your fields. No-Till and Reduced Tillage  These practices leave more residue on the surface, while improving earthworm numbers and creating channels for water and nutrients to move downward. Root systems help break up light compaction areas as well. Disking is an example of a reduced tillage practice that mixes residue in the top few inches, allowing for soil microbes to get a jumpstart on breaking it down. If the soil is moist, consider running tillage equipment no more than three inches. Vertical tillage has become more popular in recent years, running one to three inches deep and fluffing the remaining residue with shallow penetration. 1 Coulters can be angled for more aggressive tillage and residue mixing.  In a corn-soybean rotation using no-till, leave the corn head high and spread the trash coming out of the combine evenly. This limits the amount of residue matting the soil surface, allowing the soils to dry and warm up more quickly in the spring. The corn stalks also help to hold snow and minimize wind erosion. Planting soybeans into high residue fields works well, since they are more adaptable to the residue. Conventional Tillage The key is to balance residue management with improving soil structure, ensuring that you maintain at least 30 percent residue on the surface to minimize wind and water erosion throughout the winter and early spring. 2 Do not till wet or saturated soils -- this can create large clods. Excessive clodding can make it difficult to achieve a satisfactory seed bed in the spring. Chisel plows or rippers can be adjusted to run more shallow with straight shanks, limiting clodding and smearing of the soil. Keep in mind that subsoil tillage and ripping year after year does not help your bottom line. There is little information that  suggests a higher return on yield after the initial compaction pan is removed.  Should I (Still) Be Tilling My Fields? (3-minute read) 1. https://extension.umn.edu/soil-management-and-health/tillage-implements#sources-1232660 2. https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/fall-tillage-and-tillage-equipment


Sep 24, 2019

by LeRoy Toohey

Three species of corn rootworm—the western corn rootworm (WCRW) and northern corn rootworm (NCRW) , which share a similar life cycle, and the southern corn rootworm (SCRW) , also known as the Spotted Cucumber beetle—cost U.S. farmers around $1 billion every year when factoring in yield losses and input expenses. 1 Corn rootworms can be found throughout much of the corn belt , and there is significant variability in rootworm feeding within individual regions.  An individual corn rootworm can lay anywhere from 500-1,800 eggs, depending on the species. Fortunately, many eggs fail to hatch due to the presence of predators, soil factors, extreme temperatures and excessive rainfall.  But the corn rootworms that do hatch can pose a significant threat to the health of your crop. All corn rootworm larvae prefer to feed on corn roots, causing the most damage and yield loss, and mature larvae inflict further injury by feeding on lateral roots and burrowing into roots. Given the potential impact posed by corn rootworms, let’s discuss some options as you get ready for the next planting season so you can protect your crop and increase profit potential for your farm operation. Is traited corn worth the investment? One way to limit the effects of corn rootworms is to plant rootworm traited seed, but this can be a costly option. Is traited corn worth the investment? In many cases, the answer might be no.  There are no known transgenic traits that control wireworm, white grubs or seed corn maggot--just to name a few. In response to this, some farmers use both rootworm traited seed a soil-applied insecticide.  But if traited seed is outside of your budget and cannot give you the control you desire, you may want to consider planting conventional corn instead. Seed treatments and soil-applied insecticides With conventional corn, you can manage corn rootworms and other below-ground pests using seed treatments and soil-applied insecticides without spending excessive amounts on traited seed.  Insecticides are broad-spectrum and placed where they are needed in order to be effective. Soil-applied placement protects roots, and timely foliar applications can preserve above-ground tissue. Unlike traited corn, plant feeding doesn’t have to occur to kill the insect.  To control or suppress corn rootworms and most below-ground pests, consider trying soil-applied granular products such as Aztec® 2.1G , Counter® 15G , Force® 3G , Fortress® 5G , Lorsban® 15G and generic equivalents. If you are using starter fertilizer, in-furrow products like Annex® LFR , Capture® LFR or other Bifenthrin brands with either LFR or LFC formulation are a valid choice. Other liquid delivered products that work well for soil applications include Willowood Lambda-Cy 1EC and generic equivalents.  When using any insecticide, always remember to read and follow label instructions. Also, be sure to do your homework through scouting and sampling to determine the right treatment strategy for your fields.  Considerations for crop rotation Crop rotation breaks up the life cycle of corn rootworms, and it is still considered one of the best cultural practices to limit the impact of the rootworm species.  Keep in mind if you have heavy foxtail and/or volunteer corn in this season’s soybean crop, you may need to use a soil-applied insecticide before planting corn in that field next season.  Certain NCRWs have developed a type of resistance to crop rotation known as , meaning NCRW eggs may wait two or three years before the larvae hatch. In this scenario, if high populations of NCRW are noted in your soybeans, treat your corn with soil-applied insecticide when you plant corn-on-beans.  Some WCRW rootworm variants also lay eggs outside of cornfields, particularly in soybean fields, making crop rotation less effective. Here again, use soil-applied insecticides to control larvae.  Choose the best strategy to control corn rootworms on your operation  Rootworm traited hybrids have their place, but their benefits come with a price. Keep in mind that not all corn rootworm pressure is the same from field to field, and you know your fields and crop rotations better than anyone.  If you believe rootworm pressure is low to moderate or you plant in a soybean/corn rotation, consider planting conventional corn with a broad-spectrum insect management strategy to maximize your ROI next season. 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 . 1. https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/crops/integrated-pest-management-of-corn-rootworms-in-north-dakota https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/cropnews/2015/08/corn-rootworm-management-update https://www.ent.iastate.edu/dept/faculty/gassmann/rootworm https://cropwatch.unl.edu/insect/cornrootworms http://entoweb.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/southerncornrootworm.htm 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.


Sep 11, 2019

by LeRoy Toohey

The best time to start soybean harvest depends on your geography. In 1996, the USDA released a report, It says that soybean harvest should be wrapped up in North Dakota by September 22, and as you move south to Louisiana, harvest should be wrapped up by November 20.  With late soybean planting in many areas and the overall cool growing season, we may be challenged with higher-than-desired moisture at harvest time. On top of this, some farms may have excessive soil moisture, delaying farmers until the soil can support a combine. Any rutting or soil disruption in the fall can take years to fix, jeopardizing your future ROI. If this is you, do your best to limit surface and subsurface compaction.  Getting moisture right in your fields As soybean leaves turn yellow and then brown, they begin to fall off the plant, exposing the pods. Ideally, soybeans within the pods should be dry enough to limit combine thresher loss, as well as loss from sickle shatter.  However, harvesting at 15-18 percent moisture can be a good starting point if you plan to dry beans mechanically. Remember, harvesting soybeans when they are tough, or if the stems are still a little green, will require periodic combine adjustments to minimize loss. Fields with green stems or a few leaves on the plants may be ready to harvest. Scout your fields or contact your agronomist to better understand harvest timelines. Consider harvesting a small area of your field it’s a great way to capture the ideal harvest start time and better understand moisture.  Avoid harvesting soybeans in the late afternoon, if the moisture level of the soybean drops very low. This will help to minimize head loss due to sickle shatter. Also, as the dew comes on, moisture may reach higher than desirable levels, making it difficult for the combine to properly thresh the soybeans from the pods.  Why moisture matters for soybeans You may be wondering what differences there are when harvest moisture is at 15 percent, or if you wait until the moisture is at 9 percent — the difference is in overall yield, which can directly impact your bottom line. A study from the University of Nebraska stated that soybean moisture at 9 percent correlates to losing almost 4.4 percent of yield.  Your agronomist can help you figure out when to ideally start harvest in your area, and how to maximize your soybean profitability by limiting drying costs; your agronomist can also help you identify ways to limit overall yield losses due to excessively dry soybeans. Find the inputs you need through You can double down on savings and convenience when you shop for ag chemicals 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 .


Aug 17, 2019

by LeRoy Toohey

Historically, corn silage harvest occurs around 50 percent milkline, Harvesting too early or at a higher than preferred moisture can cause potential spoilage and loss of overall tonnage; on the flipside, moisture levels that are too low can cause yield loss, mold development, poor digestibility and nutrient loss. The type of silage storage facility utilized impacts your harvested moisture goals. The University of Wisconsin suggests 65-70 percent harvested moisture for horizontal bunkers, 60-70 percent for bagged storage, 60-65 percent for upright concrete stave, and 50-60 percent for oxygen-limiting silos. As you may expect, the milkline could be different for each of these storage methods - which is why we don’t want to rely primarily on milkline to determine timely harvest. For a traditional silage hybrid, a Brown Mid Rib (BMR) hybrid or a grain hybrid used for both grain and silage, milkline may vary relative to overall plant moisture. Ear size relative to leaf/ stalk matter can impact overall plant moisture, as can soil type or topography within a field. For example, hilltops will potentially have very different plant moisture content than low lying areas. Overall plant health and weather stress - such as drought, excessive heat, humidity or rainfall with cool temperatures - can impact overall plant moisture as well.  To figure out when to sample, work backwards, looking at planting date and hybrid maturity. Discuss with your seed supplier the best post-pollination window in which to sample. Many seed companies test silage hybrids during research stages to better understand the proper harvest window. As a general rule, it typically takes around 40-50 days post-flowering to initiate moisture sampling. The number of days varies greatly depending on your location, so check with your local corn silage expert, nutritionist or seed supplier for greater detail. The milkline can help you figure out when to sample, but this should not be the only factor in deciding when to start harvest. Take representative samples across the entire field. If you have access to a NIR spectroscopy to measure dry samples from a Koster oven, microwave or convection oven, . Sample three to five plants in a representative row, put the plants in plastic bag (keeping the sample cool to prevent spoilage), chop the sample as quickly as possible and measure with an NIR. The dry matter percentages can help you estimate your prime window to harvest. If you don’t have access to these tools, be sure to work with your local extension office or your seed supplier to better understand your harvest window.  Lastly, you may have a field where plant stressors vary - causing some parts in the field to be stunted while other areas look normal. This variation will greatly impact overall plant moisture and digestibility, so harvest areas that are similar to limit these variables. Check out interviews and stories based on data-backed network trends and insights to help you level the playing field and keep your farm profitable. When farmers unite, farmers win. Listen & Subscribe On Your Favorite Podcast Manager Sources: https://ipcm.wisc.edu/blog/2016/08/timing-corn-silage-harvest/ https://www.dairyherd.com/article/time-plan-corn-silage-harvest https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/production/grain-corn/print,when-to-harvest-corn-silage.html


Jul 26, 2019

by LeRoy Toohey

Are you continuing to scout your fields weekly to better understand the current populations of rootworm beetle? Your answer should be .  For insect management purposes, it is important to know how to distinguish between the three rootworm types:  Northern Corn Rootworm beetle (NCR) Western Corn Rootworm beetle (WCR) Southern Corn Rootworm beetle (SCR) Northern Corn Rootworm Beetle (NCR) NCR beetles are typically ¼-inch long, and their coloration ranges from tan to light green. Unlike the WCR and SCR beetles, there is no color difference between males and females; however, females typically have longer, larger abdomens. NCR and WCR go through one generation a year and overwinter as eggs in the northern part of the country. Western Corn Rootworm Beetle (WCR) WCR beetles are typically yellow to light green, with three dark stripes running the length of the wings. Stripes vary from three distinct dark to black lines on the males to one large strip covering most of the wings on the females. Females have slightly larger abdomens than do the males, but both are around 5/16-inch long. Southern Corn Rootworm Beetle (SCR) SCR beetles are generally around ⅜-inch long. Their coloration ranges from yellow-green to green, with 12 black spots on their backs. SCR typically is not an economic concern in the Upper Midwest, but they can be detrimental in the South, . Understanding the Lifecycle of Each Rootworm Male beetles typically emerge ahead of females by as much as 10-14 days, which is a key thing to know when deciding if an insecticide application is needed.  If populations become high enough, silk feeding can cause a yield reduction due to the inability of the kernel to be pollinated. Likewise, excessive feeding in the tassel area can limit pollen production. The WCR may also feed on leaf tissue, sometimes totally stripping the leaves.  Consideration needs to be made regarding beetle numbers in soybeans in the current year if you plan to plant corn next year. Keep in mind that late maturing fields are like magnets to these beetles—they leave mature fields looking for late, immature fields to continue feeding.  Scouting For and Managing Rootworm Beetles Scouting practices and beetle population numbers vary from region to region, and your local university extension website can typically be a good resource for this type of local information.  If you find that you have exceeded the economic threshold, you will want to apply an insecticide labeled for rootworm beetle control. Approved products with bifenthrin , lambdacyhalothrin and several other active ingredients work well to suppress beetle populations, potentially increasing your ROI for the year and limiting potential for heavy populations in next season’s crop. Remember that many insecticides will suppress beneficial insects as well. Use proper integrated pest management methods, scout your fields and only apply insecticides if it can improve your bottom line. Understanding which variety of rootworm beetle is in your field will help you understand how to achieve optimum control.  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—or schedule free pick-up at your local Hub . It’s just one of many different ways we’re making farming better . Sources: https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/blog/aaron-j-gassmann-adam-j-varenhorst-erin-hodgson-mike-dunbar/adult-corn-rootworm-identification http://passel.unl.edu/pages/informationmodule.php?idinformationmodule=1029338910&topicorder=4&maxto=11 https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/fieldcropsipm/insects/corn-rootworms.php R.L. Croissant, Bugwood.org,  Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi and D. barberi and D. virgifera virgifera ,  CC BY 3.0