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Agronomic Updates from Hawkeye/Cyclone Territory

July 21, 2016

Iowa corn and soybean growers should be proud of harvesting a colossal 23 million acres statewide in 2015 – whether Hawkeye or Cyclone fans. Every acre makes a difference in feeding and fueling our growing global population, and 17 acres are set aside in Carroll, IA, this year for education.

While conquering weeds, diseases and insects remains at the forefront of the education conversation at the Carroll Grow More™ Experience site, a fourth environmental factor became a topic of focus: pH levels. Many Iowa growers are cutting back on lime applications, unaware their pH levels are falling to yield-blowing lows. The ideal pH level ranges from 6-7, so if needed, add lime to bring the pH back up to that level. Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium may be plentiful in a low pH soil, but not able to be taken up as efficiently. Adding 10 pounds of sulfur per acre can increase yields 10-40 bushels in sulfur deficient fields. To see if corn and soybean fields need a pH or sulfur boost next season, conduct fertility tests.

Dealing with Weather Woes

While Iowa growers are most likely all-too-well aware of the 70+ mph winds that have ripped across the state, there are ways to minimize Mother Nature’s force. Planting depth is an especially important consideration when it comes to wind. Seed planted 1.5 inches deep versus 0.5 inches will stand a much greater chance of overcoming root lodging.

Considering the rainfall, humidity, and dew levels many Iowa growers have seen this season, keep an extra eye out for Northern corn leaf blight (pictured above), gray leaf spot, and eyespot in corn. Southern rust has also been working its way north and is catching many growers unaware. In soybeans, brown spot and frogeye leaf spot are becoming more prevalent. These diseases can be controlled with an application of Trivapro® fungicide. Along with scouting now, take a look at the disease pressure ratings of your hybrids and varieties. Since there are no industry standards, be sure to talk with your local agronomists to stay ahead of diseases. For next season, try to plant as early as possible so there is less time for disease inoculum to accumulate.

To experience additional agronomic insights firsthand at the Carroll site, contact your Syngenta representative.

Photos are either the property of Syngenta or used under agreement.