Category Archives: Ag Chemicals

Missouri Plot Update – John Viertel

Sugar E-Boost logo

It’s middle of afternoon on a fantasticly beautiful day in late april. We just finished planting a corn starter fertilizer plot, comparing 3-18-18-1, zinc, sugar e-boost, along with liquid bacteria concentrate,  and soil restored. 

Sugar E-BOOST has been shown a good ROI in our plots and field trials for the past couple of years, when put in with the starter program. 

It’s been a busy day! This morning we did a check strip in wheat by leaving it out of the herbicide, insecticide,  copper, and Max 72 SRN that we applied. The Suger E-BOOST will help all those things work better and give the wheat some extra energy. 

Watch for results this July!

Have a safe planting season.

John Viertel 

Spraying Roundup in Cold Weather – Derek Porter

Landoil logo

Here in Central Illinois, the temperature outlook through the end of April has high’s in the 60’s with low’s dipping down to the mid 40’s to high 30’s. When the overnight low temperature dips down below 50 two days before or two days after application, the effectiveness of glyphosate starts to decrease. This can create issues with early season weed control and I particularly get concerned when terminating cover crops like annual rye, cereal rye, and wheat. My advice to growers facing this situation is to adjust and make changes to their roundup application to compensate for the cooler temperatures. The first adjustment that I would look at is your glyphosate rate. It may not be a bad idea to adjust rates by 50% if you can remain on label. If you’re terminating rye or wheat cover crops, I like to keep my glyphosate rate at a minimum of 1.25 lbs of acid equivalent (not active ingredient) per acre when terminating cereal rye and 2.5 lbs of acid equivalent when terminating annual rye or wheat. The second adjustment I would make is on your spray adjuvant. Even if you’re using a “loaded glyphosate” that is supposed to come with all the surfactant you need, there will still be a benefit in providing a surfactant (NIS) that will provide spreading action of the spray droplets. I want the spray droplet to be able to stay on the plant surface and not roll off. Any droplet that rolls off are useless and efficiency of our spray solution is important in these less than ideal conditions! This spreading is even more crucial if you’re using air induction nozzles or any nozzle that provides a coarse droplet. Our Landoil provides these spreading benefits as well as adhering your chemical to the plant better than most other surfactants on the market. Landoil can also be used as a drift reduction agent, will help penetrate solution into the plant, and will improve the rainfast of most herbicide products. As always, make sure your spray water is conditioned with products such as Soil Boost Plus or Soil Boost Extreme. This will keep the glyphosate from tying up with hard water ions in the spray water. This is an extremely important step no matter what the weather conditions are when spraying glyphosate!

In the past I’ve used a whiff of 2,4-d (2-4 oz.) to help terminate hard to control cover crops such as annual rye and wheat. I’m not using 2,4-d for its weed killing capabilities but more for its growth regulating properties with the hope that it helps with the performance of the glyphosate. I did this last year in some situations and to be honest I don’t know if I gained much in terms of control. One last thing I advise to delay glyphosate applications a couple days if low temperatures are below freezing or look to get below the freezing mark.

If you have any questions or need any help please give us a call and we will be more than happy to assist you!

Stay Safe!

Derek Porter

Central Illinois Sales Manager



Burndown Options Ahead of Soybeans – Derek Porter

SOIL Service, Inc. logo


     What are your options for a burndown ahead of soybeans? If you’re planting dicamba tolerant soybeans, the answer is, more than likely, dicamba and if needed, roundup to control any early season grasses. That was my second favorite aspect of dicamba tolerant soybeans, we could now use dicamba as a burndown option! If your planting something other then dicamba tolerant soybeans then you start to narrow your options, particularly if your dealing with Roundup resistant weeds such as marestail. In the past I’ve become accustomed to use a combination of I pint 2,4-d LVE(low volitale ester) and glyphosate. The other formulation of 2,4-d is 2,4-d amine, which is more water soluble and much more dangerous to emerging soybeans then 2,4-d LVE. LVE formulations usually come as 4 lb products or 6 lb products. Labels will vary but I usually feel comfortable applying 1/2 lb of active ingredient on 1 week ahead of planting. Depending on brand of 2,4-d, ½ lb is usually around 1 pint. A concern of mine here in Central Illinois is ½ lb is not working on some marestail that I’ve seen. Rates equaling 1 lb (approximately 1 quart) of active ingredient should be used in that case. Just remember applying 1 quart will require waiting at least 2 weeks and depending on the specific product, upwards of 30 days before you can safely plant. If the marestail is small enough, I have ran 32 oz. of Liberty as my burndown as long as the weather is warm enough and sun is shining. Another option that seems to work well for me as an aid to my burndown is metribuzin. The rate of metribuzin ranges from 4 to 12 oz. for the 75DF formulation and for 4F formulations ¾ of a pint to 2 pints. I would stay away from metribuzin in soils with a pH over 7.5 and on coarse textured soils with an organic matter level below 2%. In a burndown situation, metribuzin in combination with 2,4-d can help on marestail, common chickweed, mustards, and purple deadnettle.

     As always, please read the herbicide label for proper application and mixing instructions. If you’re looking for adjuvants to help in the performance of your burndown herbicides, Soil Boost Plus and Soil Boost Extreme along with Landoil are excellent options! Please contact us for any of your chemical and adjuvant needs and as always, thank you for your continued business and support of Soil Service and our products!


Derek Porter

Sales Manager Central Illinois



Burn Down Options in Corn – Derek Porter

SOIL Service, Inc. logo

So much for an early spring! Even though the calendar shows it’s April, mother nature appears to be stuck in January. Spring will eventually get here at some point, and its important to take this time to insure you have everything you need when planting arrives. At least in most of central Illinois the cold weather seems to have put a damper on the growth and development of many winter annual weeds. Even if your fields look clean from the road, closer examination might reveal there’s more weed pressure out there then you think, so be vigilant! If this is the case, it’s important to not skimp on your burn down ahead of either corn or beans especially if weeds, like marestail are present. For corn, I usually like to use products such as dicamba, glyphosate, sharpen, and atrazine to provide burndown of most winter annual weeds. Most of my programs in the past consisted of premix’s that contained atrazine (Bicep II Mag, Harness Xtra) spiked with 24-32 oz. of a 5 lb glyphosate. If marestail was an issue, I always advised my growers to throw a pint of dicamba into the mix to insure good control. Sometimes you could survive with 8 oz. if the marestail was less than 4 inches. The issue with dicamba is crop safety. Rain water can flush dicamba down into the furrow causing damage to the seed. Always make sure corn is planted at least 1.5 inches deep and the furrow is completely closed if you plan to use any dicamba product. I personally like to use Diflexx (Bayer) which is dicamba plus a safener to reduce the potential for crop injury. I especially like to use Diflexx when dealing with low organic matter sandy soils where dicamba injury can be of great concern.

 Another product I’ve used to help with my burndown is Sharpen. Sharpen gives a faster burndown then dicamba or glyphosate and gives good residual, particularly on large seeded broadleaves like giant ragweed. Sharpen is excellent on weeds such as marestail and other annual broadleaves but lacks activity on grass. Sharpen needs to be applied in a spray volume of at least 15 gallons because it is a contact herbicide. Verdict is a pre emerge product that contains Sharpen and Outlook. I like this product because you get the burndown activity with the Sharpen and the residual capabilities of Outlook and Sharpen. One last note on Sharpen is always make sure it is applied before corn emergence!

Other alternatives that could be used are Gramoxone, Callisto, and Liberty. I only use Gramoxone in situations when a quick burn is needed. Gramoxone needs warm weather to be most effective and as a contact herbicide, needs to be applied in spray volumes of at least 15 gallons. I’ve also seen good results running Callisto (Mesotrione) with my burndown particularly when henbit is an issue. While I’m not a huge fan of Callisto and other group 27 herbicides pre-plant (I’d rather save them solely for the post trip), I do think they have their place and can be very effective burndown products. Callisto and other group 27 products can be found in premix’s of Resicore (Dow), Corvus (Bayer), and Acuron (Syngenta). If I’m adding Callisto to my burndown, it’s typically at a rate of 1.5 oz. with 1-1.5 lbs of Atrazine and 3 pts of Gramoxone. I ran this program on a couple farms last spring and was impressed with the results. If Callisto or another group 27 herbicide is already premixed into the product, I usually advise not adding anymore.

Liberty can also be used as an option, but spray coverage is the key. I only like Liberty when combating weeds less then 4 inches. Anything taller then 4 inches makes me nervous particularly when dealing with marestail which has a lot of growing points.

These are the programs I have ran on my customers over the last couple years for burndown options in corn. If you still need to finalize your chemical plans please give us a call, we would be happy to help. I will provide information on what I’ve used as soybean burndown options soon. As always make sure you read the herbicide label for proper adjuvants, mixing instructions, and crop rotation intervals. I will post more about those topics in the future. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office or myself. Thank you for you continued business and support.


Derek Porter

Central Illinois Sales Manager



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.