Jan 06, 2023

by Kevin McNew

Infrastructure Impacts from Climate Change: An Examination of the Mississippi River The Mississippi River is a vital resource for U.S. agriculture connecting farm products in the Midwest to export terminals at the Louisiana Gulf. Roughly 60% of all US corn and soybean exports flow to the Louisiana Gulf for export to world markets, according to USDA-AMS.  This fall, attention has focused on the importance of this key mode of transportation as persistent and expansive drought conditions have led to epic lows on the Mississippi River. The result has been a significant disruption to grain flows and caused farmers to feel the economic pain of this lost avenue for trade.  While the science on climate change suggests temperatures will continue to warm, the impacts of a warmer climate on the Mississippi River are not immediately clear. On the one hand, rising sea levels may increase the risk of flooding at export terminals along the Louisiana Gulf during hurricanes which could disrupt trade. Warmer temperatures are also likely to bring more persistent drought events, as well as create more common and intense heavy precipitation events. It is in the extremes – too much water or too little water – that causes barge transportation disruptions and is a likely consequence of future climate scenarios. What Happens When the Mississippi River Is Disrupted? When the Mississippi river is disrupted, U.S. farmers face lower prices because the cost to reach export terminals is increased. But the extent of how far reaching those price impacts across the U.S. Midwest are not well understood.  In this report, we look at three key factors as it relates to disruptions along the Mississippi River and the corresponding financial burden on U.S. farmers: How do price impacts vary along the Mississippi River? Have the impacts changed in recent decades? What is the impact on U.S. competitiveness in global export markets as a result of Mississippi River trade disruptions? To answer these questions, we examine three key historical events that have led to significant disruptions in grain flows on the Mississippi River. The first is Hurricane Katrina, which impacted the Louisiana Gulf in the fall of 2005 and disrupted grain movements for a 9-week period from August 29, 2005 to November 2, 2005. The second event, also a major hurricane, was Hurricane Ida, again hitting the Louisiana Gulf on the 16-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Like its predecessor, Hurricane Ida led to protracted trade disruptions from August 28, 2021 to November 8, 2021. Finally, we examine the most recent drought event in the fall of 2022 which started September 19, 2022 and continues to persist as of this report in December 2022.  Our examination focuses on corn prices around the U.S., relying on the FBN® historical cash price dataset on over 3,000 markets.  Hurricane Katrina in 2005 Hurricane Katrina had prolonged impacts on grain pricing and transportation during the fall of 2005  ( LSU AgCenter, 2006 ). The immediate consequence was loss of power and grain export terminals which prevented loading and unloading grain. It also destroyed river channels & markers preventing barge traffic, and barges were backed up for weeks waiting to move thereby exacerbating the storm’s early destruction.  The graphic below shows the impacts of Hurricane Katrina six weeks after the initial storm hit the Louisiana Gulf. The map on the left shows the extent to which regional corn prices were reduced as a direct result of the hurricane. Darker red areas are most impacted with losses of 40-cents a bushel or more to a farmer’s corn price. The graphs on the right show the impact of Hurricane Katrina on barge costs either from the Upper Mississippi region of St Paul, MN or the Lower Mississippi region of Memphis, TN. The bars represent higher costs versus normal for each week following the Hurricane.  Key Observations from Hurricane Katrina Corn prices were impacted across a wide area as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Because the Illinois River and Ohio River serve as key grain flow channels to the Mississippi, this created a solid economic channel for the ripple effects of Hurricane Katrina to be felt. Farmers in the Mississippi Delta region were most impacted and suffered the biggest price losses versus their counterparts in key grain belt states.  Hurricane Ida in 2021 Hurricane Ida made a most unwelcome landfall exactly 16 years to the day that Hurricane Katrina struck. And like its predecessor, Ida had lasting financial impacts that persisted for several months causing deep losses for U.S. farmers.  The graphic below shows the price impacts four weeks after Hurricane Ida, which resulted in the most consequential price losses for farmers. Likewise, barge rates in the right hand panel also peaked out at about a 50-cent increase versus normal as a result of the disruptions. Key Observations from Hurricane Ida As in Hurricane Katrina, price impacts were most pronounced in the Mississippi Delta region and had smaller impacts into the corn region of the U.S. Midwest.  But, unlike Hurricane Karina, the maps for Hurricane Ida show farmers in the key grain belt states faced a much smaller impact and less area of the grain belt region was impacted.  Even though Hurricane Katrina and Ida had similar impact periods from late August to November, and barge rate increases for both hurricanes were on par with each other, Hurricane Ida had less residual impact on farmers in the Upper Midwest, especially, IA, MN & WI.  The more muted impact 16 years later is likely a reflection of increased demand over that time period from the growth of ethanol plants. In 2005, before the ethanol industry evolved, there was less competition for corn and as a result the loss of river shipping had a more pronounced impact on prices. By 2021, ethanol production capacity in Iowa and Minnesota had nearly quadrupled in size, representing a significant demand alternative for farmer grain movements   Drought in 2022 Unlike the two hurricane events discussed above, the drought of 2022 led to much longer and more profound price impacts as a result. Barge rates were three to four times higher than the biggest impacts seen from the two hurricane events, and as such led to a much wider strike area of price impacts. Key Observations from 2022 Drought Price impacts were more severe because of the inability for any barge traffic to move during extreme low-water conditions.  However, the biggest impact areas continue to be the Mississippi Delta region, but as far away as Indiana and Ohio along the Ohio River had sizable impacts. Upper Midwest farmers in Iowa and Minnesota felt limited impacts as ethanol continued to provide a key market for farmers in those regions. Implications on U.S. Price Competitiveness While disruptions in grain flows along the Mississippi River have immediate consequences to farmers for prices paid, another distorting impact is in the international market. U.S. grain prices for export from the Gulf market to foreign buyers will climb sharply due to the scarcity of grain to meet needs. And as such, this has an impact on future sales of grain to international buyers. The chart below shows the amount of distortion seen as a result of the Mississippi River drought during the fall of 2022. The graphic illustrates the difference or spread between U.S. corn export prices at the Louisiana Gulf and the corn price at an export destination in Brazil. The three panels illustrate price differentials for different delivery periods in the future. The green bars show what transpired between September and November of 2022 while the orange lines are the recent 5-year averages for comparison. Key Observations on International Competitiveness Massive distortions occurred during the Mississippi drought period with U.S. corn prices trading as much as $1.50 a bushel more than our competition in Brazil. During this time of the year, U.S. prices are generally less than Brazil prices, giving U.S. corn an advantage in international markets. Not only did prices for immediate shipment get distorted, but buyers who would be positioning for 1- or 2-month ahead shipments (which is the normal course of international buying) would still see U.S. prices uncompetitive versus Brazil.  The consequence of this distortion is likely a sizable amount of lost export business, which serves to limit U.S. demand and has a second order effect on all farmers by depressing prices further.  Copyright © 2014 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, and “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.  The material provided is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific investment, business or any other professional advice. 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.

Dec 21, 2022

by Rejeana Gvillo

In February 2021, much of the continental U.S. faced temperatures that were below 0° Fahrenheit. Frigid temperatures were reported into northern Mexico. Parts of Texas were so cold that its power systems were tested and many went without power for a time. Unofficially referred to as Winter Storm Uri, the storm cost Texas agriculture at least $600 million. In the coming days, much of the U.S. and Canada is forecast to have a burst of cold temperatures. This week, we examined what happened in February 2021 to prepare for what could be coming. U.S. Ethanol Production Dropped Significantly The U.S. ethanol sector was directly impacted from the frigid temps, which largely shut down portions of the U.S. that week. Weekly ethanol production slipped to its lowest level since COVID, but excluding that time period, production was at its lowest level during the cold burst in over a decade. Stocks also slipped that week with the production slowdown a plus and, in subsequent weeks, stocks more or less continued to dwindle for a time. Canada’s February Canola Crush Came in Lighter than Expected Canada’s monthly canola crush volume for February also slipped. Usually, February is a light month given there are fewer days, but in 2021, January and March volumes far exceed February's total, with our opinion that the surge in frigid temps limited Canada’s crush in February 2021. Forecast Shows Coldest Day for U.S. as December 23 The forecast calls for colder than normal temps across the U.S. and Canada starting December 22 and lasting for a few days. Specifically, December 23 shows that most counties will experience below-freezing temps that day. But the current outlook is not as cold as far south as the storm we faced in February 2021. Even better news for the farmer is that despite the wintry storm in February 2021, U.S. average basis levels for corn, soybeans - and specifically at ethanol and crush facilities - did not dip in any magnitude. In fact, basis was moving higher before and continued to do so after the cold weather blast in February 2021. Canada also is set to have frigid temps with the coldest days expected for December 22 and 23. That could slow down crush activity, especially ahead of the holiday season. We are not overly concerned about a big loss in crush opportunity given the weather forecast, but December could come in slightly below expectations if these frigid temperatures do materialize. FBN®'s Take on What it Means for Farmers The cold temperatures in the forecast could negatively impact U.S. ethanol production and/or U.S./Canada crush for December, but based on what happened in February 2021, big negative impacts to grain producers due to the weather is not likely. Livestock producers may face the toughest headwinds with keeping animals healthy and warm enough during the cold weather. Being that the coldest temps are set for the weekend and into the holiday season, extreme losses in grain activity are not expected. FBN Market Advisory services, including FBN Market Intelligence, are offered by FBN BR LLC - NFA ID: 0508695. The risk of trading futures and options can be substantial and may not be suitable for all investors. We do not guarantee customers will receive specific benefits or value from participating; results will vary and may result in loss. All information, publications, and reports, including this specific material, used and distributed by FBN BR LLC shall be construed as a solicitation. FBN BR LLC does not distribute research reports, employ research analysts, or maintain a research department as defined in CFTC Regulation 1.71. This newsletter contains information obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed by FBN BR LLC. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. For the purposes of quality assurance and compliance, phone calls to and from FBN BR LLC may be recorded. Copyright ©2022 FBN BR LLC. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN" and "Farmers Business Network" are registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.

Jun 23, 2022

by Jeff Vanrobaeys

Many wheat growing geographies in Canada  have received substantial amounts of rain this spring, in addition to the challenges of preparing seed beds and planting, excessive rainfall can also fuel disease.  Given these conditions, and if they match in your area, this could be the right time to apply fungicide to wheat. Studies (1) show that protecting the flag leaf of wheat, triticale, and oats from disease can assure 70 percent or higher of the crops yield potential. Plan to protect yields with a treatment when conditions align for the best chances to protect your crop from a likely pressure. In an anticipated high disease pressure year, consider applying a protective fungicide treatment to wheat. It is too late to make a preventative application, once disease pressure and damage is already visible within a field. Types of fungicide treatment A fungicide application  helps protect further damage to the plant and as a result can greatly impact yield. There are many types of wheat and small grain fungicides. Those fungicides that contain a strobilurin, such as azoxystrobin, (Group 11) or a triazole, such as triticonazole, (Group 3) are common choices for wheat growers. A combination of both Group 11 and Group 3 fungicides are commonly used as well. Products that contain  strobilurin should not be applied past anthesis as it can increase the DON level of grain.  Prothio(125.00) + Teb(125.00) Value Pick is an excellent option to apply after flowering.  One of the major advantages of prothio - teb is the product is both a contact and systemic fungicide so as result the product has great curative and preventative properties. Always scout early for leaf diseases, FBN® has great fungicide options from flag leaf to flowering stage of development. * This is an updated post originally published in 2018 with new content written by agronomist Jeff Vanrobaeys on June 23, 2022. Sources (1) University of Nebraska Crop Watch Copyright © 2015 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network Canada, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, "Farmers Business Network," "FBN,", "Farmers First", "FBN Direct," "F2F Genetics Network", the Pro Ag logo, "Pro Ag", and "Professional Ag Distributors" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by Farmer's Business Network Canada, Inc. and are available only in provinces where Farmer's Business Network Canada, Inc. is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. Not available in Quebec. 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 provincial law to use any pest control product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pest control product is a violation of federal and/or provincial 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, provincial 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 and/or be a certified farmer, to use restricted and commercial pest control products (exceptions may apply based on province). Please consult your applicable provincial authority for complete rules and regulations on licensing, use, and recording keeping requirements of restricted and commercial pest control products. The material provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific agronomic, business, legal, investment or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified agronomist, financial planner, or investment manager. 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.

Apr 13, 2022

by FBN Network

Since the beginning of what we consider today to be agriculture, which was around 10,000 years ago, farmers have had to compete with harmful organisms to insure food security – insects and pests.  As with abiotic causes of crop losses including the lack or excess of water in the growing season, extreme temperatures, high or low irradiance and nutrient supply – biotic stressors have the potential to reduce crop production substantially. Pest insects can have adverse and damaging impacts on agricultural production and market access, the natural environment, and our lifestyle. Crop plants are attacked by many pests that affect plant survival, growth, and reproduction and as a result influence crop yield. The magnitude and frequency as well as the net effect of such interactive outcomes on crop plants are not well understood (1). This is why it is so important to speak with your agronomist about potential issues for the upcoming season and work out what crop protection inputs you may need. Insects are responsible for two major kinds of damage to growing crops. First is direct injury done to the plant by the feeding insect, which eats leaves or burrows in stems, fruit, or roots. There are hundreds of pest species of this type, both in larvae and adults, among orthopterans, homopterans, heteropterans, coleopterans, lepidopterans, and dipterans. The second type is indirect damage in which the insect itself does little or no harm but transmits a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection into a crop. Examples include the viral diseases of sugar beets and potatoes, carried from plant to plant by aphids (2). Without preventive protection with chemicals, natural enemies, host plant resistance, and other non chemical controls, 70% of crops could have been lost to pests. Weeds produced the highest incidence or loss (30%), with animal pests, pathogens, and plant diseases being less important (losses of 23 and 17%). The efficacy of control of pathogens, plant disease management, and animal pests only reaches 32 and 39%, respectively, compared to almost 74% for weed control. Taking into consideration all of the above, a well developed and nimble crop protection plan is essential ensuring growers get their highest possible yields. Benefits of insecticide application Here are some of the benefits of insecticide application: increased yields of crops because of protection from defoliation and diseases; prevention of much spoilage of stored foods; and  prevention of certain diseases, which conserves health and has saved the lives of millions of people and domestic animals.  Pests destroy an estimated 37% of the potential yield of plant crops in North America. Some of this damage can be reduced by the use of insecticides (4).   Let’s break this down further. Insecticides can increase yields, improve production & income They are a simple and effective way of controlling pest populations that would otherwise lead to the damage of crops. Without insecticides, large portions of cultivated crops would be lost, leading to a loss of income for the farmers, and also a waste of the resources that were used to grow the crops. With insecticides, it is possible to have higher yields and Insecticides improve the quality of crops Consumers expect pest-free fruits and vegetables and insecticides play a direct role in ensuring the crop quality isn't hampered by insects. Controlling insects also controls some plant diseases that are spread by insects which can lead to quality deterioration. Insecticides can provide quick pest control Insecticides make it possible to control pests quickly. Even when there is a high population of damaging pests, in most cases insecticides can be used to reduce the pests within hours. Insecticides can provide protection against multiple pest species Some insecticides provide broad-spectrum protection and some can be used in combination with another which makes it possible to control many pest species at the same time. Insecticides are constantly developed to provide protection against new pest species As pests evolve, chemical insecticides are formulated to provide protection sooner than other alternative methods of pest control (5). While the insects and pests are sadly inevitable there are plenty of options available to growers to ensure their yields are safe. Another factor to consider is planning ahead to ensure that you have access to all crop protection products you need and are not being caught short. The last two years have shown us that the best chemical is the one that is one on your farm and when it comes to insects and pests it is extremely important to plan as far ahead as possible to secure your products for the year. It is imperative to stay abreast with any pest and insect trends that are emerging during the season to remain proactive and on the front foot in the battle for the best possible yields.  Learn more To view FBN’s full range of crop protection products please visit the link below: Sources 1. Gagic, V., Riggi, L., Ekbom, B., Malsher, G., Rusch, A., & Bommarco, R. (2016). Interactive effects of pests increase seed yield. Ecology And Evolution , 6 (7), 2149-2157. doi: 10.1002/ece3.2003 2. Insect - Damage to growing crops. (2022). Retrieved 1 April 2022, from 3. Yield Losses Due to Pests - AGRIVI. (2022). Retrieved 1 April 2022, from 4. Insecticides - Benefits Of Insecticide Use. (2022). Retrieved 1 April 2022, from,the%20lives%20of%20millions%20of 5. UPL - Corporate News. (2022). Retrieved 1 April 2022, from Copyright © 2021 - 2022 Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN", "Farmers First", "Farmers Business Network", and "FBN Direct" are registered trademarks or trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by Farmers Business Network Australia Pty. Ltd. and are available only where Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. 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. The material provided is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal, consulting, agronomic, or any other professional advice. Neither Farmer’s Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. 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. The information and opinions expressed by others in this material are their own and are not endorsed or approved by FBN or its affiliates.

If you’re paying attention to Twitter, questions about red banded stink bugs (RBSB) have started popping up from farmers across the South, from Louisiana to Alabama. These pests (which originated in South America and have worked their way north) can cause severe damage to a soybean crop and have a lower economic threshold than most stink bugs. Some studies from the University of Arkansas indicate that RBSB can cause more damage on a per insect basis than other species of stink bug. Whether it was caused by the mild winter experienced in the region or the late planting due to weather events, it’s evident that RBSB are making a mark on soybeans in the South in 2019.  Not Sure How to Identify a Red Banded Stink Bug? Roughly half the size of other stink bug species, RBSB are green and can be identified by a red band across the back and a fixed spine along the abdomen. They are often confused with a red shouldered stink bug, which is similar in size and coloration, but will not have the raised spine on the abdomen. Damage Caused by Red Banded Stink Bugs RBSB will feed on most parts of the soybean plant, but the nymph and adult stages prefer to feed on pods and seeds. This can have a significant impact on yield and seed quality, while also delaying maturity and causing abnormal plant growth.  Scouting for Red Banded Stink Bugs RBSB are prolific. In a Deep South state like Louisiana, RBSB can go through 4-8 generations in a single growing season. This means that growth stages from egg to adult can all be present at the same time, impacting the effectiveness of insecticides. And since most soybean insecticides have a limited amount of residual activity, RBSB can pop up in a field quickly, making timely scouting even more important. PRO TIP : Red banded stink bugs will do 60% of their feeding in the bottom two-thirds of the canopy. Farmers who think they might be looking at a RBSB problem should use a sweep net to check their insect counts. The economic threshold is approximately 6 bugs in 25 sweeps. Stink bugs will retreat into the canopy when temperatures are high, so take this into consideration when scouting is in progress. And since they reproduce quickly, be sure to check for RBSB on at least a weekly basis.  How You Can Control Red Banded Stick Bugs The primary insecticides used to combat RBSB include the active ingredient bifenthrin, but those with high rates of acephate can also be useful. The most effective tank mixes, however, include more than one active ingredient. This helps ensure adequate coverage while also protecting against resistance issues. A lambdacyhalothrin and thiamethoxam combination can also be useful against this pest. Learn More About Field Scouting in The FBN Podcast FBN's Head of Agronomy, Dr. Darin Lickfeldt, & Senior Staff Agronomist, Hunter Stone, take a deep dive into field scouting, outlining the different technologies & resources that are available to assist farmers in their scouting needs. Listen on ITunes Sources: Russ Ottens, University of Georgia,

The goal of weed control is to prevent weeds from reaching a growth stage where they can produce seed, giving your crop less competition in the current growing season and reducing the seed bank for future crop years. It’s easy to see the value of weed control when you’re in the middle of growing a crop. It’s a little harder to spend the money on it when there’s no crop in the ground covering those costs.  So, with all the Prevented Planting Acres (PPA) in 2019, growers are faced with many decisions concerning weed control.  Normally, weed control measures end each year when the crop being grown reaches full canopy, which limits light reaching the ground and helps control weed seedlings that might emerge. With no crop, weed control becomes dependent on increased tillage passes or increased contact herbicide applications to manage the weeds until frost or weed emergence halts. If you had a cover crop on the acres on which you had to take PP, it can be very helpful to your weed control plan, as it provides that established canopy. But for PPA that don’t have a cover crop, tillage and herbicides are excellent ways you can control weeds to prepare for future growing seasons. Tillage for Weed Control Tillage is a great way to control weeds; however, on many acres this may have been difficult or impossible, due to weather. On some PPA, tillage is prohibited because of slope and soil texture. ALSO, tillage can encourage seed germination by stirring up the soil.  Preplant Herbicides and Residuals Some lucky fields received the planned preplant herbicide before enrolling in the PPA program.  Some applications may have included residual herbicides that helped control grasses and broadleaf weeds. By this time in the season, however, those products have metabolized and are no longer effective.  Burndown herbicides may have been applied without a residual herbicide component and now a second or third flush of weeds may require control. Selecting a Herbicide on PPA In-season Herbicide selection has many factors, such as weeds present in the field, length of residual herbicide used, future cropping plan, etc. Whatever herbicide is used, always read and follow label directions. Positive identification of the weed species present, along with its lifecycle, is critical for selecting the proper herbicide and rate to apply for acceptable weed control. For example, Palmer amaranth emerges from mid-May until the soil freezes in the fall. This weed would require several tillage passes or several burndown herbicide applications. There are few residual herbicides allowed for extending weed control on PPA. It is questionable if the increased cost of the additional approved residual herbicide would show a positive ROI on a bare soil environment. The final herbicide application of the season may be the best timing to apply residual herbicides. Cropping plans also determine herbicide selection. Is wheat or rye planned to be drilled this fall? If so, herbicides with long-lasting residual may prevent the wheat from emerging. If planting corn or soybeans next spring, however, an application of a long-lasting residual at this time may keep the field free of most weeds till spring. An example of this would be Valor (flumioxazin) or Fierce (flumioxazin and pyroxasulfone) + Glyphosate + 2,4D. Some of the more commonly used herbicide program for PPA have been combinations of 2,4D and dicamba for the broadleaves added to glyphosate for grass control. Paraquat with glyphosate has also been used as a burndown product on PPA. There is little to no residual effect from any of these non-selective contact herbicides. However, these herbicides do allow for cover crops, rye or wheat to be planted and grown on the PPA soon after application. Valor® and Fierce® are registered trademarks of Valent U.S.A. Corporation.

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 yes .  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, as they can run through two generations in a year . Understanding the Lifecycle of Each Rootworm Depending on where you are in the country, rootworm larvae will have emerged as adult beetles by early July and can continue to be a pest until early October. 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.  Rootworm larvae feed on corn roots and organic matter; however, adult beetles feed above ground on silk, anthers and leaf tissue. 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.  Beetles will also migrate to soybean, alfalfa and other crops where they feed on pollen, flowers and foliage, but typically they are not more than a nuisance outside of corn. 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 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: R.L. Croissant,,  Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi and D. barberi and D. virgifera virgifera ,  CC BY 3.0

Jun 06, 2019

by LeRoy Toohey

Planting this season has been tedious , and tough planting conditions can have a negative impact on yield. This is all the more reason to protect the crop from pests and make the most of every opportunity to maximize yields. In order to do this, we have to first understand that late-planted soybeans can have some significant insect concerns. When you’re looking at soybean stands, be sure to examine the skips found in rows to determine why no seedlings exist in those areas. If you expect it could be planter issues, and poor seedling vigor and soil crusting have been eliminated as causes, be sure to consider the possibility of insects. Here are a few above-ground insects you should be on the lookout for in late-planted soybeans: Bean Leaf Beetles Bean leaf beetles overwinter as adults beneath plant residue. While we might think the harsh winter many experienced would lead to a lower than normal population in the spring, it is possible that the plentiful snowfall in many areas may have provided insulation for the beetles to survive. Bean leaf beetles makes holes in the leaf surface and hide on the underside of soybean leaves when disturbed, making them difficult to find. They attack first planted fields the hardest; however, late planted soybeans may be more desirable for feeding if near earlier planted bean fields. Scouting procedures and treatment thresholds vary by state. Generally at VE to VC, the first generation ranges from 2-4 beetles per plant. With second and third generation beetles, most plants can handle up to 50% defoliation before treatment is needed. Late generation bean leaf beetles can feed on pods, which is more of a concern. Stink Bugs With a harsh winter in most areas, stink bug populations should be lower than normal. Overwintering stink bugs typically like no-till and cover crops areas. They can be found anywhere on the plant, and during flowering, they can be tough on late planted soybeans. Stink bug control generally needs to be considered from pod development to seed fill. Scout weekly using a sweep net or by inspecting individual plants. Overall counts to consider control vary by region, but generally 1 insect per foot of row is a good average. Aphids The late planting of soybeans combined with cool temperatures should limit aphid densities early in the season, but time will tell. Economic thresholds vary, but a general rule is around 250 soybean aphids per plant, with at least 80% of plants infested and conditions favorable for populations to increase. Late June to early July in the Midwest states is typically a good time to start scouting. Symptoms often resemble early drought stress. Populations can jump quickly in mild conditions, so continue to scout throughout the mid to late growing season. Grasshoppers Grasshoppers overwinter as eggs, and they hatch in early June, feeding well into October. Grasshoppers generally move into soybean fields from field margins so scouting margins can help determine possible outbreaks. Consider field margin treatment if 15 nymphs or 8 adults per square yard are observed. Thresholds within a field vary from state to state, but generally treatments should be considered when 40% or more defoliation occurs before flowering. Caterpillars Caterpillars of numerous species can defoliate soybean plants. When scouting try to estimate defoliation in various parts of the field to establish a good average. During vegetative growth, treatment should be considered if defoliation reaches or will reach 30%. During podding stages, consider treatment if defoliation has reached or will reach 20%. These numbers are general and vary by region and yield expectation. A Quick Word on Below-Ground Pests Subsurface insects that can cause a soybean stand reduction include wireworms , seedcorn maggots and white grubs . There are no rescue treatments for subsurface insects. Plant soybeans treated with an insecticide or use an in-furrow insecticide to help minimize the possible need for a replant. If replanting is considered, be sure to check with your crop insurance provider about any provisions that may affect your replanting decision. The season isn’t over yet… for some, it’s just getting started We have a way to go, but we can still maximize the yield potential that remains. Remember that scouting your fields is the best way to catch pests early and make a plan to control them. Also, understand the importance of application timings when it comes to insect treatments. Untimely applications can be expensive and offer a poor return on your investment. Remember to always read and follow label directions. Listen to the latest Agronomy Update on FBN's podcast for helpful tips and advice such as: Equipment recommendations that could improve emergence and germination Abiotic and biological factors to anticipate Actionable items that you can put into practice to positively impact your crop Tune in and subscribe on Apple Podcast , Spotify , Google Play Music , Google Podcasts and Stitcher . ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE 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 and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix. Sources:

Jun 06, 2019

by LeRoy Toohey

Fungal disease may be elevated this year due to excessive soil moisture in late planted soybeans, especially seedlings. Generally, improving field drainage and loosening compacted areas when possible helps the soybean fight soil fungal pathogens. Proper seed treatments along with genetic resistance can be effective at suppressing many fungal diseases. When rotten soybean seed is found in the soil with no insect presence, chances are good that it’s caused by disease.   Soybeans planted in cold, wet soil are most likely to be impacted by Fusarium or Pythium . If disease occurs in warm conditions, it is more likely Phytophthora and Rhizoctonia . Fusarium can cause damping off, stunting and root rot. Pythium and Phytophthora cause similar symptoms - rotten seeds, soft brown dying tissue, etc - and can only be distinguished from each other through lab testing. Rhizoctonia is often seen in late planted soybean fields and often displays as decay or lesions on the root or lower stem. It is difficult to diagnose sudden death syndrome early, but cool, wet conditions in the early growing season, combined with high moisture levels at flowering, seem to amplify the risk. The best preventative steps farmers can take are to select varieties with genetic resistance and to utilize seed treatments to lower risk. If fungal disease pressure is noted, capture this information to help make more informed seed choices in future crop years. For most blights, beginning pod fill (R3) is an important time to consider fungicide . Protecting the plant leaf area will maximize the pod fill period. If you know your varieties have low ratings for frogeye leaf spot or white mold , a fungicide application may be needed. Limited tillage or no-till practices may increase fungal disease presence, because pathogens can overwinter in residue. White mold may show up earlier in heavy canopies with high moisture. Late season fungal disease concerns are unclear at this point, but we can expect that if higher moisture levels persist through the growing season, molds, pod blights, and stem and root rots may be prevalent. Focusing on season-long scouting will help you catch infection early so timely treatment can be performed. Remember to always read and follow label instructions to achieve optimum control. 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. Sources: Px

We’re looking at where farmers have been impacted by recent wild weather this spring, and to what degree, as well as analyzing just how much this spring’s planting delays deviate from the norm and, based on that timing, may impact expected yield. 1. Bad Spring Weather Has Significantly Altered Planting Plans In our May 23 network poll, we asked FBN farmers if their corn planting has been affected by the historic wet spring. Many farmers said their planting was delayed, so they had to switch to a shorter-maturity variety, switch to soybeans, or avoid planting all together and take prevented planting crop insurance payments: 2. Extreme Spring Precipitation What’s causing these problems? Rain, primarily. We compared this spring’s precipitation values to their historic averages in the map below. Much of the Midwest has experienced precipitation that greatly exceeds historic averages: These weather patterns are consistent with the FBN corn planting progress poll from May 28th, which is shown below. Regions where precipitation has significantly deviated from average are the same regions where planting is most severely delayed. 3. What Does This Mean for Yield? Switching to shorter-maturity corn varieties is a possibility for some farmers, but it’s important to note that shorter-maturity varieties tend to have lower yields than longer-maturity varieties. FBN members can access variety-specific yield and season-length data in their region using FBN Seed Finder to help select varieties that are the correct season length for their region, and to understand the likely yield impacts of switching to a shorter-maturity variety. Read this next: Should You Swap Corn Maturities When the Weather Puts You Behind Schedule? (4 min read) Even if you’re not switching varieties, how much is a delayed planting associated with a change in yield? We dug into USDA state-level yield and planting date data from 1986-2018. For each year and each state, we calculated when the state reached 50% planting progress, and compared that date to the average date that state reaches 50% planting progress (using the preceding 5 years). In the graph below, negative planting dates mean planting was earlier than trend, and positive ones mean planting was delayed. Then, we calculated how much the yield from that year deviated from the state-specific yield trend, and compared those deviations to the planting date deviations. Up until about a 5-day planting delay, we observed little association between planting date and yield. After that, we observed a roughly 1 bushel per acre drop in yield for each day planting was delayed. In 2019, national corn planting progress reached 50% about 2 weeks later than normal. It’s important to note that these are average associations with yield; there is still significant uncertainty in yield that is explained by in-season weather, or pest and disease issues that cannot be determined from planting date alone.