Thursday, June 23, 2011
Now is prime time for crop scouting across the midwest. LuAnn and I saw a young man pulling soil samples for Sever Consulting out of Washington Court House last night on our way to Werner's Pork House for our anniversary dinner. It gave me an idea of what to talk about today.
I started scouting fields for a fee in 1985 when we lived on Canada Road and one of our neighbors was Steritz Seeds. He encouraged me to contact Ohio Seed Improvement, I did, and I have scouted for them ever since. I just finished certified seed wheat scouting and it won't be long until soybeans are in flower and we will be scouting seed soybeans in addition to other fields.
Today's picture is from our farm with headed out cereal rye killed with Gramoxone the first week of June and planted to LL soybeans. It will soon be time to spray them and I need to determine what day that is and what rate to use and whether I need anything else in the tank with Ignite.
You can see the problem with the notill drill by my foot. This drill shoots out a string of beans and then skips, which is not good for maximum yield. The White planter doesn't do that but it was planting corn the same day on another farm.
It looks like last year's corn stalks washed in a pile might have caused the skip. The beans are healthy but so are the weeds. I marked it as moderate to heavy foxtail, light marestail which is resistant to glyphosate and ALS herbicides, light Canada thistle and a few other weeds but those are the main targets.
I didn't see much bean leaf beetle pressure but I usually add an ounce of a generic pythrethoid insecticide for insurance. I may add a generic select to hit the grass harder but the 29 ounce rate of Ignite should take care of everything so the beans can canopy and smother out any new weeds later.
There is no disease yet but as wet as it has been I expect plenty of septoria which turns the bottom leaves yellow and is present in almost every field every year in the United States. It can spot the leaves and the pods and take up to 10 bushels per acre in yield so I might use a fungicide later on this season. That is why you scout the field more than once.
A tissue test could be taken at this stage but I would prefer two trifoliates present on every plant and take a soil test with it where my shoe is. This is pretty standard for many farmers and crop consultants to do but very few fields get tested that way in the United States.
My tissue test in last year's corn was Sufficient to High according to my Midwest Labs report so I don't expect any problems. It just needs good growing weather. This field got two tons of high calcium lime which should unlock more nutrients over time and increase the efficiency of the fertilizer I applied last fall before the cereal rye was planted.
All in all, this farm is good to go with planned practices. The rye really kept the rolling farm from washing and the soil has everything the crop needs to maximize yield.
This is what crop scouting looks like today in southwest Ohio.