Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Meet Ted Ballard - New Account Manager

Joining the Burrus team this year is Ted Ballard.  Ted is an Account Manager covering Morgan and Scott counties and is extremely excited to provide the quality of service each farmer expects and deserves. 

Ted grew up on a family farm around Carrollton, Illinois where he has been involved in row crop and hay production as well as the livestock industry.  Ted is a diehard St. Louis Cardinals, Blues, and Notre Dame football fan.  He loves to travel and loves the outdoors.  In his spare time, he can be found kayaking, fishing, hunting and hiking.

He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he obtained both his Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Plant, Soil and Agriculture Systems.  While at SIU, Ted was a full-time staff member at the University Farms where he served as Senior Agricultural Research Technician and managed the Colleges Agronomy Research Center.  Here, he worked alongside several different research teams and countless small plot research studies.

Ted presented information on ILeVO and PowerShield SDS seed
treatment for growers at New Technology Day

Ted has a sincere desire to work with growers and help them be successful.  He understands the hard work, dedication and commitment that is required to ensure your farm’s success and wants to be on your team.  You can reach Ted at (618)-946-0050 and let him help you continue to grow your legacy by planting Burrus in your fields. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

2016 Illinois Farm Family of the Year - The Powell Family

Burrus Hybrids partnered again with Illinois Agri-News to sponsor the 2016 Illinois Farm Family of the Year.  The Jim Powell family from Greene County was chosen for the award, presented on September 10 during University of Illinois' Salute to Agriculture Day.  

To be on campus for Ag Day was especially meaningful to Jim, having received a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from U of I.  He was also involved in ROTC while in college.  He wanted to carry on the long tradition of military service of his grandfather and six uncles.  The seven brothers served in World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor and all returned home safely after the conflict.  In their honor, a portion of US Highway 67 is named for them.  Jim’s dream was to be a pilot like his grandfather and father but while in ROTC, he learned he was color blind and wasn’t able to fly.

Jimmy Powell, son of Jim and Janet, along with his wife and children are the fifth generation of the family to live and farm in the Hillview area.   Their farming operation includes corn and soybean row crops and have proactively adapted to agriculture’s ever-changing technology to ensure the next generation can continue to farm and carry on this rich legacy.  They have a 40 head herd of beef cattle.  In addition, the family operates the local elevator. 

The family has been active in the community serving on various local boards, levee districts, and hospital boards.  They are strong supporters of the local 4-H, FFA and other school-related organizations and clubs.

For all the Powell family does on and off the farm and for the manner in which they do it all together as a family, we are proud to salute them as the 2016 Illinois Farm Family of the Year.

Read more about the Powell family in the Illinois Agri-News article here

Friday, October 7, 2016

How high can Hoblit 384LL yields go?

Picture sent by Donny Marnin, Account Manager, central Missouri
It has been exciting to receive updates from Account Manager Donny Marnin about the yields of the Hoblit 384LL soybean variety in central Missouri. This variety is a top seller not only for its performance, but also because of its maturity range.  Since a 3.8 maturity can be planted within such a large area, during the last several years we have tested and proven that the 384LL can yield in multiple soil types and in multiple environments within the Burrus territory. However, in the recent ILSOY advisor blog:  Sassy, Savvy, and Shrewd Soybean Selection for 2017, I mentioned that some soybean varieties have a sweet spot for certain areas, and the Hoblit 384LL thus far appears to really feel at home in Missouri.

This soybean is of average height with great standability and, of course, alot of pods!  It has a good disease package, but can respond to fungicides if conditions are favorable for leaf diseases during podfill.  Lastly, if you have had a history of SDS or are planting early, we would highly recommend the addition of PS SDS (ILeVO®) seed treatment with this variety.  To learn more about the Burrus LibertyLink® Line up, you can visit the Burrus Soybean Products Selection Guide.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Meet Pete George - New Sales Manager

We are excited to introduce a new Burrus Sales Manager, Pete George.  Residing in Utica, Illinois, Pete has the pleasure of working with five Account Mangers serving customers in 20 counties across west central Illinois.  Pete has had the opportunity to be around agriculture the past 19 years with his In-law’s farming operation in LaSalle County. 

Pete’s wife, Tricia, is a registered nurse.  Their family includes son Matt, 14, who just started his freshman year of high school and daughter Abbie, 12, who is in 7th grade.  Pete and his wife enjoy watching their kid’s sporting events as they are involved in football, track, basketball and volleyball.  He also enjoys golfing, but his true passion is hunting waterfowl and upland birds with his 6 year old chocolate lab.    

Pete joins Burrus with 20 years of sales experience, including working in the grain business for 6 years as a Farm Marketer for Cargill, Inc. covering northern Illinois. Prior to joining Burrus, Pete worked as an Account Manager for DuPont Pioneer in Woodford and Marshall Counties.  Pete’s desire is to help growers be successful by assisting them in making good business decisions.  Pete is proud to be a member of the Burrus team.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Can you Reduce your Soybean Planting Population?

University research has shown many times that it can be done, but yet, some growers are still uneasy. With today’s farm economy, I am getting asked about reducing soybean planting populations quite frequently. 

We usually start with a soybean planting populations of around 140,000 seeds per acre for 30 inch rows, but this will increase with narrow row spacing. For more information, check out information at Soybean Production in Missouri. You can start to decrease soybean population if you have excellent seed quality, seed treatment, pre and post residual herbicides, and ideal planting conditions. A target should be around 100,000 plants per acre as a final stand, and in some situations, you can get away with lower stands, without replant, if stands are consistent across the field. 

In the past several years, two Burrus dealers took my challenge to do some “on farm” testing to see if reducing soybean planting rates could work on their farm. This year, Burrus dealer Jason Zimmer, located near Reddick, did his own on farm trial. He planted 24 rows (not replicated) of Power Plus® 28H5™* treated with PowerShield® at planting populations of 75,000, 100,000, 125,000, and 150,000. The field was planted on May 6th into no-till, 30 inch rows, with a burndown, pre residual, and post of glyphosate. There was significant disease pressure this year! Here are the results:

75K – 62.9 bu/a

100K – 65.6 bu/a

125K – 65.6 bu/a

150K – 66.9 bu/a
*No significant yield differences in 100K, 125K, and 150K planting populations.

In 2015 Burrus Dealer, Pete Gill offered Burrus the use of 3 soybean plots to evaluate seed treatments and plant populations. Each of small plots were around 200 x 300 feet in size and located within cornfields, so the planting date remained the same on May 18th, 2015 and only received a post application of glyphosate. Each of plots were planted with 3 replications (6 row strips) of 3 different seed treatment mixes as well as untreated of the soybean variety PowerPlus® 32D5™*. Each of the plots consisted of a different soybean population: 70,000 140,000, and 200,000 seeds/acre. There was light weed pressure and possible residue issues that could have increased variability within these plots. Disease pressure was light. 

Every year will be different, but, recently weed and disease pressure have some growers spending additional input cost towards residual herbicides and “game changer” seed treatments such as PS SDS (PowerShield® + ILeVO®), to gain cleaner fields and insurance against disease. With this added peace of mind, could we lower input costs by reducing seed costs? The answer is yes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Meet Paige Ehnle - New Account Manager Trainee

Join us in welcoming Paige Ehnle as a Burrus Account Manager Trainee. Paige lives in Edelstein, Illinois on her family’s corn and soybean farm. Paige is a recent graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in Agriculture Education. After many experiences in the classroom, she quickly realized that she missed working with farmers on a daily basis.

Her farming background, in conjunction with the wide variety of experiences working in different sectors of the agriculture industry, will help her be an asset to your operation. She is looking forward to moving into a territory and getting to work with growers in the area to meet their specific needs.

 In her spare time, she loves to work on her family farm, bake, and spend time fishing up at their cabin in Minnesota. Growers can reach Paige at 309-645-1020 or at paige.ehnle@burrusseed.com.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Corn Fields Callin' It Quits: Check for Stalk Rot

After pollination, the corn yield potential is set.  We can't add to the corn yield potential, but we sure can try to preserve that yield potential!  Think of the corn leaves (especially the top leaves) as factories for photosynthesis and their job is to make sugars for plant growth, development and grain yield.  If there is leaf loss or stress at tassel or during grain fill, the corn plant may have a reduction in yield potential.

Northern corn leaf blight that has spread into the canopy beyond the ear leaf.
Earlier in 2016, it was critical that we scouted for fungal disease such as Gray leaf spot and Northern corn leaf blight to make sure it did not spread beyond the ear leaf.  Environmental conditions that consisted of rain, humidity, and specific temperature ranges were conducive for disease development.  A fungicide application may have been warranted on susceptible hybrids between the corn growth stages of tassel and brown silk (sometimes before dent if warranted) to try to preserve corn yield.  It has been well documented that the higher percentage disease on the plant, the greater the yield loss.  Research has also shown that if fungicides are applied at the right time, high disease pressure present at that time will increase your potential for a yield response from a fungicide, which can increase your return on investment.

There are many other stresses that can occur during ear development that can also cause plants to make less sugars such as lack of sunlight (cloudy days), drought, high plant populations (competition for light/reduced stalk), wind, hail, corn rootworm, corn borer (2nd generation), nematodes, corn planted after corn (higher disease), compromised roots from lack of oxygen (flooding) or root rot, nutrient deficiency (low N/ or high N with low K), high ear placement, or poor hybrid stalk strength.
Corn that has shut down due to stalk rots.

Unfortunately, corn could have undergone many of these stresses during the current growing season at corn kernel development.  The developing ears take priority and the amount of sugars that they require will depend on kernel number. Root and stalk tissue have lower priority, and if under stress, they will receive less sugar and weaken.  Hence, in their weakened state, root and stalk rot pathogens lurking in the soil/residue can infect and cause disease.
Corn that is infected with anthracnose stalk rot.
Stalk rot can cause the plant to die within 7 to 10 days, which in turn, causes poor ear fill or finished ears, increased ear rots in wet weather, yield reduction between 5 to 20%, as well as harvest losses.  Scout the entire field for stalk quality.  Remember that different soil types, soil drainage patterns, hybrids, and fertility can all be factors that could affect stalk quality.  

Check 10 plants by pinching  the second or third internode of the stalk above ground level.  Then, push the stalks and if they collapse easily, cut open the stalk to check for disease or insects.  Stalk rot could be lurking in just one area of the field or affect an entire field.  If more than 10% of stalks appear to have stalk rot, harvest these areas as soon as grain is physically mature with a slow combine speed.