I don’t know about you, but spring planting season is probably the part of the job I enjoy the most. As we move from winter into spring and it starts to green up, getting out in the field again is always a great feeling. So far, the spring of 2019 has brought below average temperatures for the majority of February and March. Mother Nature has just had a hard time coming out of winter, but it's looking like a warm up is on the horizon. Here are some items to watch out & consider as you begin spring planting 2019:
Soil Temperature @ 50 Degrees: A good rule of thumb for when to start planting corn is when soils reach an average soil temperature of 50⁰or above every morning at 7:00 A.M. for a week. When soils are cooler than 50⁰, typically emergence will be delayed for a few weeks. The longer the seed sits in cold soils, the more potential for exposure to pathogens, reducing the chance of germination.
Imbibitional chilling: Imbibitional chilling occurs when seed is planted, begins to germinate and then the soil temperature drops below 50⁰. This will typically happen if seeds are planted into soil above 50⁰ and then we catch a cold rain, freezing rain or a snow storm that brings to soils temperature down. Imbibitional chilling causes cells to rupture leading to corkscrewing of the mesocotyl. This can either delay emergence or possibly inhibit emergence if the coleoptile can’t get through the soil surface. Other symptoms of imbibitional chilling include aborted radicles, proliferation of seminal roots, delayed seedling growth and potential for disease pathogens to attack the young seedling.
Sidewall compaction: Planting into fields that are too wet will typically cause sidewall compaction. Even waiting an additional 24 to 48 hours can reduce the potential for sidewall compaction. Remember we only get one chance to plant most fields so waiting for soils to dry out can make a big difference in a field’s yield potential.
Planting season only comes once a year and there is nothing more important for setting ourselves up for maximum yields than getting a good even stand on all of our acres. So, be patient- wait until soils are fit for planting, make sure soil temperatures are sufficient, and delay planting if the forecast calls for cool wet weather. These tips will help avoid early season problems in our fields and get your seed started off on the right track.
If you have any questions feel free to contact your local Hoegemeyer DSM or Agronomist.
-Craig Langemeier, Western Region Product Agronomist
At the beginning of every growing season, we have hopes and goals in maximizing our yields. We spend countless hours conducting soil tests, working on fertilizer application maps, talking to our seed dealers to place “THE RIGHT SEED” on the correct field and creating Variable Rate Seeding maps. Even though all these things are very important, we still seem to forget about the most important piece of equipment we have in the shed; the planter. In many instances, we only have one chance of planting a field correctly and if we don’t have the planter in tip-top condition we will miss out on achieving our goal.
There are many other things that we need to consider in achieving our yield goals.
Proper fertility will support that plant all year long.
Planting timing is essential for proper emergence. You want your corn plants to all emerge within 24-48 hours of each other to achieve a consistent ear size throughout the field.
You need to have a good seedbed to create a favorable zone for the seed to flourish. A good seed environment will also help create a root zone conducive to good development, giving the roots the ability to take up nutrients.
All these field conditions work together in achieving that yield goal, but it’s important to inspect your planters prior to pulling them in the field, as well as when you are in the field.
You want to give your seed the best start, so we’ve created a handy checklist to guide you while the planting is still in the shed AND when it gets to the field.
Pre-Season Planter Checklist: In the Shed
Chains, sprockets and idlers
Wheels and Tires
Drive Wheel centered
Prefer if not ran off of seed drives
Air bags/Hydraulic lines
Make sure they are square
Shape of the hole
Row Unit Drives
Make sure it matches up with meter drives
Sprockets and Idlers
¼” higher than the disk openers
Gauge wheel arms
Rubber tire in good condition and touching disk opener
Disc diameter 14.5”, except Case IH 13.5”
Contact point 2-2.25”, except for Kinze 3000 1-1.25” and Case IH just making contact
Staggered wheel setup
Pre-Season Planter Checklist: In the Field
Toolbar is level when in the ground
Dig a cross section
Not with the row
Check micro environment
Check in EVERY field
Seed tube delivery
Row unit bounce
Physical seed movement
Footprint must be present
Give it the finger test
No air pockets
Set to remove residue, clods and rocks
Close the trench
Firm around the seed
NOT 10 mph
Get that proper seed placement and spacing by doing a little work while the planter is still in the shed. Use this checklist as a guideline to help prepare your planter. Consult your planter manual or dealer for exact tolerances of your equipment.
-Stuart Carlson, Northern Region Product Agronomist
This Spring is not being overly cooperative to most of Hoegemeyer’s footprint, the Western Corn Belt. In the coming weeks, the ground will slowly start to dry out and warm up, we feel it’s an important reminder that the planting date may not be as important as making sure soil conditions permit a healthy, unharmed stand of crops.
Several problems may surface when corn is planted into inadequate conditions. These problems can also cause a ripple effect long into the growing season.
Sidewall compaction has a big effect on both nutrient uptake and root strength. While we normally relate sidewall compaction to nutrient uptake and stunted growth, it can also be highly detrimental later in the year due to root lodging from insufficient root growth. Sidewall compaction is more of an issue in heavier soils, so if you have highly variable soils in your area it is important to keep that in mind.
Many seedling diseases enjoy the wet environment a lot of corn may be planted into this Spring. While our standard LumiGEN™ seed treatment can considerably control many of these diseases, it is important to remember that these cool, wet conditions do not help its case.
We understand it is hard to stay out of the field and lay idle after that first-planting insurance date passes, but the yield loss from compaction and diseases will be much higher than the lost GDUs from trying to get the corn planted early. Be patient and make sure your fields’ moisture conditions are right and soil temperatures are at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit consistently throughout the field to ensure a quick and even emergence.
-Jonathan Williams, Southern Product Agronomist
Planting into Cold Soils
February was one for the history books for those of us in agriculture. The U.S. farmer now has access to two industry changing technologies: Qrome® for corn and Enlist E3™ for soybeans.
Qrome is a product developed by Corteva™ Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont. Qrome is the most advanced technology for above and below ground insect protection which includes two modes of action to control rootworm. In multi-year testing, Qrome products showed a balance of insect protection and agronomic performance. On top of that, Qrome will be available in a wide range of maturities and genetic platforms to help meet the needs of growers in the western corn belt.
The newest soybean trait to be approved for use is the Enlist E3 soybean trait by Corteva AgriScience. This trait is a game changer for the soybean producer in the western corn belt.
Here are some exciting facts about Enlist E3 soybeans:
The system contains three modes of action for weed control
2,4-D choline (very low drift potential and near-zero volatility potential)
This new system gives soybean growers more choice in the market place for managing those pesky glyphosate-resistant and hard-to-control weeds.
These two new technologies are available in limited launch quantities for the 2019 growing season, with a full launch in 2020. Hoegemeyer Master Plots will serve as host sites for trainings and tours this summer and fall to showcase these new technologies and to answer any questions. Please reach out to your local Hoegemeyer represenatives for more information on Qrome and Enlist brand products.
This morning on the Chicago Board of Trade, corn traded for just over $3.70 per bushel. Compared to the last few years, this is a good price and might make you rethink your crop rotation. With depressed soybean prices and a full moisture profile in most of the Hoegemeyer footprint, I think we’re going to see some acres switch yet this spring. However, when planting corn-on-corn, there are a few factors to consider.
Hybrid selection. Hybrid selection might be the most important factor when planting corn-on-corn.
Find a product with an above average disease package
Find a product that has a good stress emergence score, as corn-on-corn fields will have more residue to contend with versus rotated acres
Hoegemeyer announced we will have Qrome® products available for sale during this coming growing season. Consider these new products as they will bring the same great corn rootworm protection you are accustomed to with an AMXT™ trait stacked product, but with more product options and increased yield potential.
Nutrient Management. Corn-on-corn fields are going to take and use more pounds of Nitrogen per acre than rotated fields. There are two reasons why:
Fields will see approximately 45 lbs./acre Nitrogen credit if rotating from soybeans
Soil Nitrogen mineralization is reduced in corn-on-corn systems due to the slower rate in which corn residues break down relative to soybean residues
Soils also tend to warm slower in corn-on-corn systems due to an increase in crop residues covering the soil surface - further slowing the Nitrogen cycle.
Field selection. When deciding which fields should be rotated vs. fields that could remain in corn, there are a few things you should look at. Fields with higher organic matter, irrigation and better fertility are going to be better options to remain in corn. The ability of soil to serve as a source of Nitrogen for crop growth is directly related to its organic matter content. Fields with higher organic matter will be better suited to mineralize Nitrogen that is accessible to the plant throughout the growing season. However, in dryland situations, fields with higher organic matter content will have higher water holding capacities. In fields with irrigation, water will not be a limiting factor.
These considerations can help you evaluate your crop rotation this spring and bring you success planting corn-on-corn. If you have any product questions, feel free to contact your local Hoegemeyer representative.