Agronomy Update October 2017
Posted by Brian Banks and Amy Schroeder on October 16, 2017
By Brian Banks, Senior Agronomist
CORN GRAIN DRY DOWN
According to the USDA, corn harvest progress is well behind the five year average. Other than the recent weather delays, the corn has been roughly 5-10 days behind the average for most of this growing season. A delayed crop will typically have higher grain moisture, thus delaying harvest. There are many factors that affect the rate at which corn grain will dry down to a harvestable moisture level. It is often said corn will dry about 1 percentage point per day in September and around 0.5 percentage point in October. Weather plays a significant role in this dry down rate and recent studies from Iowa State University and Kansas State University have shown that to be true. Click here for information from Iowa State University, and here for a study from Kansas State University. These articles show both similarities and differences between the two states on how weather patterns change the dry down rate for corn.
In the last few years there has been a lot of conversations around fertilizing soybeans. We know soybeans can respond well to fertilization in certain fields but in others it seems yields will hit a ceiling and additional inputs do not provide a positive return. One of the biggest nutrients in question is nitrogen. Conventional thinking is soybeans can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and the addition of nitrogen fertilizer is not needed, and can even prove detrimental. The question needing to be answered is when and where do we apply nitrogen to increase soybean yields. A joint study from the University of Nebraska and Argentina researchers was conducted to address this question. In their research, they found situations where nitrogen fertilization proved beneficial. In the following article from Nebraska Today, UNL explains how the research may lead to a different thought process for future production strategies in soybeans. Click here for more information.
By Amy Schroeder, Research Agronomist
CORN RESIDUE MANAGEMENT
As harvest nears, the question of what to do with corn residue will arise. A 200 bu/A corn crop can leave up to 5 tons/A of residue in the field. That residue is a source of N, P, K, Ca, Mg and S. Your best ally for residue degradation is right beneath your feet – your soil! A healthy soil has a plethora of beneficial microorganisms (microbes) that are ready to get to work degrading your residue. An application of a humic acid supports microorganisms by giving them food to eat and a place to live. When you support the microbes, they’ll support you by degrading residue and harvesting the nutrients from it. In addition to its impacts on microbes, humic acid is highly interactive with nutrients in the soil. It reacts with nutrients through chelation and complexation, which keeps nutrients in the soil and reduces loss by leaching. Humic acids also physically modify soil structure by binding soil particles together, which increases soil aggregate stability, improves water infiltration and aeration, and increases nutrient holding capacity. The Andersons offers several great products to promote healthy soil and residue degradation. Talk to your sales representative about which of The Andersons Humic Solutions are right for your operation.
RESIDUE MANAGEMENT RATES:
1-3 gal/A; can be mixed with UAN, if desired
40 lb/A broadcast application
200-300 lb/A broadcast application
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