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The Cropwalker - Volume 1 Issue 2

Smart people always read and follow label directions.

Jonathan and Patrick’s Crop Newsletter

First Issue Feedback;  Has been very positive, from “I like what you wrote”, to” I was just thinking about a couple of those issues” to “what about researching something for me”. We hope to stay on top of current issues. If you have a question send it to us and we will look into it.


Question from a reader; I often see glyphosate+24d ester for alfalfa termination. As more growers have dicamba on farm I think glyphosate + dicamba works well too.  why the NIS? I have never had issues with glyphosate + 24D ester. Answer: There is no research comparing 2,4-D + glyphosate vs. Distinct or Engenia + glyphosate in the fall to control alfalfa. There are a lot of mixtures that individuals have successfully used. The research that I quoted had a NIS. Is it needed? Don’t know. I think using glyphosate plus either dicamba product or 2,4-D Ester will control alfalfa if sprayed this fall.

Wheat Responds to Phosphorous (P) at Planting

Last week we gave you expected yield response to P at planting either with the seed or broadcast. Ideally you have dry fertilizer P at planting. This can be with an air cart or mixed with the wheat seed and down the tube. A 100 bu/ac wheat crop removes about 62 lbs./ac in the grain and 72 lbs./ac in the grain plus straw. If you cannot apply P with the seed, broadcasting and working in 62-72 lbs./ac will give the same type of response as the starter at a lower rate. If you own the land and want to maintain soil test levels you have to apply this P at some time. And it should be worked in. Working it in after soybean harvest gives weed control and gets the crop off to a fast start. As we get later into the season you may not have time to be working in fertilizer.

What Is Going on With Ear Moulds in Corn

There definitely is a difference among hybrids. There is a difference in geography. There may be a difference across a field with lower areas where fog settles longer having more infection. All of the why’s are academic now. The real question is what to do. The longer you leave corn in the field the more the mould will grow. At this point we do not know the level of toxin produced. Best bet is to start harvest as soon as possible and take some to the elevator. If you can see differences in the field or hybrid differences then harvest separately if you can.

Did Using Fungicides Reduce Ear Moulds

Too early to know. There was some research years ago that suggested using a strobilurin fungicide would increase moulds in corn. Recent attempts to increase moulds with a strobilurin in corn have been unsuccessful. It is a bit of a moot point since most of the fungicides used on corn were a combination of a strobilurin and a triazole. The consensus of researchers I talked to believe that if you use a combination strobilurin and triazole there is no negative effect on moulds. Not sure how many acres would have been sprayed with a product that was only a strobilurin.

How Much P&K Should I Broadcast?

I like to broadcast enough to replace nutrients removed. Consider a 3-year rotation of wheat (100 bu) soybeans (60 bu) and corn (200 bu). Then presuming you are using a starter on corn and wheat that supplies 30 lbs./ac P on each crop. The total removal of P is 240 lbs. and K is 330 lbs. This means that over 3 years you still need 180 lbs./ac P and 330 lbs./ac K. These rates will replace what is removed. There is enough variation across fields to warrant variably applying P&K.

Will Eragon Dry Down Green Soybeans and Nightshade

Note from BASF Coverage is key. Have seen issues with larger fleabane where the spray boom knocks it over or only covers the bottom half. Higher water volumes, 20-30 gal/ac might be required.

If you have glyphosate resistant weeds, use the high rate (60 mL/ac) of Eragon with glyphosate. The low rate will not be enough. Spray in the middle of the day 9 am to 6 pm for applications at this time of year. Avoid when dew is present. Soybeans will take longer to dry down vs edible beans, but also dependent on environmental conditions. If targeting fleabane or nightshade – it can take up to 2-3 weeks for the plants to dry down – may knock off some berries, but maybe not all of them Grasses and vol. corn will not be controlled. Need to add glyphosate for grasses, not many options for vol corn at this time of year

Hydra Hume, Growth Regulators and other Non-Traditional products

Every year there is a crop of these. Not always new. Hydra Hume from Helena has been around for years. It claims to allow you to build organic matter faster. There is a certain marketing strategy to these products. If the company can get a respected researcher to look at the product they will claim that so-and so is researching this product. Reality is that public researchers need funds to carry on their programs. If they get funds to look at a product and do that in conjunction with something they really want to look at they will do it. They may want to look at using a fungicide for a specific disease control. A company with a non-traditional input product will let them use their product with the fungicide. Researcher then looks at disease control with and without the product. Everyone wins. I think growers should look at these products on a limited basis many years. Typically, if you do you may not be any wiser about the product but will gain insight into another aspect of your crops.

What’s the lowest rate of wheat starter I can go on high testing soils? Typically the equipment is the limiting factor. 2.5 gallons of 6-24-6 isn’t practical due to uneven application (yes, you can cut it with water, but honestly, why bother?), so on many soils 5 gallons is the rate applied. When it comes to dry fertilizer, 50 lbs./ac of MAP or MESZ is the lowest I would apply. That is about the same amount of product on a weight basis as 5 gallons of 6-24-6 but has twice the phosphorus.

When should I spray off my cover crop? If you are planning on doing tillage this fall, 7-10 days prior to tillage. If you have weeds present that require a burndown prior to a hard frost, then they should be controlled prior to a hard frost. If there is fleabane that will flower, control it sooner than later. There is no benefit to using Eragon as part of your cover crop burndown. Mixes should be glyphosate plus 2,4-D Ester or Choline, or glyphosate plus dicamba. After a hard frost consider switching to Distinct instead of dicamba.

I’ve applied manure to the field, when can I soil sample? The best time to sample is PRIOR to the manure application, but having said that, manure does get spread on fields due for soil sampling. In speaking with one soil lab, the comment was to wait a minimum of 6 weeks prior to sampling. The longer the better. A rule of thumb in the past has been 3 months. Factors that could affect the length of time between application and sample include; manure type, amount of rainfall and temperature.

Should I fall apply Boron? With my experience in corn you can expect about half the response that you would get with spring applied boron.

Preliminary Soybean Yields First soybean fields off seem to be running 20-25% above long term averages. Keep this in mind when putting together soil fertility plans this winter.

Control Perennial Sow-thistle this fall While soil sampling this fall I was reminded how competitive perennial sow thistle can be on the crop. Keep on top of controlling it, more than one kick at the can is needed.

Perennial Sowthistle reducing growth in Oat Cover Crop

The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. -

John F. Kennedy