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- Le Sueur
Chad Wiersma  – Owatonna
Buddy Schaefer – Wanamingo

Brett Decker – Lewiston
Brady Kinneman- Ellsworth

Scroll down to hear from your local agronomist.

Belle Plaine – LeCenter – LeSueur

Jake Heitshusen

This has been a pretty good growing season so far in this area.  We have seen some localized hail events the last few days but for the most part have escaped any severe weather (everybody knock on some wood please). We have been busy applying fungicide to both corn and soybeans and will continue to do so until application windows begin to close.

Up until now soybean insects have been minimal around the area and soybean aphid counts have been low thus far, but there is a lot of time until we are out of the woods. There have been reports of two-spotted spider mites to the north west on R3 to R4 soybeans, so increased scouting for that has begun now as well. Usually spider mites prefer hot, dry weather and even as some areas have received big rain events they are being found. The pictures above show that we have had a dry week but overall we are mostly on track moisture wise for the season except for that north western area of our territory. It is important to note that insecticide choice is much more important with spider mites. According to the U of M most pyrethroids are not that effective against mites except for bifenthrin. Our insecticide of choice would be Cobalt Advanced as it has two active ingredients for increased control.

Kenyon – Morristown – Owatonna

Chad Wiersma

At this time last year we were just starting fungicide applications in corn and only thinking about starting in soybeans. As I write this today, we are nearly done with corn and the end is in sight for soybeans. Most corn will be brown silk by early next week and all the soybeans are in the R3 stage and will most likely be reaching R4 early next week. This week is a great time to get those applications done. Our data shows that late R2 through R3 is the highest response timing for fungicide and micronutrient applications in soybeans. The crop in our area is looking very good. Most soybeans are now closing the row or very close and corn is dark green and moving along quickly. It appears that harvest will be much earlier this fall.
Planted April 24, 2020
(directly above & below)
(click photos to enlarge)
Planted May 8, 2020
(directly above & below)
(click photos to enlarge)


Brett Decker

The dog days of summer are upon us.  Corn is now into its reproductive phases with pollination taking place.  Now is the time to apply fungicide if it’s in the plan.  Soybeans are also in the reproductive stage with most in the R3 stage, which is signified by a 3/16” pod located at one of the top four nodes on the main stem.  Most alfalfa has been sprayed for leafhoppers in the last couple weeks and third crop alfalfa is starting for most growers.

Summer Report Card:

This time of year is a great time to start putting your report card together to see what’s working and what needs improvements.  In corn, it is time to start looking for rootworm beetles.  If you see some, now would be the time to see if there has been any damage done.  If your digging some roots it might not hurt to float some in a pail of water to see how many more are yet to hatch in the next couple weeks.

Severe rootworm feeding on lodged corn

Nitrogen deficiency in corn

Also, monitor and look for nitrogen deficiencies to see if the right amount was applied.  The corn plant is a big factory, so it is also time to start looking for any crown rots or stalk rots that may start to develop.  Lastly, as you’re walking the field, look for any weed escapes to make sure the herbicide you used is doing its job.  It is also important to be looking for weed escapes in your soybean fields as well.  With a drier summer than we are used to, we are starting to see weeds that are escaping the herbicide that was used.  Those weed escapes could be trouble for years to come with the amount of weed seeds that are produced.  While looking at soybeans, also be on the lookout for insects.  Soybean aphid pressures have been relatively low but have seen an increase in Japanese beetles chewing holes in leaves.

(Weed escapes)

This report card comes in handy later this fall as you start to make plans for crop year 2021.  Time spent in the fields now are well worth it to be more proactive on decision making for next years corn or soybeans fields.  As always if you have any questions contact your local Ag Partners agronomist.

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

Justin Schaefer Agronomist Wanamingo

Buddy Schaefer

The last couple weeks have been all about spraying corn fungicide.  We worked a good amount of trials in with those applications and I am looking forward to seeing the data this fall!  With corn spraying coming to an end, we are moving right into our last pass on soybeans with fungicide and insecticide.  While walking bean fields this week vs last week,  I am noticing an increase in aphid numbers almost everywhere I look.

I have yet to find a field at threshold of aphid levels, but the numbers I am finding combined with the leaf defoliation I am seeing from other insects like thistle caterpillars, Japanese beetles, green cloverworm and grasshoppers are making an insecticide treatment essential- along with the fungicide application to maintain what looks to be a real good bean crop!  Treatment threshold for defoliation from any combination of these insects is 20% defoliation from bloom to pod fill growth stages.

Pictured above: Soybean aphid counts have been increasing over the past week

Pictured below are defoliating pests that we see on the rise –
Japanese beetles and Thistle Caterpillars


Join Brady Kinneman, Ellsworth Agronomist,
to hear a brief agronomic update. 

Click on picture below: