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:

Courtney Wolf – Belle Plaine
Chris Soltau – Goodhue
Garrett Johnson  – Morristown
Brett Decker – Lewiston

Brady Kinneman- Ellsworth

Scroll down to hear from your local agronomist.

Belle Plaine – LeCenter – LeSueur

Courtney Wolf

Spring is here and we are getting close to crunch time. We have been busy staging seed orders and getting those delivered out to the farm. Now is a great time to double check that you have your plan in place on where all your varieties are going, that your planting prescriptions are created, and that they are loaded into the monitor and ready to go. While we wait for the weather to turn more favorable, now is another chance to look over your fertilizer and pre-emerge chemical plans with your Ag Partners agronomist.

Pine Island – Cannon Falls -Goodhue -Lake City

Chris Soltau Agronomist Goodhue

Chris Soltau

All of us are hoping for excellent planting conditions to maximize our bushels for the above normal prices of crops.   With the increased cost of fertilizer, we will want to help maximize your nitrogen efficiency.  Below are a couple of products that will help:

Instinct Nxtgen is a stabilizer added to urea that is applied at 24oz per acre.  It is essentially N-Serve for urea.  Corteva data says Instinct Nxtgen:

  • Increases average yield by 5.2% when used with spring applications
  • Promotes 28% greater soil nitrogen retention
  • Reduces leaching by 16%
  • Lessens greenhouse gas emissions by 51%

AYS trials have shown 7-12 bushel yield increase per acre.  For a cost of around $12.50/acre, this may be a better investment to protect the nitrogen you have being applied, especially if you are doing a single application.

Tillage in our part of Minnesota has dramatically decreased over the years.  We now have one pass implements that work the ground shallow like a turbo till or vertical disk, which saves us time and decreases erosion.  If you are not incorporating your urea 4 inches deep or more, you are subject to nitrogen loss through volatilization.  An NBPT inhibitor, such as Agrotain Advanced, should be added to urea to reduce the microbes from consuming and making your urea volatile.  The risk of nitrogen loss is greater in reduced tillage than no till since you are placing soil particles on that urea prill as opposed to no till with just one part of the surface exposed to the soil.

If you sidedress urea, you are a believer in Agrotain Advanced.  We know it works because the yields are always consistent and have proven to be higher yielding even when it doesn’t rain for 19 days after urea is applied. AYS Lewiston and U of M data has shown 8 to 10 bushel yield increase with side by sides on conventional tillage corn on corn.  Agrotain Advanced costs about $8.00 an acre at 350# urea (161#N).  We only treat the urea nitrogen, not the AMS or DAP/MAP nitrogen.

Be sure to ask your agronomist about adding Instinct NxtGen or Agrotain Advanced on your nitrogen products this Spring.

Morristown – Wanamingo – Kenyon

Garrett Johnson

We are working our way through the third week of April, which looks quite different than last year. There was a fair amount of seed in the ground this time last year versus today, where there is not much movement going on. Seed has been rolling out of the shed to customers as we patiently await warm weather.
The Lamberton research station listed soil temps at 43 degrees at 4” deep.  As we all have experienced, weather can turn quick in the Spring.  Therefore, anything we can do to prepare and have in place ahead of time the smoother things can go when equipment gets rolling.  Reach out to your Ag Partners agronomist to review plans and set up delivery of products now to help ensure an efficient Spring.


Elgin – Lewiston – Stewartville

Brett Decker

What looked to be another early spring, has now turned into a cold and wet April.  With little snow all winter, it looks like the April rains have replenished most of our moisture deficit.  With a couple of sunny, warm days recently the weather outlook in the near term looks cooler than normal.  The nice thing is the moisture we received Tuesday night was a warm rain and by Wednesday things were starting to green up.  It looks as though spring is right around the corner.  With a few extra days before field work begins it is a good time to make sure crop plans are finalized.


With corn prices breaking new daily highs it is best to be diligent in planting the seed in the most opportune conditions. Let’s not forget what we put ourselves in last year.

  • Be sure the seedbed is prepped and we are not planting into wet, cold soils.
  • Good seed-to-soil contact is key so the seeds can quickly and evenly absorb moisture and emerge uniformly.
  • The optimal seed depth should be 2 inches deep for correct nodal root establishment.
  • It is important to consider the forecast for weather and soil temperatures to avoid imbibitional chilling.
  • The most critical time in a corn plants life is the first 1-2 days after planting and the first moisture that is imbibed by the seed.

As you can see in the graph below, we generally have the best chance to achieve 100% yield when planted between April 21st and May 6th.  By not rushing we can optimize grain yield and the highest economic return.

While out scouting alfalfa fields this spring, some winter kill can be found.  For the most part alfalfa looks to have come through the winter very well.  Occasionally you will find a plant that did not make it as you can see the discoloration of the root when split open.  Versus the other plant has a nice milky white appearance to the root with some nice growth coming out of the crowns.

Alfalfa loss from winter kill

Healthy alfalfa root with new growth

If any questions arise through spring always feel free to contact your local Ag Partners Agronomist.


Brady Kinneman

Brady Kinneman

This week in Wisconsin was a great week to get your sap on!  Finally, the weather broke over the last weekend into that freeze thaw, perfect for those maples to let the sap flow. Taking that Sunday drive, you noticed as you wind through the valley roads every sugar shack had smoke coming out of the chimney.  If you would have taken a picture in black and white you may have mistaken the photo for the 1920’s during the moonshine runs in eastern Tennessee Appalachian country.  As you took a breath you could smell that sweet smell of evaporating sap mixed with burning wood.  It reminds you planting season is upon us.

While nothing in ag outside is moving yet, in the office it’s a different story as we are busy creating variable rate maps for planting.  Hybrid placement and population are crucial while input and crop prices remain high.  Over the next week we will begin to load planter setup files and begin to start spreading fertilizer on some winter rye and wheat seedings.  Hope everybody is having a great week – enjoy the calm before the storm!