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Market Feed Blog

Updates from the Field


Update from the Field: Soil Health, Can You Dig It?

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on March 19, 2019

As the days get longer and spring approaches, the itch to get out in the field becomes more overpowering. The long-term forecast shows the higher precipitation pattern that we’ve seen so far this year is likely to persist into spring. In addition, according to NOAA, [...]

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Update from the Field: If You Can’t Stand the Wheat, Get Out of the Kitchen

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on March 13, 2019

When planting wheat in the fall, you should be shooting for a population of 1.7 million seeds per acre. If you achieve a planting population of at least 1.5 million seeds per acre and 90% of the seeds germinate, you have succeeded in getting a great start to the [...]

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Update from the Field: Beware the Ides of March

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on March 5, 2019

February is in the rearview mirror and with the ides of March nearly upon us, agronomic thoughts need to be turning to wheat topdress. The famous line from William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, “Beware the ides of March” also bodes well to [...]

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Update from the Field: Small Quantities, Giant Rewards Part 4

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on February 26, 2019

The last article in my four-part micronutrient series will focus squarely on the micronutrient zinc (Zn). The grand-daddy of all micronutrients, zinc is the most widely talked about and recommended micronutrient in agriculture today. I have heard agronomists from around the country tell audiences to “Apply [...]

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Update from the Field: Small Quantities, Giant Rewards Part 3

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on February 18, 2019

The third article in my four-part micronutrient series will focus on the micronutrient manganese (Mn). Great things come in small packages! Manganese may be needed in small quantities, but it activates several important metabolic reactions and plays a vital role in photosynthesis by aiding in chlorophyll synthesis. [...]

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Update from the Field: Small Quantities, Giant Rewards Part 2

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on February 12, 2019

This is the second article in a four part series outlining the reasons why micronutrients may be used in small quantities, yet deliver giant rewards.

Boron, one of the micronutrients that is essential for crop health, also happens to be one of the most deficient [...]

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Update from the Field: Small Quantities, Giant Rewards Part 1

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on February 4, 2019

This will be the first article in a four-part series about micronutrients, presenting four different micronutrients and how they affect the crop. Micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients, but the amount required is very small. One might ask, why do we need to apply these nutrients [...]

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Update from the Field: One is the Loneliest Number…

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on January 29, 2019

With good weather, wheat topdress is only four to six weeks away. While it’s common to use UAN, due to it being a great carrier of herbicides and other nutrients, it runs the risk of burning plant tissue as well as losing nitrogen to denitrification, [...]

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Update from the Field: Where Have All the Sulfates Gone?

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on January 22, 2019

When Peter, Paul, and Mary sing “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”, I think of all the sulfate that used to be in the soil.  In the past, atmospheric deposition of sulfur from the burning of high-sulfur coal and diesel provided enough sulfur to [...]

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Update from the Field: Back in Black

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on January 15, 2019

This past week, I attended the National No-Till Conference in Indianapolis where The Andersons was a Title Sponsor of the event. While talking to many producers and suppliers at the event, two products from The Andersons kept cropping up in our discussions: UltraMate® LQ [...]

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Update from the Field: Start Right, Start Strong

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on December 18, 2018

While visiting several Farm Center locations this last week, I overheard numerous conversations about the poor quality of soybean seed germination for the 2019 seed stock. Early reports have some soybean seed germination as low as 80 percent. Typically, soybean germination runs around 90-95 percent. Fungal disease on [...]

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Update from the Field: Tip Toe Through the Tulips

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on December 10, 2018

Given the recent rains and soggy soils that have plagued us this fall, compaction should be on everyone’s mind. With the ever-increasing size of tractors and equipment, compaction can become a problem that will limit yield potential. How big the problem is will be determined [...]

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Update from the Field: A Lot of Corn in Those Fields

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on December 4, 2018

The USDA’s November 26th Crop Progress Report showed the U.S. corn harvest at 94 percent complete, down slightly from the five-year average of 96 percent. Figure 1 shows a chart of each state’s harvest progress from Farm Bureau. One common thread with 2017 and this year [...]

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Update from the Field: Spring into Action this Fall

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on November 26, 2018

Abundant rain the last couple of months in much of the Cornbelt has promoted the relatively early emergence of winter annual weeds. In particular, the big three turning our fields a nice lush green are marestail, chickweed, and purple deadnettle. In addition, there are perennials out [...]

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Update from the Field: Micronutrients: Not Sexy, but Essential

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on November 13, 2018

As the title suggests, micronutrient applications are not the most widely talked about in the agriculture industry.  They are not applied or sold by the ton, and you may not even know your crop is deficient.  The term we bat around in the [...]

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Update from the Field: White Corn Down!

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on November 2, 2018

Corn lodging resulting from stalk rot diseases can cause complications during harvest, loss of grain on the ground, and/or grain quality issues. A higher than normal incidence of stalk rot disease is evident in many fields across the Cornbelt this year. Stalk strength is further compromised [...]

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Update from the Field: Wonderful Winter Wheat Weather?

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on October 23, 2018

Winter wheat can be a hard crop to grow successfully. As crops start coming off, we need to put planting our wheat seed as priority.  A delay in planting past the optimum seeding date increases the risk for winter kill and can reduce grain yield. [...]

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Update from the Field: El Niño, Nacho Typical Winter

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist and Dani Kusner, Agronomist on October 15, 2018

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed there’s a fifty percent chance of an El Niño weather pattern in the U.S. through November.  The chances of El Niño conditions increase to about seventy percent by the onset [...]

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Update from the Field: Put Back What You Take

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on October 2, 2018

Record yields have placed higher nutrient demands on the soil, and, if yield trends continue, the demand for soil nutrients will also increase.  The harvest in the southern Cornbelt indicates a huge crop will be taken off the fields this fall.  Early results [...]

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Update from the Field: Who is the Weed’s Daddy?

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on September 25, 2018

In the coming weeks, combines will be rolling and this year’s soybean crop will be coming off.  As my travels take me across the Corn Belt, I have noticed areas in mature soybean fields that have been taken over with weeds. These [...]

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Update from the Field: Trash Talk

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on September 18, 2018

The Pro Farmer Crop Tour has wrapped up, and they have released their official yield estimate for the 2018 U.S. corn crop.  They have estimated the U.S. corn crop at 177.3 bushel per acre average.  The USDA came out with their estimate [...]

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Update from the Field: Popping Pods

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on September 11, 2018

We are in the home stretch with harvest just around the corner!  The big question on every producer’s mind is, “How will my soybean plants yield?”  In general, it can be fickle to predict soybean yield because there are [...]

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Update from the Field: Ear it Comes Again

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on September 4, 2018

Last year I wrote an article named “Ear Comes Trouble” after much of the Corn Belt saw an increase in ear rots.  The huge amount of ear rot last year helped lay down a healthy amount of inoculum that survived and spread to [...]

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Update from the Field: Count On Corn

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on August 28, 2018

Several times this past week, I have been asked two big questions: “How is the corn crop progressing?” and “What is your best guess at yield for the 2018 corn crop?”  Scouting the corn field at 55 MPH will not tell you much. [...]

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Update from the Field: A Tale of Two Seasons

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on August 20, 2018

This corn growing season has manifested into two noticeable extremes, an early planting and a late planting.  The two plantings this year were driven by weather and a horrifically-wet spring. The early corn was put in the ground around the last week in April, [...]

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Update from the Field: Perplexing Pollination Problems

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on August 13, 2018

Over the last few weeks, the Cornbelt has seen above-normal temperatures and, in some areas, below-normal precipitation.  Experiencing prolonged heat and moisture stress is not a good combination for the corn plant, especially during pollination and grain fill.  

Peak pollen shed [...]

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Update from the Field: Nematodes, the Other Insect

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on August 8, 2018

If I had to pick one insect that has the greatest influence on soybean production worldwide year in and year out, I would pick the soybean cyst nematode.  These microscopic insects live in the soil and attach to the soybean root, literally sucking the life [...]

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Update from the Field: Beetle Mania

Posted by Agronomists, Dave Dyson, Dani Kusner & Jessica Stacy on July 30, 2018

For the past few weeks, reports have increased for different kinds of beetles attacking both corn and soybeans.  The first pest is the Japanese beetle, which is normal for this time of year.  The second looks like a Japanese beetle on steroids (figure 1)! [...]

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Update from the Field: Boring Insects are not Boring

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on July 23, 2018

Soybean fields are starting to become overrun with weeds that are herbicide-resistant. This phenomenon is not new and will continue to get worse over time. The reason glyphosate-tolerant crops became so popular in 1996 was that the weeds at the time were almost impossible to kill with existing [...]

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Update from the Field: Not Mushroom for Fungus

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on July 16, 2018

As the days start to get shorter, our soybeans are starting to flower. Once soybean plants start flowering, they enter the reproductive stage, and the plants can be very susceptible to stress. This stress can come in many forms: drought, insect, weeds, and fungus.  In this [...]

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Update from the Field: Fireworks, Fertilizer, and Fungicide

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on July 9, 2018

In parts of the corn belt, quite a bit of corn was planted in a two week window. With the potential for booming corn yields and more acres than usual ripening at once, harvest may take a while to complete.  The average temperature has been about [...]

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Update from the Field: Growing Pains

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on June 25, 2018

As the days start getting shorter and the weeds start getting taller in the soybean fields, our collective attention starts to focus on post applying herbicides.  In past years, when 99% of the U.S. soybean acres were glyphosate tolerant, there were no worries, as we could [...]

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Update from the Field: Twisted Sister

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on June 18, 2018

As the corn growing season moves from cooler, spring-like weather to the heat of summer, it is not uncommon to see fields with scattered plants whose leaves appear twisted or wrapped.  This phenomenon is known as rapid growth syndrome.  It can occur when the corn plant [...]

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Update from the Field: Smoke ‘em, Don’t Burn ‘em

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on June 11, 2018

Weed resistance is becoming a nationwide epidemic. Long-term resistance management requires more than pest control aimed only at minimizing crop loss in any one season. In this week’s post, I would like to show some of the weeds prone to resistance and provide some suggestions for controlling [...]

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Update from the Field: A Tissue for an Issue

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on June 4, 2018

When my kids start complaining about their teenage angst, the saying around my house is: “Do you need a tissue for your issue?”  In agriculture, sometimes taking a tissue sample can make you aware of an issue before yield damage has occurred.

Tissue sampling [...]

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Update from the Field: Get a Head Start on Head Blight

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on May 30, 2018

The recent wet weather is not only playing havoc on planting crops, the high moisture is fueling fungal spores that can damage existing crops. There are two main diseases to watch for right now: Fusarium head blight (or head scab) and Anthracnose. 

Depending on the region, [...]

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Update from the Field: Don’t Let Residue Pin You Down

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on May 21, 2018

As little corn seedlings start emerging from the soil, some corn plants seem to be coming out of the ground faster than others. Last week, I was called out to investigate a no-till corn field with uneven emergence. The field in question had plants two inches tall next to [...]

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Update from the Field: Corn-fused

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on May 15, 2018

The most important pass a farmer can make across the field is the planting pass, but success does not stop with one single event. Plant spacing and emergence timing are critical in yield determination and there are many factors that must occur to achieve uniform spacing and emergence. The [...]

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Update from the Field: Déjà Vu All Over Again

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on May 8, 2018

We had a good ten days of decent planting conditions before the rain shut everything down.  Now I sit here looking out of my office window, pondering how much rain we will get and when we will get back on these water logged fields.  As the great [...]

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Update from the Field: Committed to Excellence

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on May 1, 2018

This last month I had the opportunity to travel to North Platte, Nebraska.  One might ask why I would visit North Platte, Nebraska.  Could it be to tour the fourth largest cattle lot, the world’s largest rail road yard, or maybe to see the [...]

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Update from the Field: The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow…

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on April 24, 2018

As the title suggests, you can bet your bottom dollar that spring will eventually come out and play in the northern half of the country.  While we wait, let us explore some ways to get the corn crop jump-started, especially with the colder- and wetter-than-normal conditions we&rsquo [...]

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Update from the Field: Will La Niña Take a Siesta

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on April 16, 2018

The crazy, non-spring weather is the talk of the town everywhere you look today.  Here it is, the middle of April, and there is still snow in the forecast.  Like it or not, this is very normal and was predicted last fall. It’s La Ni [...]

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Update from the Field: Hold the Salt

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on April 11, 2018

Every year after planting, questions start about pop-up fertilizer. The questions always occur when there are emergence or germination issues.  Before planting gets into full swing, let’s get a head start and think about safely applying a high-orthophosphate, low salt starter in furrow - we will [...]

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Update from the Field: The Three Amigos — Zinc, Manganese, and Boron

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on April 3, 2018

The three micronutrients that should be included in a starter fertilizer are zinc, manganese, and boron. Zinc is the most deficient micronutrient in the world, with boron coming in a close second.  Please note, as with any nutrients that will be added to your starter, a little goes [...]

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Update from the Field: Stand Up for Wheat

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on March 26, 2018

Evaluating wheat stands early in the spring can be a challenge in a normal year.  We just came out of an extremely dry fall where we experienced very poor germination and reduced stands.  With only a week into spring, we are seeing erratic temperature swings, heavy snow [...]

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Update from the Field: Path of Least Resistance

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on March 19, 2018

The last couple of years we have been inundated with horror stories of herbicide-resistant weeds taking over the countryside. Some of us have had the pleasure of fighting nasty, resistant weeds from burndown to harvest. Some of the weeds that have been documented to have some level of herbicide [...]

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Update from the Field: Damn the Dicamba, Full Speed Ahead

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on March 12, 2018

In the last few months, there has been a major push by both the chemical industry and the extension agencies to “teach” applicators how to apply dicamba properly.  While waiting at meetings to present my slide show, I have had a chance to listen to several [...]

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Update from the Field: Back to Bean Basics

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on March 5, 2018

As my travels take me around the Midwest, I hear more and more farmers deciding to plant soybeans after soybeans.  The USDA estimates soybean acres will be higher than corn acres in 2018.  The majority of additional soybean acres will be coming from wheat or CRP ground, but [...]

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Update from the Field: What are the 4Rs?

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on February 19, 2018

In the past few years, excess nutrients in our watersheds have been causing havoc where they converge.  We see large concentrations of phosphorus in Lake Erie causing algae blooms and large concentrations of nitrates in the Gulf of Mexico causing a “dead zone” the size of [...]

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Update from the Field: Take a Stand on Corn Population

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on February 12, 2018

 In recent years we have been told, by seed companies, that seeding population has a direct relation with yield. I somewhat agree with that statement. When we increase the population evenly we will increase yield, but will yield continue to increase indefinitely? Technology has made it [...]

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Update from the Field: Future of Agronomy

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on February 5, 2018

Since November, I have been traveling around to The Andersons Farm Centers and Grain facilities talking about the future of agronomy and agriculture. As of December 2017, the world population is 7.9 billion. The United Nations estimates the world is currently growing at a rate 1.09% per year. If that current rate [...]

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Update from the Field: Micronutrients and Starter

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on January 30, 2018

Prepay season seems to be winding down across the corn belt, but before the talk goes completely away from inputs, let’s have a discussion about additives in your starter.  

The term starter can have many meanings to many different growers.  The reason we [...]

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Update from the Field: Don’t Cheat on Your Wheat

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on January 23, 2018

Wheat top dressing season is just around the corner. Whether you are top dressing with liquid or dry nitrogen, some decisions need to be made now. There are pros and cons with both types of nitrogen. By making a few important choices now, you can prevent potential headaches later [...]

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Update from the Field: No-Till, No-Worries

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on January 15, 2018

Last week, I attended the National No-Till Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.  I spoke with many farmers about the benefits of using a seed safe, highly efficient, high quality starter in-furrow. A high quality, low-salt starter is very beneficial in any tillage system, but is particularly important in a [...]

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Update from the Field: Cold Weather Bugs Me

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on January 8, 2018

The last couple of weeks of extremely cold weather has brought up some questions as to how insect pests will react to this situation.  Insects are cold-blooded animals, meaning that their body temperature is similar to that of their surroundings. They do not maintain a body temperature as [...]

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Update from the Field: A Year in Review

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on December 26, 2017

As we celebrate another Christmas with family and friends, let us look back at the cropping season of 2017. This year saw new genetics, wild weather, and even wilder commodity prices.  

With the New Year came the anxiety of wondering what products, if any, was the [...]

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Update from the Field: Make Data Great Again!

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on December 18, 2017

It is beginning to look a lot like “prepay” season, and with prepay comes the inevitable question, “How much nitrogen do you think I need to apply per acre?” Nitrogen rate recommendations for a given field are traditionally linked to historical yield levels. For a [...]

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Update from the Field: Up in Smoke

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on December 11, 2017

Last week at the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation meeting, I had a discussion with a couple of colleagues about fall nitrogen application. The discussion centered on the pros and cons of different types of nitrogen being applied in the fall. One group liked urea (46%) and UAN 28% for the safety and [...]

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Update from the Field: Let’s Have a Fiesta for La Niña

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on December 5, 2017

While drinking coffee at the local watering hole these past few weeks, I have been hearing a lot of grumbling about the “crazy” weather we have been experiencing this fall. According to NOAA, the weather pattern we are in right now is not new or unexpected. [...]

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Update from the Field: Let’s Toast Barley

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on November 27, 2017

The Andersons’ Farm Centers have seen a steady decrease in winter wheat acres over the past five years. The only farmers raising wheat now are those looking to tile or apply manure in the following year. There are many reasons as to why winter wheat has fallen out [...]

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Update from the Field: Rain, Rain Go Away!

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on November 20, 2017

The persistent rainy weather this fall has been very stressful to anyone trying to get crops out of the field or trying to get chemicals and fertilizer back on the field. In previous articles, I stressed the importance of applying dicamba in the fall to prevent hard to control [...]

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Update from the Field: Profitability & pH

Posted by Dave Dyson on November 14, 2017

Talking to clients about liming or fixing a pH problem can be a little dull or boring. It is definitely not as appealing as a fertilizer or chemical recommendation. You may not see the full effect of your lime application for 2-4 years, but once you get your pH [...]

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Update from the Field: Refuse to Let Your Trash be a Problem

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on November 6, 2017

Stalk residue, or “trash,” can be a major source of problems to farmers in the spring during planting. Corn stalks especially can cause havoc to planters or drills. The excess cellulose and stalk residue can puncture tires, create voids in the seed trench, restrict soil to [...]

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Update from the Field: Decoding Dicamba

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on October 30, 2017

Dicamba is not a new chemical; it actually was developed in 1967, and it has been a major player in the post herbicide corn market for 50 years. Some might even say, “What is the big deal? I have been spraying corn with dicamba all my life.” The [...]

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Update from the Field: Compact Your Garbage, Not Your Soil

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on October 23, 2017

With the recent rains and soggy soils we have been seeing over the past week, compaction should be on everyone’s mind. The ever increasing size of tractors and equipment has led to compaction, resulting in limited yield potential. The extent of the problem depends on the type [...]

Read more...


Update from the Field: Not So Southern Comfort

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on October 16, 2017

Corn harvest is in full force throughout The Andersons’ territory. Yields have been high and moisture has been running around 19% or less. We have had great weather so far, but now we are looking at a rainy pattern settling in for the next couple of weeks. I am [...]

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Update from the Field: As the Reel Turns

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on October 9, 2017

As dry weather is settling in around the Midwest, soybean harvest is progressing rapidly. There are reports that soybean moisture levels are around 10%, with some levels as low as 7%. With moisture levels this low, the time of day you harvest can be a critical factor in reducing shatter.  [...]

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Update from the Field: The Mold and the Beautiful

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on October 2, 2017

Over the past week, we have seen above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall in the eastern half of the corn belt. This is perfect harvest weather. The area around our Walton facility is harvesting soybeans at a decent clip, while the North Manchester, Litchfield, and North Central Ohio [...]

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Update from the Field: Ear Comes Trouble!

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on September 25, 2017

Dave Dyson is a regional agronomist for The Andersons’ Farm Centers which are located throughout Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. He is an Indiana native and grew up on a dairy farm in Miami County. A graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Crop & Soil [...]

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Update from the Field: Phosfix

Posted on July 10, 2017

Phosfix makes a good crop great; a great crop better. It is a powerful combination of macro and micronutrients with growth and plant enhancers that improve yield and profit by enhancing crop vigor and encouraging crop health.

Phosfix is designed for use on all crops [...]

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Update from the Field: Pain in the Pod

Posted by David Dyson, Agronomist on July 2, 2017

As we celebrate July 4th with BBQs and gathering with family and friends, keep one eye on your soybean fields.  I am starting to get reports from Michigan that producers are finding increasing numbers of soybean aphids (Figure 1).  The research-based economic threshold to apply insecticides [...]

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Set Up Your Soybeans to Exceed Expectations

Posted on May 31, 2017

Get soybean crops on the road to recovery after weather extremes, nutrient deficiencies or insect and disease attacks with foliar fertilizer.

Foliar fertilizer is an effective approach of applying fertilizer to meet soybeans needs during yield-determining growth stages.

Splitting applications of nitrogen provides [...]

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