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Q&A: IL Agronomists Share Season Insights

July 26, 2021
Corn and soybean trials at the Grow More™ Experience site in Pontiac, IL

Corn and soybean trials at the Grow More™ Experience site in Pontiac, IL.

Weather has been a major factor in the success of IL row crops in 2021, with some counties experiencing wet conditions and others dry conditions. So how have these conditions impacted the corn and soybean crops, and how can you prepare for next season? We spoke to two IL Agronomy Service Representatives, Kevin Scholl and Matt Geiger, for insights into this season and lessons for the next.

Northern IL – Kevin Scholl

Kevin is our Agronomy Service Representative for Northern IL and manages the Grow More Experience Site in Pontiac and Dixon, IL. When we spoke to him, corn was at the V8-V9 stage and soybeans were at R1.

Q: What has the weather been like so far this season?

A: We’ve had ample rain as of late but were on the dry side early in the growing season. The corn and soybean crops look good though.

Q: What are some key insights from this season that can help growers next year?

A: We’ve seen that timing and multiple effective sites of action are 2 keys to herbicide product success. Growers should aim to have their preemergence herbicide(s) applied early, before weeds even emerge, and within sight of activating rainfall. Afterward, a planned second pass with overlapping residuals can help provide yield protection through canopy and beyond. Using herbicides with multiple effective sites of action for both applications helps ensure you’re not contributing to weed resistance.

Currently, we’re heading into disease timing, and we’re pretty wet, so we anticipate a lot of benefit from applying fungicides. We anticipate corn rootworm pressure to be higher this year. Due to the earlier drier conditions, we feel like the rootworm larvae will be feeding pretty well on corn roots, so we’ll see how the corn rootworm traits and insecticides hold up.

Southern IL – Matt Geiger

Matt is one of our Agronomy Service Representatives for Southern IL and manages the Grow More Experience Site in Highland. When we spoke to him, corn was at the V8-V10 stage and soybeans were at V5-V6.

Q: What has the weather been like so far this season?

A: At the Highland, IL, Grow More Experience Site, it was nice and dry after planting, so we ended up with a good stand. The weather was fairly dry until early July, so we have a good root system established underneath the crops. We started receiving rain in early July, so the crop is really taking off now and looking great. Now that we have ample moisture, I expect disease to be coming in fairly soon. The better growing conditions you have, usually the more disease you’re going to see as well.

Q: Do you have any key insights or observations that you’ve made so far this season?

A: One thing my customers and I noticed earlier this season was the difference soybean seed treatments make in a crop. For April planted soybeans, it was cool and wet shortly after they went in the ground, so that is very conducive for Pythium activity. Soybeans treated with a Syngenta product, like CruiserMaxx® Vibrance® seed treatment, had less stand reduction and more vigor versus competitors, and especially versus seed that did not receive a seed treatment.

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