The Agronomy Avenue - January 2014

Dear Patrons,

We made it through this long, crazy harvest with some twists, turns and some curve balls that Mother Nature threw at us. The season went very well, with just a couple minor breakdowns and some long hours.

First, I would like to encourage you to think about prepays for the 2014 growing season. With corn dropping to below $4.00, make sure to plan out all your moves to make it as profitable as possible. We are taking prepays on fertilizer, paid by January 31, 2014, of 5% and the same on most chemicals. Feel free to stop in and talk to me whenever is convenient for you. Another good reason to prepay is to get some of the chemicals that are going to be tight coming into this next growing season. This includes the dicambas and some of the insecticides... Counter and Aztec, just to name a couple.

With that said, pre-emerge chemicals have had good luck for both corn and beans. This summer I did notice a couple escapes in places - mostly high manure ground - but as a precaution, I recommend bumping the rates. For Surestart, it will be going from 1.75pts to 2pts, and for Sonic we will be pushing from 3 oz. to 4 oz. These two products work great but are not bulletproof against waterhemp, so I would recommend checking your fields often. If you find any waterhemp, possibly come back with Roundup with a Flexstar for beans or Callisto for corn. Otherwise, speaking from past experience, if those weeds get taller than 4", we will not be able to kill them.

Finally, the last topic I would like to touch on is that corn rootworm issues are getting worse. I am hopefully going to be attending a seminar in January to get some more information from the U of M Extension Office. A few ways I have heard that are potentially slowing them down are crop rotation between corn and beans. Along with that, spraying volunteer corn that comes up in your beans, so the rootworms don’t have anything to keep them out there. Insecticides are also an option, especially for those of you that are doing corn on corn.

Thank you for your continued support... We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your loyal patronage. Have great and safe holidays.

Brooks Torke
Agronomy Manager

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