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!