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Agronomy Series Highlights

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We conclude our agronomy series this week with highlights from the featured agronomists who contributed over the last four weeks. Look for more agronomic updates as we enter the growing season and throughout the year. We hope you found the featured blogs interesting and informative, and we hope they will help you Be Ready for the upcoming growing season and beyond.

We began the agronomy series with Brian Hefty of Ag PhD. Brian and his brother Darren work with their father in the family seed and ag chemical business, Hefty Seed. The brothers also produce regular podcasts on their website, radio and television programs and hold winter workshops for farmers. 

Hefty discussed corn rootworm resistance and Goss’s Wilt, which seems to be gaining momentum in the upper Midwest. “The only way to stop Goss’s Wilt in corn right now is to plant seed varieties that have a tolerance or resistance to it,” he explains. “As a farmer, you need to find seed corn varieties that have good Goss’s Wilt tolerance. We have had Goss’s Wilt on our own farm in South Dakota, so I absolutely will not plant a variety on our farm unless it has good Goss’ Wilt tolerance.”

Robert Streit, owner of Central Iowa Agronomics in Boone, Iowa, was the featured agronomist during the week of February 7. He discussed insects to watch out for in the coming growing season, and how to decide whether or not to spray. In regard to corn borer, he says, “You have to determine the dollar value of the corn and what it costs to treat a field.

“If corn is worth $7 per bushel, maybe that threshold drops down to 8 to 10% of the plants, so it’s an economic evaluation of when you need to pull the trigger,” Streit continues. “The decision is based on the cost of the treatment versus the value of the crop and the level of success you can expect with a given treatment.”

Dr. Rob Zemenchik, Sales and Marketing Manager for Case IH Tillage Products, is a trained agronomist and was the featured guest blogger the week of February 14. He discussed how to measure for soil compaction to help you properly set your tillage equipment in the spring. As Rob says, “By taking a little time to measure compaction before planting, you can set your tillage equipment at the right depth to maximize plant growth throughout the season.”

Learn more about Case IH in-line rippers and other tillage products, and for a more detailed explanation of the steps outlined in Zemenchik’s blog, see his seed preparation video.

Last week, we uncovered some interesting research by Mike Cowbrough at the University of Guelph on common lambsquarters. The information was gleaned from one of the most popular online sources for agricultural information in Ontario, called CropLine. This weekly podcast is sponsored by the Ontario Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and features Peter Johnson, cereals specialist for field crops with OMAFRA.

As Cowbrough discovered, if you’re not getting glyphosate control on lambsquarters, it may be because the plant has pumped enough salt out of the soil that it developed a “sheen” of calcium and magnesium on the surface. As a result, the glyphosate just won’t stay on the leaf to actually kill the plant.

Our quest is to bring you relevant, interesting information in the Be Ready blog, and you can help. What topics would you like to see covered in future blogs? Are there other agronomy topics you’d like us to address? What issues are of interest to you? We value your input and invite you to complete our Reader Survey. We look forward to hearing from you!

Below are links to the blogs in our agronomy series:

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