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!