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:

Chad Mattes- Le Sueur
Erin Goebel  – Owatonna
Gregg Gustine – Pine Island

Brett Decker – Lewiston
Luke Daninger- Ellsworth

Scroll down to hear from your local agronomist.

Belle Plaine – LeCenter – LeSueur

Chad Mattes

Corn Tassel Fungicide & Things to Consider for 2020 
As we near the 4th of July we are quickly approaching V10 corn. which means now is the time to start thinking about a tassel fungicide application.  Here are a few things that come to mind for me.


1) Early Planting = Greater chance for bigger yields.   Fungicide increases the plant’s ability to capture sunlight and increase photosynthesis helping to fill the ear.  Our current corn crop looks amazing at this point and both Answer Plot & AYS data tells us that a corn/bean rotated acre on a moderate to high RTF score is equivalent to a 10-30 bu. yield increase.

2) Newer Corn Hybrids. For 2020, we have several companies talking about newer genetics with 5-7 bushel advantages over hybrids planted less than 5 years ago.  These hybrids are all about plant health and a fungicide application is either helping to control a disease or just helping a plant store energy to fill the ear.   Can we take 220 bu. corn and make it 240 bu. corn?

3) Increased Standability.  We often see plenty of good products that yield well but also tend to not stand well because they do everything to fill the ear, thus cannibalizing the stalk.  Harvesting corn that did not stand or shattered on the head is a bad day.   Corn with fungicide always stands better then corn without fungicide.

4) Corn on Corn.  Disease is already present in the residue that we plant into. Every corn on corn field will benefit from a fungicide application, by either curing a disease that is present or preventing a disease from starting.  AYS data tells us that on a corn on corn acre, with RTF scores of moderate to high, is equivalent to a 10-30 bu. yield increase.

5) Utilize a premium fungicide like Trivapro.  Trivapro has 3 modes of action and the longest lasting residual of any current corn fungicide as well as the most active ingredient.

6) Adding Masterlock to the tank.  Getting your fungicide on the plant, into the plant, and through the plant is why we use Masterlock.  Increasing spray deposition (coverage of spray), canopy penetration, Sspray droplet adhesion, and droplet spreading & humectancy (uptake of spray).

7) Economics.   200 Hybrids tested in 2019 @ the AP had a range from 5.6 bu to 40.4 Bu.   A medium RTF score averaged 15 bu. from the application.    15 bu. x $3.33/bu. = $50.   Using a premium fungicide + Masterlock + application is about $30 which is a 1.6:1 ROI.

Please reach out to your local Ag Partners agronomist to see which hybrids you have planted that have a moderate to high Response to Fungicide to see what a tassel fungicide can mean for you.

Kenyon – Morristown – Owatonna

Erin Goebel

How Is Drone Technology Helping Us?

In 2019 we started using a Drone that had the capabilities to perform Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images. It is a Phantom 4 drone with two additional Sony components on it. NDVI measures plant health based on how the plant reflects light in certain frequencies.


The Sony Camera: has high resolution RGB & NDVI image components The Sony GPS Sensor: enables more efficient flight path & auto calibrating light sensor  


Processing Time : Less than 10 minutes 
Flight Time : 15 minutes
Coverage : 120 acres

This is a field east of Owatonna.  The south half of the farm has a sand strip going through it.  We have had enough rain to keep that area growing. This is a field east of Medford.  The planter was split with 2 hyrbrids.  One hybrid is performing better than the other hybrid.



Brett Decker

The summer heat and humidity has arrived along with spotty rain showers.  In the last rainfall we ranged from 0-2” and everything in between within our territory.  Without the rain in some places and the excessive heat and humidity, we may start to see some corn struggle for moisture.

Currently most corn around here is in the V10 stage.  At V10 the corn plant is utilizing up to the equivalent of a quarter inch per day of rainfall along with high demands of nutrients.


We are also starting to see the first set of above ground brace roots.  As we look forward, we will start planning for the fungicide pass on corn once we start seeing some tassels.  For the most part all the corn looks very good in the area, so I like to look at the fungicide as protecting the investment and the yield potential we see.

We are currently finishing the post spraying application on soybeans.  Soybeans are in the R1 stage as we have passed the summer solstice and flowering has begun.  The soybeans are looking great and starting to node and flower out very well.  Here again we are looking forward to the next pass on soybeans being the fungicide.  Just like corn I like to protect the investment and yield potential in soybeans that we see.

Alfalfa growers have started harvesting 2nd crop also.  The yield looks to be typical to above typical for yields.  Those that sprayed for potato leaf hoppers have seen a nice yield bump compared to those that by-passed the application.  As always contact your local agronomist with any questions you are seeing out in your fields.

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

Gregg Gustine Agronomist Pine Island

Gregg Gustine

On June 27th FieldView issued a hail alert for fields in my area. While scouting these fields we came across plants that were damaged by moderate amounts of small hail. Leaves were shredded and bruising was evident on the stalks. It is important to remove the leaf sheath’s and inspect the stalk- bruising that occurs on the stalk can lead to down corn in the fall. If we can determine that the stalks are suspect at this time, we can adjust harvest timing to get the field combined before it goes down.


June 27th hail damaged corn leaves June 27th hail damage on a corn stalk


A fungicide application after a hail storm can be highly successful in protecting corn yield, if the field’s corn plants were not catastrophically damaged. The field should be evaluated before the application to see if it still has good yield potential. Leaf loss of over 50% or severe stalk bruising may reduce yield potential to the point where an application is not warranted. If the corn is small (V-6 or less) the application should be made as soon as possible and corn larger than that should receive an application at tassel. It is important to remember that many of the diseases that are favored by wounding are not controlled with foliar fungicide such as those caused by bacteria. Some examples are Goss’s wilt, common smut, and some stalk rots. Because of this, we should not just apply the fungicide and forget the field. Hail damaged fields should be monitored closely for the rest of the season to insure proper harvest timing for maximum yield.


Luke Daninger

This week was rather eventful as we got anywhere from 1.5-9” of rain Sunday overnight throughout our territory. Corn is all about V9-V10 with soybeans at R1. Corn fungicide is coming upon us quickly.  With grain corn, make sure to consider spraying moderate to high responding hybrids as they give a profitable response 80% of the time according to AYS, with a median response last year of 15 bu/ac.  For corn silage, fungicide is worth about 3 tons wet plus greater feedability.  Suppression of mycotoxins is also an added benefit.  As alfalfa comes off fields for second crop, be sure to check for leaf hoppers as the weather has been very conducive for them. Happy 4th of July!