Soil Amendments

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  It is now one year since the last blog on foliar feeding (check out that blog from last year) and a lot has been going on through out the world. There are some things in short supply, especially in the tech field. Commodity prices have the experts baffled. And...

Soybean Plot Harvest in Missouri – John Viertel

After a very dry summer, we have been getting some moisture in the form of rain for the last 2-3 weeks. Very welcome, even if it did slow harvest a little. On October 23, we finally harvested the Soil Health Study Field. We were pleasantly surprised with the results....

Return on Investment using Sugar E-Boost – John Viertel

Here are comparisons that we have compiled from the previous two years using SUGAR E-BOOST when foliar feeding. The ROI is impressive! For a 94 cent per acre investment, you could include SUGAR E-BOOST with your herbicide application. SUGAR E-BOOST provides energy to...

Importance of Micronutrients – Derek Porter

At a recent conference I attended, one of the presenters made the statement that it doesn’t pay to apply micro nutrients. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this statement and most likely won’t be the last. Not only are micro nutrients crucial to plant growth, in...

Soil Health Study Update

Do the larger root systems on the plants on the right of the picture below peak your interest? I decided to go into the Soil Health Study field and dig some plants up last Tuesday. I also went to an adjoining field that has not received the Nutrient Recycling Program,...

Fallow Corn Syndrome: Causes and Prevention

There has been a lot of talk and several articles over the last few weeks concerning the uneven corn, especially in the areas where crops were not planted last year. What gets me is after talking to an independent agronomist yesterday, no one really seems to know what the cause is. Here are a few of the ideas going around:

(1) Some think it was because the soil mycorrhiza didn’t have the proper host last summer due to bare ground. (Even where there were a lot of weeds that were allowed to grow.)
(2) Some think it was because we had such a mild winter—that the freezing and thawing did not get rid of some shallow compaction.
(3) Others think it was because some growers cut fertility programs to save on costs this spring.
(4) Still others think it was just a function of the cooler, wetter spell after such good planting conditions and early corn planting.

Crop Residue: Understanding the Basics from Planting to Nutrient Breakdown

Did you plant soybeans into a lot of residue this year? This practice is becoming more and more common all across the country.

The picture on the right shows a field that beans were planted into on Monday of this week. While part of the field was rolled, the majority was planted into the standing cereal rye. As you can see, there is a huge amount of cereal rye straw both on the ground and still standing. There should be no worries, right? The question is: what is going to happen to all that residue by this fall, and even next spring for the next crop? Will it break down and be easy to manage? What is happening to the nutrients that that cover crop has sequestered?

Reflection on 2015: Calculating the Benefits of CropChoice Starter and Sugar E-Boost

Thank you to everyone for their business over the past year. It has been just a little bit over a year since Andrea and I bought SOIL Service, Inc. We very much appreciate all of the kind words and encouragement that we have heard over the last 13 months. They are more helpful than many of you know. We all appreciate our customers sticking with SOIL Service through the transition.

CropChoice Starter fertilizer has come down substantially for 2016 when compared to its pricing for 2015. Obviously, grain prices have done the same, and the overall economics for 2016 are not looking as good as we have become accustomed to over the past four or five years…

Healing the Soil: Preventing Sudden Death Syndrome

Is this soil-born disease affecting your fields this season? If so, you are not alone. Traveling around both Missouri and Iowa, I have seen it just about everywhere. I hear from my coworkers that it is in Illinois, too. So why has it hit so hard this year?

1. Planting time conditions – early planting dates into cool, wet soils.
2. Conditions at blooming stage.
3. Cooler, damp conditions throughout reproductive stage of soybean plant.
4. Cyst nematodes.

These are the reasons that we all are hearing, and we sure had them in this growing season. What these conditions do is trigger Fusarium in the soil to work much more efficiently to cause SDS and lower yields 20-40%, and in some cases, more.

Here is another theory. For the past ten plus years, we as producers have been using a lot of glyphosate in our bean production to control weeds. And, for the past five or so years, we have been battling resistant weeds with increased rates. According to Dr. Don Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology Purdue University, the increased use of glyphosate is causing a buildup of the chemical in our soil.