Central Minnesota’s Walking Your Fields newsletter-August


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This issue of Walking Your Fields newsletter contains articles about: fall tillage, corn drydown and harvest timing and an update on the season’s corn progress.

Articles are written by DuPont Pioneer agronomists in Minnesota and are distributed on behalf of DuPont Pioneer account managers and Pioneer sales reps.

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Central Minnesota’s Walking Your Fields newsletter-August

  1. 1. This July and August have been one of the most pleasant stretches of weather that we can remember. The daily high temperatures have lagged behind a few degrees per day but that has allowed crops to limp by on the rainfall front. In most areas, precipitation has been “just enough” to keep crops advancing. It would be helpful though to receive another good shot of rain now that crops are fill- ing pods and kernels. Variability a Concern: Now that pollination is complete we have been walking many fields to see what kind of “nick” there is out there. From the road it might appear that fields are pretty uniform, but once you stick your nose into some fields it becomes obvious that there is quite a bit of non-uniform ear development going on. This picture shows six ears picked consecutively. We suspect the first and fourth ears were from plants that emerged a few days after their neighbors. Obviously if there is a lot of this type of variability, setting combines and dry- ers will be more challeng- ing this fall. Growing corn on corn can be a challenging process, but many growers have it figured out. You need to start plan- ning for a successful 2014 crop now this fall with your stalk shredding and primary tillage operations. The new chopping heads are becoming more popular but still pre- sent challenges if not set properly. You don’t want to see pieces of residue longer than 8” in length. Several of our newer Pioneer® brand hybrids are shorter in height for easier residue management in corn on corn rotations. Opportunities for Tillage in Dry Soil Conditions: In many parts of Minnesota, soil moisture is still on the deficit side and hopefully we get some moisture re- charge prior to the fall tillage season.  Fall primary tillage is most effective at lifting and shat- tering soil compacted layers across the width of the tillage tool.  Leveling devices on primary tillage tools may help to work down soils more effectively.  On rippers, many growers narrow shanks from 30” centers down to 24”. This helps avoid tillage points from “blowing up” large chunks of soil that are difficult to manage with secondary tillage.  Air pockets have been an issue with getting uni- form seed beds in many fields where large par- abolic points cre- ate these large chunks of soil.  Residue sizing and corn root ball management can be more effective with the use of chopping corn heads or stalk choppers combined with vertical tillage tools ahead of primary tillage. These tools help bust up root balls and size residue for better decomposi- tion over winter months and create more ideal planter seed beds next spring.  Make every attempt to size and incorporate residue pieces this fall for improved seedbeds and more uni- form corn and soybean emergence next spring plant- ing season. WALKING YOUR FIELDS® newsletter is brought to you by your local account manager for DuPont Pioneer. It is sent to customers throughout the growing season, courtesy of your Pioneer sales professional. The DuPont Oval Logo is a registered trademark of DuPont. PIONEER® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchase which are part of the labeling and purchase documents. ®, TM, SM Trademarks and service marks of Pioneer. © 2013 PHII. Summer Marching Along WALKING YOUR FIELDS ® www.pioneer.com August 28, 2013 - Issue 6 2014 Planting Starts With 2013 Fall Tillage Case IH 330 Turbo Photo: DuPont Pioneer Ear variability. Photo: DuPont Pioneer Table 1. Growing Degree Units (as of 8/20/13) Location Precip Depart from Norm Since 4/1/13 GDU Totals Since 5/1/13 GDU Depart from Norm Montevideo -1.78 1793 -178 Hutchinson -3.12 1772 -53 Olivia -1.43 1754 -75 Willmar -4.80 1918 +73 Lamberton +5.26 1815 -82 Marshall -5.57 1826 -108 Redwood Falls -2.93 1853 -197 Worthington -3.53 1752 -113 North Mankato -3.74 1820 -180 Waseca +2.86 1654 -228 Winnebago +0.61 1813 -132 Source: www.Pioneer.com GDU Calculator <<
  2. 2.  Many growers are going to more straight points to save on fuel and also do a better job of fracturing deeper soil compaction zones.  Appropriate levels of residue incorporation needs to be accomplished which enhances residue breakdown without layering residue and causing uneven seedling emergence (corn on corn concern)  We saw dramatic differences of spring versus fall urea applications this season (Spring apps superior to fall). DuPont Pioneer agronomists do not advocate fall urea applications, especially east of U.S. Highway 71.  Fall anhydrous ammonia applications are fine when soils cool down to less than 50°F. The use of a nitro- gen stabilizer is also a good fall practice. We have been observing some nutrient deficiencies on soybeans this summer. Potassium is showing up in a number of fields. The photo on the right shows a yellow halo on the outside of the soy- bean leaf which is a classic K2O deficiency. Drought stress in some areas this season can reduce availability and uptake of K2O. Of course, fields with lower testing K2O are most likely to show these symptoms. It is just a good reminder that with the large corn yields we have been pulling out the past few years, it might be necessary for you to reevaluate your fertilizer program. Soil testing is the place to start making 2014 fertilizer plans. Grid sampling gives you much more information than regular 20-acre block sam- pling. The following bulletin from the University of Minne- sota is a good reference for all field crops: Fertilizer Guidelines For Agronomic Crops in Minnesota: http://bit.ly/15aBaAx Many corn fields in the region were planted mid to late May or early June. That corn will likely need until early October to reach maturity (black layer). As growers hope for a late autumn to get field work done before the snow flies, now is the time to weigh the cost of in-field grain drydown versus using artificial drying at harvest. There are three main factors that influence the rate at which corn dries, physiological maturity, weather and the corn hybrid. Corn that matures earlier typically dries fast- er due to more favorable drying conditions earlier in the harvest season. On the same note, later maturing corn has fewer warm days to aid drying and will dry slower. In a typical year, corn that matures on September 15 may require only about 10-15 days to reach 20 percent mois- ture, while corn that matures on September 25 may need 30 days to reach the same moisture level (D.R. Hicks, 2004). Drydown is linked to heat units (GDUs). Under ideal weather conditions, corn may lose up to one point of moisture per day. As the days get cooler, GDUs de- crease and drying slows. A rule of thumb is that 30 GDUs are required to lower the grain moisture each point from 30 percent to 25 percent. Forty-five GDUs per moisture point are required from 25 percent to 20 percent. Also consider that we typically expect no more than about 10 GDUs per day in late September, and only about 3-5 GDUs per day in late October. That means that field dry- ing of corn may take two to three times longer for late maturing fields. Drydown is also hybrid specific. The amount, thickness and tightness of husks affect drydown; the more insulated the ear, the longer it takes to dry. Up- right ears are more prone to capture moisture in the husks. Lastly, corn with moderate test weight dries faster than hybrids with heavier test weights. The ideal harvest moisture for corn is between 22-25 per- cent. Waiting for corn to dry to 18 percent moisture in the field certainly saves on the energy bill; but it also increas- es the likelihood of excess harvest losses due to stalk lodging, ear drop and detrimental weather all of which can affect your bottom line. In addition, there may not be enough heat units this fall for in-field drydown. Ohio State University research indicated no additional in-field grain drying occurred after early to mid-November (Minyo, Geyer & Thomison, 2009). “Phantom yield loss” may also encourage growers to har- vest at slightly higher moistures this fall. Growers occa- sionally report harvesting part of a field early and finishing the field when it is dryer, only to discover the later har- vested portion of the field is yielding several bushels less per acre than the first harvested corn. Purdue University confirmed these claims indicating that grain corn dried in the field has the potential to yield one percent less per point of moisture. For example, corn that was 200 bushels/acre at 28 percent moisture would only yield around 180 bushels/acre at 18 percent moisture Fall Soil Testing For 2014 Profits Corn Drydown & Harvest Timing Delaying harvest may increase risk of lodging, ear drop or kernel loss and result in reduced yields. Photo: DuPont Pioneer Photo: DuPont Pioneer >>
  3. 3. if left in the field too long. This research also confirmed that the ideal moisture level for corn grain harvest is 25 percent. Harvesting wetter than that can damage kernels and of course significantly increase drying costs (Nielsen et al., 1996). Artificial drying costs will vary this season depending on LP gas prices, which currently range from $1.25 - $1.40 per gallon across Minnesota. Nonetheless, harvesting at a higher moisture level this year may increase grower profitability, specifically when growers anticipate medium to high harvest losses. The table below was developed by Iowa State University, and customized by DuPont Pio- neer agronomists to illustrate different drying scenarios and costs based on an average LP price of $1.35/gallon. If you have questions about moisture levels, drydown and harvest, contact your local sales representative for assis- tance. (Sources: Minyo, Geyer & Thomison. 2009. How will delaying corn har- vest affect yield, grain quality and moisture? Ohio State University Ex- tension. Nielsen et al. 1996. Kernel dry weight loss during post-maturity drydown intervals in corn. Purdue University.) We launched the new Pioneer® brand T Series soybean varieties this spring season. We are pleased with how they have measured up in agronomic scores and look forward to generating some yield data this fall with SxS. *All Pioneer products are varieties unless designated LL, in which case some are brands. Roundup Ready® is a registered trademark used under license from Monsanto Company. New Account Manager Hired For Territory KHS Matt Benson has accepted the area KHS Account manager position filling the open position when Neil Hansen be- came the KH south Field agronomist. Matt comes to Pio- neer from an ag-retail manager position and will bring a wealth of agronomy and crop management experience to the customers in Jackson and Cottonwood Counties. We welcome Matt and know that he is anxious to work with the growers in that geography. Estimated Cost to Dry Corn to 15% Moisture Harvest Moisture LP gal/bu LP $/gal LP $/bu Drying Cost $/bu* Drying cost $/point* 35 0.472 1.35 0.637 0.645 0.032 30 0.337 1.35 0.455 0.461 0.031 25 0.219 1.35 0.296 0.299 0.030 20 0.109 1.35 0.147 0.149 0.030 Based on: NCH-51 Hybrid Maturity-Energy Relationships in Corn Drying, Iowa State University; *assumes electrical cost of $0.115/kwh AGRONOMY RESOURCES, TOOLS & APPS Pioneer.com and Pioneer mobile allow growers to have extensive crop management resources and agronomy information at their fingertips. All this information is available at: www.pioneer.com Pioneer® Field360™ Tools app Keep fields at your fingertips and capture important information with this GPS powered field documentation tool.  Pinpoints your field location via satellite imagery and records notes or photos on the spot.  Instantly organize your crop scouting information by location to save or share. Pioneer® Field360™ Notes app Agronomy expertise from DuPont Pioneer in one app with field-level insights and real-time data.  Input a location, start date and CRM one time and easily navigate between the enhanced agronomy tools.  Track multiple field scenarios, view forecasts/daily precipitation, and calculate GDUs and key crop stages.  Email results - including screenshots of graphs and estimated growth stages Pioneer® Field360™ Plantability app This planter settings calculator gives precise planter settings for corn and sunflower seeds of all sizes and shapes. Pioneer Planting Rate Estimator Examine historical yield response curves to help estimate an optimum planting rate for Pioneer® Brand Corn Prod- ucts. New T Series Soybeans For 2014 Season Variety/ Brand* RM SCN Source PRR Gene & FT Score IDC Rating (1-9) P10T91R 1.0 PI88788 1K, 4 7 P19T60R 1.9 PI88788 1C, 6 5 P21T97R 2.1 PI88788 1K, 4 7 P22T69R 2.2 PEKING 1C, 5 5 P24T19R 2.4 PI88788 1K, 6 6 P25T51R 2.5 PI88788 1C, 3A 4 It’s All about T: “Total Soybean Performance”