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.