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Category Archives: Fertilizer

Crop Progress in Central Illinois – Derek Porter

What a difference last week made in the planting progress here in Central Illinois and across many areas of the corn belt. Much of the corn in my area has been planted with a slug of beans being put in the ground much of last week through this week. Unfortunately, there are still areas experiencing wet conditions. I talked to one guy out in Ohio that’s still experiencing wet conditions and it sounded like there was a strong possibility for him to take prevent plant on all his corn acres and if conditions don’t improve, beans might not be planted either. Driving around central Illinois, I would say the condition of the corn crop has improved as we’ve dried things out but there are plenty of fields that are still riding the struggle bus compared to what we normally would expect this time of year in central Illinois. Some corn that is V3 and earlier is trying to establish its nodal root system which might cause yellowing in some fields particularly ones that have been waterlogged and compacted. Soil microbes are also starting to ramp up as conditions dry out and are tying up some of the nitrogen, sulfur, and other nutrients in the soil in order to break down old crop residues. This will cause yellowing in both corn and soybeans and is often referred to as the carbon penalty. Any yellowing seen in corn early on is likely to limit top end yield potential particularly in hybrids that flex in girth. In soybeans, this yellowing will likely go away once the soybean starts to make its own nitrogen which is at the V4 stage and shouldn’t limit yield potential a whole lot. A good way to manage this carbon penalty is to apply some nitrogen either broadcast or with your planter along with some sulfur. I had one grower apply some liquid UAN with some thiosulfate out the back of his planter and he saw a pretty good response in the early growth of his corn.

Speaking of early growth, phosphate-based starter fertilizer’s such as our Crop Choice 3-18-18-1 or 9-18-9-1 that have a high concentration of phosphorus, push energy production and ultimately growth in the plant. Even if corn was planted late this year, I still expect to see a positive yield response if you used a phosphate-based starter fertilizer such as our Crop Choice blends. The positive yield response could even be as much or more than is typically seen when starter fertilizer is applied earlier in the season. This is due to the accelerated growth that should lead to earlier pollination and a longer grain fill period. This in turn will give about a week more of grain fill leading to higher kernel weight which will be the key to high yields with late planted corn. Usually lack of starch accumulation in the kernels due to a shortened ear fill window is why corn doesn’t yield quite as well when it’s planted late.  

I’m also seeing a lot of sulfur and zinc deficiencies throughout the area and a foliar feed of these nutrients with your post emerge herbicides might be warranted. Our Foliar Opp contains both sulfur and zinc plus other micronutrients and our Max 72 Slow Release Nitrogen contains sulfur but can be blended with zinc and other micronutrients as needed. We’ve seen both products add 5-10 bushels in corn when combined with our Sugar E-Boost. With cash corn at $4.50 here in central Illinois, it only takes 2 bushels of corn to pay for this application.

I’m also seeing good performance out of our Landoil and Soil Boost spray adjuvants. Once again both adjuvants are proving to be safe on the crop with very little herbicide response being observed in fields that had a full label rate of herbicide applied to them.

I hope things are looking better on your operation as we progress through this tough growing season. If you have any questions you can call our office or contact myself or other Soil Service salesman in your area.

 

Derek Porter

Sales Manager

309-267-6905

dporter@soilserviceinc.com

Crop response of running UAN with thiosulfate on the planter.

Crop response of using a phosphate based starter (3-18-18-1 on the left) gives a rapid growth response that accelerates corn growth by 1 week.

Corn yellowing due to the carbon penalty.

Sulfur deficiency on corn appears as yellow stripping between the veins. Zinc and other micronutrients such as manganese can look similar.      

 

Landoil and Soil Boost Extreme did an outstanding job controlling weeds and provided excellent crop safety. 

 

Starter vs. No Starter – June 1, 2019 – John Viertel

It’s been said that a “picture is worth a thousand words”. Really don’t have to say anything else with this picture!

This is from the no till field that I wrote about back on April 25. It was planted into following a burn down of a cereal rye cover crop. We did plant a test plot in this field, comparing our Crop Choice starter program with different mixes of our products. As you can see, there is a “HUGE” difference with the starter program vs no starter.

Program shown here:       5 gallons per acre 9-18-9-1, 1.25 gallons per acre Max 72 SRN, 1 pint per acre 9% Zinc, and 1 pint per acre of Sugar E-Boost.

By the way, the program corn plants are in the V-4 stage, while the no starter corn is behind at this point in barely the V-3 stage. This photo was taken on May 31, 2019.

If you are planting in to cover crops, or are thinking about doing so in the future, a Crop Choice Starter Program can help get your corn off to a great start, even in not so perfect growing conditions.

My contact info:     jviertel@soilserviceinc.com or 573-680-6951 call or text

Soil Service, Inc office:      info@soilserviceinc.com or 888-313-2360

John Viertel

Update – MO Plot

Here we are no tilling, into a killed cover crop, a CROP CHOICE fertilizer plot on April 25. Notice the dark clouds to the west? We did have a shower and had to quit for the day right after we got done with the plot. We finished the field the next day. This is going to be an interesting comparison. We used 9-18-9-1 as the base starter, then added zinc, then SUGAR E-BOOST, and then Max 27 SRN. There can be an allelopathic effect from the cereal rye, when planting corn into that cover crop. Having a good starter program with extra nitrogen should help the corn get off to a good start, not having to deal with the effect from the cereal rye. This plot should give us a good idea of how our program works.

I will be following this plot the entire season, so check back to check on its progress.

By the way, it has started raining this morning, and the forecast for the rest of the week here in Central Missouri is for 2.5 to 5 inches of rain. Field work has again come to a halt. It has been an interesting year, to say the least. A lot of corn got planted last week, now we have to deal with heavy rains on those freshly planted fields. As it dries out and corn starts to emerge, take time to evaluate stands carefully before making any replant decisions.

 

My contact info:               jviertel@soilserviceinc.com or 573-680-6951 voice or text

Soil Service, Inc office:   info@soilserviceinc.com or 888-313-2360

Have a safe and productive planting season!

John Viertel

Record Snow Fall in Mid MO – John Viertel

As most all of us across the Midwest, I got out last Saturday morning to start digging out from the overnight snow storm. The picture of my truck was taken at about 10 a.m. Saturday morning and the depth of the snow on the tarp was at 8 inches. One hour later, after a lot of scooping and pushing snow, there was 9 inches. According to the National Weather Service at the Columbia, Missouri Regional Airport, this was the third highest snow storm since 1900, totaling 16.9 inches.

While plowing out my driveway, I got to thinking about what the “Old Timers” use to say. “We’re getting a lot of free fertilizer from all this snow”. Some even thought it was a prudent thing to get out in the field and plow the snow under to capture that “free fertilizer”. They had observed that after a late winter or spring snow, that their grass and even their wheat crop greened up more than after a dry winter. So, the thought was that there was a lot of nitrogen in the snow.

There is a lot of nitrogen in the air (78%), but snow is made of water. While some of the nitrogen in the air will attach to the water molecules, it’s not very much and most of that nitrogen, especially what’s in the top layer of snow, will evaporate and go back into the atmosphere. A small amount in the bottom layer of snow will go into the soil, but it such a small amount that, don’t count on it for part of your overall nitrogen program.

Before the Clean Air Act took the sulfur out of auto and coal emissions that were going into the atmosphere, we did get a lot of our sulfur needs from rain and snow. But we no longer get that free fertilizer, and we must add that 15 to 20 units of sulfur regularly to our fertility programs for grass crops like corn and wheat. The biggest advantage of this blanket of heavy wet snow for most of us is the insulation of the wheat crop that is out there, protecting it from the artic temperatures which are forecast for this weekend and next week.

We hope that you have not had any problems from this past snow storm, and you have had time to enjoy the beauty of what Mother Nature provided for us. Even though it was just a little pain in the you know what!

John Viertel

 

 

Missouri Harvest – John Viertel

Harvest is underway in Missouri, and early results are coming in (as seen in the above screen shot). Even though we have been under extreme drought conditions here, it looks like the corn yields are going to be pretty good.

This early report came from John Hansman in Central Missouri. You might remember that name from last year. I followed John’s soybeans from planting through harvest. This year he used the entire Soil Service Program, from starter at planting and foliar feeding with Foliar Opp.

Even with the extreme stress that we have experienced in this part of the country, this shows that using a “balanced” fertility program from start to finish in a crop helps the plants deal with extreme stress and be able to finish strong. By the way, John reported that it looked like he was averaging about 162 bushels per acre in this field. Thanks for the report, John!

Next week, September 11 thro 13, we will be at Husker Harvest Days in Nebraska. This will be my very first HHD, and I am looking forward to seeing this farm show. If you are planning to attend, please stop by the Soil Service, Inc. booth (#761) and visit with us about our Crop Choice fertility program to help you get the most out of your crop in 2019.