Agronomy Blog

Ear Retention

Dec 17, 2016 by Greg Peters
Ears that have dropped on the ground are probably the most frustrating of the losses that occur at harvest time.  Harvest losses from stalk or root lodging aren’t as frustrating because they tend to remain a hidden loss because the operator doesn’t see the ears that have been missed by the combine.  Dropped ears, or ears that...

Maintain yield and manage production costs in 2017

Dec 10, 2016 by Jesse Grogan
We are in an adjustment period for farm profitability after a recent 3-5 year upswing. This adjustment of production costs versus income could moderate or equalize in a year of two. It also appears that a down cycle will occur for another 5-7 years. It is a time to carefully manage costs. I attended a retailer-farmer meeting last week and listened...

Be Cautious When Selecting Hybrids for 2017, based on a 2016 Midwest Crop and Weather Review

Dec 5, 2016 by Steve Crafton
We experienced a year of weather extremes across the Midwest in 2016.  We started out with warm temperatures in mid to late April which got the field work and corn planters rolling.  Then we experienced a cold snap the first week of May which slowed progress.  The first 3 weeks of June was hot and dry.  A lot of acres were only...

Bacterial Leaf Streak Disease

Nov 25, 2016 by Matt Teply
Bacterial Leaf Streak Disease (BLS) is caused by the bacteria Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum.  The disease was officially confirmed to be present in fields just this past summer.  Yet, symptoms of the disease were observed in fields in Southwest Nebraska in 2014.  Confirmed diagnosis of the disease has now been...

Fall Applied Herbicides

Nov 25, 2016 by Ryan Dunsbergen
Weeds seem to be on a lot of peoples’ minds recently and deservedly so.  We have been seeing increased glyphosate resistance over the past several years.  We have seen invasive species of weeds, such as Palmer amaranth, continue to “creep in” in some areas or “explode” into other areas across the Corn...

Indiana and Mid-South Crop Progress

Nov 21, 2016 by Jesse Grogan
Harvest season is essentially finished. There were long days with only a few breaks due to wet weather. Harvest was efficient as crops dried down quickly in the warm fall. Corn was stored directly in bins without going through a dryer by mid-late harvest time. Soybeans cut effectively except for some fields with green stem in early harvest. It was...

Northern Illinois Crop Progress

Nov 21, 2016 by Steve Crafton
Fall harvest in Northern Illinois is pretty much finished up.  Fall tillage work and applying ammonia has been main focus last couple weeks in our region.  Temperatures have dropped and with a good chance of rain this Tuesday - Wednesday field work will slow or be done until next spring.  Corn yields in our region is about like 2014...

Ohio Crop Progress

Nov 21, 2016 by Cody Kerr
The 2016 season is wrapping up across the Buckeye State and it sure has been an interesting season. It seems like we were on a roller coaster through the season from planting on through to harvest time. We started out wet and cold, turned dry and hot and ended it with a warm and pretty much dry fall. With all the stresses and issues we encountered...

Plains West Crop Progress

Nov 21, 2016 by Matt Teply
Southwest Missouri:  Corn harvest has been wrapped up for quite some time with the majority of the yields in this area being average to slightly below average.  First crop soybeans have been done for a while as well.  Yields in first crop soybeans were very good with...

Western Iowa and Missouri Crop Progress

Nov 21, 2016 by Greg Peters
Harvest should be wrapped up for most of the producers in our area by Thanksgiving. The warm October and November allowed for harvest to progress rapidly and it also allowed for everyone to get other chores done as well.  Many farmers are applying their fall fertilizer and manure as soil temperatures have recently dropped.   ...

Southern Illinois and NE Missouri Crop Progress

Nov 20, 2016 by Brian Weihmeir
Corn harvest for much of the region is beginning to finish up finally for the Southern half of Illinois and NE Missouri. With corn plots in and farmers discussing next year’s options, everyone is very pleased with the results. Most of the yields being reported have been well above average. I wouldn’t say that it was necessarily a...

Minnesota and Wisconsin Crop Progress

Nov 20, 2016 by Logan Vaughn
Harvest is wrapping up for most farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.  This summer brought record rain fall during the growing season and above normal temperatures - a combination resulting in outstanding yield levels across the region for both corn and soybeans. While we had a number of stresses during...

Eastern Iowa Crop Progress

Nov 20, 2016 by Ryan Dunsbergen
#Harvest16 is nearly in the books for Eastern Iowa.  It has been another interesting year with a unique set of challenges.  While there were some places that got off to a rough start, the overall trend is that is has been a great year.  Farmers are pleasantly surprised.  The pain due to the drop in commodity prices will be...

Plains East Crop Progress

Nov 20, 2016 by Leonard Luebker
The Plains East region is finally finished with harvest this year.  I heard more than one farmer tell me, “I’m ready to get the machinery put in the shed, and put this year behind us.”  We’ve had some good weather the past few weeks, so a lot of field work, and fall fertilizer applications are done.  We had a...

Understanding Statistics when Evaluating Plot Data

Nov 12, 2016 by Cody Kerr
Harvest has wrapped up, or nearing completion, across most of the country and many farmers are starting to make decisions for the next growing season. For many farmers part of the decision making process is evaluating plot data from many different sources and that data can be a bit confusing, especially when statistics are involved. By properly...

Corn Harvesting Losses

Nov 5, 2016 by Brian Weihmeir
During harvest season, as farmers, we watch the yield monitor and study how well we did throughout the growing season. Over the years, we have done a great job fine tuning our operations to maximize productivity and manage inputs. What we might forget, when combines go across the field, is the amount of yield we lose when harvesting and bringing...

Nutrient functions and fertility

Oct 30, 2016 by Leonard Luebker
It’s easy to spot problems after corn or soybeans are up in the spring, but many times it is too late for the application of the appropriate nutrient for that crop.  With the big yields shown throughout the Midwest this past year, it is important to be on top of the nutrients in the soil, for next year.  It is imperative to obtain...

Soil Compaction

Oct 21, 2016 by Logan Vaughn
Many areas have received above average rainfall with some regions reporting record rainfall through the current growing season. This precipitation trend has continued through the fall into harvest causing many delays with completing corn silage, soybeans and grain corn harvest. In my region covering Minnesota and Wisconsin, there has been a...

Choosing the Right Herbicide Technology Program for Soybeans

Oct 13, 2016 by Travis Dollarhide
There are 4 main herbicide/soybean technology options with substantial amounts of seed available to growers for planting next year. Following are my thoughts on the positioning of the technologies, especially as related to performance and weed control. Roundup 2 Yield® By far the bulk of the soybean...

Grain Storage

Oct 7, 2016 by Mark Seem
Harvesting of corn and soybeans is well underway across the country. Grain prices are such that many producers are considering storing grain for sale and delivery later. In addition, livestock producers are storing grain for later use during the winter and spring. Storing grain can lead to a few challenges if it is not prepared and stored...