Focus: the center of activity, attraction, or attention.
That’s what we are committed to do. We know not every hybrid fits every acre or management style but here are the hybrids we are excited to use in 2020.
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That’s what we are committed to do. We know not every hybrid fits every acre or management style but here are the hybrids we are excited to use in 2020.
Dr. Brad Bernhard joins Liqui-Grow
Soybean Industry Updates
Risk Factors for Foliar Diseases in 2019
There are many changes & consolidations happening within the Ag world. Liqui-Grow is a family owned company with more than 60 years of service in many rural communities. The owners and all of our employees have a shared commitment to each of the local communities where we serve. Liqui-Grow represents many families, that live where they work, and they are devoted to helping you raise a profitable crop each and every year.
This year has REALLY proven to be a challenge for both our customers and our employees. Through it all we have tried to help you meet the spring challenges and will continue to do our very best for you and your operations. Thank you for your support. We look forward to providing to you the same quality products and services that we have provided over the last 60 years.
-Scott, Hov & Bruce Tinsman
Brad Bernhard was born and raised on a hog and grain farm in Elwood, IL. Recently, he earned his Ph.D. in Crop Sciences from the University of Illinois under the advisement of Dr. Fred Below. As part of the Crop Physiology Laboratory, Brad’s research focused on characterizing hybrids that would yield greater when planted at higher planting populations and/or narrower row spacings. In addition, Brad evaluated different nitrogen management strategies including band vs. broadcast nitrogen prior to planting along with different nitrogen sidedress application technologies (coulter vs. Y-drop).
The key takeaways from his research include:
Nitrogen supplying power of the soil is a good indication of plant yield-response to split applied N.
Plants that received banded N at preplant produced the greatest grain yields.
When sidedressing N, placing the N in close proximity to the crop row resulted in greater yields.
Corn yields in Illinois maximized at 44,000 plants/acre in a 20 inch row spacing.
Corn grown in a 20 inch row spacing out-yielded 30 inch row spacing by 12 bu/acre.
As population increases, the size of each individual root system gets smaller.
Later maturity hybrids tended to yield more with higher populations and/or narrower rows.
At higher populations, the size of the root system is smaller necessitating the need for better crop management especially soil fertility.
2019 has been a year for the books! We have seen a lot of mergers, buy-outs and technology advancements, so here are some key take-aways and highlights from what has happened and how it affects the soybean industry.
First I’d like to start with our new exclusive Armor dealership. Because of Armor’s agreements, we will be able to provide soybeans in various trait platforms to give our customers the options they have been asking for. We are currently testing soybeans to bring forward in 2020, and you can see those in plots across our trade area.
Bayer became the proud owner of Monsanto back on August 21, 2018. To make this happen, Bayer sold their Credenz soybean product line to BASF. We have been able to keep our Credenz dealership because of our strong partnership with BASF. Bayer has a new soybean technology to get excited about as well, XtendFlex. ®Xtendflex® soybeans are tolerant to glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba offering more options to control weeds. Xtendflex soybeans are currently not approved for commercial use, but are in the testing phases to bring the best yield and genetics to farmers.
Dow and DuPont became one company, and then split into three different companies. As of June 1, 2019 the stand-alone agriculture company which evolved from, is called Corteva Agriscience ™. Under the Corteva umbrella is seed, chemical and digital products. Mycogen Seeds is part of the Corteva portfolio. This merger is beneficial to farmers, because Mycogen Seeds will have a greater traits and genetics platform to pull from creating better products for the farm. We are excited to see the product and yield advancements in the Mycogen line-up because of this change, and what we will be able to offer our customers in the fall.
Enlist E3 ™ soybeans were finally approved! In Feb 2019 the Philippines approved Enlist E3 ™ soybeans for import, this was the final step before Enlist E3 ™ soybeans would be fully released for commercial use. Enlist E3 ™ soybeans are available through us in the Merschman, Mycogen and Armor brands. They are tolerant to glyphosate, glufosinate and 2,4-D choline, allowing flexibility to control weeds.
Nothing about 2019 has been easy thus far. For many of us, saturated soils and excessive rain have delayed planting and have made all other field operations difficult. While I’d rather not give you another worry, I’d be remiss as your agronomist if I did not inform you that several risk factors for significant foliar diseases in corn are developing.
Lack of tillage in the fall of 2018 and colder winter and spring temperatures have resulted in higher than normal corn residue and foliar disease inoculum carryover into the 2019 growing season.
NOAA and the National Weather Service predict higher than normal precipitation to continue (bit.ly/noaa3monthoutlook). The wet weather will allow foliar diseases to more easily infect corn leaves.
Disease pressure builds and reaches its maximum toward mid and late Aug. In 2019 much of our corn will still be accumulating significant amounts of grain yield well into late Aug, and therefore more susceptible to yield losses from foliar diseases.
I also wanted to remind you that if you chose to use a fungicide it can be tempting to select single mode of action fungicide (normally strobilurin or group 11) given their reduced cost, but University studies clearly show that dual or multiple mode of action fungicides (strobilurin+triazole or group 3+11) are far superior at protecting yield.
Newsletter Archive - COMING SOON
Working farmland requires tried and true strategies, which is why 50% of Liqui-Grow’s sales staff has dedicated themselves to becoming Certified Crop Advisers (CCA). Being a CCA is the standard of expertise and competence in the crop and soil management services industry. Trained CCA professionals can help increase per acre profit (depending on the crop and weather), have up-to-date knowledge on the latest developments in agriculture, and must adhere to a code of ethics that places a customer’s needs first.
Liqui-Grow is proud to announce that five of our employees were recognized for their years of service to the Iowa Certified Crop Adviser Program.
|Dwain Kilburg||Sales and Application at Eldridge, IA||25 Years of Service|
|Kurt Kirchner||Location Manager at West Liberty, IA||25 Years of Service|
|Torie Korth||Location Manager at Hampton, IA||25 Years of Service|
|Steve Heilskov||Seed Sales at Hampton, IA||25 Years of Service|
|Mark Johnson||Sales at Hampton, IA||20 Years of Service|
Urea, anhydrous ammonia and liquid urea ammonium nitrate (UAN 28 or 32%) are by far the most common sources of nitrogen fertilizer used in corn production. Moreover, all 3 sources of nitrogen fertilizer have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, but in particular, dry urea is an exceptionally poor source of nitrogen for in-season applications to corn. At first glance, urea seems to be an attractive in-season nitrogen source, because it can be applied rapidly with high clearance dry spinner spreaders and urea is commonly a few cents per lb of nitrogen cheaper than UAN. Urea, however, is highly susceptible to N loss via ammonia volatilization and uniform fertilizer nitrogen distribution can be a serious problem for top yields and maximizing economic returns.
Ammonia volatilization occurs when the urease enzyme hydrolyzes urea fertilizer to ammonia on the soil surface. Given ammonia (NH3) is a gas and lighter than air, the ammonia literally floats away into the atmosphere. The most effective way to prevent ammonia volatilization is for urea hydrolysis to occur beneath the soil surface where the ammonia gas can interact with hydrogen ions to form ammonium (NH4+).
To avoid serious N loss, urea must be incorporated with tillage, moved below the soil surface by precipitation or subsurface injected. For in-season N application, however, physical incorporation or injection of dry urea is not practical, leaving a rainfall event that must exceed 0.5 inches to move the urea below the soil surface (figure 1). This significant rainfall event must occur no later than 4 days after urea application (figure 2) or N loss from ammonia volatilization could drastically accelerate in subsequent days (Jones et al., 2013). UAN is also susceptible to ammonia volatilization, but only 50% of the nitrogen in UAN is urea. Therefore, UAN is roughly half as susceptible to ammonia volatilization as dry urea.
UAN also provides more flexibility regarding in-season applications than dry urea. UAN can be subsurface injected or surface banded within the row. Subsurface injection of UAN strongly reduces the potential for ammonia volatilization because urea hydrolyses occurs below the soil surface. Banding UAN on the soil surface does not eliminate ammonia volatilization, but reduces the risk of ammonia volatilization considerably (figure 2, Jones et al., 2013). The reduction in ammonia volatilization risk with banding UAN occurs because banding physically reduces the amount of N fertilizer exposed to the urease enzyme.
Achieving uniform application with dry fertilizer, which includes urea, can be a difficult task. Several problems exist that can lead to non-uniform urea applications. If urea is not uniformly sized, the result is segregation of larger and smaller urea particles during loading, transportation to the field and during spreading. Particle segregation is a problem because larger urea granules are thrown further from the dry spinner spreader machine than smaller particles, resulting in a higher application rate directly behind the machine and a lower applications rate at the edges of each pass.
Segregation is not the only concern. When side-dressing corn, poor urea distribution can be exacerbated by the standing corn crop, particularly when corn reaches over a few feet in height. Tall corn acts as a funnel, cutting down the distance at which the urea granules can be thrown compared to when no crop was present to disrupt the flow of urea toward the edges of each pass.
The on-farm studies were conducted at 3 locations in the 2016 growing season. The locations included Elkhorn, WI, Tipton and Morning Sun, IA. The base and side-dress N rates used at each location are listed in table 1. At each location the side-dress nitrogen was applied at growth stages between V6 to V8 as either surface banded UAN or surface broadcasted urea. At each location these treatments were replicated 3 or 4 times. The price of UAN and urea used to calculate partial profit was 0.36 and 0.32 $/lb N. The price of corn used to calculate partial profit was 3.50/bu.
Averaged over the 3 locations yields were increased 5.5 bu/ac from surface banded UAN when compared to surface broadcast urea (table 2 and figure 3). In addition to higher yields from surface banding UAN vs broadcasting urea, net profits were 16.2 $/ac higher for the surface banded UAN treatments, despite slightly higher nitrogen costs (table 3).
Because urea cannot be physically incorporating post-planting, it is susceptible to loss via ammonia volatilization (loss to the atmosphere as NH3 gas). Moreover, uniform application with dry fertilizer, including urea, can be problematic due to segregation of larger and smaller urea prills and due to physical spread pattern interference from standing corn. For these reasons, urea is a particularly poor source of nitrogen fertilizer for in-season applications. In these 3 on-farm trials surface banding UAN increased yields 5.5 bu/ac and net profits 16.2 $/ac compared to surface broadcasting dry urea.
Jones, C., B.D. Brown, R. Horneck, D. Olson-Rutz. 2013. Management to Minimize Nitrogen Fertilizer Volatilization. Extension Publication EB0209. Montana State University. http://www.landresources.montana.edu /soilfertility/documents/PDF/pub/UvolBMPEB0209.pdf.
– Dr. Jacob Vossenkemper (Agronomy Research Lead)
Last week Dr. Damon Smith, with the University of Wisconsin, gave an update on Tar Spot and I thought his findings were extremely valuable and the most relevant information I have seen to date.
- Tar Spot can overwinter and has been in WI for 3 years. It is also in Eastern IA. The first two years Tar Spot was in Wisconsin, it did not infect plants until late August. This year it arrived Mid-June.
- There hasn’t been a single plant found with the Monographella version (the really bad type only found in Mexico so far)
- Tar spot is causing yield loss in the absence of any another disease, such as grey leaf spot.
- Hybrid tolerance incredibly variable. Some can handle it, some take a huge yield hit with this disease.
- Early hybrids take less of a hit. Research is showing that at 10% of the leaf area covered with Tar Spot yields are reduced by 8 bu/ac. Longer maturity (103-113 day) hybrids lost 15 bu/ac when 10% of the leaf area was infected.
- University plant pathologist are creating a phone app (the TarCaster) that will hopefully be able to predict the arrival of the disease based on the weather. They already have a similar program for predicting white mold. They expect that to be out for testing this upcoming year.
- Yield losses appear to be dependent on when the plants become infected with Tar Spot. For example, this year infection started between V8 and VT is some regions but in previous years infection did not start until after milk stage. There is barely a hit on yield if it arrives during the Milk stage.
-Fungicide does help if timed properly, and at least Headline Amp and Delaro are labeled for Tar Spot.
-University plant pathologist plan on releasing a fungicide update around the end of December to show when the optimum time will be for applying fungicides to control/suppress Tar Spot.
In 2018, EPA extended the registration for two years for over-the-top use (i.e. use on growing plants) of Dicamba to control weeds in fields for cotton and soybean plants genetically engineered to resist Dicamba. This decision was informed by extensive collaboration between EPA, the pesticide manufacturers, farmers, state regulators, and other stakeholders. The registration includes label updates that add protective measures to further minimize the potential for off-site damage. The registration will automatically expire on December 20, 2020, unless EPA further extends the registration. States affected include Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Liquid fertilizers offer unique advantages over dry granular fertilizers. Liquid fertilizers can be applied extremely accurately, can be tank-mixed with many different pesticides, and micro nutrients can be evenly blended in liquid solutions. These factors result in uniform nutrient application for both macro and micro nutrients, and increased profitability due to higher crop yields and fewer trips across a field when compared to dry granular fertilizers.
Liquid suspension fertilizers provide the same agronomic and economic advantages as clear liquids (starter fertilizer, foliar sprays, those used in drip tape or over the top irrigation systems), but are more reasonably priced than clear liquids.
FIRST: the phosphoric acid used to make the phosphorus fertilizer source in liquid suspensions takes fewer manufacturing/processing steps than the phosphoric acid used to make starter fertilizer-grade clear liquids.
SECOND: in liquid suspensions, a small amount of clay is used to keep fertilizers suspended in a liquid solution. This is particularly important for the potassium source used to make liquid suspension fertilizers.
For example, without the added clay, only about 1 lb of potassium chloride could be dissolved in 1 gallon of water, but with the addition of a small amount of clay, that same 1 gallon of water can hold about 3 lbs of potassium chloride. Liquid suspensions are higher analysis fertilizers (higher % plant nutrients per/gallon material), which reduces transportation costs. When lower transportation cost are paired with more cost-effective raw materials, liquid suspensions can be priced lower than clear liquids, and are cost-competitive with dry granular phosphorus and potassium fertilizers.
|Fertilizer Source||N-P-K-S-ZN-B Rate lb/ac||Yield bu/ac||Fertilizer Cost $/ac||Net Return $/ac|
|Liquid Dribble Band||21-50-75-15-0.5-0.2||231.2||47.1||+16.7 $/ac Liquic|
|Dry Broadcast||227||44.8||Dribble Band|
Besides being cost-effective, liquid suspensions are extremely easy to surface or subsurface band.
Banding nutrients achieves two goals: reduced phosphorus fertilizer fixation with Ca2+, Al3+, and Fe3+, and roots become highly concentrated in nutrient-rich fertilizer bands (figure 1). As a result of reduced phosphorous fertilizer fixation (tied up in non-plant-available forms) and increased root activity in nutrient-rich fertilizer bands, the amount of applied fertilizer that is taken up by both corn and soybean crops is increased. In fact, a group of crop scientist recently organized 39 science-based studies with the objective of comparing the effects of banding vs broadcasting fertilizer phosphorus on nutrient uptake and crop yields (Nkebiwe et al. 2016). Averaged over 112 comparisons of banded vs broadcasted phosphorus fertilizer sources, they found that banding phosphorus fertilizer increased nutrient uptake by 12% (figure 2) and corn yields by 4.5% (9 bu/ac or $31/ac at 200 bu/ac yield level) compared to broadcasting the phosphorus fertilizer sources.
For the last two crop seasons (2016 & 2017), we have partnered locally with growers to compare what effects broadcasting dry granular fertilizers vs surface dribble banding liquid suspensions fertilizers has had on corn yields. These studies were on-farm strip trials set up as valid experiments with randomized treatments and multiple replications. The dry fertilizers and liquid suspension fertilizers were applied at the same plant nutrient rates per acre. These trials were located in Traer Iowa, Morning Sun Iowa, Washington Iowa, and Roseville Illinois.
We applied the fertilizer, and the farmer cooperator harvested the plots with their commercial combines.
In 74% of the side-by-side comparisons, surface-banded liquid suspension fertilizers produced more corn grain than equivalent rates of dry broadcasted granular fertilizers (figure 3). Moreover, in 68% of those side-by-side comparisons, net returns were higher for the liquid suspension fertilizers (figure 4). Overall we found that yields were increased by 2% (4.2 (bu/ac) and profit per acre was increased by $16.7/ac from banding vs broadcasting fertilizer nutrients (table 1). Our findings are similar to those recently summarized by Nkebiwe et al. 2016, and are yet another example of what effects banding has on fertilizer nutrient availability, crop nutrient uptake, and grain yields.
Liquid suspension fertilizers offer unique agronomic and financial advantages. These advantages include accurate fertilizer placement and distribution, macro and micro nutrients that stay blended in solution, and a product that is exceptionally easy to surface or subsurface band apply. These factors together result in reduced fertilizer fixation, increased nutrient availability, and often statistically higher crop yields and net returns than broadcasted granular fertilizers.
Nkebiwe, P.M., M. Weinmann, A. Bar-Tal, and T. Müller. 2016. Fertilizer placement to improve crop nutrient acquisition and yield: A review and meta-analysis.
Field Crops Res. 196:389–401.
On Monday, October 1, 2018, Taiwanese trading partners agreed to up their soybean imports from the U.S. by 37 percent, compared to the previous year.
According to a statement from the Iowa Soybean Association, 2018 is expected to be a record yield.