From the Field

As fall approaches, we find ourselves challenged once again in Wisconsin. Humid weather paired with large amounts of rain has made it difficult for our dairy farmers that are trying to get silage corn off in a timely fashion. Dairies aren’t the only ones that have been affected by mother nature, combines have been held at bay from harvesting soybeans due to the recent moisture as well. I do not think that other than a later harvest that we will see many issues with our bean harvest. However, I do have some concerns with our upcoming corn harvest. My main concern lies with those farms where no fungicides have been applied, due to the growing amount of tar spots being found. In these fields, the increased amount of moisture is causing stalk rot. That could potentially cause corn to be toppled over making harvest difficult, resulting in a loss of bushels and potentially lower test weights and higher moisture due to disease.

On a more positive note, it looks like the weather is going to break our way for a few days. Knowing the determination of our farmers, they will make the most of this window and get their harvest in. It is also important to get your wheat and cover crops planted as soon as possible.

Thank you for letting us be a part of your operation. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please reach out to your Landmark agronomist for help.

Have a safe harvest!

From the Field

 

Soybean harvest season is here for some growers here in Southeastern Wisconsin that took the chance of planting in-between the wet weather episodes this spring. Many calls had been coming in over this past September for concerns over possible Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) and Brown Stem Rot (BSR) situations. Growers are battling a now wet start to fall, and rising concerns over late harvest and early frost are now a topic of concern on farm if wet conditions persist, along with the worry over the wide range of in-season soybean maturity across fields.

When looking at your bean fields, SDS and BSR can commonly match each other in the foliar symptomology on the plant, but it is important to look further at the stem and root system in order to determine the disease affecting your field. Splitting the stems on soybean plants in question will help you with determining BSR versus SDS.

 

In a BSR situation, the center of the stem will be brown and extend from the root system up through the plant. It is a solid symptom of the disease, so taking the time to split the plant in order to make proper diagnosis is important.

 

In SDS, the center of the stem will remain healthy, but the surrounding root tissue will start to brown or even turn grey. When pulling the root of a plant, look for what appears as a light blue spore mass. This grey/blue tinge will dissipate when exposed to air, so it is a symptom you want to look for as soon as you pull the root system from the ground.

 

When coming into harvest, there are numerous concerns due to a large range of in-season maturity this year. These challenges include soybean fields that can be mature in some areas, and green in others. When asked what the optimal time would be to harvest, the answer is not so easy to due to many factors. Growers are already harvesting sections of fields that are ready to harvest, leaving the non-mature areas to harvest at a later date. Some are choosing to wait until the whole field is mature, risking losses from shatter and low moisture in the already mature areas. Others are choosing the harvest a mixture of mature and non-mature fields, resorting to drying and storing their soybeans or taking the dockage at the scale.

It is important to get out of the combine to inspect for shatter losses this season while harvesting. The general rule of thumb is in a one square foot section to count the remaining seeds on the ground. Four seeds per square foot = approx. One bushel of yield loss. When harvesting a mixture of maturity ranges in a field, remember that combine moisture sensors may not predict accurate moisture levels due to the range across the field, and you should consider factoring about 1.5% higher than what the sensor is predicting.

I wish you all a safe harvest season, and be sure to include your agronomist in on any concerns and scouting opportunities.

From the Field – Be Looking at Corn and Soybean Varieties

 

It is a good time to be looking at corn and soybean varieties. We need to look at varieties you want to keep on the farm and the ones you think have served their time. With many options for seed, best to talk to your Landmark agronomist so we can help find the best seed option for your fields.

In corn fields, now is a good time to be checking on your nitrogen programs’ performance especially on the earlier planted corn that is ahead. With the amount of rainfall that came in late summer, adjustments can be made for future years if you see there were corn fields that ran out of gas. Anthracnose in corn can come as early as emergence in corn and affect the foliage. Stalk rot in the fall is common for the disease. It will show very distinguished black narrow or oval blotches on the tissue rind. Anthracnose will over winter in residue and favors wet, warm cloudy conditions and low fertility areas. Overall yield loss to anthracnose results with a premature plant death, less grain fill, and weak stalks for lodging corn. Hybrid selection, cultural practices and fungicides will help control the corn crops’ health. We are seeing success with plant health on corn crops that had VT fungicide done. With the disease pressure and growing season we were given, necessary fungicide applied will reap the rewards.

Soybean fields are in the R5 to R6 stage with a few fields starting R7. Soybeans in between the R5 and R6 stage will attain maximum height, node count, leaf area and nitrogen fixation will reach peak and then drop rapidly. The demand for water and nutrients increases throughout the rapid seed filling period. This period beans acquire about half of their nitrogen fixation, phosphorous and potassium. Soybeans sudden death syndrome also known as SDS and brown stem rot have been the popular disease issues in our region’s fields. Brown stem rot can have close to the same foliar damage as SDS along with the same blue hue color fungal on the roots. To better differentiate the diseases look at and cut open the stems. Brown stem rot will be discolored starting at the soil line of the stem on up; SDS will have the outer layer of stem discolored in a brown or gray color. Seed treatments such as Illevo, Saltro and Clareva are showing good protection against SDS and can be ordered on the seed. Brown stem rot will be managed by effective crop rotation, selecting crop resistant varieties and residue management.

We still need to be scouting crops diligently in corn and beans to understand late season health and know what to expect come harvest. Everyone have a safe and productive week.

 

Mother nature has continued to challenge farmers moving into 2019 harvest. Corn silage harvest is only about 25% complete as rain continues to fall in our area. Recent samples on fields have been coming in at 65-70% moisture, so as soon as field conditions allow, choppers will once again be rolling. Early planted soybeans are rapidly approaching full maturity with the above average temperatures we have experience throughout September. These warmer temperatures will be crucial to finishing off a late planted corn crop moving into fall. Heat combined with more than adequate moisture has led to heavy disease pressure showing up in corn, with Northern Corn Leaf Blight and Gray Leaf Spot most prevalent in the area. The bright spot in all this is despite disease showing up, stalk quality has remained strong in majority of affected fields.

This week we began our aerial applications of cover crops, with rye being flown on to both corn and soybean fields. We will again be providing a variety of cover crop options this year; be sure to contact your local agronomist to determine which is the right fit for your operation.

As we inch closer to combines rolling through the fields do not forget about the importance of soil sampling. Soil sampling is a great way to determine the status of your soil and find out which nutrients you may be lacking going into the 2020 growing season. As always give your local agronomist a call with any questions you may have.

Have a safe harvest!

From the Field

 

Traveling through northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin the signs of fall are showing.  Combines, grain carts and grain setups are being inspected to prepare for this year’s harvest. Chopping corn silage is ramping up in Illinois and starting in southern Wisconsin.  On a good note, speaking with those who have started; quality and tonnage have been very good. Mother nature has seemed to notice we’re trying to get something done and decided to start dumping large amounts of rain again slowing us down once again. We are in a definite need of a warmer drier pattern to help finish the crop. I have seen a handful of early planted soybean fields turning and could possibly be ready in a couple weeks. Unfortunately, that’s not a common sight in the countryside and most soybean fields need some time to finish out. Early planted, early RM corn varieties could start being harvested as soon as the last week of September. Like the soybeans the corn needs time also. I’ve checked corn anywhere from 1/4 milk line to almost black layered throughout my territory. We will need between 40 and 300 GDU’s to get us to maturity (30-35% moisture). It is safe to say that there will be some wet corn harvested this year.  Again, trying to find some positivity, overall plant health is good and yields could be good as well. Thank you for letting us be a part of your operation. As always if you have any questions or concerns reach out to your Landmark agronomist for help.

Have a safe and prosperous harvest.

 

As we are heading into the fall season, it’s a good time to check our crops while they are still showing life. It’s no use waiting too long because a lot of symptoms can be missed and nothing can be learned. We certainly had our fair share of challenges establishing and managing our crops in a timely fashion. The late plantings and less than ideal conditions brought a lot to see in the progress so scout all we can to see how our hybrids held up.

We are seeing a lot of rootworm issues in corn, so managing this costly pest is going to be more crucial than ever before. I received several calls asking about the high numbers of these green buggers,those are Northern Rootworm beetles and most likely the diapause. They will infest and lay eggs in corn fields and will weather through a soybean rotation only to hatch out the next year back to corn. Doing a corn and soybean rotation used to be somewhat effective to managing rootworm pressure in corn but the Northern Rootworm were able to adapt. Our best measure is scouting and using solid rootworm traits designed to handle the increasing problems. Keep in mind that root feeding will still happen in order for the trait to kill it’s predator but solid agronomics in choosing corn and management can minimize the costly damage. We were very successful in our aerial application timing of fungicide. The hybrids are responding well to this practice as satellite imagery showed dramatic images of treated and untreated checks. Over the years, VT fungicide has shown a much higher ROI to fungicide over a V5 application. The V5 application was desired primarily because the timing was better adhered to but our aerial program implemented this year was very successful.

Looking over our soybeans, we can see the Japanese Beetle was feasting too well but did not quite hit economic threshold. Scouting is always crucial to prevent surprises at harvest time. Pod counts look good and with the rainfall as of late are helping in good pod fill. The numbers look attractive but volume in beans themselves still add to our bottom line. Weed control is still top on our minds to put together a good plan for next year. We saw our fair of successes and (I know) failures. We are looking at chemical plans and always striving to get better. Two modes of action are showing promise so please reach out to your local agronomist to see what fits your operation the best.

Let’s have a safe harvest!

From the Field Updates

It has been a challenging year with delayed planting, poor planting conditions, and now cool temperatures. I’m seeing a lot of compaction issues in corn fields from being worked and planted to wet, but there weren’t many options. This has led to limited root growth and poor uptake of nutrients. Nitrogen in many cases has been washed out of the root zone and deficiency has really been showing up in the last month, especially on fields not side dressed. The cool August has slowed down corn maturity but has also slowed disease development. We started to see Grey leaf and northern leaf blight show up in late July early August, but I haven’t seen those diseases explode like in previous years. I’m hearing of some tar spot showing up in the area but I have not seen any to date. Overall there’s a decent crop of corn out there, we just need to get it finished. Silage harvest has begun with some guys taking shorter season hybrids, but it’s off to a slow start. I think that will change this week. Call your Landmark agronomist and have them do a test to see where it’s at.

Beans, like corn, are all over the place. Some early planted fields are starting to turn and I’m still finding flowers in other fields. Aphids and Japanese beetles have stayed in check for the most part. The last few weeks there have been some sudden death and brown stem rot showing up in fields. It’s looking like a late bean harvest which could make it challenging to get wheat planted before the insurance date.

I’ve had a lot of calls all summer from guys wondering why their alfalfa hasn’t been producing. A lot of the alfalfa stands that looked like they made it through the winter really didn’t. They’re dead and they just didn’t know it. You can really tell a lot about your stand by walking it two-three weeks after cutting. If you see plants with a lot of variability in height there is a problem. Call your local Landmark agronomist and have them dig some plants and look at the difference in crown and root health. If that field didn’t produce this year even after fertilizing it, it’s probably time for it to go. These fields could be a good options for getting some wheat in.

Thanks and have a safe harvest.

 

From the Field Updates

Andy Beck from the field report

We have a record amount of prevent plant acres here in the far east. There were really three windows of planting in our area – a few days at the end of April, a couple days mid-May and on into June.

Corn planted early is denting. The later planted corn will need 30 to 45 days to mature. Hopefully we can get a warm September and first half of October to get this crop mature. Cases of disease in the area have been relatively low. We are starting to see some of the early planted corn running out of N do to all the rain after application. There have been some challenges with this corn crop, although most of the corn in the area does look good.

It looks like we could sneak out an average crop of soybeans in our area. No real aphid or Japanese beetle pressure to speak of around here. Weed pressure is a huge concern. Waterhemp and Marestail are running rampant. With the approval of Enlist trait there will be some more options for next year. E3 beans will be tolerant to Roundup, Liberty and Enlist. Enlist is a new less volatile version of 2-4-D. Talk to your Landmark agronomist for more information on this new technology.

The wheat harvest is all wrapped up. Yields were down for most farmers ranging anywhere from 55 to 90 Bu/ac. The best yields were seen with split application of nitrogen where we spread urea and AMS early in March, then came back in late April with a 28% and herbicide application. The better wheat also had a fungicide pass for head scab at Feekes 10.5.1., which is beginning to flower. Although grain yields were down, straw yields were seen as being very good!

Cover crops have been a big topic here with all the prevent plant acres. The question we hear all the time is “What should I plant?”.  Well you must decide what your next cash crop is and your goals for that cover crop. There are many options out there and those options may be different for everybody but remember something is better than nothing! Talk with your Landmark agronomist to sort through all the options.

st growers had struggles with alfalfa management.  Right out of the gate, many established fields were affected by winter kill.  Because alfalfa prices were high and feed inventories were low due to 2018, growers elected to keep sub-standard alfalfa into 2019. Seeding were planted late into saturated soils.  These plantings really struggled with disease pressure.  It can be hard to evaluate alfalfa varieties for diseases, because most growers only plant one or two on their farm.  Work with a trusted agronomist to identify alfalfa disease and put a plan into place to protect your plants. A few new alfalfa varieties have recently been released with new levels of disease resistance to Fusarium, Verticillium, Anthracnose, Aphanomyces races 1,2,3, and now even 5.  Along with planting a disease resistant plant, consider using a fungicide on your alfalfa stands.  Along with additional yield, fungicides can help extend the life of your alfalfa stands, by limiting diseases like crown rot from getting into your plants.

In my 18 years of experience, 2019 had the highest level of leafhoppers in our area. Most growers are scouting and treating fields over thresholds.  While making this pass, consider other products to enhance yields.  Micronutrients, fungicides and other foliar fertilizers can enhance yields and increase RFV.  While alfalfa prices are high, take advantage of higher ROI.

From The Field Updates: August 21, 2019

Jacob from the field

South central Wisconsin is about 6 inches ahead of our average yearly precipitation, according to the UW Extension Research Station in Arlington, WI.  As we are ahead of normal precipitation, we are still about 50 units of GDU behind our 30-year normal in heat accumulation. Late July and early August started to put us back on track.  As abnormal as 2019 was, we are surprisingly on track to obtain almost average heat units. What does all this mean to current crop?

Corn
Late plantings and a fairly cool spring have our corn crop out to a late start.  We know that a delay in planting from May 1st to May 20th can lower yields 9%. Another concern I have at this time is getting our crop to physiological maturity or “black layer”.  Black layer occurs about 60 days after silking.  A lot of our crop started silking the last week of July, into the first week of August.  Our average killing frost in Arlington is around October 10th.  If we were to add 60 days to the first week of August, it puts us into the first week of October.  Hope for a normal to warm September. We do not need an early frost this year, which would negatively affect our kernel weight and grain moistures.

We currently have a lot of corn in the milk stage.  One can approximate silage harvest dates very closely with this information.  About 35 days after silking, most hybrids will be about half milkline, with whole plant moistures in 65-70% range.  This puts a lot of our silage harvest dates about September 1st.

Beans
As we move from R3 into R4 and forward, we are really finished with the management of our soybean crop. Overall, in Dane and Columbia County, insects were not a problem this year, with a fairly sparse population of Japanese beetles, spider mites that were non-existent, and soybean aphids that are just showing up now. As beans start to mature and change color in the next month, evaluate your R3 treatments.  Ideally, the crop should change color uniformly.  Did the fungicide treated acres stay green and hold leaves longer? Walk out into the headlands where the beans may be double planted. Is White Mold present? Evaluate standability now.  Look for foliar diseases like Brown Spot and Cercospora.  As we lose the leaves in the beans this fall, a lot of the story of 2019 will be lost.

Alfalfa
Even though we had more than adequate moisture this year, most growers had struggles with alfalfa management.  Right out of the gate, many established fields were affected by winter kill.  Because alfalfa prices were high and feed inventories were low due to 2018, growers elected to keep sub-standard alfalfa into 2019. Seeding were planted late into saturated soils.  These plantings really struggled with disease pressure.  It can be hard to evaluate alfalfa varieties for diseases, because most growers only plant one or two on their farm.  Work with a trusted agronomist to identify alfalfa disease and put a plan into place to protect your plants. A few new alfalfa varieties have recently been released with new levels of disease resistance to Fusarium, Verticillium, Anthracnose, Aphanomyces races 1,2,3, and now even 5.  Along with planting a disease resistant plant, consider using a fungicide on your alfalfa stands.  Along with additional yield, fungicides can help extend the life of your alfalfa stands, by limiting diseases like crown rot from getting into your plants.

In my 18 years of experience, 2019 had the highest level of leafhoppers in our area. Most growers are scouting and treating fields over thresholds.  While making this pass, consider other products to enhance yields.  Micronutrients, fungicides and other foliar fertilizers can enhance yields and increase RFV.  While alfalfa prices are high, take advantage of higher ROI.

From The Field Updates: August 13, 2019

John Canalle from the field

What a wild ride this season has been. A lot of work and crop progress has occurred over the last month of July.  As of two weeks ago, the last top dress rig was sent out on 300 acres of sweet corn, so outside of alfalfa spraying and R3 work on beans, custom work has wrapped up.

Corn: We’ve been tendering helicopters & planes that are doing some post-brown silk fungicide spraying on corn the last couple weeks.  In the past, Delaro has worked well for late season work, so we’re using that again this year.  Weed pressure has been held at bay – in some cases, with just a SOLID pre-emerge program.  Disease wise, there has been Tar Spot identified in some counties in WI and northern IL – Rock and Lafayette counties in WI and DeKalb county in IL.  Given the year, corn is looking good!

Soybeans: R3 work (top 4 branches/nodes showing a pod that’s ¼” in length) has been in full swing for the last two weeks.  In my opinion, beans like to be stressed early and pampered late, so a solid R3 program containing a fungicide, insecticide, and foliar micro-nutrient blend is ideal.

Alfalfa:
 I’ve seen and had more calls on alfalfa these last 2 weeks than in years past.  One answer to many issues is sulfur deficiency when the entire plant is yellow or chlorotic in color – especially if nothing has been applied this year or has only been applied in early spring before all the rains.  The second most common issue I’m seeing is aphid and leaf hopper pressure when sweeping the fields.  Good news, there is an insecticide/drift control pass (Mustang Maxx with InterLock) which is very affordable.

From The Field Updates: August 7, 2019

Nelson Graham from the field

We have been busy with aerial applications of fungicide on corn this past week. Corn burst out with full tassle on most fields during the week, so timing seems just right for this application. Fungicide applied on corn from tassle to brown silk stage should give the best significant yield boost plus improved plant health for better harvesting.

aerial application

Final post sprays on beans may be called for cleaning up weed pressure. The new genetics of soybeans will really help for 2020 for increased options for controlling tough weeds like water hemp and others. Hard to believe, but an early order of seed for these traits is due now to assure access to limited supply of new seed.

Wheat yields have been overall good, especially where late fungicides were applied. Yield increases of 10 bu/a over untreated wheat have been reported by growers in Dane County.

Alfalfa fields should be scouted for potato leaf hopper, which is present in most fields. These insects can reduce stand yield, quality and weaken stands.

From The Field Updates: July 31, 2019

Nelson Graham from the field

Gearing up for aerial applications for fungicide on tasseling corn.  Best timing is from early, whole field tasseling to brown silk. “Brown silk” refers to the end of pollination period when the silks are dry enough to crumble. There are various genetically different colors of corn out there.  Like eye color or hair color, some field corn exhibit various overall coloration (think Brunette, Auburn, Red, Blonde) which is not the same as “brown silk.”  One grower thought he already was at “brown silk” but really his corn type was a brunette.

Soybeans are developing quickly, and insect populations are still low. Best timing for biggest yield bump on soybeans from fungicide, is R3 or when podding is beginning.

Weather is cooperating now, compared to this past week, with steady, warm, and sunny conditions.  Good hay making weather and wheat harvesting is underway. Good yields are being reported in healthy wheat.

Fungicide Tips to Protect Your Yield 

Learn how your hybrid’s response to fungicide score will help you in managing your tasseling crop this summer. Hear tips on how to protect your corn yield with Landmark Agronomist Simon Larson.

Simon

To learn more about how to use fungicide to promote crop health, contact your Landmark Services Cooperative agronomy team.