Leaders of In-Furrow Technology (LIFT) Agriculture Blog
Leaders of In-Furrow Technology (LIFT) is your go-to source for in-furrow information and trends, brought to you by West Central. The LIFT Agriculture Blog keeps you up to date on the latest about in-furrow technology and its benefits.
Getting the most out of an herbicide application not only includes maximizing efficacy, but also minimizing damage caused by herbicides. Being aware of what can go wrong and how to avoid it can lead to effective, on-target herbicide applications and help growers have a successful growing season – without the distress and loss caused by applications gone awry.
Two threats to herbicide applications are drift and volatilization. While they may seem similar, they are quite unique and require different attention to ensure that neither occur.
Drift occurs during the herbicide application. It is the unintentional, off-target application of herbicides. This can lead to damage of surrounding crops as well as an ineffective herbicide application.
There are several factors that can lead to herbicide drift, including:
Cold Temperatures: Ideal temperatures for herbicide-use range from 65 degrees F to 85 degrees F.
High Wind Speeds: Herbicide labels specify optimal wind conditions for application. If a grower goes off-label, their risk of drift increases.
Small Droplet Size: Smaller droplets are more likely to be carried away by the wind than larger droplets. Herbicide labels will also specify optimal droplet size to decrease drift.
Herbicides are most effective when applied in high humidity and with wind speeds of about 10 mph or less. Ensure that the application nozzles are on the correct setting to produce optimal droplet size to minimize drift. The position and height of the boom are also listed on the herbicide label. With the boom being closer to the crops, the distance the droplets can travel is reduced.
Volatilization is the movement of herbicide vapors through the air following an herbicide application. Similar to evaporation, volatilization occurs when the herbicide residue changes from a solid or liquid to a gas or vapor. Once vaporized, the vapors can be carried long distances by the wind, possibly damaging surrounding crops as well as causing an ineffective herbicide application.
The risk of volatilization increases when:
Herbicides are applied to inert, non-absorbent surfaces like rocks or pavement,
Temperatures are high,
Humidity is severe and
Herbicide formulations are potentially volatile.
Reducing the risk of volatilization is vital in order to have a successful herbicide application. Growers should be sure to avoid unfit conditions including high temperatures and humidity. Identifying if the target has a non-absorbent surface or if the herbicide formulations may be volatile can help growers make proactive decisions regarding tank mixers.
West Central offers a product line developed for use with both new herbicide technologies and conventional herbicides. The Elite Adjuvants offer a variety of tank mix partners designed to support herbicides and minimize damage. Veracity Elite [PDF], Jackhammer Elite [PDF] and Cerium Elite [PDF] offer a variety of modes of action, allowing growers a diverse range of products to match with their herbicide program and environment.
Herbicide specs are not one-size fits all. When it comes to avoiding drift and volatilization, herbicide labels are king. By following the label closely, growers will be able to maximize their herbicide applications and lower drift and volatilization.
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Iron Deficiency Chlorosis affects growers across the country. This yield-robbing condition can be devastating, but it is also avoidable and treatable. The first step is protecting fields from Iron Deficiency Chlorosis.
This Ultimate Guide to Iron Deficiency Chlorosis has everything you need to know to keep the appropriate levels of soluble iron available to your crop to maximize yield.
Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC) occurs when crops are unable to access adequate amounts of soluble ferrous iron (Fe2+) for normal crop development processes. In some cases, sufficient amounts of ferric (Fe3+) iron may exist in the soil, but plants are not able to use the iron unless it is reduced to ferrous (Fe2+) form.
The plant’s inability to uptake the appropriate amount of iron creates a chlorophyll imbalance that can lead to the visual symptom of the yellowing leaves and can result in dramatic yield loss.
Soil characteristics and weather conditions can also increase the instances and severity of IDC in soils that are prone to developing these symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency Chlorosis in Soybeans?
Yellow leaves and dark green veins (interveinal chlorosis),
Less plant vigor, and
Growing point and leaf death.
Read more about IDC:
Soybeans are affected by IDC when they are unable to access optimal amounts of soluble iron. Without a healthy amount of iron uptake, the plants often develop chlorotic yellow leaves and dark green veins, often referred to as interveinal chlorosis. The plants have less vigor, leading to issues with growth and yield.
Iron Deficiency Chlorosis in soybeans can result in yellowing leaves, weak plant vigor, and severely decreased yield potential through areas of total nonemergence.
These symptoms will typically first manifest on the youngest of the top leaves.
When IDC is severe, the leaf edges may die. This necrosis may advance to the point where the leaves fall off the plant and the death of the growing point, decreasing the tissue available for photosynthesis.
If IDC is left untreated or without preventative action, yield loss can be devastating and leave the field prone to IDC in the future. Although there may be ample iron in the soil, soil conditions can make it inaccessible to the developing plant.
What Causes Iron Deficiency Chlorosis?
The following conditions can make soil more prone to developing Iron Deficiency Chlorosis:
High carbonate levels in the soil
High nitrate levels in the soil
High salt levels in the soil
Alkaline soil (soil with a pH over 7.5)
High levels of other nutrients in the soil
Soils with high moisture
Cool weather early in the season
Read more about the conditions that can lead to IDC:
With soil conditions playing a big role in identifying if a field is prone to or has a history of IDC, it is important to know what factors to consider when soil testing.
High Carbonate Levels
High levels of calcium carbonate (lime) can add to a plant’s likeliness to be affected by IDC. Calcium carbonate in the soil can neutralize the acid that soybean roots excrete to help with iron uptake, limiting the plant’s ability to take up optimal amounts of iron.
Increased Nitrate Levels
Contrary to the effect of calcium carbonate, nitrate can lead to an excess of iron uptake. This makes it challenging for the soybean plant to chemically reduce the form of iron in the plant sap that is necessary for leaf cells to have as usable iron source.
2017 was a bad year in many areas with soil prone to developing IDC, particularly due to several conditions, including cooler temps early in the season and a higher nitrate buildup from fields that were planted with corn the previous year.
High Salt Levels
Soil salinity can be an indicator of IDC. Fields with a high salt content often experience severe cases of Iron Deficiency Chlorosis. Flagging high salinity early can save growers from extreme yield loss due to IDC.
Soybean acres with a high pH can lead to problems with Iron Deficiency Chlorosis. The pH of the soil has a major impact on the availability of iron for the plant uptake. When the soil pH is greater than 7.5 it is considered alkaline. In alkaline soil, plants experience difficulty reducing the iron to the soluble form (Fe2+) that they are able to use to develop into a healthy and high-yielding crop.
This soybean production issue occurs commonly in the calcareous soils of Minnesota and the Red River Valley as well as other areas in the south central United States – including Nebraska, Kansas, and portions of the Oklahoma and Texas panhandle regions.
The high pH characteristic of soils in these areas impairs the availability of iron to soybeans by binding the iron in the soil, preventing plants from accessing the essential nutrient.
High Levels of Other Nutrients
High levels of other nutrients, such as manganese, can also directly reduce iron availability as these nutrients also compete for uptake by the roots.
Soil moisture can exacerbate IDC when excess water increases the solubility of bicarbonates and salts in the soil, interfering with the soybean plant’s ability to alter pH levels around the roots.
“When soils are wet, there is limited air exchange with the atmosphere which causes a buildup of carbon dioxide in the soil. The carbon dioxide is produced by roots and soil microbes through respiration. The amount of bicarbonate in the soil is proportional to the amount of carbon dioxide and as carbon dioxide increases, so does bicarbonate. This increase will rapidly neutralize the acidity around the soybean root. Research in the greenhouse has shown that increased soil moisture increases IDC and that increased severity is greater at very low temperatures. The amount of bicarbonate in the soil has been correlated with IDC in soybean in the field, so the more bicarbonate in the soil the more IDC will occur.”
How Can You Prevent Iron Deficiency Chlorosis?
These are the ways to prevent Iron Deficiency Chlorosis in soybeans:
Determine whether your field is at risk of or has previously suffered from IDC
Apply an iron-chelated fertilizer in-furrow
Choose a soybean variety that is tolerant to IDC
Consider planting a companion crop to optimize soil conditions
Apply proper herbicides
Avoid soil compaction
Use an iron chelate product
Read more about how to prevent IDC:
If a field is at risk of or prone to developing IDC, growers should talk with their retailers to determine the best method of action. Topics for discussion could include:
Choosing a soybean variety that is tolerant to Iron Deficiency Chlorosis. Dr. Jay Goos, professor of soil science at North Dakota State University points out [PDF] that some varieties are good at obtaining iron from the soil, while other varieties are decidedly not. He warns, though, that the quality of the IDC ratings from seed companies are often suspect, claiming there is a “Lake Wobegon Effect,” where “all the children are above average.”
Consider planting a companion crop, such as oats. The companion crop will help use excess soil nitrate and can also help dry the soil, which can reduce bicarbonate buildup and lower pH levels.
Reducing stress to the plant is important. This can be done with proper use of herbicides and by minimizing soil compaction. Keep an eye on soil conditions that cause compaction during tillage and planting. At planting, compaction of surface soil can stress a plant during the whole growing season.
Finally, the University of Minnesota extension recommends “seed placement of an iron chelate product that has a majority of its iron in the ortho-ortho form. Research has shown great success with the use of ortho-ortho chelated iron with the seed.”
In 2016, North Dakota State University (NDSU) conducted a competitive study [PDF] funded by the North Dakota Soybean Checkoff to see if there was a difference in iron-chelated fertilizer products. The results (on pages 14-15) show there is a difference in iron-chelated fertilizers. The study included Soygreen® [PDF] (shown as Fe-EDDHA-1 in the study) along with three top competitors. The study looked specifically at the amount of ortho-ortho chelated iron (EDDHA) in each product, plus the product’s long-term performance.
When compared with the three competitors, Soygreen led with the best results in the following areas:
Highest percentage of ortho-ortho chelated iron,
Highest percentage of water soluble “soil stable” iron, and
The best results through multiple crops of soybeans
According to this study, Soygreen, with more than 80 percent of its iron in the recommended ortho-ortho form, consistently provided more soluble iron to the plants than its competitors. It also provided a longer and more positive response in the soybean plants, especially in subsequent crops proving once again why Soygreen is the market leader in preventing IDC in soybeans.
In this Beck Ag Experience Exchange Panel, Brian Kuehl, West Central Distribution’s Director of Product Development, discussed how Soygreen was developed specifically to combat the negative effects of IDC with a combination of iron and a powerful ortho-ortho EDDHA chelating agent called Levesol [PDF] that removes IDC as a limiting factor:
“We developed Soygreen specifically for the problem of IDC. When we sought out to develop this product, we really were looking for not just an iron product, but one that was available to the plant all season long. Soygreen is simply two major components. It’s iron plus a very, very strong chelating agent that we refer to as an ortho-ortho EDDHA [also known as Levesol]. That chelating agent has the ability to hold on to iron, keep it available to the plant, and maintain its availability for the entire growing season.”
Soygreen is a 6 percent chelated-iron fertilizer that contains the purest and highest concentration of ortho-ortho EDDHA chelate (Levesol) on the market. It is this ortho-ortho EDDHA chelate that helps keep iron in its soluble state (Fe2+), for maximum uptake by the plant.
As the industry leader, Soygreen contains the highest percent of chelated iron (5.41 percent) and the highest percentage of water soluble, stable iron in the industry (80 percent).
West Central Distribution has 15 years of results showing how Soygreen helps increase yields and prevent IDC. Field trials comparing Soygreen versus an untreated field, show an average increase of 8.2 bushels per acre with some results as high as 50 bushels per acre for the Soygreen treated fields.
Part of this soybean field was planted using Soygreen in-furrow to protect against IDC. The green sections that were treated with Soygreen reached up to 50 bushels per acre while the red, untreated areas reached only 23.8 bushels per acre.
Part of this soybean field was planted using Soygreen in-furrow to protect against IDC. The green sections that were treated with Soygreen reached up to 50.0 bu/ac while the red, untreated areas reached only 23.8 bu/ac.
Many farmers with slight to moderate IDC levels will utilize Soygreen to facilitate the use of high-yielding soybean varieties to maximize production in these fields.
The impact of early nutrient availability and access toward improving the physiological processes involved in seedling establishment were markedly enhanced by the placement of Soygreen into the seed furrow.
During a recent greenhouse study conducted with by Dr. Goos and Hannah Ohm with North Dakota State University, results proved that Fe EDDHA products with at least 80 percent ortho-ortho EDDHA outperformed other iron chelated products [PDF].
Goos and Ohm’s data supports that quality matters with regard to the differences between products that claim to contain ortho-ortho EDDHA. The tests list the chlorophyll content of IDC in soybeans after treatments with various commercial products. Two of the three best treatments are Soygreen and Soygreen Liquid. The competing third product is more expensive than Soygreen when used at equivalent rates.
Dr. Goos states that “the quality of iron fertilizers varies. Higher quality materials give a longer response.”
Soygreen increases and protects yield potential keeping beans green and healthy all season. Imitators can spark an initial green-up but fail to deliver the same yield results.
Imitators only have 2.92 percent or less chelated iron and only 47 percent water-soluble, soil stable iron. They may even claim to be less expensive, but actually cost more with higher use rates to achieve similar results to Soygreen.
Watch this video to see how Soygreen combats Iron Deficiency Chlorosis.
Fight Iron Deficiency Chlorosis With Soygreen - West Central - YouTube
West Central Distribution’s Soygreen portfolio is an even more powerful industry leader, providing the leading IDC solution in three convenient options.
Soygreen is a 6 percent iron chelate in a dry, water-soluble powder that is manufactured utilizing a superior chelating process delivering the highest percentage of ortho-ortho EDDHA in the industry.
Soygreen improves the availability of iron to field crops. Soybeans grown in areas with a history of Iron Deficiency Chlorosis are the target crop for Soygreen, however, other field crops may benefit from Soygreen applications when uptake of iron is limiting.
Soygreen is also available in liquid form with 1.8 percent iron chelated with ortho-ortho EDDHA. Field crops such as sugar beets and legume crops have also benefited from applications of Soygreen Liquid
Soygreen® Granular is a granular formulation of iron chelated with ortho-ortho EDDHA. It is manufactured utilizing a superior chelating process compared to current processes in the fertilizer industry, resulting in an unparalleled concentration of ortho-ortho EDDHA chelate.
It is the only IDC product formulated for air seeder applications to improve the availability of iron to field crops, ideal for northern states. The target crop for Soygreen Granular is soybeans grown in areas with a history of Iron Deficiency Chlorosis, however, other field crops may benefit from Soygreen Granular applications when uptake of iron is limiting.
This product is the first of its kind, allowing retailers in the northern tier of the U.S. an IDC solution for their growers who use an air seeder to plant soybeans.
Soygreen Granular offers convenience and the full benefits of Soygreen without having to incur additional time and money to switch out or rent additional equipment. Previously, the seeder market didn’t have the option to apply Soygreen during planting.
Growers saw increases from 4.8 to 17.8 bushels per acre with Soygreen Granular versus the untreated fields
With growing season for corn and soybeans rapidly approaching there are a number of potentially yield damaging conditions that can occur, and water stress is one that growers should be on the lookout for.
Water stress occurs a number of times throughout the growing season and can lead to potential yield losses of five to 10 percent, or between $30 to $50 per acre.
This chart from Google Trends shows that Google searches for “water stress” occur throughout the year, illustrating that growers experience this problem continually:
The ability of growers to take action to help plants withstand the effects of water stress has significant economic impact.
What is Water Stress
Crops suffer water stress when the supply of water to their roots is limited or when the transpiration rate rises intensely. The primary cause of water stress is a shortage of water that occurs in conditions like drought or high soil salinity, with drought being one of the most production-limiting factors overall in agriculture.
What Occurs During Water Stress
Water stress can impact crops across three different response levels:
Among those effects include a negative impact on mineral uptake and transport of nutrients, reduced leaf water potential, accumulation of stress metabolites, and a decrease or stoppage in cell expansion resulting in slowed plant growth.
Plants can naturally develop some tolerance to water stress, but at the high price of changes in their molecular and physiological mechanisms, as cited above, which reduces photosynthesis resulting in lower biomass yields.
Fortunately, products like West Central’s Revival can help plants tolerate water stress by producing stress-reducing molecules that help to preserve plant resources in times of stress.
Water Stress in Corn
What Are the Symptoms Of Water Stress in Corn?
According research at Iowa State University (ISU), one of the primary signs of water stress in corn due to drought conditions is leaf rolling. Graying of leaf tissue can also occur under severe conditions. The earlier leaf rolling occurs in the day, or the longer the duration of leaf rolling, the greater the stress the crop is under.
What Are the Effects Of Water Stress on Corn?
Effects on vegetative corn
When stress occurs during vegetative stages the result is reduced stem and leaf cell expansion. Water stress occurring concurrently with heat stress will cause vegetative development to progress more rapidly and, depending upon the leaf stages, can result in fewer kernel rows or fewer kernels per row.
Effects on pollinating corn
Delayed silk development can be the result of drought stress brought on by water stress 7-10 days ahead of silking, and that combined with heat stress can cause poor anthesis silking interval (ASI). Additionally, when water stress occurs during pollination it not only delays silking, but also reduces silk elongation, and in severe instances can impede embryo development.
The ultimate impact of drought stress during the pollination period is poor pollination and fewer kernels per ear.
Effects during grain fill
Premature death of leaf tissue, shortened grain fill periods, increased lodging, fewer kernels and lighter kernel weights can all be the consequences of drought stress during grain fill. If continued into the milk stage, the result can be further kernel abortion and smaller, lighter kernels.
If drought occurs during the mid-to-late grain filling period, the result can be decreased kernel weights and premature physiological maturity.
How Much Yield Loss Can Occur Due To Water Stress?
When water stress occurs, not all fields will have the same yield loss. After pollination it is key to determine how successful pollination was – how many kernels per ear were attained?
If pollination is good, the field can be managed as normal, however, if it was bad those kernels will develop normally with reduced yield potential.
When water stress happens on four or more consecutive days, estimated yield loss per day can range from 1-9 percent depending upon the growth stage of the plant.
Water Stress In Soybeans
What Are The Symptoms Of Water Stress In Soybeans?
According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Purdue University (Purdue), soybeans flip their leaves up in response to drought stress, so the underside of the soybean leaf is turned up. Under severe drought conditions, the leaf trifoliates will either close or clamp together with the center leaflet being sandwiched between the outside leaflets. A less obvious but potential sign of drought stress can also be diminished vegetative growth that normally occurs prior to leaf flipping.
This video from the Purdue Extension demonstrates how to determine if your beans are suffering from drought stress:
Assessing Soybean for Drought Stress - YouTube
What Are The Effects Of Water Stress On Soybeans?
This video from Dow AgroSciences discusses how drought effects soybeans:
The Drought Effect on Soybeans - YouTube
The effects of water stress on vegetative soybeans
The vegetative growth of soybeans during drought is diminished and stressed plants that are often shorter with smaller leaves caused by lack of water, nutrient availability and nutrient uptake. Roots also increase during drought conditions because plant carbohydrates are shifted to root growth.
When conditions stabilize with adequate rainfall and the return of soil moisture, vegetative growth will resume until the mid-seeding filling stage. Under severe drought conditions, flowering may occur earlier than normal in an effort to produce seed before premature death.
The effects of water stress on soybeans and yield during grain fill
Although the effects of drought on soybeans are not as severe as those that occur on corn due to overlapping development stages, pod and seed side can be negatively impacted.
There can be up to a 20 percent reduction in pod number caused by flower and pod abortion brought on by drought. Plant stress caused by drought can also result in earlier maturing or shortening of the grain filling period resulting in lower seed weights and yields. This is compounded by the lack of nitrogen mineralization and nitrogen fixation that occurs due to the lack of soil moisture and carbohydrate supply from the plant. However, if the water deficit is not long, nodule fixation can resume.
Dr. Hugh Earl at the University of Guelph discusses tests he’s conducted to determine how much yield is actually lost due to water stress. His conclusion is that “at some point during the season the crop is lacking for water and yields are effected.”
Soybean School - How Do Soybeans Perform Under Water Stress? - YouTube
US Drought Monitor Tool
A valuable source regarding drought and soil conditions in the US is the drought monitor tool from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Salvaging Water Stressed Crops
What can you do after the damage has been done
Tri-State Livestock News has some good tips about what to do after the damage to crops from water stress.
Corn can be harvested as silage and the NDSU Extension Service has a valuable bulletin that can help you calculate the cost and value of drought stressed standing corn.
Depending on the severity of drought, the corn may not form ears and in that case grain production will be zero. In well-eared corn silage, grain makes up about 50 percent of the weight of the silage on a dry matter basis. The lack of grain will affect the yield and reduce the energy content, but the protein content may actually be greater than corn silage under normal growing conditions, if the silage is chopped before the plant matures.
Soybeans can be harvested as either silage or hay and the quality of soybean hay is good, especially if it is put up with a minimal amount of leaf loss. Typical crude protein content of this hay ranges from 16 percent to 21 percent and has about 75 to 80 percent of the energy content contained in corn silage when compared on a dry matter basis.
How to Help Corn & Soybeans Better Tolerate Water Stress
Revival from West Central is an effective way to help your plants deal with water stress. It has a patented combination of osmoprotectants that help plants survive during periods of water related stress.
Revival works by providing a combination of stress-reducing molecules directly to the plant. Providing these molecules directly to the crop limits the chance of the plant wasting its own valuable resources in times of stress.
When the molecules enter the plant, they work to increase the water pressure inside the cells stabilizing proteins and membranes in the plant cells. The result is that the plant retains more water, which allows it to overcome heat and water stress throughout the growing season.
With planting season just around the corner, growers are thinking about how to best protect their beets from disease and ensure plants reach their highest yield potentials. If left untreated, Rhizoctonia can lead to severe yield losses of 30 to 60 percent with sugar reduction at harvest and continuing to decline through storage.
Rhizoctonia can survive on a wide range of hosts and in the soil for many years and if conditions are right, then the disease can quickly proliferate. In recent years, incidence of Rhizoctonia has increased largely due to a decrease in non-host crops within rotations. While using crops such as wheat can decrease levels of inoculum, it is not an effective control measure on its own. Because of this, treatments need to be applied every year even if no symptoms were observed the previous year. This is especially true in areas with historically high levels of Rhizoctonia, such as across the Red River Valley.
Symptoms of Rhizoctonia
Black lesions on root
Yellowing/wilting of the leaves
Seedling damping off
Deal with it Early
There are no curative treatments for Rhizoctonia, and below ground symptoms can be easily missed. Often, by the time above-ground symptoms are visible the roots will already have a significant amount of rot. To ensure thorough control of Rhizoctonia in areas with history of disease, an at-plant fungicide should be considered on top of seed treatment. This will extend the time of control beyond what a seed treatment can offer and lengthen the window of application timing for a later season banded application if the season is shaping up to be optimal for disease development.
Using an at-plant application will also ensure fungicide is down when soils reach the critical threshold for Rhizoctonia infection at 65F. The best control for Rhizoctonia is an application of fungicide containing the active ingredient Azoxystrobin.
Effective Control with Azoxystrobin
Azoxystrobin, the most effective active ingredient for Rhizoctonia control, falls within the strobilurin family of fungicides. It works by blocking respiration of the growing fungus and is systemic in activity – meaning once the roots have absorbed the product, it spreads to the developing leaf tissue to provide control there as well.
One of the additional benefits of using a product containing Azoxystrobin is that it also confers plant health benefits, such as improving water use efficiency, respiration and prolonged greening. In sugar beets, this translates to healthier plants that can devote more resources to developing the root and fending off other diseases.
Quadris and liquid fertilizer
AZteroid FC and liquid fertilizer
Historically, an in-furrow application of azoxystrobin forced growers to choose between a fertilizer application or a fungicide application at plant, but not both. To solve this issue, Vive Crop Protection has created a fertilizer compatible azoxystrobin product that can be used at-plant and mixed right in to your growers’ fertilizer tanks or mixed in a custom blend at your facility.
Mixes easily and stays mixed
Suggested sugar beet rate: 11.9 fl. oz./acre based on 22” row spacing (up to 18.9 fl.oz./acre if very high disease pressure)
West Central develops new seed treatments blends on an ongoing basis to be able to offer the latest technology and most efficacious seed treatments for their retail customers. This is the basic process for how new seed treatments blends are developed:
Mix seed treatments into desired combinations for compatibility and stability testing
Blends that pass compatibility testing are then subjected to replicated research trials
Blends are mixed following prescribed protocol
Treatment volumes are equalized to remove variables
Seed treatment is applied to seed in a lab batch treater
Time the mixer long enough for the seeds to dry off and equalize seed tumbling
Ship treated seeds to researchers
University and independent researchers conduct replicated research
Results are evaluated for further research efforts or shelfed indefinitely
Treatments that pass replicated data trials are scaled up into side-by-side plots
Following results of side-by-side trials, a decision is made on whether to bring an individual seed treatment blend to market
Watch the videos on this page for a more detailed explanation.
Watch as Blake Murnan and Travis Palmquist take you through the steps of how West Central prepares treatment blends before they are sent out to the researchers for testing.
Mixing Seed Treatment Blends with Blake Murnan & Travis Palmquist
In The Field Video – Episode 12
Mixing Seed Treatment Blends with Murnan & Travis - In The Field Episode 12 - YouTube
Blake Murnan, product development manager for West Central along with my colleague Travis Palmquist. We are in our lab today preparing samples for wheat on new futures wheat seed treatment blends.
As you can see over here, Travis is mixing up the different seed treatments all into the different trials we have going in. One of the things we do is make sure we equalize all treatments to take out as many variables as we can. We bring all volumes up to an equal level, so that takes any types of moisture issues out that may affect germination if one treatment is higher in volume than another..
Certain treatments, when we are using small volumes of seed (which is about 900 grams is what we will treat up with). To get a workable volume, we usually have to dilute products, so we can get a workable volume.
For example, this treatment here has been diluted down to 1 parts to 99, so it’s diluted to a factor of 1:100th. This one is diluted down to 1:10. And others can be used at a standard rate.
In a minute here, we will show you how we apply the seed treatment to the seed.
Seed Treatment Process With Blake Murnan & Travis Palmquist
In The Field Video – Episode 10
Seed Treatment Process with Blake Murnan & Travis Palmquist - In The Field Episode 10 - YouTube
We’ve blended our samples into beakers and now we are starting to treat the seed. Travis has pulled the treatment into a syringe and now he is applying that seed treatment as evenly as he can into the seed treatment mixer.
We are treating about 900 grams of seed. We’ll let the seed treater spin for about two minutes to make sure we dry the seed off. And from there, we ship it off to the researcher.
Seed Treatment Research Trials with Blake Murnan
In The Field Video – Episode 11
Seed Treatment Research Trials with Blake Murnan - In The Field Episode 11 - YouTube
We’ve taken untreated seed, applied our seed treatment to it through the seed treatment treater that we have in back. What we are going to do now with this seed is to ship it off to our researchers. We have researchers across the country that conduct replicated research for us. They are independent of ourselves, so we get really sound data on the seed treatments we are testing.
If the seed treatments that we are testing this year pass replicated data trials, we will normally bring it into side by side trials where we will get large-scale plots done with retailers and growers to see if there is a value at that level. If we see that there is value at the side by side trials, [then] the following year we may decide to take that into production for West Central. Normally it takes anywhere from two to to five years for us to thoroughly test a product and bring it to market.
A strong root system is the foundation for a healthy plant. Roots are the conduit between the soil and above ground plant growth. To develop a healthy root system, roots need access to as much of the soil volume as possible; the more water and nutrients the roots can access, the more the plant can absorb.
What is Mycorrhizae?
Mycorrhizae is a naturally occurring beneficial type of fungus found in soils that have been depleted through modern agriculture practices. Once lost, mycorrhizae populations can be reintroduced to the soil to help support a healthy soil structure.
Six Benefits of Mycorrhizae include:
Expands root and shoot biomass
Increases absorption and uptake of N, P, K and some trace minerals
Stores extra moisture and penetrates soil spaces to access available water to protect plant from drought stress
Maximizes plant performance in different soil environments
Improves soil health by exchanging carbon from the plant to solubilize nutrients in the soil
Uses all these benefits to support maximum yield potential of the crop
How can Mycorrhizae be Reintroduced to the Soil?
MycoApply® EndoPrime is a plant and soil enhancement product that contains a unique blend of four species of mycorrhizae.
MycoApply EndoPrime is applied in-furrow at planting. As the seedling begins to grow roots in the soil, the mycorrhizae colonize the roots of the plant and produce long, fine structures called hyphae. The hyphae are what expand the root system and are able to go beyond what the bigger roots can access.
3 ways plants benefit from expanded root mass include:
Better nutrient uptake
Improved stress tolerance and
Better overall plant health
How does MycoApply EndoPrime support plant health?
Hyphae grow out of the colonized plant root to help look for nutrients and water in the soil. Because hyphae are microscopic structures, they can navigate tiny spaces in the soil otherwise unreachable even by fine root hairs.
Once the hyphae reach the needed nutrients and water, they transport those essentials back to the plant to utilize for its growth.
Vesicles are also created, storing resources until needed by the plant.
One nutrient that mycorrhizae commonly bring back to the plant is phosphorus. Phosphorus is a macronutrient the plant needs throughout its growth, but it’s tightly bound and doesn’t move in the soil.
As growers carefully scrutinize every aspect of their operations to improve cash flow and maximize profitability, they also need to provide their crop the best opportunities to produce its maximum yield potential and improve return on investments.
One issue on many soybean growers’ minds is Iron Deficiency Chlorosis, also known as IDC. IDC can affect a grower’s yield by the loss from eight to ten bushels per acre in mild cases to devastatingly decreases of 40 bushels or more in severe cases.
2017: A Record Year for IDC
IDC in soybeans has been getting a lot of attention since the 2017 season. Iron deficiency chlorosis is not a new issue especially across the Red River Valley and throughout Western Minnesota, but during the 2017 season it occurred in many fields that may not have experienced these symptoms before. Additionally, some fields that traditionally show mild to moderate symptoms of IDC experienced some of the worst cases they had ever seen.
Iron deficiency chlorosis is most likely to develop in soils with high levels of calcium carbonate, saline soils and alkaline soils with a pH of 7.5 or higher. In 2017, areas in western Minnesota and North Dakota experienced a perfect storm of conditions, including the cooler temperatures during the early season and nitrate buildup in fields where corn had been grown the previous year, that likely intensified the occurrence of iron chlorosis in soils that were already prone to developing IDC.
3 Ways IDC Negatively Impacts Uniform Soybean Development
Often, the symptoms from IDC simply kill the plants in the affected soils because they do not have adequate amounts of iron for normal development processes.In cases where IDC does not kill the soybean plant, it can impact the developing crop and a grower’s operation in a number of ways. The lack of soluble iron keeps the plants from developing uniformly, stunting the soybean plant’s normal development stages and causing affected plants to mature later than other soybean plants in the same field.
When a field has variability in crop maturity stages, growers have the potential to lose yield since they are not able to harvest the field until all the beans are ready.While the grower waits for the slower maturing beans to be ready for harvest, they risk losing yield in the areas where the beans matured earlier and remained in the field past their peak harvest timing.
If the IDC-affected areas of the crop are large enough, a grower might be able to run the combine in the earlier maturing areas first and then come back later when the slower maturing beans are ready to be harvested.This scenario is still not an ideal situation since having to make two trips to harvest the same field not only impacts yield, but also adds inconvenience, increased labor and equipment costs. In both scenarios, IDC negatively impacts the grower’s overall profitability.
Help Growers Obtain their Harvest Goals this Year with Soygreen
There is good news for soybean growers with soil prone to developing IDC. Soygreen is an ortho-ortho EDDHA iron-chelated fertilizer and the market leader in IDC treatment. In addition to helping defend the plant against the physical effects of IDC, Soygreen treated beans have shown proven results in developing in a more uniform maturity throughout the field, providing a benefit to the grower’s profitability and protecting the overall yield potential of the impacted fields.
This image shows the noticeable difference in the developing plants treated with an in-furrow application of Soygreen versus the plants treated with a competitive IDC product.
The next two images, taken about six weeks apart, reinforce why uniform maturity is another one of the great benefits of Soygreen:
Image taken on 8-3-17 shows areas of variability in maturity stages within areas treated with competitive IDC product applied at same active ingredient rate as Soygreen.
Image taken on 9-29-17 shows approximately 20 acres struggling with maturity difference caused by IDC as harvest approaches.
Soygreen has shown positive results in hundreds of trials against untreated fields and fields treated with competitive IDC treatments. Through these tests, Soygreen has proven that it provides 30 percent more available iron and delivers almost twice as much iron to the plant than a leading competitive IDC product.
Soygreen is also available in three convenient formulations; the original dry formulation, an easy mixing liquid formulation and the new granular version that is the only IDC product currently available for the air seeder market.
If you want to find out more about Soygreen and how you can help combat the terrible effects of IDC, visit wcdst.com or talk with your West Central account manager.
Getting a crop in the ground early has its benefits, but it can also be a risk, especially in northern states, if growers don’t plan appropriately. Even if the weather is promising at the time of planting, unpredictable spring weather and temperatures can be potentially detrimental to crop health and yield.
Cold weather slows growth and development in crops and makes it difficult to absorb essential nutrients. However, planting earlier also provides a number of potential benefits to the grower including earlier stand establishment allowing plants to take advantage of the early season moisture and better adapt to withstand the heat and drier conditions later in the season. It may also result in increased profitability since growers can select a seed with a longer maturity date and higher yield potential.
As a grower weighs the pros and cons of planting earlier, they also need to plan their herbicide applications to make sure they are safely and effectively making any early season applications to protect their crop and get the benefits of maximizing their yield and return on investment come harvest.
In addition to the plant health risks caused by cold weather around planting, herbicide and adjuvant efficacy can also change based on the temperature. Herbicide and adjuvant applications are most effective between 65° and 85°. Once the temperature drops below that range, the application is at risk of being less effective. However, there are ways to avoid this and make early season applications beneficial to a grower’s operation.
Applying Herbicides in Cold Weather
Understanding how cold weather limits herbicide capability is the first step to avoiding issues with early season applications. Ineffective herbicide burndown applications due to cold weather are more common when nighttime temperatures dip below 40°.
When the temperature drops, it is more difficult for plants to metabolize nutrients from the soil. This same issue can also make it harder for weeds to absorb herbicides. When the herbicide is unable to effectively reach the target, weed management is not as successful. Cold weather also slows weed growth and hardens cell walls. This affects uptake of the herbicide to the weed which can lead to reduced weed control.
To counter the negative effects of cold weather on herbicides, growers can increase the application rate and add spray adjuvants. Uniform application can be achieved by adjusting the sprayer to reduce variability.
Scouting the field about two weeks post application will reveal how well the weeds were able to absorb the herbicide. This can also help determine if a second application will be necessary. If the weeds survived the first application, plan to apply a second round about three weeks after the first application to get the best results.
Adjuvant Use in Cold Weather
Pre-plant burndown is a common practice to minimize early season weed pressure. Effective post-emergent herbicide applications often use adjuvants to improve efficacy, on-target application and help the herbicide provide maximum weed control. Applicators using adjuvants with herbicide applications early in the season need to be prepared for how the lower temperatures may affect the adjuvant solutions during the application.
Adjuvants can be very sensitive to cold temperatures and are prone to freezing when exposed to temperatures below 25°. The good news is that even if your adjuvants have frozen due to cold weather, the solution will be just as effective when it warms back up.
Since adjuvants have a higher viscosity in cold temperatures, applicators need to plan the application carefully to make sure the product is effective and to avoid herbicide injury to unintended targets. Optimal temperatures for adjuvant use is above 60°. When nighttime temperatures fall to 40° or below, the adjuvant can be less effective, so the applicator should use caution and make adjustments to maximize the benefits of the adjuvant when applying in cooler temperatures.
West Central Distribution offers a full lineup of adjuvants developed to work with a variety of herbicides to ensure on-target application and optimal efficacy. Their Elite Adjuvants, including Veracity Elite II, Jackhammer Elite and Cerium Elite are the next step in adjuvant technology offering multiple adjuvant properties in a single product for both the new herbicide technologies and conventional herbicides.
The Elite Adjuvants offer a streamlined approach to an herbicide program providing the opportunity to minimize the number of products needed to make a variety of applications. When used properly in correlation with herbicides in cold weather, these Elite Adjuvants can protect yield and minimize off-target drift.
Spring weather is not always cooperative and can leave growers frustrated when it leads to ineffective herbicide applications. By understanding how to optimize herbicide applications with adjuvants in cooler temperatures, applicators and growers can implement an effective weed management plan to help the crop realize its maximum yield potential.
For more information on how to use adjuvants and herbicides as part of an effective weed management strategy, visit www.wcdst.com.
Growers are planting earlier every year, driven by new hybrids and technologies. This maximizes the length of the growing season. However, early planting means planting into colder soils, which leads to delayed emergence and slower plant growth. Early-season wet, cold conditions can also lead to more disease, including pythium and rhizoctonia diseases. These early season diseases can lead to less nutrient and water uptake, even at low levels that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
Combining an in-furrow fertility program with a fungicide can get your crop off to the best possible start. The fertilizer will help improve emergence and vigor by adding bioavailable nutrients where they’re needed, and the fungicide will help control early-season diseases. Not all fungicides are the same. Choosing an azoxystrobin-based fungicide, such as AZteroid® FC, provides added plant health benefits which can improve the overall health and vigor of the plant.
In order to use both a fungicide and a fertilizer in-furrow, they need to mix together evenly in your tank. AZteroid FC is the first fungicide able to completely mix with liquid fertilizer for application at planting.
At-Plant Strobilurin Fungicides Can Increase Plant Health
Which Fungicide Should Be Used?
Strobilurin fungicides control many soil-borne early season diseases. These fungicides can also improve the health of the plant. When applied in-furrow, these increased plant health effects require the fungicide to be absorbed by the roots and move through the xylem of the plant. AZteroid FC contains azoxystrobin, which is xylem mobile. Many other fungicides are not xylem mobile, and will not provide the same level of plant health effects when applied in-furrow.
Common Soil-Borne DiseasesPHYTHIUM
Prefers cold soil (<60°F)
Damping off can occur before or after emergence
Rotten roots are brown and soggy in appearance
Plants can be easily pulled from soil
Most common in wet soil or when germination is delayed (around 80°F)
Shrunken, reddish-brown lesion on hypocotyls near soil line
Causes damping off in seedling stage
Using Fungicides at Planting can Increase Profits in 3 Ways:
1. By providing healthy conditions in the furrow during planting, growers will have healthier seedlings with maximum yield potential and increased profits.
2. Adding a yield increase from fungicides can cut the payback time for liquid fertilizer equipment by 50 percent compared to using liquid fertilizer alone. No additional equipment is required to use AZteroid FC.
3. In-furrow fungicide may also decrease the need for expensive in-season aerial applications because a healthier, stronger plant is more resistant to disease. This will be particularly true in years with low disease pressure, and will allow growers to wait until mid-season to decide whether or not an aerial application is required.
This January, the Leaders of In-Furrow & Foliar Technology (LIFT) partners, including West Central, BASF,Nufarm, FMC,Valent and Dow AgroSciences, came together to provide an opportunity for ag editors to hear from each of these companies in a convenient, sixty-minute webinar called the 2018 LIFT Virtual Summit.
The presentations consisted of a number of important agriculture topics, centered around the themes of increasing nutrient availability, protecting the crop from pest and disease pressures, how to optimize yields, best practices, product solutions and results and new product offerings for the upcoming season to provide the editors with information they could expand on and use with their audiences.
The lineup included:
“Driving Yield in Corn – How In-Furrow Fungicide Applications Prepare the Seed for the Best Start”
Scott Stout, Corn Fungicide Product Manager, BASF
In his presentation, Stout discussed the features, benefits and results for Xanthion® in-furrow fungicide and how in-furrow applications maximize yields and support plant health. For optimum yields, it is important to start out strong and provide crops with the necessary protection during planting through emergence. Xanthion in-furrow fungicide is ideal for growers planting early and in extreme conditions. It also offers two modes of action to protect both the root and root zone.
“Managing Soybean Cyst Nematodes with a New Biological Seed Protection Option”
Dair McDuffee, Seed Treatment Specialist, Valent
McDuffee shared Valent’s new Aveo EZ Nematicide and Intego® Suite Soybeans, explaining how both products help protect soybean crops against Soybean Cyst Nematodes and other pest and disease pressures. By colonizing the roots of the soybean plant, Aveo EZ reduces nematode reproduction. Intego Suite soybean seed treatment also protects against key pests and disease with a dual mode of action that provides protection above and below ground. When used together, the products offer reliable consistency and flowability in the treatment tank and optimal crop protection.
“Nitrogen Stabilizers: An Important Tool for Nitrogen Management”
Jake Wiltrout, Nitrogen Management Specialist, Dow AgroSciences
Wiltrout explained the importance of keeping accessible nitrogen in the soil longer to increase nitrogen effectiveness in crop production. With yield-reducing pressures such as denitrification and leaching, it is crucial to ensure crops have access to appropriate amounts of nitrogen for optimal plant health. By keeping nitrogen available in the soil for longer periods of time with nitrogen stabilizers containing Optinyte technology, such as N-Serve® and Instinct®, growers can optimize the benefits to their crop from the nitrogen to maximize crop yields and grow their crop in a sustainable way that is better for the environment.
“Formulation & Application Technologies of the Future – Next Generation In-furrow Technology”
Julie Boss, Product Manager, FMC
Boss discussed the future of in-furrow insecticides and fungicides featuring Ethos® XB Insecticide/Fungicide. She also highlighted in-furrow application technology innovations including Capture® 3Rive 3D®, a low-volume water based application system that allows growers to protect their crops in an efficient and sustainable way. Boss also introduced the Freedom Pass Application Innovations program that allows growers to access 3Rive 3D technology.
“Innovations in Regulatory, Formulations & Combinations with Seed Treatments”
Tom Kroll, Technical and Product Manager, Nufarm
In his presentation, Kroll shared the latest Nufarm innovations including registered custom blends, the Spirato® product family, nutrient assimilator integration (Sativa® IMF Sembolite Max) and triazole mixtures that are new combinations from the Sativa and Salient® product families. Kroll highlighted how registered custom blends are a solution for improving convenience with short-lived formulations and the commercial advantages for the registered formulations.
“Elevating Yields to the Next Level”
Paul Gerdes, Proprietary Products Manager, West Central
Gerdes highlighted the importance of essential nutrients, including phosphorus and zinc, for healthy plant development. Since phosphorus and zinc are known for getting tied up in the soil, making them unavailable to the plant, West Central has been focusing on developing solutions to make phosphorus, zinc and the other essential nutrients more available for plant uptake through their P Project. With products such as Levesol Zn, growers are able to optimize nutrient efficiency for better overall plant health. Gerdes also introduced the P Challenge, a new initiative for 2018 that was developed as a follow up to their P Project, to help ag retailers share improved fertility solutions and best practices with corn and soybean growers.
The LIFT partners recognize that events such as this virtual summit and their annual LIFT Summit help the ag industry continue to educate and create awareness for initiatives and product solutions that are being developed to help growers maximize their yields and improve overall crop health for better ROI and greater success from planting through harvest.
A special thank you to our ag media guests who attended the 2018 LIFT Virtual Summit: