Quarterly Newsletter: July 2019

Banner image for July 2019 newsletter

JULY

Dr. Brad Bernhard joins Liqui-Grow

Soybean Industry Updates

Risk Factors for Foliar Diseases in 2019

 

Owner's Update

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

photo of owners


 

New Addition to the Liqui-Grow Team

photo of Dr. Brad Bernhard
Dr. Brad Bernhard
Agronomy Research Manager

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 Management

Study

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.

Hybrid x Population

X Row Spacing Study

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.

 

Standard Population 

32,00 plants / acre

photo of roots

 

High Population 

44,00 plants / acre

photo of roots

 

At higher populations, the size of the root system is smaller necessitating the need for better crop management especially soil fertility.


 

Soybean Industry Updates

photo of Katie Hess
Katie Hess
Seed & Seed Treatment Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"We are currently testing soybeans to bring forward in 2020."

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.

LibertyLink GT27 (LLGT27) soybeans are tolerant to glyphosate, glufosinate and HPPD group 27 herbicide. As of today, you cannot utilize the HPPD portion of this trait package. These beans are available through us in the Merschman and Credenz brands.

Soybean Trait Options by Brandchart of Soybean Trait Options by Brand


 

Risk Factors for Foliar Diseases in Corn - 2019

photo of Dr. Jake Vossenkemper
Dr. Jake Vossenkemper
Agronomy Research Lead    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The wet weather will allow foliar diseases to more easily infect corn leaves."

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.

Fungicides: multiple mode of action are far superior

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.

Chart on fungicide group 11 vs group 11+


 

Newsletter Archive - COMING SOON

2019 Nitrogen Loss and Recommendations

How to Correct the Nitrogen Loss

Nitrogen loss will be a big concern in 2019 given all the wet weather. As such and for good reason, there have been many questions regarding how much N may have been lost and what we can do to go about correcting these N loss problems. To address these concerns and questions I have made a video discussing these various issues. As you will learn in this video I will produce a second video with PSNT soil test results and nitrogen model estimations of N loss which may refine my initial thoughts and recommendations. 2019 is off to a rough start, but the more in-the-know you are, the better your yield.

  1. If you had more than 10 inches of rain since N was applied its advised that you recommend applying more. Nitrate soil tests are confirming this.
  2. N models don’t seem to be aligning very well with the nitrate nitrogen tests that I took and some general knowledge about what we know regarding rain fall amounts and precipitation.

Bottom line, N models may be valuable, but they don’t replace good sound experience and agronomic advise. Follow recommendations from N models with caution.

 

– Dr. Jacob Vossenkemper (Agronomy Research Lead)

Urea – A Poor Choice of Nitrogen Fertilizer for In-Season N Applications

John Deere tractor in corn field

 

Summary

  • Urea fertilizer, if not incorporated by tillage or precipitation, is highly susceptible to ammonia volatilization (loss to the atmosphere as ammonia gas).
  • Uniform application of urea can be problematic due to segregation of larger and smaller urea prills and due to physical spread pattern interference from standing corn during in-season applications.
  • Liquid UAN (32 or 28%) is only 50% urea and is about half has susceptible to ammonia volatilization as dry urea.
  • Banding UAN further reduces the probability of nitrogen loss via ammonia volatilization.
  • Averaged over 3 on-farm plots side-dressing surface banded UAN gave 16.2 $/ac greater net returns and yielded 5.5 bu/ac more than surface broadcasted urea.

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.

Dry Urea: Elevated Risk for N Loss via Ammonia

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.

irrigation rate graph

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.

Field with low Urea rate stripes

Poor Fertilization: Increases Yield Loss Risk

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.

On-Farm comparisons: Broadcast Urea vs. Surface Banded UAN as In-Season N Sources

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.

Surface Banded UAN vs Surface Broadcasted Urea chart

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).

Table 1table 2table 3

Summary

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.

Reference

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)

Breaking News: Fall Anhydrous is not a Best Management Practice in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy

The INRS is a science based study of the various best practices framers can implement to reduce the loss of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Iowa. Watch the video to learn what management practices are recommended for top yields and environmental stewardship.

The goal of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is to reduce Nitrogen losses by 41% and Phosphorus losses by 29%. In turn, this will improve yield, soil health and water quality throughout the state of Iowa.  Not only will this improve nutrient levels in Iowa’s waters but also in areas down stream, including the Gulf of Mexico.

For more information on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, visit their website: https://4rplus.org/iowa-nutrient-reduction-strategy/