Category Archives: Spray Surfactants

Fungicide Application Tips for 2016

For the most part, corn planting is finished in West-Central Illinois, Eastern Iowa and Northeastern Missouri. Now it’s time to think about protecting that investment with fungicide applications. As I’m writing this, corn for October delivery is $3.52 to the river. That certainly makes finances tight, and we must evaluate the economics of everything we do more closely. It’s critical to do everything possible to increase per acre profit. Fungicide is one product that you can use to increase that per acre profit with very little effort. 

Fungicide Map

SOIL Service has been doing fungicide work for our customers since 2006. This will be our eleventh year working to provide you with the best service and timeliest applications. In those 11 years, we have amassed a lot of data on yield responses from fungicide applications. Our annual average response has been between 12-18 bushels per acre for our customers. This year, our recommended fungicide programs will cost between $25-30 per acre. At today’s grain price, that requires a minimum yield response of 7.1 bushels per acre to break even. Anything over that is profit. A 15 bushel response would give you about a $25 per acre increase in profit. Factoring in the increased plant standability and ease of combining, it is easy to expect fungicide applications to be a good and profitable idea again in 2016. 

In 2015, our growers saw a bigger yield response from fungicide than usual. Many tell us it was well over 20 bushels per acre. In general, we believe that SOIL Service aerial customers get a more consistent response than the average aerial customer, due mainly to three things:

  1. SOIL Service, Inc. offers the Landoil® and SOIL Boost Plus® surfactant package that research has proven makes your applications more effective, consistent and profitable.
  2. Three-gallon application rate. Fact- Better coverage will give you better control of the foliar diseases. At SOIL Service, we use a standard application rate of 3 GPA. This is 50% more than our competition. In some cases, we even use 4 GPA.
  3. Foliar Feeding. Foliar Opp®, Max72SRN® and 2075SRN® are all available along with your fungicides. This is a trend that is growing nationally, and regardless of soil test readings or soil quality, it seems to be a very profitable and popular segment of production agriculture. Whether it’s the micronutrients, available nitrogen or P & K products that you need, our sales team can help you decide which product or combination will help give you the most bang for your buck.

Please keep in mind that we can include insecticides with any of the aerial applications.  We can make recommendations about corn rootworm beetles, soybean aphids, bean leaf beetles, corn aphids and many other pests that will help minimize the effect they have on your crop. 

Soybeans also benefit greatly from fungicide applications at the R3 stage.  Using an airplane for applications allows timely application regardless of soil moisture conditions, and it prevents sprayer tracks in the field at a time when the beans will not recover from being run over.  

Please give us a call to get set up to spray your acres and get you that additional $25 per acre profit this year.

Corn Crop 2016: Advice from John Viertel

WOW! In all my years of traveling the state of Missouri during the month of April, I don’t think that I have ever seen the corn crop go in the ground faster or under more ideal conditions than it did this year! After scouting some fields on April 28, the newly emerged plants look excellent. One field was almost in the V-2 stage, and there are probably some fields in Missouri that are further along than that. Emergence and population were virtually perfect. Weed control – excellent!

So now what? Are you worried about dry weather later in the growing season? Is the nitrogen that was applied last fall still there? How can the yield potential of this crop be maximized from this point on and still get a good “return on investment?”

These questions can all be addressed very easily. In 2013, we did a one-half rate fungicide trial on the corn that was in our Soil Health Study Field at the V-5 to V-7 stage. That year, there were good planting conditions and good moisture early in the season, but then it turned hot and dry in July and August. The whole field’s average yield (across the scales) was 180 bushels per acre (bpa). Good corn! The fungicide trial in particular stood out. Half-rates were taken of three different fungicides, some alone, some with 2 gallons per acre of Max72SRN®. The average of the five different trials was 12 bpa better than the whole field average. The 2 gallons per acre of MAX 72 SRN alone yielded 19 bpa better than the whole field average.

Got your attention now?

Here is what I observed during the dry period of the summer. Where the fungicides had been applied in that V-5 to V-7 stage, the corn plants were healthier looking, and they showed very little stress. That is what the fungicide companies are saying is the benefit of applying earlier in the season. The application can be made with Soil Service’s MAX 72. If you want or need more potassium and sulfur, our NEW 2075 SRN® could also be used.

How do you know if the nitrogen fertilizer applied last fall is still there or not? Do a soil nitrate test, along with tissue tests of your corn. The time to start doing that is now! We are in a rain delay at the time of this writing. As soon as it dries up, soybeans are going to be planted just as fast as the corn got planted. So during this delay, soil and tissue samples could be pulled and sent in.

So will you get a “return on investment” using this crop management strategy? As of April 30, new crop corn was at $3.55 in central Missouri. At just a 12 bpa increase, that’s a $42.60 per acre increase gross, at a cost of about $27 (not including application). It could be lower depending on the fungicide of your choice. That’s a net of $15 per acre. Plus, you get the benefit of healthier corn that can withstand heat and drought stress better. In these times of uncertain markets and lower margins, that $15 per acre looks pretty good!

So here is my recommendation at the V-5 to V-7 stage of growth:

  • Stratego YLD at ½ rate (or the fungicide of your choice)
  • 2 gallons per acre of MAX 72 SRN (or 2075 SRN)
  • 16 oz. per acre of SOIL BOOST PLUS® (fungicides work better at 5 to 5.5 pH)
  • 16 oz. per acre of LANDOIL® (for a better spray pattern, coverage, and penetration and absorption)

If you have any questions, you can call or text me at 573-680-6951. My email is jviertel@soilserviceinc.com.

Use SOIL BOOST PLUS and LANDOIL to Manage Weeds

As 2015 has drawn to a close, it is time to really start thinking about next spring and what you are going to do on your operation in terms of weed control in your crops. There are a lot of options out there and many terms being used to describe them, including: “weed resistance management,” “mode of action,” “herbicide group number” and “site of action.” Even back before the Roundup Ready® era, we at SOIL Service talked about herbicides and helping them work better for you! So now that pre-emergent herbicides are being used on a large scale again, different modes of action are being used post-emergence (in tank mixes), and new products are being introduced, here are what our products are and what they can do for you!

Soil Boost Plus-logo_Final _CMYK_300dpi

What it is and what it does:

  • Liquid formulation AMS Replacement
  • Provides all the benefits of AMS and SO-IL Boost
  • Easy to use (16 oz rate up to 15 gal water/acre) (24 oz rate for Liberty herbicide)
  • Contains proprietary penetration and translocation agents
  • Also Contains AMS
  • Acidifies high pH water down to 5 pH
  • Buffers calcium, iron and magnesium in hard water
  • Improves pesticide effectiveness
  • Avoids chemical tie-up in high pH water
  • Improves the consistency of your herbicide

SOIL BOOST PLUS® is an easy to use liquid AMS replacement that can be pre-mixed into your spray water up to 30 days prior to using the water in the spray solution. Several of our customers use the DOSATRON® injection system to pre-treat their spray water in their nurse or supply tank as it is filling, which saves time in the spraying operation. We have a complete kit put together with everything you will need. The DOSATRON is a very easy “plug-and-play” device – just set it up, hook up water hoses, set it for desired amount and turn on the water. What an easy way to treat your spray water!



Pre-emergent herbicides:

  • Reduce run-off and leaching
  • Reduce photodecomposition and oxidation
  • Protect chemicals and extend their life two to three weeks
  • Reduce chemical volatility

Post-emergent applications:

  • Increase leaf penetration
  • Enhance chemical translocation
  • Improve chemical coverage
  • Reduce drift
  • Rain fast in less than 20 minutes
  • Reduce the potential for weed resistance
  • Environmental concerns

LANDOIL® is one adjuvant that a lot of farmers say they would not spray without! With LANDOIL, you get a better spray pattern with reduced drift, which gets more of the spray droplets on the leaf surface. It also breaks the surface tension of the spray droplets so they do not sit on the leaf surface waiting to evaporate. Instead, they get absorbed into the plant. When using LANDOIL with pre-emergent herbicides, especially in no-till, it helps keep the chemical from breaking down in the sunlight if rainfall does not occur for several days after application. This all translates into a better job of weed control from the herbicide program that you are using.

Using SOIL BOOST PLUS and LANDOIL are excellent ways to help improve how well your herbicide program works in 2016! We all want our spray program(s) to work the first time and work well. So if you have any questions on the performance of these products or how to use them, please contact us. We will be happy to help you with “weed resistance management” in your operation.

Clean Fields

In the above pictures, you should be able to see the size of both the soybeans and the weeds approximately 21 days after planting. The photo on the right is approximately 48 hours after the field was sprayed the first time with our Liberty herbicide program.


This field warranted a second Liberty application! (see the light green strip in the field that was missed on the first application)

This particular field had been conventionally tilled and planted, but no pre-emerge herbicide had been applied. The next picture will show a strip that the sprayer missed with the first application. Yes, those weeds are taller than the soybeans.

So what do we need to take away from this? Even if a field is completely clean (conventional tilled or no till) weeds will get a foot hold very quickly, and if they are not managed in a timely manner, you will be trying to control them all season.

We have some recommendations to help have clean fields all season long:

  • Make sure you start with a clean field
  • Use a residual herbicide (maybe even two with different modes of action) preplant
  • Scout fields and be ready to spray post herbicides before weeds are 4 inches tall
  • No matter what post program you are using, use the appropriate water buffering product and adjutants.

SOIL Service, Inc. has the right products for these jobs!

SOIL Boost Plus is the right water buffering product for all burn-down and post applications. SOIL Boost Plus does the following:

  • Buffers metal ions in the water
  • Reduces water pH below 5.0 and holds for 30 days
  • Satisfies AMS requirement – 16 oz. per acre for spray rates up to 15 gallons per acre. If using Liberty, 24 oz. per acre with the 20 gallon per acre spray rate.
  • Has Proprietary absorption and translocation agents included.

LANDOIL is the perfect adjuvant to include with all your herbicides when spraying!

  • Lower herbicide rates – not the double rates that have been recommended the past few years.
  • Encapsulates the herbicide molecules
  • Rain fast in twenty minutes
  • Inhibits photo-decomposition – important with residuals being sprayed with burn down herbicides
  • Drift reduction and better more uniform spray patterns
  • Aids in penetration, absorption, and translocation of the herbicides in the target
  • plants

This is what the field looked like in late July after two herbicide trips.

With commodity prices at a lower level then in the past couple of years, many will be trying to cut costs to help increase the bottom line in their operations. One place not to make any concessions is your herbicide program. Weeds don’t care what the price is for crops in the fall, all they want to do is grow, cause yield reductions, and problems for you at harvest. Oh yeah, they also want to produce more seed so they will be around in the future. With the programs and products that SOIL Service, Inc. has to help you fight the battle with all weeds, we can help you start with and keep your fields clean.

If you are attending the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, or the Western Farm Show in Kansas City, or any other regional show this year, stop at the SOIL Service, Inc. booth and visit with us about our products.

You can still contact me by phone and text @ 573-680-6951, or my new email address which is jviertel@soilserviceinc.com any time to discuss any of our products or programs.