Your Local Weekly Ag Partners Agronomic Update.

The one-stop-shop to hearing everything you need to know this week about what is happening in your fields.

This week’s featured agronomists are:

Jake Heitshusen – LeSueur
Erin Goebel & Joseph Stransky  – Owatonna
Gregg Gustine- Pine Island

 Zach Thompson – Lewiston
Brady Kinneman – Ellsworth

Scroll down to hear from your local agronomist.

Belle Plaine – LeCenter – LeSueur

Jake Heitshusen

Once again moisture is no issue around these parts! We are finally starting to get some sunshine and heat with more in the forecast (fingers crossed). With all this moisture and heat, the crop and weeds are growing quickly. Spraying post emergent corn will pick up over the next few days, as well as spreading planned sidedress applications. Scouting fields this season will be important again as weed escapes are being found in historically heavy weed pressure areas.  Therefore, it will be imperative to make sure we err on the heavy side of herbicides instead of trying to cut corners to kill these weeds. It will not be long now and the corn will be tall enough to shade out some of these weeds. As we have preached before and I preach even to myself every now and again; “Spray early and let the residual do the work”.


Giant Ragweed taking off in Sibley County

Kenyon – Morristown – Owatonna

Erin Goebel

Joseph Stransky


Over the past week scouting, I have seen the corn grow from the VE-V1 stage to V2-V3 stage this week.  We received the rain we had been waiting for plus some additional.  There has been some much needed heat this past week as well. Along with the heat has come greater weed pressure, with Giant Ragweed emerging up along headlands and in patches throughout our fields. We have been busy trying a new tool, taking a stand count with a drone. This new technology has been very efficient in getting a population reading across an entire field. This has been very crucial this year.  Dry, cool conditions at planting has led to thin stands in places and uneven emergence.

Pictured above is a section of a field flown with a drone.  The green circles represent corn plants and the red represents missing plants.  This particular area had a plant population of 31,000 seeds per acre.

Pictured above: We compare drone results against the whole field grid map of the population. In this particular field the target population was 35,000 and after we flew it came back as 33,000.

Wanamingo – Pine Island – Cannon Falls -Goodhue -Lake City

Gregg Gustine Agronomist Pine Island

Gregg Gustine

With warming temperatures and plenty of available moisture the corn growth rate will rapidly increase. Along with it, the weeds will do the same. Make sure that any remaining weed pressure is taken care of ASAP. For every inch of weed growth in a field you can lose one bushel of yield.

If you have alfalfa standing, get it cut at the first available harvest window. Most fields are at bud stage now and leaving them stand any length of time will cause quality to decrease quickly. Also, remember to have the fields checked for leafhoppers when regrowth is four to six inches tall.


The excessive rainfall has caused soils to become saturated. If your nitrogen is not stabilized you can lose 10% of your nitrogen after three days of saturated soils and another 10% can be lost daily until the soils dry out. You may want to consider a soil nitrate test to see if your crop would benefit from a side dress pass or increasing the rate on a pass that is already planned.

Contact your Ag Partners agronomist for questions or assistance in scouting weeds, having your hay swept, or have nitrate samples pulled.


Zach Thompson

Where is my nitrogen from my manure application?  Let’s go back to when it was applied this fall.  Soil temperatures in September and October were above 50 degrees when a majority of it was applied.  The microbial activity had already started when the manure was applied converting the ammonia to nitrite, nitrate the leachable nitrogen form.  Combine the early manure application with above average rainfall and we have a recipe for disaster!


September Normal Precipitation

September Actual Precipitation

October Normal Precipitation

October Actual Precipitation


As you can see from the nitrate samples pictured below, pulled this spring, we have some severe deficiencies. These fields got dairy manure injected with a total of 215-280 pounds of nitrogen.  We currently have 32-94 pounds, depending on the field.   Anything under 25 PPM or 90 units of actual nitrogen in the top 12” is considered responsive.  How much of the nitrogen in the 12-24” zone is going to be available when the plant needs it at tassel?  My recommendation is to pull a couple nitrate samples and see where the levels are at and devise a plan from there.  Do not forget the sulfur with your side dress application- it is key to have two applied together.


Brady Kinneman











Brady Kinneman

Most row crops out are of the ground and a much needed rain has come and gone.  The only thing left on the wish list is heat.  We need 80 plus degree heat to move this crop along.  Its May 28th and we have had zero 80-degree days yet in Western Wisconsin.   Most corn fields are at the same growth stage no matter the planting date.  Crop stage is V2-3.  Sidedress season is around the corner we are currently finishing up writing our variable rate rec’s.  This weekend will be busy with
sidedressing, spraying, and 1st cutting of hay.  We will also be using drone technology through the Bayer “Sentera Program” this week to take advanced NDVI pictures and stand counts from the air.


1st cutting of hay is just around the corner

Corn is averaging at the V2-V3 stage


We began our fertilizer storage addition project at WWAS in mid-May.  It is moving along very quickly.  Footings and
floor concrete was poured last week and walls will be poured today and Friday (May 29th).  This will allow us to store an additional 4,000 tons of fertilizer when demand is the highest in the spring.  We rely and depend on the Mississippi River barge freight to ship fertilizer North and grain South.  Due to flooding and failing dams over the past few years it has continued to be a logistical issue.  The river is our lifeline for everyone in agriculture and when the lifeline is frayed we all suffer.