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:
Austin Schultz – Le Sueur
Noah Erickson – Lake City

 Justin Schaefer – Wanamingo
Kenny Loftus – Lewiston

Eric Soley – Ellsworth

Scroll down to hear from your local agronomist.

Belle Plaine – LeCenter – LeSueur

Austin Schultz

This week in agronomy, we are thankful to have received some much needed rain and a drop in the high temperatures. Corn and beans are doing very well in the west with above average GDU’s this early in the year.

Now is the time to be watching for tassels to be emerging, and time to get the fungicide on. Timing of a fungicide application is very important, and better to be early than to be too late. When deciding what farms to spray fungicide on, it is important to consider what hybrid was planted there, the hybrid’s average response to fungicide, and the yield potential you have with that farm. We also suggest spraying every acre of corn on corn, through AYS we consistently see great ROI’s of fungicide with corn on corn acres. With the high temperatures and lack of moisture, we are finding that some corn stands are more inconsistent than usual, with varying plant height and health across the farm. This year, we have also been finding a lot more insect and disease pressure than we have in previous years.

This year I have also been seeing a lot more diseases in soybeans. Around our Janesville area, we saw a large increase in Phytopthora root rot in soybeans. This disease is more commonly found in warm, saturated soil conditions, and recently showed up more after our last rain. Once you have spots with the disease, there is nothing you can do to cure it, besides be more selective on which soybean varieties you plant as some are more resistant than others. It is a relatively hard disease to pinpoint, as there are others that look very similar. The best way to tell is to have the plant sent in to be tested. If you have a problem in one of your fields, consult one of your local agronomists to come determine the issue. As always, be safe this coming week.

Pine Island – Cannon Falls -Goodhue -Lake City

Noah Erickson

Leaf Hoppers in Your Hay?
 With most of second crop off or in the process of being taken off, we should be taking into consideration that there is a good possibility that the bugs are feasting on your hay. Our biggest concern in all the different types of bugs found in hay is the potato leafhopper.  We have been out scouting older stands and new seedings.

With that being said we have been finding threshold levels in older stands and new seeding fields that are well over threshold level… There are bugs out there! Some of you may not know exactly what a leaf hopper is or what our tactics are when we are out sweeping your fields.

We like to start to scout 5-7 days after a cutting, this allows for some regrowth and getting the hoppers taken care of before much damage is done. Everyone has their own way of sweeping but will average out to be the same threshold results. The threshold varies with crop height. Below is a chart showing the threshold change with height change. Sweeping 10 times per set and doing about 5 sets per field gives you a good average across the field.

If you are seeing your alfalfa starting to yellow of the leaves and is a v shaped pattern starting at the tip of the leaf you more than likely have the hopper burn as they call it. This is from the leafhoppers piercing-sucking stylet feeding that takes out and blocks the nutrients from within your crop. When they probe into the tissue of the plant to feed, it causes physical damage and also injects saliva that plugs vascular tissue which blocks the flow of nutrients throughout the plant. This can lead to yield loss, quality loss, and sometimes a reduction in plant vigor and stand. We tend to see more susceptibility of feeding within new seedings. Below are some pictures to help you identify the leafhoppers that are damaging you crop.

With all this being said, be aware that we have been spraying insecticides for leafhoppers in the hay. If you see some hopper burn and do not plan on cutting anytime soon, contact your local agronomist to get a rig out on your ground and take care of those pests. Then keep in touch with him/her for the future and ask them to scout throughout the next crop early on so you can take care of the hoppers before they do their damage.

Owatonna – Morristown – Wanamingo – Kenyon

Justin Schaefer Agronomist Wanamingo

Justin Schaefer

These last few days have given us some much needed relief from the heat and some rain.  Even with the rain, we are still a few inches short of normal in our area.  With that being said, the crops are still hanging in there pretty well and look good overall.  I still expect to see some high yields in both corn and soybeans.

A big key in protecting those high yields is the use of fungicide.  You’ll start seeing helicopters flying on corn fungicide as tassels will soon be here!  Be sure to visit with your agronomist and finalize your applications.  Keep in mind that our past AYS data has shown some of our best corn fungicide responses during drier years, so stay the path with fungicide applications on corn on corn rotations and hybrids that are medium to high responders.  Soybean scouting for aphids and fungicide application will fire up in a few weeks as well.

Growers let us know if they have any landlords or neighbors who may be alarmed by the helicopter, it’s always best for us to address that ahead of application.


Kenny Loftus

Have you ever heard of “a million-dollar rain”?  Well, we just got it.  A well deserved .4”-3.5” fell locally over the past few days and whoa did we need. Perfect timing as we seeing tassels popping, soybeans are at R1 growth stage and that means let us finish the growing season strong.

VT tassel fungicide is a great way to add more bushels to the grain bin.  Another way to add even more is to apply some Max-In products. Like Max-In Boron, which AYS trials show almost 2.8-bushel advantage.  Max-In Boron helps the corn plant with moving photosynthates from the corn leaf to the stalk which is then stored inside the kernel.  See chart below.

Ascend is a great product that has good results in soybeans.  Ascend Pro is formulated with three proven EPA-registered plant hormones. In addition, an enhanced one-of-a-kind formulation, including an amino acid derivative.  Ascend helps add more nodes to the top of the plant, optimizes PGR activity to improve in season results, regardless of environmental conditions.  AYS trial results show 6.95-bushel advantage over untreated soybeans.  See chart below.


Eric Soley

Check out this soybean staging walkthrough with Eric!