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 February, 2017

By~ Rick Mollenkopf

Continued low corn prices are causing many growers to plant more soybeans this season.

While a potentially profitable transition, Mercer Landmark yield specialists are reminding growers to

adjust their management plans, whether they are rotating their fields from corn to soybeans, or planting

continuous soybean acres.

If you’re rotating from corn to soybeans

1. Select the right varieties as you make late season seed selections about what

variety to  plant in which field. The ability to get the right seed in the right field

conditions can make a difference all season long..

2. Start from the ground up. Paying attention to what the soil is telling you can pay off. Use a

soybean inoculant to increase the soil bacteria rhizobia which can help produce more

nodulation and increase yield. Particularly in fields that have not been in beans or the

ph level might not be just right.

If you’re planting continuous soybeans

1. Switch varieties from year to year. It`s important not to plant the same soybeans

year after year in the same field. Ignore this and you will run the risk of developing

disease resistance in the field.

2. Select varieties with strong genetics for “beans back to beans” fields to help

avoid varieties that are susceptible to diseases and pests such Phytophthora root rot and

soybean cyst nematodes . Selecting  soybean varieties with

strong tolerance and resistance can help maximize your yield.

With good scouting and management practices on your corn, soybean and

alfalfa fields, maximum yields and tons can be reached.

Contact any of the Mercer Landmark yield specialists to help you with that

By~ Steve Heckler

The recent wave of above normal temperatures has removed any frost that was in the ground and suggests that green-up may come sooner than recent years.

Even if wheat comes out of winter earlier, the crop still does not require large amounts of N until stem elongation/jointing( Feekes Growth Stage 6), which is generally the middle or end of April depending on location and spring temperatures. Research has shown no yield benefit from applications made prior to this time period. Soil organic matter and /or N applied at planting generally provide sufficient N for early growth until stem elongation. Waiting until Feekes 6 your N loss would be smaller but we have to make the application of N when we can get on the field. Choosing the nitrogen source that best fits your operation and using stabilizers is good management.

Scouting wheat before doing anything is a good practice to see what kind of stands you have, tiller counts, weed pressure and insect pressure when it warms up. I have some pictures I took scouting wheat fields in late Feburary and what I found is all the plants including weeds were greening up. Contact your local Mercer Landmark Agronomist and scout your wheat fields. Have a safe year.

Some material from: Ed Lentz, Laura Lindsey: CORN newsletter

By~ Alex Fullenkamp

Many farmers are planning to plant Xtend traited soybeans this year.  Some are doing it to make their burn down applications easier.  Some are planting them because they tried everything to control Waterhemp and other problem weeds in crop last year, and it simply did not work.  Then there is another group that has seen data supporting a yield increase and is simply doing it for that reason.

However, farmers are also concerned and confused how the total system works.  It has been a bit confusing in regards to what can be mixed together in the tank, nozzles that can be used to apply it, buffers regulations that have to be followed, and the list goes on.  Very few Dicamba products are labeled to use with Xtend soybeans.  Two of the most popular, are Engenia and XtendiMax.  These two products in particular are getting additions to their label at different times.  The best place to be up to date with all the changes are on each products website.

Also we will have links on Mercer’s web site to Xtendimax, Engenia, and DuPont’s

Fexapan tank mix websites. If you have questions on anything, please contact your local Mercer Landmark Agronomy Salesperson.

Here are the Websites:

By~ Amy Hayes

I am starting to sound like a broken record, however I have been having daily conversations with growers about preventing and controlling the rapidly growing waterhemp throughout the Mercer Landmark territory. Previously I had written about waterhemp biology, how to differentiate between palmer, waterhemp, and pigweed species, and the prolific seed production these weeds are capable of. Today I am going to touch on weed resistance, emergence, and different ways to look at your residual herbicide program.

There are two kinds of resistance we are fighting against. The first is true genetic resistance, which is a gene or trait that develops through mutation. Think of a field containing 1,000 weeds that is sprayed repeatedly with Roundup, most of the weeds die, but one survives and goes to seed. You run it through the combine, and you have more of that resistant weed next year. In this case an individual weed becomes a population. The second type of resistance is metabolic. Some waterhemp can easily be killed by 22 oz of Roundup, some die from 32 oz, and others take 2 gallons, a few of these weeds that are not killed by the applied rate of Roundup survive, and the following year the population shifts to the more resistant weed.

The next issue we face is that a number of weeds are resistant to MULTIPLE herbicide sites of action. The graphic below shows the number of species with multiple resistance that has developed over the last 30+ years. The key message is that all herbicides have resistance issues, and it is important to know what is and is not working on your farm to formulate the best herbicide program tailored to your individual needs.

Lastly, I have had several questions along the lines of, “I sprayed a solid residual program last year and still had a weed problem. Am I just wasting my money?” Here is where scouting and formulating a field by field tailored weed management regiment comes into play. Different weeds emerge at different times throughout the growing season. For example, giant ragweed and lambsquarter begin emerging as early as March, after acquiring 150 growing degree days or less. Common ragweed and velvet leaf normally emerge between 150-300 growing degree days, or around the time we are planting corn. Waterhemp and morning glory don’t begin emerging until June, and waterhemp continues to germinate until harvest, which is why after every rain, another flush can potentially emerge. In the case of controlling a field with waterhemp, giant ragweed, and marestail problems, we would need to layer several residuals at different times to maintain control. Products such as Zidua, Charger, Outlook, and Warrant are all residual herbicides that can be applied post emergence to prevent waterhemp emergence.

For more information about how to manage tough to control weeds and layering residual herbicides talk with your local Mercer Landmark Agronomist today.

By~ Ryan Edwards

The previous summer was dry in 2016, with late August rains, causing some variability in grain production at harvest. Early varieties of corn had already begun to mature with rains providing later planted and full season varieties the most benefit with respect to grain fill. The variability in grain fill made grain moistures variable at harvest making it difficult get all of the grain in those areas that had matured early leading to some kernel loss.

Kernel loss and areas where the corn yields were less than desired due to either ear drop or lodging could lead to additional volunteer corn this spring. These areas should be monitored closely if planting soybeans due to the potential for yield loss and the undesirable visuals that volunteer corn have in a weed free soybean field. As little as 1 plant per square yard can affect yields 5-8% as well as attract additional insect pressure and compete for crop moisture and nutrition.

The proper herbicide program can manage volunteer corn with respect the herbicide traits of both your corn and soybean crop. For ways to manage volunteer corn in your soybeans please see your local Mercer Landmark representative for strategies to manage this “weed”.