Blogging by the Bushel
With numerous challenges over the past several years for producers, we at Mercer Landmark understand the need for a comprehensive risk management solution. We seek to provide our customers with unparalleled service to ensure maximum results.

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

By ~ Jeff Prickett
Are you a resistance fighter? Have you identified the weed species on your farm that are resistant to group 9 or group 2 chemistries? Do you know what these site of action groups even mean? If not, now would be a good time to consult with your local Mercer Landmark agronomist to become familiar with the Corn and Soybean Mode of Action Chart and start planning for an effective herbicide plan for 2018 crops.

As a resistance fighter, you will want to layer in chemistries that have effective multiple sites of action that will control resistant weeds. Look at past, current, and future chemistry plans and identity what sites of action have been used in the past and what sites of actions may be used in the future. Always try to change up sites of actions and have at least 3 different effective sites of action for the target resistant weeds in any given crop year. NOTE- GROUP 9 doesn’t count! A great way to change it up is to make sure you are rotating your crops. This will give you more choices in changing up your multi-year sites of action plan.

A great resource to familiarize yourself with chemical sites of actions is the Corn and Soybean Mode of Action chart which can be found at There you will find many useful tools to educate yourself on becoming a resistance fighter. Myself and the rest of the Agronomy Staff here at Mercer Landmark would be glad to share our knowledge and experience with you to help you define what the right multi-site of action plan would be most effective for your farm. We would take into consideration historic weed pressure, past herbicide programs that may have let escapes come through and the current technologies you are considering for 2018. Just know that we stay on top of the resistant weed species that have moved into the area. Whether it’s ALS (group 2) or Glyphosate (group 9) resistant giant ragweed, marestail or waterhemp – we have a plan and solution that will be effective for your farm. As a resistance fighter – we will be a part on your successful team. Together, we will win the resistance battle to achieve weed free fields with high profit potential. As always- We are here to help!

By~ Josh Henderson
As more fields are harvested it is important to get your soil sampled. Soil tests should be pulled every 3-4 years to keep data current. Getting soil tests is a cheap way to ensure you are putting on the correct fertilizer rates and not losing yield from under-applying or not getting your maximum return because of over-applying. Grid-sampling is the best way to ensure you are putting the right amount of fertilizer in the in the correct place. Every acre of your farm is not the same, so why fertilize like it is? Efficiency is the name of the game especially in downturns in the market. Grid-sampling allows for variable rate technology(VRT) to be used. VRT reallocates the fertilizer for the greatest efficiency.
The weather has cooled off and we had our first frost throughout the area. Winter annuals in untreated fields are alive and still growing. Spraying for Marestail, Chickweed, Henbit, and Purple Deadnettle in the fall will help your fields start off clean for the 2018 growing season. After over wintering, Marestail can prove to be near impossible to kill in the spring.
Below is a picture from this Spring of a field with fall burndown applied on the end rows (Right) and not applied in the rest of the field.

Be safe as we work through the rest of this harvest season and contact your Mercer Landmark Yield Specialist to get the solutions to best suit your operation.

By~ Jacob Lewis

Sometimes controlling weeds in wheat/cereal rye can be a challenge. I have spotted winter annual weeds, marestail, and curly dock in cover crop fields and wheat fields so far this year. I would ask a  Mercer Landmark Agronomy Advisor for chemical solutions like 2,4-D, Dicamba pre- mix product like Brash, or even Huskie or Quelex for some of these weed problems. It is important to keep these fields clean of weeds as to maximize yields come harvest in July.

Here is a very good article written by Ohio State Professor Dr. Mark Loux giving some insight to these potential wheat and cereal rye questions.

By~Ryan Edwards

With corn harvest well under way and many of the soybean fields hauled in, the question becomes, what about the rest of the standing corn? Should it stand a few more days or should it be harvested right away? A study by Ohio State showed that there is a 10% yield loss in corn that is harvested after the middle of November which will soon be here. This loss is mainly attributed to standability either from disease such as fusarium or anthracnose and/or stalk quality. While there is some disease in the corn contributing to overall standability the lack of rain in August has been a major factor in the standability for fall 2017. The corn plant has pushed as much nutrition as possible in to the ear leaving the stalk vulnerable to mother nature and the weather events. If the moisture in your grain is farther from 15% or 16% than you would like to see it may be time to go ahead and pull it out of the field. For additional information concerning late season corn harvest timing for this fall contact your local Mercer Landmark representative.

By~ Rick Mollenkopf

Recent XtenidMax label changes

Click on the images below to enlarge.

You can also visit epa-and-states-collective-efforts-lead-regulatory-action-dicamba

for more details.

By~ Alex Fullenkamp

Many growers are considering fall spraying this year more than ever.  Marestail and waterhemp were more of an issue than ever this year.  Chickweed and henbit were also a big problem for some early this past spring.

Fall spraying with a mixture of 2-4D, Dicamba, and Sencor is a great way to help control these weeds.  Glyphosate can also be in the tank if needed.  We have great flexibility with the timing of these applications too.  Some growers have expressed concerns of getting applications made prior to a frost.  This is not a concern and applications can be made into November with excellent results next spring.

Besides the obvious benefit of weed control, there are other benefits too.  Soils will generally be warmer and drier next spring where there is not weeds.   Limiting heavy weed cover can also reduce some insect pressure such as soybean cyst nematode and black cutworm.

Many growers are utilizing the Xtend platform for weed control and it performed very well this year.  The great results have made some growers question the importance of fall spraying and spring residuals.   I would strongly encourage growers to continue to use these tools and have the Xtend tool as an option if needed in crop.

Contact your local Mercer Landmark agronomy person for more information.

By~ Steve Heckler

There is several methods of weed control in wheat that we can do to take care of weed pressure. One is tillage and the other is spraying a herbicide. Since most farmers no-till wheat, spraying a herbicide before emergence or after is beneficial. Spraying a herbicide helps with marestail and other winter annuals that are germinating in the fall that can overwinter. We do have different chemical options to consider to take care of our weed pressure in wheat. We have to be careful and read the label for certain stages that we can spray the wheat. Preemergence burndown plus residual would be glyphosate+ Sharpen at 1.5 to 2 oz/acre + MSO. There are products we can use post on wheat in the fall from different companies. Spring post treatments are also available that are very effective also. Consult with your local Mercer Landmark agronomist for the best recommendations for weed control in wheat.

By~ Brian Mitchem

Harvest has been heavy across the area with beans and a small bit of corn taken off. Bean yields have been in the 50’s across a very wide area in Ohio and Indiana with lower field averages where more water damage occurred. In early July I would have thought mid 50’s was not possible but as beans recovered into August these yield levels are a bit disappointing vs potential.

Shown above, is a typical area bean plant with pods stripped off the plant. From the left shows 4, 3, 2 and 1 mature beans per pod. The biggest pile has 2 bean pods and way too many pods where only 1 harvestable bean is present. Early season stress from excess water and late season stress from lack of water is the cause of the limited pod fill. In addition, bean size is much smaller than previous years with limited moisture in August for most.

Pest concerns in beans – late season we saw heavy aphids impact the area. We are not in an area that has a lot of plants than can host aphid egg laying. We build a tremendous level of aphid predators along with the aphids.

Bean Leaf Beetle usually shows significant population increases when we experience mild winters. Surprising low numbers of this pest are observed. The adult moves to field edges and overwinters in plant residue and soil. They emerge in the spring along with newly planted beans. They then mate, lay eggs and the next generation emerges.

White Mold has been identified in several bean fields this fall. Typically patchy in fields and you might notice random dead plants starting in July. This expands from plant to plant as the collapsing stem touches others in the canopy.

At harvest you will see reduced yield, down beans typically with leaves remaining on the plants and very dusty. Also you can see small black foreign material in the grain tank that look like rat droppings. These are the fruiting bodies of the disease called sclerotia and results in the next generation. The combine does a great job of spreading the disease.

Rotate to other crops and specific fungicides at specific times are effective in reducing the disease.

Limited corn has been harvested however the crop looks like it has fared much better than beans.

We do have some concerns about PMD or pre mature death in the area and stalk lodging. Be sure to target fields that need early harvest as stalk quality issues can be difficult to manage.

Above shows the Western Bean Cutworm damage to corn ears from the area. This has been an uncommon pest for us but very heavy on light soils in Northern Indiana and Ohio the past few years. These ears were taken from a hybrid plot and are consecutive down the row. The adults tend to lay eggs in concentrated areas within fields. They are very different from other ear feeders as they tolerate company in an ear. Beyond the obvious loss of grain and damaged kernels ear molds can be increased from the damaged kernels.

Corn Rootworm populations remain very low. Almost no adults could be found this season with the exception of some selected continuous corn fields.

Fall applied chem programs – remains critical for improved control of perennial and winter/spring annual weeds like dandelion, dock, thistle and marestail. Regardless of soybean herbicide technology fall applied treatments are needed for weed control and are very profitable for the farmer.

Be sure to contact your local Mercer Agronomy branch for specific products and timing.

By~ Amy Hayes

On September 12th all Mercer Landmark agronomy locations came together to host the first FFA day at the Van Wert Answer Plot. Four local FFA chapters were represented this year from Parkway, Crestview, Lincolnview, and Wayne Trace Schools. Mercer Landmark sales people along with the WinField United team, Matt McVey (Mercer Landmark Feed team), Andy Derup (KennFeld), Alan Post (Parkway), and Lori Heiby (Wayne Trace) presented on various topics throughout the day. There was a total of 80 students in attendance.

Topics covered on September 12th included the following…

-Soil Sampling- Mercer Landmark Precision Manager, Jason Diller, and Agronomy Sales Rep Jacob Lewis spoke about the proper way to take soil samples as well as insight into grid and zone sampling methods.

-Soybean Yield Estimates- students practiced counting pods and estimating yields in the field with Rick Mollenkopf anfd Ben Stoller (Mercer Landmark).

-Corn Yield Estimates- Amy Hayes (WinField United) and Jeff Prickett (Mercer Landmark) lead students in the field to measure 1/1,000th of an acre, take stand counts, and how to calculate corn yields by counting kernels.
-Weeds- Steve Heckler and Bob Baer (Mercer Landmark) taught students about weed identification and the importance of weed management in Northwest Ohio.
-Ag Career- Matt McVey (Mercer Landmark), and Barry Rodeheffer (WinField United) discussed the vast opportunities available in the agriculture industry.
-Technology- Josh Henderson (Mercer Landmark) and Nicky Broeske (WinField United) discussed careers in agriculture related to technology, as well as demonstrated how technology is currently used in the day to day aspects of farming.
-Equipment- Doug Eickholt (Mercer Landmark) and Andy Derup (KennFeld) demonstrated the importance of sprayer droplet size by utilizing a spray table.

-Soil Health- Alan Post (Parkway) and Lori Heiby (Wayne Trace) discussed soil structure, living organisms,and soil ribbing.

Mercer Landmark is very grateful for the opportunity to work with local school to promote the importance of agriculture. We look forward to continuing this event in the years to come.

By~ Ben Stoller

Photo courtesy of Monsanto agKnowledge Newsletter, Issue 1704

Now is the time to be scouting corn fields for potential lodging due to stalk rots.

Scouting can be simple and quick:

  1. Check 10 plants in several locations within a field
  2. Pinch or squeeze the stalks at one of the lowest nodes above the brace roots.  Healthy stalks are firm and unable to be compressed.
  3. Push the stalks over at an approximate 45° angle; if the stalks return to the upright position, stalk integrity is maintained.  If the stalk breaks or remains tilted, a stalk rot of some sort is likely.

If more than 10% of the stalks are compromised, strongly consider harvesting early to avoid a potentially slow, arduous and frustrating harvesting experience.

More detailed information is available at the following links: