Saturday, April 29, 2017

Evaluating Corn Stands after Excessive Rain

One of the biggest yield robbers (culprit of uneven germination or poor emergence) is due to highly variable soil moisture conditions at planting.  Soil moisture variation can be caused by different soil types, tillage patterns, Mother Nature, or seedling depths.  Too much water at planting can limit oxygen to seed and restrict growth of corn seedling. There is also a risk of poor or uneven germination if soil moisture conditions are too dry at planting or if the planting depth is too shallow.  Be sure to have the appropriate seedling planting depth for optimum corn germination.

  • Oxygen supply can deplete within flooded soils within 48 hours, cooler temperatures help plant survival (reduce speed of respiration), but germinating seed/plant not expected to survive more than 4 days
  • Effects on germinating seeds are not well known, but they need oxygen
  • Smaller seedlings are more susceptible to injury than larger seedlings
  • Some corn hybrids respond better than others
  • If corn is not completely submerged, there is limited diffusion of oxygen from shoot to root (helps increase survival)
  • How quickly water recedes (soil type) will help determine survival
What can you do?
  • If corn is at a later growth stage, evaluate the growing point, if it is dark, the corn will likely die
  • Radicle (root) should be cream colored, if not there may be root disease
  • Surviving plants should start growing 3 to 5 days
  • Flooding/saturation restricts root development, so drought stress could develop later in the season
  • Take stand counts and use the Burrus replant decision chart
For more information, check out Corn and Soybean Survival in Saturated and Flooded Soils.

Should you replant your corn: Grower replant chart

Take a stand count by taking a diagonal path through the field and stop every 75 feet (or another predetermined amount of steps).  

Evaluate the stand by counting the number of plants in 1/1000 of an acre (17' 5" in 30 inch rows) in several areas of the field, then find the average plant population per acre. 

Burrus provides an easy to use Replanting Yield Projection Chart on their website. 

This chart allows you to make replant decisions by giving you an expected percent of maximum yield based on various planting dates and plant populations per acre.  

Line A, B, and C rows at the top of the page represent Burrus hybrids that have been placed in A (high), B (moderate), or C (low) planting rate categories.  If you are not sure about the planting rate of the hybrid that you planting, you can go to the Corn Planting Rates chart.

For example, if you planted a "B hybrid" on April 20th, and had an average plant population of 25,000, you can still expect to have 97% maximum yield potential, so there is no need to replant, because if you replanted the same hybrid on May 9th, and had an average plant population of 35,000, you would expect to have a 97% maximum yield potential.  

If you have frequent gaps within the corn row, you may want to subtract another 5% from the maximum yield potential.

Another option, is the U of I Mobile Corn Replant Decision Aid.

Burrus has furnished 100% free replant seed since 1935.  To make sure you don't inadvertently create a trait change, always replant products from the same "family" of traits.  

Have questions?  Contact your Burrus agronomist.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Burrus Footprint Planting Update (Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin) 4/20/17

A Burrus corn plot was planted at the McCormick farm near Sumner, MO

Planters are going like crazy.  Some growers are finished planting corn, but some have not started.  No soybeans have been planted yet.  If it does not rain this weekend, many could finish up planting corn. – Jordan Watson, Northeastern Missouri

At least 70% of the corn has been planted in my area.  By Saturday there could be only 25% left with corn planting done by Sunday.  Many may start planting soybeans next week.  The daytime soil temperature is around 75 F.  The planting conditions have been excellent. Numerous unidentified white grubs were found when planting a field. – Donny Marnin, Central Missouri

The southern portion of my territory is well into planting with some growers done.  The northern part of my territory is planting corn and soybeans.  All in all, I would say 60% of corn and 10% of soybeans have been planted! - Riley Young, Central Missouri

Throughout my territory, I would say 50% of the corn has been planted, but no soybeans planted as of yet.  There is rain in the forecast for the next few days, so farmers are pushing pretty hard to try and get that crop in the ground. – Colby Reilson, Southwestern Illinois

A lot of the farmers in Rochester, Springfield, and Greenview area were waiting for fields to dry up before they head out. Closer to Taylorville and New Berlin, the fields were ready to go. There was much more planted at this time last year.  – Jim Allen, Central Illinois

We've had quite a bit of rain over the last few weeks and fields have been wet. The work is really just getting started over the last few days. Lots of guys out spraying and working ground. Planters were going yesterday (Wednesday). – Jeff Seckler, North Central Illinois

Planting has not started, as of yet in my territory.  There is still major anhydrous to go on before planting. This is making some farmers a bit edgy.  It seems like we have been getting rain every 3 to 4 days for the whole month of April, equalling about 1-2 inches per week.  We need several days of dry weather to get things properly dried up. – Lance Brillion, Northeastern Illinois

Rain has been keeping guys from getting field work done.  Larger growers started planting on Sunday afternoon, but then rain stopped them on Tuesday morning.  So, there are very few acres planted and many are still trying to get anhydrous on. – Justin Parks, Northwestern Illinois

The ground is warming up nicely. A few farmers have started planting corn. There is still a lot of moisture in the ground, plus we had .88 inches of rain last night (Wednesday). Alfalfa is about 80% done. Mostly, farmers are putting down fertilizer and starting to turn dirt. – Brian Bredeson, Southwest Wisconsin

A few large growers tried to plant today in Southwest Wisconsin, but no one is in a hurry. The ground is not quite fit yet. If we missed the rain, there will be a few more going, but we got .75 inches of rain last night (Wednesday). – Tom Sandahl, Hughes Sales Manager

It is still very wet, but warmer temperatures have really warmed soils up, with some anhydrous going on. – Bob Wagner, Southcentral Wisconsin

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Top 10 web resources that farmers should not live without during #plant17

If you are wanting high-quality climate data, derived information, or data summaries for the Midwest, this website is for you! 

This important website provides a regional Corn Belt approach to determine corn N rate guidelines by calculating economic return to N application with different nitrogen and corn prices to find profitable N rates directly from recent N rate research data. 

Sorting through all of the U.S. corn hybrid insect or herbicide transgenic traits can get confusing, so that is why University contributors created a table to help you decipher trait packages spectrum of control and refuge requirements.  Burrus has their own version of this chart too!

Because repeated use of herbicides with the same site of action can result in the development of weed herbicide-resistance populations, a chart was created to help find herbicide trade names by either their mode of action or premix. 

6.  Corn and Soybean Fungicide Efficacy Charts
Check out fungicide efficacy or how well each product controls crop diseases based on University multiple year and location testing.

This should be your “go to” for herbicide updates, package mixes, site of action, injury symptoms and my favorite, herbicide effectiveness ratings.

4.  Soybean Herbicide Use Guides:
LibertyLink® Soybeans:
Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® Soybeans:
Enlist E3™ Soybeans:
With many new soybean herbicide technologies being used this growing season, it will be more important than ever to learn the proper herbicide use and rates as well as keep up with industry and label updates!

3.  Crop Pest Monitoring
Illinois:  Follow @ILPestSurvey on Twitter or go to:  theBulletin (pest and crop development information for Illinois)
Wisconsin:  Pest Bulletin
Keeping up with pest monitoring and updates is a must, especially if you are going “traitless” this growing season!

This will be your favorite website for all the soybean information that you could ever want with just one quick search!  I also happen to be an ILSoy Envoy and contribute to the blog!

And the number one web resource……

You will not want to miss out on the convenience of all the Burrus charts in one location at the Burrus website to help with planting accuracy, population, replant, fungicide and herbicide response, yield calculation as well as product ratings, and characteristics!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pana Junior High Career Fair: Why I Decided to Become a Plant Doctor

This was my third year to be invited to teach sessions at the Pana Junior High Career Fair.  Many students said they loved hearing about different occupations, from massage therapist, mortician, to nurse practitioner.  It was my turn to let them know the importance of a plant pathologist, or a person that studies plant diseases, and their contribution to agriculture or horticulture by visiting 10 stations throughout the room.  

At Station 1, I had all the students raise their hand if they were Irish!  We learned that they might be here because of a potato disease, called late blight, which caused the Irish potato famine during the 1840's.  They also learned the ergot of rye disease was eaten and caused severe restrictions of blood vessels, which led to limbs falling off.  This was known as "holy fire" or "St. Anthony's Fire" during the middle ages.  It could also cause people to have hallucinations and has been linked to the Salem witch trials.  Lastly, do you know why the British drink tea?  During the 1800's, coffee rust devastated the coffee crop, so they had to switch their drink of choice to tea.
At Station 2, they learned that wheat is a staple food for humans and how we have struggled with diseases of wheat such as rusts and smut throughout history.  Today, in Illinois, we have identified stripe rust.  Plant pathologists and wheat breeders work hard to keep our wheat healthy so we can have breads, pastries, pasta, and noodles!
At Station 3, they discovered that fungus is always among us and you are actually breathing fungal spores right now!  Most plant diseases are caused by fungal pathogens.  However, we eat fungus, like mushrooms, but be careful not to eat any that are poisonous!  Other fungi are important because they break down organic matter, such as wood in your yard or the strawberries in your fridge.

At Station 4, they realized how important crops such cotton and flax are because they are used to make cloth!  Without them, Burrus would not have caps, shirts, jackets, or blankets to give away!

At Station 5, they learned the importance of trees, especially oaks, since they are the state tree of Illinois!  They can be infected by plant disease and injured by nonliving factors.  Oak wilt is a disease of oaks and can be avoided if we do not prune in the spring.  Galls on oaks are caused by a tiny wasp, and make trees unsightly!  A disease that you might find at home on your ornamental pear or apple in the spring is called Fireblight, a disease caused by bacteria.  Why are trees important?  Without them we would not have oxygen, paper, desks, pencils, houses, baseball bats, or bowling pins.

At Station 6, they learned that plant diseases can also be caused by viruses.  Viral diseases plague mainly fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals.  They are controlled by implementing biotechnology.  One viral disease of tulips, called tulip break, was used for good and not evil.  Once the tulip was infected, it caused the tulips to have cool designs on the petals.  These could be propagated and sold for a lot of money!  Without healthy flowers, there would be no flowers for Mom on Mother's Day or for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day! Check out our awesome, Burrus Agronomy Intern, Maggie Prather, in the background!
At Station 7, they learned that corn could get diseases on ears, stalk, and roots.  As an agronomist and Certified Crop Advisor (CCA), I help to advise farmers on how to make wise economic and environmental choices on how to treat these diseases.  Without corn, there would be no beef and many other products.  Did you know that food grade corn from Illinois is used to make Doritos?  Corn makes products sweet and helps to fill our gas tanks.  
At Station 8, they learned the main pest (or disease) of soybeans was not caused by a fungus, bacteria, or virus.  The main pest of soybeans is a tiny, round worm called a nematode!  This pest causes farmers to lose millions in yield each year.  As an agronomist and CCA, I help farmers choose varieties with resistance or suggest seed treatments for pests like this.  As an Illinois Soybean Association Soy Envoy, I blog, podcast, and video soybean problems and solutions, so farmers can keep their soybean yields high, in order to have food, crayons, sweetness, soaps, cosmetics, and so much more!

At Station 9, we discussed the fact that we must try to keep some nasty plant diseases out of our country, states, or counties by exclusion or quarantines, to keep our crops safe.  This is why the USDA is extra careful about keeping fruits, vegetables, and other plants out of our country at ports of entry.

At Station 10, we went over all of the different ways throughout history that humans have tried to control plant disease.  

Lastly, we asked a bonus question:  What was one of the most important human medicines made from a fungus?  One shy, little, red headed girl was the only one to answer, "Penicillium".  She wants to be a biologist when she grows up and she made my day!