Managing Late Season Disease

Those not involved in agriculture, do not fear. The constant zipping around of helicopters in your area have nothing to do with Russia or an illegal substance. But rather, protection of a crop.

Harvest Land agronomist Steve Dlugosz joins us from the field this week to discuss the benefits of late season fungicide application. We caught up with Steve at our Pershing Answer Plot in Wayne County to talk about the application:

As always, contact your YieldPro Specialist for additional insight. We’re here to help preserve the potential of every acre you farm.

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Eyes in the Field: Japanese Beetles

We’re seeing a huge resurgence of Japanese beetles in the fields this summer, despite the populations being fairly low in most recent years. Japanese beetles are general defoliators. The good news is they tend to feed on a single leaf, and stay on that leaf.

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As you can see here, they’ve fed on those top leaves, but the leaves around it remain untouched:

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We don’t evaluate defoliation based on a particular leaf, but rather whole plant defoliation. So even though these photos – taken in Wayne County – look really terrible, the loss is fairly minimal.

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Japanese beetles give off a pheromone, which attracts other beetles in. Many times, you can notice a few feeding, but by the end of the day you’ll have massive amounts of beetles feeding on areas of the field.

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The damage from Japanese beetles will typically be fairly localized. We’ve seen farmers hang a boom over the edge of the concentrated area and take care of it that way. There may be, however, such concentrations that farmers will be more inclined to spray the whole field, especially if they’re going to apply a fungicide soon. We recommend adding another insecticide such as Delta Gold® and taking care of them that way.

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As always, your YieldPro Specialist is available to answer all of your questions. We encourage you to reach out to them if you have any concerns.

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Crop Progress Report

This week we gained this awesome resource from our partners at Winfield regarding the 2018 crop report. We’d like to share this insight with you. It offers crop update to this point in the season, but also a comparative look at 2018 to previous years.

If you have questions or want to make an in-season decision at your operation, don’t hesitate to contact your YieldPro Specialist.

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Benefits of Early Season Fungicide Application

Disease can threaten corn production throughout the season, from common diseases that affect leaves, stalks and roots.

This week, Harvest Land agronomist Steve Dlugosz takes a look at the benefits of early season fungicide application and shares the results of a field box trial done last season that yielded some interesting results. Take a look:

Infection by stalk rot organisms can occur early in the season, but visual symptoms may not appear until grain fill. Stalk rots can cause significant yield loss when the disease causes plants to deteriorate prematurely, resulting in poor ear fill or light test weight grain. Lodging can be a problem and everyone hates running down corn!

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So how can you manage these problems? What can you do to protect your crop from disease? Best management practices can help. Ask yourself these four questions:

Which disease(s) is it?

Many Corn diseases are caused by fungi, especially gray leaf spotand northern corn leaf blightsouthern corn leaf blight.  Also most of the ears rots which were a big problem a few seasons ago.

An increasing concern is southern rust which is carried by wind-borne fungal spores and commonly affect seed corn and sweet corn. Timely fungicide applications can help control these diseases.

What hybrids are a concern?

Current hybrids vary greatly in their resistant to many diseases.  Know the strength and weaknesses of the hybrids you have planted. Talk to your YieldPro Specialist if you don’t know.

How do my current cultural practices affect disease?

Because several disease organisms survive in infected residue from crop to crop, there are several cultural practices that can help break this cycle and diminish disease pressure. For example:

  • Crop rotation allows surface corn residue to break down, reducing bacteria and fungal inoculum.
  • Incorporating corn residue into the soil can further reduce the disease pressure the following season.
  • Good weed control removes disease hosts.

When should I use a fungicide?

A fungicide decision is a matter of evaluating the risk actors that drive disease development, including the hybrids you planted, rotation, disease history, and current and future weather patterns.

Timely foliar fungicide applications are a tool that can help protect corn plants from fungal YieldPro_4Cinfections throughout the season. Your YieldPro Specialist can help when making these decisions.

Applying fungicides with multiple modes of action, such as Delaro™ and Stratego® YLD can help minimize the potential for fungicide resistance, which can occur when heavy reliance is placed on controlling diseases with one chemical class.

Contact your YieldPro Specialist today to get the most out of your yield in 2018. We’re always here to help.

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Photo Friday: Early Season Snapshots

Before remnants of Hurricane Alberto moved through our area earlier this week (some growers got an inch of rain, others only received sprinkles) we got out in the field and snapped a few shots of our agronomy team going about their early season work. Fields are planted, but now we think about early season fungicide application.

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Don’t forget!

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Harvest Land = Honest Ag

We don’t know the last time we saw men shake hands in a farm field, and we can guarantee there was no photographer there to capture the moment in perfect sunlight.

We can recall, however, the early mornings, long days and late nights we’re working with you to get seed in the ground, crop protection in the right place and applied at the right time. We’ve been running on all cylinders right there with you this spring.

This Friday, we simply want to share our latest video with you, reminding you that we’re not here to blow sunshine up your silo, we’re here to do what’s best for your operation.

Contact your local YieldPro Specialist for all your agronomy needs this season.

 

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A Pre-Plant Poem

A Pre-Plant Poem
by Harvest Land

Spring days are getting longer as we start to break the soil

Traffic slows behind equipment driven by local men of toil.

With a warm snap moving through you can almost cut the anticipation

Every move we’re about to make is a result deliberate conversation.

From plant to harvest, and plant again, we’re in a series of decisions

Analyzing data, selecting hybrids and programs and considering provisions.

Sometimes we forget how much promise can be in one tiny seed

Part of our job at Harvest Land is ensuring they get what they need.

We’ve been thinking about this crop since walking through the last

When time passes in seasons of work you come to realize just how fast.

Going forward our days will be designed around the warm sunshine or the rain

When you live your hours according to weather you come to terms with gain or pain.

And so we move into another planting season with anticipation far and wide

In high hopes that good help, weather, supply and parts all live in a time that coincide.

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Harvest Land’s Top 10 Tips for Growing High Yielding Corn

Sound management decisions go a long way to help farmers secure yields and return on investment when growing corn. At Harvest Land, we offer a full consultative approach in which our YieldPro team prescribes a field-by-field plan for each year. Through the experience of our trained salespeople and input from our expert agronomists we have come up with our top recommendations for growing high yielding corn in our trade area.

  1. Hybrid Selection

Select hybrids from more than one maturity group for risk management and to spread out the workload at planting and harvest time. Choose hybrids with consistently high-yield _DSC0537corn ratings, good standability, strong disease resistance, and a range of maturities. Our trained sales staff can also walk you through the Characterization Charts to show the data from WinField United  Answer Plots across the united states, and local plots, to help assist you in your hybrid selection.

  1. Seed Genetics

Plant hybrids that have shown good yield trial results, plus your tried-and-true hybrids. Seed genetics with built-in herbicide tolerance traits can significantly enhance control of a broad range of tough-to-manage grasses and broadleaf weeds. Diversify hybrid choices to spread risk with a range of maturities and insect and disease susceptibilities.

  1. Seed Treatments

Today’s seed treatments can protect against diseases, insect pests and nematodes to help _dsc0768get young corn plants off to a good start. The wide range of products available can be confusing. Your Harvest Land YieldPro Specialist can help you make good economic decisions focused on the pests you are most concerned with.

 

  1.  Season-long Weed Control

Starting clean with a solid burndown program and/or tillage is critical.  Aim to control weeds before they reach 4 inches in height. Larger weeds are more difficult to control and compete more tenaciously with corn seedlings for sunlight, soil, water and other nutrients. “Driver weeds” like tall waterhemp and marestail usually take a special program (higher cost) for adequate control.

  1. Fertility

Top yields can only be achieved with a solid nutrient management program.  Proper nitrogen fertilizer practices are critical for high-yielding corn. YieldPro has proven to be a YieldPro_4Cvery effective program to prescribe field-specific programs to achieve this goal.

  1. Planting

Consider geography, weather and individual field conditions, such as drainage, when deciding if it’s fit to plant. Recommended planting dates for corn tend to range from early April to early May. Spring weather can change quickly from cool and wet to dry and warm. Planting when the field is too heavy can cause uneven emergence and potential yield reduction due to poor stands and soil compaction issues later in the season.

  1. Seeding Rate

Follow your seed company’s recommendations because there are many variables, such as Agronomy_Looking at plant-2soil types, different hybrid maturity dates and yield potential on various soil types. Seeding rates are a decision best made field-by-field. The Characterization Charts your trained Harvest Land salesperson has access to, can help you decide the optimal seeding rate for your soil type and management style.

  1. Field Scouting

Spotting problems in the crop is imperative.  Check fields early and often for emerging weeds, diseases and insects to help guide treatment decisions and economic thresholds.  Season-long management of weed, disease and insect pests in corn will aid your goal for best return on investment at the end of the growing season. The YieldPro team has the solution for your scouting and diagnostic needs.

  1. Plant Health

dld-4751Fungicides are a valuable tool.  Planned fungicide use helps prevent disease pressure from negatively impacting yields especially in a no-till situation with higher residue or in fields that were planted to corn the year prior.  Every hybrid purchased through Harvest Land will have a response to fungicide rate which will prove valuable in accessing the need for an application. The other option is to “wait and see”, but timely field scouting is critical.

  1. Resistance Management

Use diversified management practices to manage resistance to herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. Select products from different classes of chemistries that attack multiple, effective sites of action. Refer to sources such as Herbicide Resistance Action Committee (HRAC), Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) and Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC).

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During this undesirable economic time, it is imperative every decision you make for your farm is thought through and driven to make you a positive ROI. Mother Nature cannot be totally predicted or controlled, but we can do all that we can to ensure our crop can perform to the best of its ability in all situation. High yielding corn can be achieved by taking pieces from this article and personalizing it to your fields. Our YieldPro team, trained sales staff, and expect agronomists can help you navigate these decisions and achieve your yield goals.

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The Final Chapter of the GMO Argument?

GMOs have been in the news lately, and for once, it’s been positive press.

For nearly twenty years, genetically modified organisms have attracted negative attention brought on by poorly informed non-experts with access to the masses. Ah, the power of modern day social media.

But as of late, a series of articles have supported the benefits, safety and value of genetically modified organisms. It is thought that this public breakthrough could finally put to bed the argument of the safety of GMOs to human health. Additionally, a well-known, brilliant billionaire has weighed in, giving GMOs a boost in the right direction in public eye.

The Breakthrough:

A recent meta-analyses, which sorted through hundreds or thousands of studies (how would you like to have that job?) to separate the fact from the noise and draw surer conclusions from scientific data, compared GMO corn with conventional varieties.

The analysis of over 6,000 peer-reviewed studies covering 21 years of data found that GMO corn increased yields up to 25 percent and dramatically decreased dangerous food contaminants. The study analyzed field data from 1996, when the first GMO corn was planted, through 2016 in the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia.

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Key findings:

  • GMO corn varieties increased crop yields 5.6 to 24.5 percent relative to their non-GMO equivalents
  • GMO corn crops had lower percentages of mycotoxins (-28.8 percent), which can lead to economic losses and harm human and animal health. What exactly are mycotoxins?:
    • Mycotoxins, chemicals produced by fungi, are both toxic and carcinogenic to humans and animals. A significant percentage of non-GM and organic corn contain small amounts of mycotoxins. These chemicals are often removed by cleaning in developing countries, but the risk still exists.Genetically modified  corn has substantially fewer mycotoxins because the plants are modified to experience less crop damage from insects. Insects weaken a plant’s immune system and make it more susceptible to developing the fungi that produce mycotoxins.
  • The study also reaffirmed the scientific consensus that genetically modified corn does not pose risks to human health.

Let’s review that last point again:

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For years the misinformed have argued that GMOs in the U.S. and Canada haven’t increased crop yields and could threaten human health; this meta analysis proved just the opposite.

 

The Billionaire

Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates recently participated in an “Ask Me Anything” online forum and remarked that not only does he view genetically modified foods as “perfectly healthy,” but that he sees them as a promising tool in a wider array of resources in the fight to reduce world hunger.

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“GMO foods are perfectly healthy and the technique has the possibility to reduce starvation and malnutrition when it is reviewed in the right way,” Gates wrote. “I don’t stay away from non-GMO foods but it is disappointing that people view it as better.”

gatesHis strong and public opinion of GMOs is getting press because it seems to be the opposite of others’ who aren’t necessarily educated on the topic, but are quite passionate (and maybe vocal?) about it. It appears that for once, someone with a mighty microphone did their homework and has made a personal decision for the benefit of progress and health.

When speaking of the argument regarding the safety and value of GMOs?
As far as we’re concerned, the book is closed.

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Information came from these sources:

After Two Decades of GMOs, Scientists Find They Live up to Their Promise

Bill Gates calls GMOs ‘perfectly healthy’ — and scientists say he’s right

Does GMO corn increase crop yields? 21 years of data confirm it does—and provides substantial health benefits

 

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