Ag Partners Agronomic Insights

Week of June 10, 2024
Local, professional reports straight from the field, from all regions serviced by Ag Partners.

Meet this week’s featured agronomists:
Brady Ayers
Chris Soltau
Kenny Loftus
Eric Soley



Belle Plaine – Le Center – Le Sueur – Morristown

We are on the downhill swing for post-emerge spraying on any April planted corn. As that comes to an end, we want to be out scouting later planted corn and any soybean fields for weed emergence and severity. This is especially important in fields that have a history of heavy weed pressure. The soybean fields that were sprayed with a pre-emerge herbicide this spring are holding well. One good thing about recent rains is that it helps to keep activating the residual herbicide, especially in those fields sprayed with Tendovo- which carries three modes of action. Below are two pictures: the left picture is sprayed with Tendovo @ 3 pints over 3 weeks ago while on the right is no pre emerge herbicide. Make sure to keep layering residual herbicide in your corn and soybean fields with each pass, to get that plant to canopy. Contact your Ag Partners Agronomist about what they’re seeing in your fields today!  – Brady

Goodhue – Lake City – Pine Island – Kenyon

This week has been busy with phone calls.  We had our first good spray day, without wind or mud, on Monday, June 10th- the first since Thursday, May 23rd.  Dispatch for fertilizer and spraying have been doing an excellent job, sharing help between locations and migrating to areas that are “fit” to go during that 18-day stretch.  I would like everyone to know that Ag Partners is truly doing our best to get to your farm as soon as we can.  The applicators have worked long into the night, on weekends, and anytime in between if there is a slight window to get your farm applied appropriately or to apply your farm sooner if it has not been applied.

Calls regarding yellow corn are a close second to application timing.  My observations are based on experience, handling past service calls, and some basic agronomic principles.  We just went through 18 days of below average temperatures and above normal rainfall.  Corn does not grow when it is cold or sitting in mud.  If corn isn’t growing, it is not making as much energy to stay green.  This explains the yellow spots in even the slightest depression in the field.  Also, more dense soils from even a tire or iron from any implement is showing up.  The denser the soil, the longer it stays wet from lack of drainage.

The other factor in yellow corn is nitrogen.  Dense soils that hold water a little longer can easily lose 10 pounds of N in the top couple inches.  Lighter soils do not mineralize nitrogen like darker soils and leach nitrogen easier.  Most yellow corn has been observed in lighter and heavier spots of the field.  I have noticed spring applied Instinct NXTGEN, in the non sidedress fields, seems to be more even in color.  Instinct NXTGEN helps with leaching and denitrification.  Also, wet soils will start the onset of crop diseases.  Those who have planned fungicide applications, should stick with the plan.  If you are contemplating using a fungicide, I would target your high yield fields, especially corn on corn.

If you have a sound corn nitrogen plan and yellow corn spots, I recommend evaluating if your corn looks better on June 17th than it did on June 10th.  If it looks better, I would not add any additional nitrogen.  If the corn still looks yellow, then I would suggest considering additional nitrogen.  – Chris



Elgin – Lewiston – Stewartville

The frequent rains we have gotten this spring is welcomed with open arms after coming off a droughty 2023. Many of the rains have been a nice soaking rain, but with that the concerns of nitrogen leaching are on grower’s minds. The best tool we have to measure the soil nitrogen is to pull soil nitrate samples to estimate how much we have left to finish the crop. Some of the results have been eye opening as to how much nitrogen supply is in the soil. Some of the fields with manure history have been coming back on the lower side, which is explainable with a warm and dry fall of 2023. It is reassuring to know how much is in the soil after soil nitrate results are back.


Below is an example of a nitrate grid sample test results. Each number displayed is the amount of nitrate nitrogen ppm. Depending on yield potential these numbers should be 25ppm-35ppm, so that there is enough to finish the crop. This map also shows the variability within the field, which is why it makes economic sense to variable rate your side dress application.  – Kenny


How does that old nursery rhyme about rain go? Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Again…wish it wouldn’t come again for 2 weeks. This spray season has been one of the more difficult seasons that I can recall, between the rain and the wind, and the alfalfa weevils. It has been very difficult to stay ahead of the weeds in the corn fields in between rain showers this year. With the last two summers being as dry as they were it wasn’t difficult to get acres sprayed in a timely manner. A wet spring like this, with corn fields that still don’t have any herbicides down, is a reminder that getting a pre down on the corn as part of a two-pass program is a great way to keep the fields clean when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. As weeds become more challenging to control, I think a lot of our Wisconsin acres are going to have to start doing a two-pass program on the corn soon. This can be done with impregnating a herbicide on your spring fertilizer or through a sprayer before or after planting.


On the bright side, there has been plenty of moisture to get herbicides and sidedress urea worked into the ground this summer!  – Eric