Unlocking Higher Yield & Exceptional Weed Control

March 4, 2019

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:

  1. The system contains three modes of action for weed control
    • 2,4-D choline (very low drift potential and near-zero volatility potential)
    • Glyphosate 
    • Glufosinate
  2. 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.

Qrome Tech Sheet
Enlist E3 Tech Sheet

-Eric Solberg, East Region Product Agronomist


Categories: E3, enlist, Qrome     Comments: 0     Tags: Corn and soybeans    

3 Factors To Consider For Success In Continuous Corn

February 25, 2019

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.

  1. Find a product with an above average disease package
  2. 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:

  1. Fields will see approximately 45 lbs./acre Nitrogen credit if rotating from soybeans
  2. 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.   

-Craig Langemeier, Western Product Agronomist


Categories: Corn     Comments: 0     Tags: crop rotation    

The Corn Test Weight Debate

January 29, 2019

Test weight and grain quality have been a popular topic of discussion on social media lately. At Hoegemeyer, we take great discussions like this to heart and want to provide information on test weight in corn to use in your next discussion on this topic.

Grain yield and kernel test weight are typical parts of the cafe discussion around hybrid selection in the winter or corn harvest in the fall. Test weight also factors into the price at the elevator when discounts are applied for delivered grain that weighs less than 56 lb/bu. While the terms bushels and test weight are bantered around, it might be worthwhile to dig into these terms and compare their importance at the elevator compared to the feed mill (or total mixed ration mixer).

Low test weight causes

Test weight helps account for the varying densities of grain caused by weather and/or production practices. There are many causes of reduced kernel fill including hybrid genetics, low temperatures, reduced solar radiation (cloudy conditions), premature death due to leaf disease, ear rots, drought and freeze damage to late-developing fields.

When kernels are prevented from filling completely and/or maturing and drying naturally in the field, the starch molecules inside the grain are prevented from the natural process of shedding absorbed water molecules that allows the grain to shrink to a normal size. Artificial drying with heat removes this excess water but the starch molecules do not shrink, and grain size doesn't change appreciably, so test weight remains relatively low.

In some situations, mature kernels significantly hydrated by rain, dew or fog can initiate early germination in the field during which starch is utilized for energy leaving small voids inside the grain. Although the grain may again dry in the field, the seed size does not change, and the small voids inside the seed can result in a decreased test weight.

Test weight for a given hybrid can vary from field to field and from year to year and does not correspond very well to the yield potential of the environment. Data from Purdue University shows the lack of correlation between grain yield and test weight in nitrogen rate trials over multiple site-years in Indiana.

Transportation and storage

At the elevator, 1 bu. of corn is defined as 56 lb. independent of test weight. The weight of the corn for which a seller is paid is, therefore, not affected by test weight - 56 lb. is 56 lb. However, the price the seller receives for a bushel can be affected by test weight. Transporting and storing lower bulk-density grain is more expensive (on a weight basis), so buyers discount grain on a sliding scale if test weight is below minimum standards.

Higher weight per unit volume of grain has obvious advantages in harvest, handling and storage: More bushels will fit in the combine grain tank, on a truck or in a grain bin.

Grain drying

Kernel moisture and test weight are inversely related with higher moisture kernels displaying lower test weight. As corn dries in the field or in a dryer, test weight naturally increases if kernel integrity remains intact. Test weight increases because dried kernels shrink and are slicker so tend to pack more tightly in a quart cup. Kernels are also denser than water, so bulk density goes up as water exits the kernel.

While it is true that test weight will increase due to natural or artificial drying, the increased test weight means the corn will occupy less total volume because of increasing the corn bulk density and could potentially reduce test weight dockage at the elevator. It does not mean there will be any more bushels (pounds) to sell because 1 bu. is 56 lb. regardless of test weight.

When the growing season produces low-test corn, it is important to feed corn based on weight and nutrient content and not volume such as bucket loads.

Livestock considerations

Research on feeding light-test weight corn to dairy cattle is lacking. However, there is a considerable body of research from beef cattle showing that moderately low-test corn (46-48 lb/bu.) results in similar daily gain and feed efficiency to normal corn. This supports an early study from Minnesota showing very little difference in the gross energy of corn ranging from 35 lb to 56 lb/bu.

Due to a lowered starch dilution effect, light-test corn will be higher in crude protein and fiber, so analyzing nutrient content and using modern summative net energy equations may be the best way to determine feeding rates.

Research supports the sage advice of selling high-test weight corn and feeding low-test corn. While test weight, a measure of grain bulk density, has important implications for pricing at the elevator and transportation/storage costs, it has less significance for feeding the grain to ruminants.

The primary watch-outs for feeding light-test corn include a tendency for faster ruminal starch digestion rates, monitoring for mycotoxin levels, the need to feed by weight not volume and close attention to processing consistency.

-Eric Solberg, Eastern Product Agronomist


Categories: corn, storage, test weight     Comments: 0    

The Enlist™ system in soybeans

January 22, 2019

With the recent announcement of Chinese-approval of the Enlist E3™ soybean trait, many farmers are anxious to learn more about this new technology. The Enlist E3 soybean trait technology gives you options to control weeds that you have never seen before. With resistance to three different herbicides, (2,4-D Choline, Glufosinate and Glyphosphate,) you have the flexibility to use multiple options in your herbicide program throughout the growing season.

Along with Glyphosphate and Glufosinate herbicide resistance, Enlist soybeans also have a resistance to a new herbicide formulation known as 2, 4-D Choline, also known as Enlist. Although a different formulation from the old ester and amine 2, 4-D herbicides you may be used to, it works similarly as a Group 4 PGR.

The application window is much larger with the Enlist system than expected. Enlist may be sprayed on soybeans up to the R2 stage, and there is no buffer when sprayed against non-susceptible crops (including non-Enlist soybeans.) It is advised not to spray at all when the wind is blowing toward susceptible crops including but not limited to cotton, grapes, and tomatoes.

Wind speed recommendations are between 3-10mph, and when temperature inversion is unlikely. Some states have adopted more rules concerning wind speed, consulting with state laws in your area is recommended. Application rate of Enlist One is 2 pints/acre, while Enlist Duo is 4.75 pints/acre. Enlist herbicide is also NOT an RUP (restricted-use pesticide.) Nozzle recommendations, tank-mix partners, and crop info is available at www.enlist.com.

Quick Facts & Application Guidelines for Enlist E3 Soybeans

Keep in touch with your local Hoegemeyer agronomists and rep for news as it is released. More information on the Enlist program can be found at www.enlist.com.

-Jonathan Williams, Southern Product Agronomist


Comments: 0    

Baling Residue: Will I be better off in the long run?

January 4, 2019

Driving through the county this fall, you might have seen a lot of fields where crop residue was baled. Baling crop residue can be a way to bring more income to the farm in lean years, but will it pay off in the long run? Let’s look at the pros and cons of baling residue to see if it is a fit for your farm.  

Pros: 

  • Increased income per acre.
  • In corn-on-corn fields, you may see increased yields as well as decreased foliar disease pressure (most foliar diseases are residue-borne meaning next year inoculum comes from infested corn residue).
  • And if you have livestock, you can use residue for feed as well as bedding.

These factors making baling seem like a good plan but what could you be losing by baling crop residue?

Cons: 

  • Baling residue does cost in labor, time and money (raking, baling, and moving bales).
  • When you haul residue off a field, you are hauling nutrients and organic matter off the field as well. Table 1 shows approximately how many pounds of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium and Sulfur you are removing when residue is taken off a field. If you remove 4 ton/acre of corn residues, you are removing 68 lbs./acre Nitrogen, 16 lbs./acre Phosphorus, 134 lbs./acre Potassium, 12 lbs./acre Sulfur and many other nutrients in lesser amounts. If you remove this residue, you need to have a plan to replace it, whether that be through a manure application or synthetic fertilizers.
  • In addition to nutrient loss, you also are losing organic matter. If you continue to remove residue, eventually you will begin to deplete organic matter on these fields. Organic matter is important for nutrient cycling, water holding capabilities of a soil, and water infiltration.      

Erosion control is a final consideration for whether baling residue is for you. If residue is needed, pick fields where wind and water erosion are less of a concern. On steep slopes, leave residue cover and choose fields with heavier soil types to minimize wind erosion through the winter and spring.          

Summary:  Consider the pros and cons above and the chart below to see if removing residue from your fields might be cost-effective in the long run. The bottom line is if residue is removed from a field, you need to make sure those nutrients are replaced in one way or another.

Source: UNL Cropwatch.  What is the value of soybean residue?  December 13, 2018

-Craig Langemeier, Western Product Agronomist


Categories: Corn, Residue     Comments: 0    

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