From the Field 7-1-2020

In my area we are finishing up the last bit of spraying on corn and beans to get us to canopy so now we need to keep an eye on the alfalfa. Alfalfa has had rising pressures of aphids and potato leaf hoppers on every field I have swept so it would not be a bad idea to spray for some bugs and while your out there maybe look into a fungicide or micronutrient. Keep an eye on the corn and beans for any bug pressure as well because we have seen some different species here and there but that does not mean they won’t hit thresholds.

Now is the time to take note of what fields are doing well and think about aerial treatment of fungicides or fertilizer in a month to give it that extra boost or just to protect the investment made for that crop.

 

At this time we are approximately 945GDU’s (Growing Degree Units) to a plant date of April 25th.  This is great news as the norm for us is 845GDU’s. Last year we were 80 GDU’s behind norm so let’s hope this trend continues with 100GDU’s ahead of norm means a higher yield potential, TW and dry down. We just received a much needed rain fall on Monday which pretty much covered a good share of our trade territory. Rain amounts ranged from .3” to a staggering 4”.  The rain came fast and hard so we all know that a down pour like that only gives us a portion of retained water while the rest raced for the ditches.  Regardless of what we received, it was a welcome sight for most of us running hard to finish last few acres of post emerge spray and post pass of nitrogen.

The field scouting has been relatively simple as our pre-emerge herbicides have performed well holding weeds back for our crop to get established. Giving our herbicide plans a grade for efficacy helps for future planning for weed spectrum. Corn and beans are growing fast so staying ahead of the weeds is key.  Be sure to keep looking over fields in case there are any escapes to eliminate any surprises in the fall.

We will be doing aerial fungicides so be sure to contact your local agronomist to choose the best situations for the best fungicide responses. Some hybrids are high response to fungicide at tassel while others are not, however, some environments will warrant a treatment. Stay safe and stay well.

 

 

 

 

From the Field 6-24-2020

Corn stands that were planted early emerged unevenly due to an extended period of cold soil conditions. A combination of nitrogen and sulfur top dress application, plus warming temperatures and moisture, should improve appearance. Corn tissue test results over the past two weeks indicate deficiencies in nitrogen, sulfur, boron, and zinc, and soybean tissue tests also show deficiencies in manganese and copper.

With continued wet conditions, growers should plan to protect their crops with fungicide applications. Livestock producers are becoming increasingly interested in fungicide use on alfalfa and corn intended for silage. Sweeping alfalfa yielded threshold levels of aphids.

Please reach out to our agronomist for scouting recommendations as we move through this critical phase of the growing season.

 

In our eastern trade territory, we are finishing up post applications on corn, whether topdressing or spraying, and soybean post-spray applications are starting to pick up. We should be thinking about running Warrant or Dual to keep the waterhemp at bay.

We have also been seeing some infestations of armyworms, mainly in conventional corn and/or wheat fields. We did see some armyworms work over to traited corn, with lower numbers. If armyworms get to be an inch and quarter long, they are at the end of larvae state and will be pupating soon. They will not do a lot more damage after that, but we will most likely have another cycle, so if you have 2-5 per plant or per sq. foot, you should spray asap—the damage can be terrible, with all leaves stripped or heads getting clipped. Contact your Landmark agronomist to look over these fields if you see anything out of the ordinary.

 

 

 

 

 

From the Field 6-17-2020

Southern territory field report with Billy Agnew

Hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of From the Field. The weather over here has been great the past few weeks, giving us good windows for post herbicide and sidedress applications. Most corn is at V4-V6 growth stages, a crucial time in the plant’s development when the uppermost ear and tassel is initiated and the number of kernel rows (ear girth) is determined. Any stresses at this time will impact that crop’s end yield. For this reason, we recommend plant tissue analysis to determine the total elemental content of the plant. Tissue analysis helps serve as a check on your fertilizer program, or can be used as a troubleshooting tool to determine nutrient deficiency. We still have time to make in-season adjustments to maximize yield. Contact your Landmark agronomist if you’re interested in having tissue sampling taken on your farm.

On the soybean side, we’re seeing the emergence of waterhemp, which is a hard-to-control weed that’s resistant to six herbicide chemistries. The best control method for waterhemp is having residual herbicide, so you never give it the chance to come out of the ground. If it does escape, the best option is to target small waterhemp plants under four inches tall—but note that waterhemp has one of the highest relative growth rates at 1-1 ¼ inches per day during typical growing conditions. Also remember if waterhemp gets to seed, one plant can produce up to 1,000,000 seeds. It’s very important to scout your fields to stay on top of what’s happening, so you don’t have any surprises come harvest.

If you have any questions or concerns, make sure to reach out to your local Landmark Agronomist. Have a great week!

 

With post-spraying in full swing there are a lot of things to look for when scouting your fields. Not only should you look for weeds species and pressures but also diseases and nutrient deficiencies. During your post application, it’s a perfect time to add a foliar feed or fungicide while making your herbicide pass. Tissue sampling is available to pinpoint any nutrient deficiencies and how severe they may be. Please reach out to your Landmark Agronomist to assist you with your scouting needs. See below for guides on scouting for corn diseases, nutrient deficiency, and leaf diseases.

Scouting for corn diseases

Nutrient deficiency examples

Corn leaf disease chart

 

 

 

From the Field 6-3-2020

The good weather that we saw in April and early May has transitioned to rain—I have recorded measurable rain in eight of the past 20 days, with thunderstorms in the forecast. Corn is at the stage when it progresses from getting energy from the seed to taking all of its nutrients from the roots. This change is referred to by some as the ugly duckling phase. During this stage, the plants lack the root and leaf structure to keep up with growth, and the addition of cool, wet weather has made for ugly fields. Some heat and sunshine should create conditions for improvement.

On the soybean side, we are just starting the post spraying. I have included a chart below on current soybean traits; there are seven different traits available for planting this spring. Make sure you read the seed tag and understand what each trait package means.

 

When you drive around the countryside right now, you can see side dress bars and spreader machines getting prepped for second pass nitrogen. Corn is up and has that yellow hue to its leaves. In this time frame in the corn plant’s life (v3 to v5), it’s transitioning from depending on the seed for nutrients, to eventually acquiring energy and nutrients through the roots and leaves. So how can we maximize corn’s favorite nutrients and get that dark green hue back faster? First and foremost, we need the correct application of nitrogen. During the v3 to v5 stage in the corn plant’s life, we’re trying to give that plant the energy it needs to make it to the finish line of a complete grain fill.

Shortly after tasseling in the R1 stage of its life, a corn crop has used approximately 63% of its nitrogen requirements for the season. We want to gear up the crop with an adequate and cost-effective approach to make sure that nitrogen isn’t causing you lost yield and lost potential net income. Using the chart below, universities, seed companies, and other research firms can hold true to this data. Understanding this chart can also help you gear up for second pass nitrogen. The Field Forecasting tool, available at Landmark, gathers input to set up the application of a correct nitrogen rate. Call your Landmark agronomist—he or she can create an accurate, cost-effective program for you.

When applying nitrogen, it’s worth understanding how other nutrients can benefit you. Sulfur is key to helping the corn plant make proteins, and it enables the nitrogen to work more effectively as well. Products to use to justify a source for sulfur are AMS 21-0-0-42s for a top dress dry application, and KTS 0-0-25 17s and/or ATS 11-0-0-24s for liquid. KTS is a product that is gaining momentum and being applied in side dress applications for corn. This liquid potassium form is easy for the corn to uptake through the roots, and acts as a funnel or a leader going into the roots. Other nutrients and water will follow the potassium into the plant, which gives this product a great ROI.

Using the charts below we can see nutrient uptake time in a corn plant’s life. With this data, and some help from tissue sampling, let’s make plans to get the best income per acre we can. To generate more income, we need to find ways to get the extra bushels. Let’s keep this crop rolling.

 

Evansville Fertilizer Facility Tracking for Mid-Summer 2020 Completion

The 28,000 ton dry plant at the Evansville location is tracking on schedule for a mid-summer 2020 completion.  The building has really taken shape over the last few months with walls and roof going on.  The new loadout tower is erected with the finishing details being added in the coming weeks.  The inbound tunnel system is well underway.  Upon completion of the inbound system the last 50 foot of building can be added.  Once the exterior has taken shape then interior touches can be added bringing us closer to a finished building by the day.  Everyone in agronomy is patiently waiting to put the first tons thru this building after a spring season that put a stress on our current systems.  We look forward to being able to move trucks out of this system for the fall season, giving us the opportunity to load out customers, and our trucks at a much faster pace than we are today.

Key benefits for Landmark members include:

  • Faster loading, resulting in shorter wait times for our tender fleet and members getting direct loads. Loading time of tender trucks and semi-trucks will be under 10 minutes now, versus 30 minutes in the past.
  • Blending 250 tons per hour.
  • Receiving product at 600 tons per hour.
  • Flexibility of fertilizer delivery to Landmark by rail or truck.
  • Cost savings related to insurance, utilities and repairs with older facilities.

As our membership continues to grow, we remain focused on our ability to serve members’ operations of all sizes in the most timely and efficient manner. Landmark is proud to be committed to your current and future needs.

From the Field 5-28-2020

With the nice warm up we had over Memorial Day weekend, we’re starting to see a lot of corn and soybean emergence in the fields. Many farmers in Southeastern Wisconsin are finishing up their planting season, with the exception of the wetter soils that are still holding on to moisture from previous weeks. The extended forecast is predicting warmth and occasional rain showers in June, which is heightening happier emotions in expectation of a better growing season. Winter wheat is coming along nicely, with most post-emergence applications completed in the area. Spring oats are emerging and it’s important to keep an eye out in the fields for rust in the coming weeks.

Scouting fields will be a great tool to use with your local agronomist going forward into the next few weeks as the warmer weather leads to an increase in pest and disease pressure. Don’t hesitate to ask your agronomist to take a look at something if you’re unsure of what it is; a quick photo can be helpful when you need a faster response. We also have some great technology tools that can show how fields are growing via in-season satellite imagery.

This year’s interns will be starting this week—be sure to say hello and give them a warm welcome when they’re out with the agronomy team for the next few months.

Be safe and here’s to warmer weather and sunshine!

 

We were fortunate to get a somewhat normal planting season with most corn and beans; corn planting in the area is probably more than 95% completed. Stands look good, for the most part. Corn that was planted early was slow out of the ground and emerged looking rough, but recent heat has turned those fields around.

Bean stands also look good, with rains helping emergence. If you didn’t apply residual herbicides, I would expect to start to see waterhemp emerging in the next week. Make sure to stay ahead of these before they get out of hand.

Most wheat is currently at flag leaf with some heads showing in some of the early planted fields. This is a critical time, as flag leaf is the last chance for any herbicide application and some fungicides. I would expect most wheat in this area to show heads by the end of the week or early next week. After wheat heads are out, it’s critical to help control head scab with fungicides. Some fungicides are most effective within a small window—talk to your Landmark agronomist about your options for this very important application.

The first cutting in alfalfa has started, though some growers are holding off, hoping to get better tonnage by taking advantage of the improved growing conditions. The frosty nights in late April set alfalfa growth back and we aren’t seeing the height that we would usually see by now. Anything that didn’t look good last year is only worse this year, with a lot of weeds overtaking the slowed growth and filling in weak spots. It’s not too late to plant some of these fields with corn or some other forage option.

Thanks, and have a safe remainder of your spring and summer.

 

From the Field 5-20-2020

As we scout the fields, I’m seeing great progress in our planting schedule. When considering the average number of acres planted over the last three years, the mood this year has been better. Soil conditions were good earlier on, but soil temperatures were lower than desired. And while planting was started earlier than usual with the hopes of warmer temperatures, we haven’t seen the thermometer rise all that much. The In-Furrow starters do seem to show a higher emergence in vigor, which is a good fit with the cool, wet conditions.

As our corn and bean stands firm up, it’s a great time to assess performance. Even with the favorable soil conditions, cold temperatures plus seed depth and spacing can still be affected. Call your local agronomist for stand deviation counts. This is a valuable tool that will help determine the crop’s yield potential. Singulation is crucial to make every seed count, since doubles and triples can limit the ROI of seed purchased. The variables affecting this are proper hybrid choice and planter tune-up. Ideally, every planter is checked over.

Many locations are seeing some of their best rainfalls in recent weeks; unfortunately, not all areas were so lucky. Those with challenging soil moisture and lower temps need work, but are ahead in crop establishment. I’m hoping this will progress into great potential—tissue sampling opportunities should never be passed up. Hope all is well.

 

Planting is halfway done, and many producers are waiting for the crops to emerge. Corn and beans that were planted between one and three weeks ago are emerging now, so it’s a good time to perform stand counts. Be on the lookout for crusting during this heavy rain.

Within a week or two, after the first cutting comes off, we should plan on spreading alfalfa with the needed nutrients. Make sure you get an adequate amount of potash along with some sulfur and boron for this first application to the alfalfa. And considering the cold weather we had earlier, now is a good time to keep an eye on prior herbicide applications to make sure they’re taking care of any weeds that were present at the time of application. The warm rain we just received should also be helping reactivate the herbicide.

 

From the Field 5-13-2020

There have been a couple of windows for planting here in the east, and with temps below normal, some ground has been slow to dry out. We had some early planting in the second half of April with a lot of corn and beans going in the ground. Then 4 to 6 inches of rain held us out for a week. Growers got back in the field for few days before we had this current spot of rain, with heavy rain forecasted for the end of the week.

Corn planted early has started to emerge as we speak, with beans close as well, and most of it seems to look okay. With heavy crust and cold temps, some corn is pushing sideways, and time will tell how seedlings come through the cold weather.

The small amount of wheat that did get planted is inconsistent, with a lot of drowned-out spots and poor stands. We are trying to finish up post-herbicide passes on the better stands. With the cold, wet weather growers with wheat should be thinking about getting a fungicide pass lined up for control of head scab. Talk to your Landmark agronomist for some options to control head scab.


With cold soil temperatures and dry conditions slowing the emergence of corn and soybeans fields, the next couple of weeks should be an ideal time to assess the stands. Inform growers of your findings so they can make informed decisions regarding this year’s crop and adjust equipment or plans for next year.

Current conditions could also present an opportunity to address weed problems with soil residue herbicides that must be applied pre-emergence. Make arrangements with growers for how and when top dress fertilizer applications will be made. Consider utilizing tissue testing as an option this season to establish crop nutrient needs for macro and micronutrients. Take time to reevaluate alfalfa and wheat stands while it’s still relatively early in the season. Some growers are finding that stands that looked good earlier are not acceptable now, and are rotating to another crop. In addition, set up top dress applications for hay crops after the first crop is made in a few weeks, and include boron with phosphorus and potassium in those applications.

 

From the Field 5-6-2020

Planting has been steadily moving forward across Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, though some areas are farther ahead than others. Northwest Illinois and Southwest Wisconsin are almost done with corn and soybeans after missing the rains that hit the Eastern territories. Farmers were able to get a good stretch of days and they made the most of it. Early-planted soybeans in the Southern part of my area have started to emerge, with corn not far behind.

This week has some solid chances of rain that could tally to 1.5 inches in certain areas. Year to date, we are 1 to 3 inches of rain ahead of the yearly average. This week, you can expect to see highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s, with a chance of frost on Friday night. However, after this week temperatures seem to rebound and will consistently stay in the upper 60s to low 70s for highs, and upper 40s to low 50s for lows.

I’d like to thank the operations, logistics, and office staff for the amazing job they’ve all done so far this spring. It definitely hasn’t been easy so far, but they haven’t missed a beat.

Good luck with the rest of the spring and summer seasons and be safe out there.


The best thing that I can say about this spring is that it’s nice to have a normal planting season for once. The application of fertilizer, seed, and chemical has been moving at a steady pace. According to the USDA report, about 35% of crops have normally been planted by this time of the year, and we’re seeing actual numbers above 50%. The high pressure ridge over Nevada has helped keep the Midwest dry for the past few weeks, and it looks that this week will be similar. I have questioned if the chemical will be able to work with the dry weather. The answer is yes—there has been enough moisture to get those chemicals working in the soil, but we still need to keep focused on using the right chemicals to control weeds. Weeds like chickweed and marestail are difficult to control and require the right mix to clean up the weed pressure. Send your weed pictures to your Landmark agronomist, so they can help you create the right strategy for effective weed control.

 

From the Field 4-29-2020

Hello, and welcome to the From the Field update week two. Planting season is well underway for soybeans, corn, and alfalfa, and we’re seeing dust behind the planters for the first time in a couple of years! The majority of alfalfa seedings in our area will be wrapping up this week, and the progress of corn and soybean planting is tracking well above the 5-year average for Wisconsin.

With all the early planting progress in soybeans, remember the importance of seed treatments. While the soil may be dry, it remains very cool. A quality seed treatment containing an insecticide and fungicide remains vital to having a healthy stand throughout emergence. Landmark also offers a premium seed treatment with enhanced nematode, white mold, and sudden death control. Be sure to talk with your local agronomist about getting your soybeans treated before planting into these cold soils.

Be safe and have a great planting season!


Here in the southeast corner of the state, corn planting is off to a much better start than last year. Spring field conditions were some of the best that growers have seen in a couple of years, and I would say that half the corn in this area is in the ground—we just need a good stretch of heat to get it out since nothing has sprouted yet. This early stretch of planting has allowed us to stay caught up with corn that has been planted, which is good, considering that the weather forecast for the upcoming week is looking a little wet.

Bean planting is a little further behind than the corn. Some of the bigger growers who run multiple planters have started, but most folks haven’t. Growers have said that once it dries up again they’ll be pushing hard on getting beans in.

The condition of alfalfa in our area is highly variable. Some of the older stands and fall-seeded fields are looking rough coming out of the erratic winter we had. Stands that are one to two years old look good, so we hope that hay inventories this upcoming year won’t be as tight as the last few years. We had a nice window at the end of March and the first week of April to get the first pass of fertilizer on, and it would be helpful to have a good second pass window.

Wheat is all but nonexistent over here, so straw is going to be short again this year. A couple of growers have worked theirs under because it over-wintered so poorly. But we’ll be looking for some heat to get the corn started, a stretch of dry weather to get the beans in, and a second pass window for fertilizer.