Crops News

Ag PhD Crop Scouting Reports — May 12, 2017


The Ag PhD Crop Scouting Reports are supplied by contributors to Hefty Seed Co., based in Baltic, South Dakota. Find more online at and



Augusta, AR
We finally got some heat units today and the day before; maybe the rice and soybeans will look better soon. If you are getting the early corn sprayed and sidedressed today and tomorrow, it should really take off after rain incorporates urea Thursday night. Soybean planting is getting cranked up in our area where fields are not under water. — Joey York

Farmers are planting soybeans in our area, and with maturities ranging from 3.8 to 5.6 maturity group the soybeans are all receiving similar management in at least one regard. A seed treatment is being used on almost every acre to get fields off to a great start! — Perry Galloway

Several growers around here are planting more rice today where they can find a dry spot. Many are putting it in any way they can. They will be running glyphosate and Command behind the drill and in front of the levee plow with a ground rig. We should be getting the last of the early corn sprayed tonight. Hopefully we can get it sidedressed in front of the rain. — Joey York



Buhl, ID
Scouting fields also involves doing a little digging. Right now the below ground insect pressure is very high. An option farmers preparing for their dry beans can look at is putting Capture LFR in-furrow at 8.5 oz/acre for wireworm control. — Tyson Goossen

For nightshade control in potatoes, one option farmers are using is Chateau at 2 oz/acre post-plant, pre-emerge. Tankmix choices in thicker patches for better burndown could be Dual II and metribuzin. — Van Weibe


Georgetown, IL
There may be some fields that have been burned down that could start to show some weed breaks due to cool, wet weather. Continue to scout fields that have been sprayed and make sure additional applications are not required. It is easier to take the time now and start clean than have limited options after the crops emerge. — Evan Zimmerman

Princeton, IL
Some corn varieties are great at cold emergence and some are not. Having your seed corn tested for a saturated cold test before planting is a cheap and economical way to know which ones to plant early and which ones to avoid until warmer weather and soil temperature. — Mike Denton

Don’t let the time of year mess with your judgment of what a fit field is. With the calendar showing May and many farmers in northern Illinois just beginning planting, many of us are anxious to get back in the fields. Getting back in too early could lead to issues with compaction and plantability. A good seed bed is perfect to allow the plant to take up enough nutrients and produce top yields this season. — Matt Denton

In a recent survey, 16.1% of farmers say they will purchase fewer crop protection products this year. Don’t be in a hurry to cut products that add value and bring return to your farming operation. Always look at the return on investment of each thing you do, whether commodity prices are high or low. — John Becker

Times of suspended field operations can be a great time to begin spraying for household pests. Many people use Tempo SC Ultra because of its broad spectrum control of most pests both in and around the home. Be sure to remove people and pets from the treated area until the product dries at which time it is safe for re-entry. — Mike Denton



Sheldon, IA
Adding crop oil or methylated seed oil to the Authority and Valor premixes really heats up their burndown properties. Typically, 1 gallon of an oil per 100 gallons of solution is the standard mix. Fertilizer will increase their burn, as well. — Adam Sauer



Breckenridge, MN
One weed to really watch out for before planting wheat is Quackgrass. Quackgrass is a tough weed to kill in wheat and is a big yield robber. If you happen to fall victim to it in your wheat fields, a product that can help is Rimfire Max at 3 oz/acre. It isn’t a cure-all but will help a lot. Adding Linkage at 1 gal/100 of water will also help increase its effectiveness. — Tia Johnson

All pre’s need water to activate their soil residual properties. Ideally that rain would come soon after spraying to get the weed control started right away. If the rain doesn’t come for a while, most pre’s will lay there and wait. If a flush of weeds gets started, you may just have to spray your post products earlier. Normally if we aren’t getting rain, the weeds aren’t coming either, though. — Tia Johnson

Fairmont, MN
With the nice weather we have had, some corn is starting to spike through. Make sure good emergence is taking place in fields because this could be an issue with the cool weather we had. Also, keep an eye out to make sure each plant spikes through within the same time, which is key for high yield potential. — Sam Geistfeld

Hancock, MN
When seeding alfalfa with a cover crop such as oats, wheat, or barley, do not plant full rates of the cover crop. Many times, the alfalfa seedling will get smothered by the thick vegetation once the cover gets around the boot stage. The smothered alfalfa will not get sunlight, resulting in a thin stem, making the plant prone to disease below that thick canopy. In severe cases, there will be stand loss; in most cases, there will not be much production the first year. — Adam Gibson

One of the biggest concerns with LV4 and LV6 in the past has been volatility. There is a new formulation of 2,4-D out this year called Freelexx. This product contains 2,4-D choline, which is much less volatile than the amine formulation. Freelexx should be used at the same use rate as LV4, or if you’ve been using LV6 in the past, 1 qt of Freelexx is equivalent to 0.67 qts of LV6. — Aaron Giese

Janesville, MN
With many farmers going right from planting corn to soybeans, make sure you adjust your depth down to 1 inch before you plant soybeans. Planting soybeans too deep will hurt emergence, which will get them off to a slow start. — Ray Johnson

LeRoy, MN
With the recent wet weather, there are guys switching to soybeans to wait for the wet fields to dry. There are certainly some costs farmers in this area are cutting out, but seed treatment isn’t one of them. Most farmers feel the average gain is about three times the investment. — Grant Lunning

Olivia, MN
As corn in the area begins to emerge, make sure you are doing some stand counts and scouting for weeds. If you did any trials with seed treatment or in-furrow products, compare their emergence and vigor to your checks. — Tony Hagen

Some growers are looking to start killing off the cover crop in sugar beets in the next week or so. Many of them are scouting for insects right now as adding in an insecticide only costs a couple bucks. It sounds like quite a few of the sugar beet growers plan to start their crop protection program with 8 oz/acre of Nortron for residual. — John Scheibel

Thief River Falls, MN
If applying a pre-plant herbicide on your soybean ground didn’t happen before you planted soybeans, there is still time to get that herbicide on. Just remember, when putting a pre-emerge product on soybeans, it’s crucial to get the pre on within 3 days after planting to avoid any potential injury to the soybeans. — Jordan Swanson

Corn planting is wrapping up, meaning this is a good time to scout those planted acres for weed growth. Some farmers are already seeing weed emergence and plan to use some Harness in with their Roundup to add residual control. — Alex Yaggie

Ulen, MN
I understand it’s hard to stop seeding, but keep in mind you need to spray your pre-emerge on your soybeans within 3 days of planting. You may have more time than that with cooler weather, just be watchful for emergence. There will be many fields in our area that will need early weed control to achieve top yields. — Greg Peterson

Winthrop, MN
If you haven’t been able to get a pre-emerge on your corn ground, you’re not alone. We’re seeing farmers head out with products like TripleFLEX and SureStart even after emergence as they are safe to apply on up to 11 inch corn. — Tyler Gasow

I’m noticing emerge broadleaf weeds in some corn fields that have yet to be sprayed. Farmers who don’t have emerged grass are spiking in 12 ounces of dicamba with their TripleFLEX to get good burndown and also residual control. — Dean Christiansen

If you haven’t gotten your corn pre’s on yet because of wet conditions or if you went right into beans when your corn planting was done, there is no need to worry yet. Many corn pre’s such as TripleFLEX, SureStart, Harness, and Resicore can be put on up to 11-inch tall corn. Farmers here are planning to spray soon, though, before the weeds get too big. — Matt Vogel



Bertrand, MO
Soybean planting in our area will be rocking and rolling in a few days; soil conditions are good. — Albert Duenne

Most of the corn planting in our area is pretty much finished. Soybean planting has already begun. Farmers in both Roundup Ready 2s and Liberty Link soybeans are most commonly using three different modes of action in their pre-emerge herbicide program. The guys planting Xtend soybeans are primarily using two modes of action, but some of them are going with three as well because it has been working so well for them the last couple of years. — Albert Duenne



Sidney, MT
I’m seeing samples coming in of winter wheat for crop staging but noticing tan spot on the lower and middle leaves. As you’re spraying your winter wheat for weed control, a half rate of Tilt can reduce infection of the tan spot. — Chester Hill



Laurel, NE
We are not too far away from the first cutting of alfalfa. It’s always a good idea to check for bugs after you get the hay knocked down. Regrowth is much slower if there is a lot if insect pressure and it only costs a couple dollars an acre to treat. One secret of the higher tonnage guys is they’re adding 2 oz/acre of MegaGro when they spray to speed up re-growth. — Rusty Reifenrath

Now is a good time to think about spraying pastures. We’re seeing buckbrush, thistles, and other broadleaf weeds as the main problems. The product many guys have been using so far has been Chaparral (which contains both Milestone with Ally). The comments I’ve heard are that it’s the best thing they’ve ever seen on thistles and it’s doing a nice job picking up the woody species plants like buckbrush as well. — Kody Urwiler

West Point, NE
One thing I’ve noticed on farms this spring is that in-furrow applications on the planter are becoming standard in the area. The new product I’m seeing guys try most frequently is Capture LFR + VGR. They’re choosing it for the proven insect control of Capture LFR and testing out the new VGR component. Some will be pulling plant tissue tests in a few weeks to see if Phosphorus uptake increases over untreated checks. — Jared Steffensmeier



Hurdsfield, ND
If you’re looking for a corn pre and have pinto beans in your crop rotation, you need to be careful which one you chose. One option growers are using is Verdict at 10 oz/acre since it has burndown for tough weeds like kochia and has some residual for even more control. — Emily Kline

Lisbon, ND
I’m seeing a lot of marestail already growing in fields that are being planted to soybeans. Many of these growers are planting Xtend beans hoping to use dicamba to fight it. That fight should start right now with Xtendimax as a burndown at 22 oz/acre. Guys further south who are already spraying are raving about the performance. — Spencer Schultz

Mohall, ND
There is getting to be quite a bit of Olympus being used pre-emerge for control of cheatgrass and other tough weeds. Keep in mind your crop rotation for the next year or several years. One other note with this product, Olympus is great for foxtail barley in spring wheat only. — Ron Hefta



Aberdeen, SD
If you are short of boron in your soils, a product like Solubor would be a good option to help raise your boron levels for your upcoming crop. This will not be a permanent fix, however, as boron is leachable. Solubor can be soil applied or sprayed in-crop and mixes fairly easily in your sprayer with water and burndown herbicides. — Tanner Johnson

With the recent warm weather, I’ve been seeing a lot of little kochia starting to emerge.
Farmers in the area are adding a burndown component to their pre-emerge programs as this is the best shot to kill kochia this season. Dicamba in front of Xtend soybeans is a great option, but it can’t be used before any other soybean traits. It’s getting too late to use 2,4-D as the planting restrictions are too wide to safely apply it in front of soybeans. — Kalen Kjellsen

Baltic, SD
I have been getting a lot of calls about marestail this spring. Farmers are wondering what they can throw into their corn herbicide to control that weed since they had an outbreak of marestail in their soybean fields last year. My answer would be to work Banvel into the program either as a pre-emerge or very early post-emerge. If the corn gets past V2 I would switch to either Status or DiFlexx. — Tyler Koenig

The soybeans are going in very fast – and the weather is great. Make sure the sprayer is only a day or two behind as the beans will be up fast and post residual products struggle to control weeds. Also, it is too late to burndown with 2,4-D before beans now as we need at least 1 week, and preferably longer, before planting to be safe. — Rob Fritz

Centerville, SD
One thing many silage producers are seeing a great value in is gibberellic acid. Many are adding 0.5 oz./acre of RyzUp SmartGrass with their first pass of herbicide as tests have shown it to consistently add 1 to 1.5 tons of yield. Fortunately it’s very inexpensive as well so the return on investment has been great. A number of these growers proved this treatment to themselves by doing a side by side which is something anyone can do with very little effort. — Ryan Kusser

Freeman, SD
One of the newer products that’s catching on with no-till/strip-till producers has been Zidua Pro. It has the burndown power of 1 oz of Sharpen plus soil residual from 4 oz Pursuit and 2 oz Zidua. Growers are targeting marestail, wild buckwheat, pigweed, lambsquarters and other weeds with this product. — Matt Zilverberg

Growers in the Mid-South have been using metribuzin, often at 1/4th of a pound, for years to fight pigweed and it’s catching on in this area as well. There are two watch outs to keep in mind with metribuzin. It’s in some premixes like Authority MTZ, so don’t double up and add more. Secondly, if you have pH’s of 7.5 or higher or very sandy soil, you will want to cut the rate down to 1/6th of a pound. — Lee Dockendorf

Gettysburg, SD
Growers in our area are spraying spring wheat that is at least in the 3 leaf stage. WideMatch plus T-mix is the most popular weed control choice as it’s excellent on kochia and Canada thistle. Many of these growers are adding in a fungicide at the same time as tan spot and stripe rust are big concerns once again. — Kyle Hawkinson

Huron, SD
I have been hearing some concern about soybean and corn pre-emergence products being on without moisture, so remember some basic rules of thumb.
1. It would be nice to get 0.25-0.5 inches of moisture or more to activate pre-emergence products.
2. After 7-10 days, there will start to be some degrading of the chemical but these products can still be very effective.
3. A light tillage, if possible, can extend the time before a rain is needed.

Overall we generally get enough moisture to get great value out of our pre-emergence chemicals for both corn and soybeans. — Garritt Dykstra

I’ve had some growers asking about putting LV6 down in front of soybeans. We recommend not doing that because it’s getting too close to planting and could damage beans when emerging. — Norland Hofer

Kimball, SD
Along with kochia and mustards, field pennycress is ever present in many wheat fields in our area. Some growers are using 1 pt/acre of WideMatch tankmixed with Quelex at 0.75 oz/acre for its broad spectrum control of these troublesome weeds. — Joe Fox

New Underwood, SD
Since the temperatures are finally warm enough to spray Beyond, remember to use 1 gal of MSO/100 gal of water and spray at 15 gallons/acre for best results. — Tyler Price

Watertown, SD
With pastures starting to green up, the leafy spurge is also getting bigger. The perfect time to spray is when you see the yellow bract flower and that’s happening right now in many patches around the area. Growers that are spraying this week are primarily using Graslan L at 2.5 pts/acre with NIS at 1 qt/100 gal water. — Jack Beutler

Since Roundup is not controlling all the broadleaf weeds any more, growers in our area plan to add in a second mode of action with their Roundup applications in corn. Impact is one of the least expensive and most popular options. — RussWerning



Farmington, WA
We are very limited to what we can use on lentils here in the Pacific Northwest. Most growers are using a 2-pass approach and some are using even more. Here’s a popular program.

Pre-plant burndown: Roundup + Prowl H2O (Pursuit/Thunder as an option at a low rate)

Post-plant/Pre-emergence: Lorox + metribuzin

Post Emergence: Clethodim
***Dual II Magnum can be applied to lentils as well but needs to be applied alone either pre-plant incorporated or post-plant, pre-emergence. — Jamie Rovey

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