Agronomy


Nov. 28, 2022

by Anthony Stibbard

Falling numbers, a test that helps identify the structural integrity of the starch chains, is associated with pre-harvest sprouting. A falling number below 300 results in quality downgrades at receival. The falling numbers figure translates to the baking quality of the grain; therefore, a lower falling number results in poorer grain baking quality and subsequent downgrades at receival. Unfortunately, once the grain has shot there is no way to change its baking quality or otherwise address its falling numbers figure. However, understanding what causes falling numbers can help alleviate these issues in subsequent years. Why Do Different Grain Varieties Have Different Falling Numbers Figures? Grain varieties differ in their susceptibility to falling numbers due to individual variance in grain dormancy. Grain varieties with a high dormancy will delay germination until the dormancy is over. This may buy you enough time in the paddock to get the grain in the silo before grain begins sprouting.  When researching grain varieties for next season, it is worth checking the falling numbers index (FNI) prior to making a selection. Each variety has an assigned FNI that rates varieties for their ability to maintain falling numbers. If you are finding certain varieties have been subject to lower falling numbers than others, it may be worth discussing the falling numbers index rating with your agronomist.  What Causes Low Falling Numbers in Grain?  While genetics also play a pivotal role, environmental conditions are the key driver of low falling number readings. Rainfall at key times throughout the growing season, the duration of the event and the associated conditions can all impact falling numbers.  It is also important to take note of the conditions during grain fill as stress due to drought or temperature during this time can alter dormancy. Because rainfall during the pre-maturation phase has been found to predispose crops to sprouting, it is important to record all rainfall events across the farm during this time in order to better identify which crops may be at higher risk of sprouting.  How to Prevent Falling Numbers in Grain While there are many seasons in which falling numbers aren't an issue, it is in those seasons with widespread rains that proactive management of risk exposure based on specific varietal research selection can be key to reducing downgrades. Getting the crop off as soon as possible is also important to reducing the further exposure of the crop to rainfall events. (Though I know this is easier said than done!)  To prevent low falling numbers figures in grain, try the following recommendations:  If you are keeping your seed for next year and it has been subject to falling numbers downgrades, it is important to do a germination test on the sample before sowing. Grain that has been weathered prior to harvest often has reduced germination and vigour. If you are looking to carry over seed, select a paddock (or area of the paddock) with the highest falling numbers and do your best to segregate this area for seed next year. Falling numbers results can be highly variable and it is worth requesting a retest if you are concerned.  Support Plant Health with Insecticide Products  Find the insecticide products you need at FBN Direct® . With a diverse product portfolio, FBN® has a range of options for growers like you to support plant health. Copyright © 2021 - 2022 Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN", "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. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/territory law to use any pesticide other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered chemical product is a violation of federal and/or state/territory law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, state, territory and local laws. We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must be authorised to use restricted chemical products under applicable state or territory law. Please consult your applicable state or territory authority for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted chemical products as some products require specific record-keeping requirements. All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific agronomic, business, or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network 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.


Oct. 10, 2022

by Jess Sampson

Mother Nature has thrown Aussie farmers another curveball. With recent strong winds, storms and heavy rain across the east coast, harvest won't come easy this year.  Recent weather events combined with higher than average expected yields — resulting in heavy heads — means we should be on the lookout for lodging in our cereal crops.  Lodged cereal crops Lodged crops can remain wet for long periods of time following rain, heavy dew or fog. This can become the breeding ground for foliar diseases and Fusarium Head Blight (FHB).  FHB is a fungal disease that can cause yield losses of 20-100%, along with impacts on grain quality. It is generally noticed in the florets or heads of wheat and barley, which can appear to look bleached white instead of yellow or green. Grains can appear chalky and low weight.   Weather conditions during and after flowering play a huge role in FHB outbreaks. FHB likes warm, wet weather during and after flowering. Spores can be spread by splash droplets or wind, infecting susceptible wheat or barley heads, and can travel long distances.  Mold growth is also something to pay close attention to in lodged wheat. Under favorable warm and wet conditions saprophytic fungi will readily colonise in wheat heads, resulting in a dark mold forming over the heads. To reduce the risk of mold, try to get the wheat dried down as low as possible prior to storing.  Lodging can also cause low test weights if the grain is prevented from fully maturing or filling completely and drying naturally in the paddock. This occurs mostly when the grain is rewetted in the paddock after maturity but prior to harvest. When grain is rewetted the germination process begins, thus causing a reduction in test weight. During a wet season such as this one, it is a good idea to look at pre-harvest options for quicker dry-down. The two main methods used are windrowing or glyphosate application. There are pros and cons to each method, so find what works for you and discuss with your local agronomist.  Windrowing Windrowing can speed up crop dry-down, but if adverse weather causes delays, grain in the windrow can be at a higher risk of pre-harvest sprouting.  Pre-harvest windrowing  Advantages Disadvantages Less susceptible to hail damage Second pass on the paddock Faster dry-down compared to straight cutting Regerm damage if late rain persists Glyphosate application Glyphosate application during the hard dough stage can hasten dry-down in wet conditions. However, there is a seven-day pre-harvest interval, so at most you gain a couple of days. Always follow label directions and use a glyphosate that is registered for pre-harvest over the top (OTT) application.  Pre-harvest glyphosate applications Advantages  Disadvantages Fast application Spray drift potential Even maturing  Poor perennial weed control Good annual weed control Fast dry-down  Strategies to make harvest easier despite lodging Lodging can make harvesting an adventure, but there are a number of things we can do to make harvesting a little easier.  Limit paddock traffic to avoid the wheat sticking to the mud. Harvest in one direction against the grain and, if possible, use crop lifters.  Adjust the reel far enough down to lay the head on the platform. You want to get as low as you can when picking up the wheat to get as much of the plant cut and through the combine as possible. Go slow — the reel should turn just faster than ground speed. Facing the reel forward and down will help to lift a lodged crop.  Don't delay your harvest too long. If there is a break in the weather and the crop is ready, get it off the paddock to reduce possible disease pressures. There are a number of ways to keep an eye on your crops for disease and lodging, so that you can implement the best practice for your harvest. Consult with your agronomist to ensure you harvest a high yielding, high quality grain.  Shop for herbicide products Find the herbicide products you need at FBN Direct®. We have a diverse portfolio to provide product options for growers like you to support plant health. Copyright © 2021 - 2022 Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN", "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. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/territory law to use any pesticide other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered chemical product is a violation of federal and/or state/territory law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, state, territory and local laws. We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must be authorised to use restricted chemical products under applicable state or territory law. Please consult your applicable state or territory authority for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted chemical products as some products require specific record-keeping requirements. All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific agronomic, business,or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network 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.


Oct. 07, 2022

by Jess Sampson

More than 1.3 mmt (million metric tonnes) of sorghum is grown each year in Australia, and a majority of that is grown in Northern NSW & QLD. Grain sorghum in Australia is mainly grown on heavy clay soils with a high water holding capacity. Growing sorghum as part of a rotation can play an important part in disease and weed control for the following winter cereal season.  In Australia, we have the ability to grow grain sorghum that both yields extremely high and contains high protein. To grow high quality and high yield grains we need to apply the appropriate amount of fertiliser at the right time. Source: https://www.pacificseeds.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ADS241019-Grain-sorghum-nutrition-guide-1.pdf With global shortages, logistics delays and increased pricing, your farm can only benefit from understanding what nutrients your crop requires and the optimum window to apply.  There are a range of nutrients that can affect grain quality or limit production, but the main ones are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) . Second to that under some growing conditions is sulfur (S) and zinc (Zn). As a rule I say nitrogen for leaf growth, phosphorus for roots and shoots and potassium for fruit and flower.  To calculate the uptake for each nutrient we multiply the nutrient uptake by the grain/yield (t/ha). The calculation will also represent the quantity of nutrient likely to be removed if the crop was to be harvested as silage or hay. Nutrient uptake is approximately: N - 30 kg/t P - 4.5kg/t K - 16.3kg/t S - 5.2kg/t Zn - 24g/t  * Fertiliser rates will vary depending on location, soil type, and paddock history Application timing is also key in optimising fertiliser uptake. Sorghum requires 75% of its total nitrogen requirement during the vegetative stage ( 6 leaves open). If nitrogen is short during this period it will significantly reduce the stem growth. The remaining 25% of nitrogen is required during flowering, this timing is key in optimising grain quality and protein content.   Sorghum will utilise most of its phosphorus requirement during booting and early flowering. The P plays a vital role in early root development, energy storage and water use efficiency.  During the vegetative stage (6 leaves open) sorghum will use around 50% of its potassium requirements. Adequate potassium is required for a multitude of reasons from protein synthesis and assisting in the translocation of carbohydrates to increasing disease resistance and improving the plants hardiness.  K-Fulvate 10% can be applied with NPK fertilisers during growing season to quickly correct micro and macro nutrient deficiencies.  Fulvic acids can assist in reducing leaching, providing carbon to the soil and can be used as a chelating agent to ensure that micro nutrients are quickly converted to a form that is readily available to the plant.   As with any crop we grow we need to be aware of the amount of nutrients that are removed when we harvest the crop, either for grain, or hay/silage. To optimise yields in the following crop rotation we need to ensure that we replace what we remove.  The easiest way to calculate replacement rates is to double the rates we removed during harvest.  Typical removal rates for grain sorghum are as follows: NUTRIENT N P K S Zn REMOVAL 15 kg/t 2.9 kg/t 3.3 kg/t 1.3 kg/t 18g/t % OF Uptake removed 50 65 20 25 75 Along with good nutrition we need to manage weeds, pests and diseases in the crop.  Keeping up to date with spray application timings and pest numbers will play a vital role in optimising harvest yields and quality.  Good weed control in sorghum is essential for producing profitable crops. Weeds can cause problems a number of ways, most importantly by competing with crops for available nutrients, sun and water, as well as causing weed seed contamination at harvest. Again, spray application timing is key in weed control.  Source: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/146355/grain-sorghum.pdf  With soil temperatures on the rise and water tables full, we have the ability to grow a fantastic sorghum crop this year on Australia’s east coast.  Shop for Crop Nutrition Products  Find the crop nutrition products you need at FBN Direct®. We have a diverse portfolio to provide product options for growers like you to support plant health. References https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/146355/grain-sorghum.pdf https://www.pacificseeds.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ADS241019-Grain-sorghum-nutrition-guide-1.pdf Copyright © 2021 - 2022 Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN", "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. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/territory law to use any pesticide other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered chemical product is a violation of federal and/or state/territory law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, state, territory and local laws. We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must be authorised to use restricted chemical products under applicable state or territory law. Please consult your applicable state or territory authority for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted chemical products as some products require specific record-keeping requirements. All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific agronomic, business,or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network 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.


Sep. 26, 2022

by Anthony Stibbard

Frost, that localized phenomenon that can be so destructive in spring. The 2022 season has been a particularly challenging one for many parts of Australia. Coming into September, susceptible crops can be severely affected by frost. Being able to identify damage sooner rather than later will help make better decisions to recoup as much of your lost profits as possible. Capturing accurate temperature information is a key to early detection of frost damage in crops. Plant surfaces cool more quickly than the surrounding air, so often air temperature is not an accurate determination as to what exactly is occurring in the canopy. The best method of temperature logging is to use an accurate temperature measurement tool placed at the height of the crop canopy. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) uses what is called a Stevenson Screen to measure temperature. The screen is raised so that the thermometer is 1.2m above the surface, and hence is not giving you a clear picture as to what is going on in your crop. A general rule of thumb is that the canopy temperature is approximately 1.5 - 2.5°C lower than the Stevenson Screen temperature during a frost event.  *Note it is important to monitor air or crop canopy temperature closely as frost occurs on clear nights in early spring when the air temperature drops to 2°C or less.  If you suspect a frost event has occurred in your canopy and the crop is between stem elongation and grain fill it is wise to inspect the crops as early as possible. Start with any paddocks which are known to be high risk, check low lying areas and light soil types first before inspecting the rest of the paddock. Ensure a wide area of the paddock is inspected as frost events can be highly variable throughout the paddock. Monitor the same high risk areas over the coming days to check for signs of frost damage. *Note frost symptoms may not be obvious for 5-7 days after the frost event.  What to look for? When inspecting individual plants, check the developing heads, the nature of the frost damage depends on the plant development stage when the frost occurs. Crop damage from frost may occur at any stage of development but is most damaging at or around flowering. When looking for damage a magnifying glass and knife are helpful tools in identifying damaged heads, flowers or stems.  Frost at flowering Frosted anthers typically white in colour, will turn a dull brown if affected by frost. The ovaries will appear shriveled as no grain is being produced and the head may have bleached florets. Grain; Frosted grain at the milk stage will turn from its typical white colour to a brown and crumpled appearance. Frosted grain at the milk stage will appear spongy, and brown in appearance and you will not be able to squeeze the milk out of the grain.  Stem frost A pale green or white ring will occur on the stem below the head or between the internodes. The frost affected area may turn white or brown and the heads may bend over.  If you suspect there is any frost damage in the paddock, call your local agronomist and discuss the next steps. It is important to get a clear understanding of the level of damage that has occurred and the likely yield loss. This will help you manage the next steps when considering alternate options, cutting, harvest, manuring or grazing are all options but without knowing the full extent of the damage the best decision may not be obvious. I always like to leave a test strip in a crop that does not reach harvest, just to check you have made the right decision.  Finally, ensure that any paddocks more severely affected than others are logged in your crop planning software, by doing this it will help you make more informed decisions of what and when to plant in high risk paddocks in coming seasons. For more information and help identifying frost affected crops the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has put together a Frost Identification Guide for Cereals . Shop Crop Protection Products  Find the crop protection products you need at FBN Direct®. We have a diverse portfolio to provide product options for growers like you to support plant health. References https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2020/frost-identification-guide-for-cereals/DPIRD-Cereals-Frost-Identification-Guide-October-2020.pdf https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/sites/gateway/files/GRDC-Managing-Frost-Risk-Tips-and-Tactics-Frost-050216-northen-southern-and-western-region%20%281%29%20%281%29.pdf https://media.bom.gov.au/social/blog/916/ask-bom-how-is-temperature-measured/ -- Copyright © 2021 - 2022 Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN", "Farmers Business Network", and "FBN Direct" are registered trademarks or trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Products and services 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 should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. Terms and conditions apply. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/territory law to use any pesticide other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered chemical product is a violation of federal and/or state/territory law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, state, territory and local laws. We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must be authorised to use restricted chemical products under applicable state or territory law. Please consult your applicable state or territory authority for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted chemical products as some products require specific record-keeping requirements.


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


New agricultural technologies have tremendous potential to improve farmer efficiency and profit potential, while at the same time meeting growing regulatory and consumer pressure to enhance sustainability.  However, adoption of new technologies is sometimes slowed down by the scarcity of data on how new technologies perform in the real world. Testing in labs, greenhouses and small plots on research farms can be a critical part of the development process. But it doesn’t always provide enough information about how new technologies will work at scale on real-world farms under diverse and realistic farming conditions.  An innovative solution to agricultural technology testing  These testing challenges led FBN® to launch the Innovators Research League , a game-changing approach to new product development and testing that can accelerate and improve the way in which technologies are commercialized and distributed to farmers. FBN partners with dozens of leading technology developers to test their technologies — including innovations in biologicals, other crop inputs, and even equipment and robotics — in the real world through large-scale, on-farm trials with FBN members .  These rigorous trials get around these typical limitations by testing new products at scale in realistic conditions on actual farms, generating unbiased data to validate performance in different environments and establish credibility with growers. These carefully managed trials generate statistically robust data on product performance, and help speed the path to commercialization — with FBN providing a possible path to market for technologies that show the most potential in these on-farm trials.  Looking ahead to 2023 season trials As the 2022 trial season nears its close, FBN is eagerly looking ahead to the 2023 season and planning is already well underway. (Technology developers can submit interest here .)   One 2023 trial partner we’re excited to highlight is Solinftec , a leading agricultural technology company with an exciting innovation in ag robotics. Solinftec has developed a cutting-edge, autonomous, fully electric robot that promises to transform the way farmers manage their fields. The “Solix” robot provides real-time in-field scouting data, including pest and disease identification, nutrient deficiency detection, and crop health assessments, as well as a novel platform for the precise, targeted application of crop protection products. This technology is particularly exciting because of its potential to drive improvements in efficiency, sustainability and profit potential for farmers. "Solinftec focuses on solving structural problems in agricultural management and offers solutions that genuinely promote low-impact agriculture, while reducing cost and improving yields,” said Leonardo Carvalho, Solinftec’s director of operations. “Solinftec sees FBN as the ideal partner with shared values in helping farmers.”  On-farm testing with FBN members will begin in 2023 in the Midwest with the goal of expanding to other geographies in the future. Stay tuned for updates on the field testing and possible future commercial offerings! Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network” and “FBN” are trademarks, 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  https://cropwatch.unl.edu/2018/wheat-disease-update 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.


Jun. 14, 2022

by Brad Roberts

The strength of Farmers Business Network® is the opportunity to share information, insight, and feedback between you and your fellow farmers. Stay Up to Date This Planting Season We are currently polling members to track Canadian progress for cereal, canola, and soy during this year’s planting season. And luckily, you’ll be able to track those results right here on this page. Locking in on the correct data is important for all of us. Week Ending June 14, 2022 Here's this week's soybean planting progress for 206 farms over 0.66 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending June 2, 2022 Here's this week's soybean planting progress for 223 farms over 0.76 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending May 26, 2022 Here's this week's canola planting progress for 533 farms over 2.59 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending May 16, 2022 Here's this week's cereal planting progress for 521 farms over 2.34 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. 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", "Pro Ag", and "Professional Ag Distributors" are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates.


Jun. 13, 2022

by Brad Roberts

The strength of Farmers Business Network® is the opportunity to share information, insight, and feedback between you and your fellow farmers. Stay Up to Date This Planting Season We are currently polling members to track U.S. progress for corn and soybeans during this year’s planting season. And luckily, you’ll be able to track those results right here on this page. Locking in on the correct data is important for all of us. Week Ending June 13, 2022 Here are the results of this week's soybean planting progress for 2,774 farms over 6.3 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending June 7, 2022 Here are the results of this week's soybean planting progress for 2,346 farms over 5.8 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending June 3, 2022 Here are the results of this week's corn planting progress for 2,975 farms over 7.1 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending May 31, 2022 Here are the results of this week's soybean planting progress for 2,069 farms over 5.0 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending May 25, 2022 Here are the results of this week's corn planting progress for 2,883 farms over 6.9 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending May 20, 2022 Here are the results of this week's corn planting progress for 2,114 farms over 6.3 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending May 17, 2022 Here are the results of this week's soybean planting progress for 2,180 farms over 5.2 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending May 11, 2022 Here's this week's corn planting progress for over 2,075 farms over 5.9 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending May 2, 2022 Here are the results of this week's soybean planting progress for 1,490 farms over 3.1 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending April 28, 2022 Here's this week's corn planting progress for over 2,044 farms over 4.7 million acres. Click here to enlarge the image. Week Ending April 22, 2022 This week we're tracking corn planting progress. Check out the data. Click here to enlarge the image. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, Farmers First flag logo, "Farmers Business Network," "FBN," and "Farmers First" are registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Terms and conditions apply.


Article Tools And Technology

What Is the ROI of Regenerative Ag?

May 31, 2022

by Brant Caley

You likely have some understanding of what regenerative agriculture is – but just in case you don’t – it’s defined as deploying farm practices that improve the health of your soil. Reducing tillage, planting cover crops, and reducing synthetic fertilizers are among the regenerative practices that have been credited with improving soil health. The benefits associated with regenerative agriculture are generally accepted as good but are hard to quantify.  The big question is — will these practices increase your bottom line? And if so, how? Let's unpack the different ways that regenerative agriculture can affect the profitability of your farm. Reducing tillage The pendulum has swung back and forth on reduced and no-till tillage practices. According to a 2020 , three-fourths of FBN® members now practice no-till or minimum tillage. Reducing tillage leads to reduced soil erosion and increased carbon in your soil. Short-term ROI is easy to calculate for switching from conventional to no-till. According to a report by the University of Illinois , a disk ripper + field cultivator tillage program can cost over $35/acre. Eliminating this pass may immediately impact your bottom line. In most cases this reduction in tillage will lead to a need for an additional herbicide pass, which can typically cost $20-$25/acre, but that cost is ordinarily more than covered. Additional considerations are required (soil compaction, planter durability), but if no-till can work on your farm, the potential ROI is clear.   ROI Potential =  $10/acre per year Planting cover crops Planting a cover crop can extend the window of soil coverage on your farm. A well established cover crop has been shown to reduce soil erosion, improve crop resilience, and lead to increased carbon in your soil. The cost of a cover crop is easy to quantify. Prior to recent spikes in input costs, farmers were found to spend anywhere between $15/ac to upwards of $75/ac to implement a cover crop program in their operation. Additionally, NRCS reported state-by-state cost-sharing programs offsetting cover crop seed costs by 50-100% for approved programs in some states. Contact your local NRCS office for more information about cover cropping systems in your area. "In 2020, a study of FBN members reported corn crops following a cover crop were often more productive with yield averages around 4.5 bu/acre higher. New crop cash corn prices for fall delivery (as of early May 2022) are hovering around $7/bu; in this scenario, taking that yield boost into consideration at these prices, a farmer will see a benefit of $31.50/acre. Based on these findings, ROI potentials can range from $10/acre-$35/acre per year. Many soybean producers have indicated similar trends equating to positive ROI as well; FBN is currently studying these trends." ROI Potential = $10/acre-$35/acre per year Improve crop nutrient efficiencies  So improved yield resilience almost covers the cost of planting cover crops, but a bit more is needed to flip “green” the ROI analysis. Fortunately, planting cover crops and reducing tillage can improve nutrient retention, ultimately,  reducing the demand of synthetic fertilizers  By improving organic matter and unlocking the nutrients already in your soil and keeping them in place, it's possible to reduce the application of  nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium after adopting no-till and cover crops.   Each farm is different; the right factors need to be taken into consideration  and test strips should be performed before farm-wide implementation of cover crops and other regenerative practices. In the right scenarios, fertilizer demand can be greatly reduced through incorporating systems that limit nutrient leaching, utilize cover crops that can fixate nitrogen, and improve the overall soil health which may increase the storage capacity of nutrients within the soil.  It's possible to start reducing your P and K in year-three of implementing regenerative agriculture.  Reductions depend on your soil and practices, but improved soil health can contribute to 15 pounds per acre of P in year-three and 20 pounds per acre in year-five. A reduction of 10 pounds per acre of K can be achieved by year-three with some long-term scenarios benefiting producers up to 30 pounds per acre.   Reducing nitrogen is a bit more complicated. Implementing reduced tillage and cover crops can reduce the need for nitrogen over time, especially if a nitrogen fixing cover crop is used, but the significant reductions, up to 40 pounds per acre in year-five, will more likely come from precision management and application of nitrogen in addition to regenerative practices. Applying nitrogen using the “ four Rs ” (right source, right rate, right time, and right place) can lead to immediate reductions in nitrogen.   Reducing fertilizers can provide noticeable returns on investments but are typically spread over multiple years.  Patience and continued evaluations of an operation can yield significant savings over time.  ROI Potential = $18-$50/acre/year fertilizer savings over five years, fertilizer savings Summary In summary, regenerative agriculture can have a positive ROI impact immediately.  The range of ROI depends on your operation, equipment, and soil but has the potential to significantly impact your bottom line.  The key to successfully adopting regenerative agriculture is to adopt these practices without a reduction in yield.  Gradable Plan offers soil sampling and expert agronomy recommendations to help you have a smooth transition.   What’s your experience generating an ROI with various regenerative agriculture practices? Let us know in the Community Forum. NOTE: Recent, current and future volatilization in markets and costs may impact above scenarios and ROI potential on your operation. Disclaimer : The views and opinions are solely those of the author as of the date of publication, are subject to change at any time due to market or economic conditions, will not be updated or supplemented after the date hereof and may not necessarily come to pass. Neither Farmer’s Business Network Inc. (FBN) 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.  Copyright ©2022 Gradable. “Gradable” and the Gradable logo are registered trademarks of Gradable LLC.