Summer Update: Ag Partners Southern Region

Jul 19, 2019

Summer Update: Ag Partners Southern Region
By Ryan Petersen, Sales Agronomist/CCA

Crops in the southern region of the Ag Partners footprint along the Arkansas River Valley are looking really good so far this year, considering all the early challenges we had to work through. There is strong yield potential for corn and soybeans going forward, but we have a way to go before we can fill the grain bins.

Corn in the area ranges from V10-R2. We had adequate growing conditions through pollination and soil moisture profiles have been full up to this point. A few things to consider at this point in the summer to maximize yields are fungicide, fertigation, and irrigation. The heavy rains, heavy dew and dense crop canopy that we have this year are perfect for disease progress. I have noticed grey leaf spot, physoderma, Northern corn leaf blight, and lots of common rust while walking fields. Some fields have a combination of diseases all working together to take top end yield. I have yet to find Southern Rust in my area but it has been confirmed in southeast Kansas, so it’s only a matter of time before it gets here. Southern rust is the most aggressive of the above diseases and can spread from bottom to top of a corn plant within a week with the right conditions. It's not too late to consider a fungicide application to prevent the spread of Southern rust and stop the other diseases in your fields. A fungicide application will still be profitable up to the R4 growth stage when dealing with Southern rust. There are many benefits from a fungicide application on top of disease prevention including plant health and stress mitigation on these days with triple digit summer heat and wind. To my growers I have been recommending flying on Trivapro® fungicide now to prevent the spread of the present disease and the up and coming Southern rust. 

The next thing to consider is irrigation and fertigation. At the R3/milk stage we will hit peak water usage of around .35 inches of water use per day. An at-capacity soil water profile will be depleted very quickly at this rate. The key is to not get behind. We need to make sure we keep adequate soil water profiles if possible, through irrigation or timely rain. It is also a good time to run fertigation after tassel and pollination is complete.  A corn plant will consume around 35 percent of its total nitrogen uptake post flowering. A fertigation pass of 20-30 pounds of Nitrogen post flower will pay off big time. Years like this with record yields possible it is an easy management decision if you want to push your yields to new limits. 

Lastly, soybeans are across the board on growth stages from V2 to R2. We need to be finishing up our post herbicide applications on the earlier planted soybeans and be scouting for bugs. We have a long way to go on the soybeans and from what I’ve seen, we need to keep an eye on bug pressure as well as disease. I have not seen any fields with threshold levels of insect pests but if you get 2-3 species defoliating soybean leaves like Japanese beetles and Bean Leaf Beetle to name a couple, we could run into problems.

As always be sure to contact your Ag Partners agronomist with any questions you may have and let’s make the best of the 2019 growing season with the hand we’ve been dealt.  Like I said earlier, there is strong yield potential out there and we need to capitalize on the opportunity.

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