Spotty Rains Over the Weekend

We got some more precipitation over the weekend, some areas saw some severe weather, especially south of us.  (I wish I could save these two inches of rain for the end of next July!) In talking with some customers and employees up in the Galesville area it looks like they had between 2/10 and 3/10 inches of rain.  At my place, Lyndon Station, I had 2.3 inches over the weekend. Looks like towards the end of the week we will start to freeze up the soil profile, lows on Saturday predicted to be in the teens.  When the combines start to roll again this week please give us a call to perform some yield checks.  Also before you do any tillage consider a soil sample. Have a safe week! — Rob Shields

Yield Results Surprise Grower Near Galesville

Last week we worked with Terry Haines to harvest his plot near Galesville (See photo of his plot below). He had 12 varieties, and before we started the plot Terry said that he was not too hopeful of seeing any great yields. This was due to the fact that the plot was planted late, in poor conditions, then it had a lot of erosion from frequent pounding rains. Once the plot was started we could see many areas with missing plants. But to our surprise we had 4 varieties that came in over 200 bushels! One of our Croplan varieties, 4099SS/RIB, came just over 207 bushels per acre. Great job Terry!

Please let any of us know in agronomy if you have any yield checks, side by sides or plots that we can help you check in the upcoming weeks. Please have a safe fall harvest! — Rob Shields

Terry Haines plot, Galesville 11-15-16  #1

Allied Holds Seminar for Cranberry Growers

Cranberry lead Penny Langer had a full agenda for area cranberry growers this morning.  With area agronomist Todd Cardwell going over many aspects of crop protection products and application methods growers were able to receive a lot of valuable information.  If you would like more information on products for the cranberry market, please contact Penny at 608-387-9000.  — Rob Shields

Cranberry meeting 11-13-13  #1

Last call for fall soil sampling…..

Soil Sampling at John Tracey's 11-8-13With the forecast calling for colder temperatures this week it reminds us that before too long we will not be able to soil sample.  Once frost extends down into the soil profile, sampling becomes difficult.  If you are looking to find out where the pH or soil fertility is at in your fields, please call Allied Cooperative now to schedule soil sampling at your operation.  By sampling now it will help you determine what amounts of lime are needed in your fields to maintain the proper pH.  Also you will discover where your soil test P (phosphorous) and K (potassium) levels are at.

Rob Shields

Cold & Wet weather slows fall NH3 application

Fall NH3 #1Over the last two weeks we have seen a lot of Fall Anhydrous Ammonia knifed in with N-Serve. On medium to heavy soils this is a nice way to ease the work load during the spring rush for many producers. However the 1.3″ of rain we received over the last 4 to 5 days and the cold temperatures rolling in (16 degrees predicted for tonight) have all but stopped the fall applications of NH3 or 82-0-0.  I hope they changed the extended forecast to allow for some more fall field work and application. 

I often get asked how long does the N-Serve protect my NH3 in the soil, and the truth is there is no standard answer.  A lot of it has to do with soil temperature.  I attached a quote from Dow Agrosciences to help with this question. Please stay safe out there this fall!                — Rob Shields


Q. How long does N-Serve protect nitrogen (N) at the root zone?

A. Historically, N-Serve applied in the fall has provided approximately 90 days of effectiveness, with that effectiveness declining over time. N-Serve is designed to slow the conversion of anhydrous ammonia into the nitrate form when soil temperatures rise above 40°F. This soil temperature is significant because the soil bacteria that break down anhydrous ammonia into nitrates become active at this temperature. If soil temperatures are below 40°F, the soil bacteria become inactive and the anhydrous ammonia is not converted into nitrates.

If you’ve applied anhydrous ammonia with N-Serve in the fall, simple counting can help you determine roughly how long N-Serve will protect your N the following spring. Just count the number of days from application until the soil temperature reaches 40°F and then stop counting. Start counting days again when the soil warms back up to 40°F.

Outstanding yields at Galesville Plot today near Ettrick

Today our Agronomy Director to the West, Keith Ronning, worked with our Croplan and DeKalb reps to harvest a large plot just outside Ettrick, WI.  They found yields in excess of 220 bushels!  With the top yield going to DKC52-30 with 223 bushels.  Planted in less than ideal conditions and no rain for almost 2 months it’s hard to believe we can find areas with these kinds of yields. Stay in touch with your local Allied Agronomists to learn about this and many other informative plots in your area.  Have a safe and productive harvest!

–Rob Shields, Agronomist


Bring your planter units in now for calibration & cleaning

With rain predicted the next few days I would encourage you to bring in your planter units now for cleaning and calibration.  This will help to lower the chance of rodent damage by cleaning and removing any seed that is left.  By getting your meters calibrated and checked over now it will allow you time to discuss repairs and upgrade options. We use the patented MeterMax system from Precision Planting.  Below is a photo and some information from Precision Planting going over some important details of the MeterMax system.  Please contact Rob Shields at (608) 547-9865, Andy Christensen at (608) 547-8305, Cory Witt at (608) 797-3563 or any of Allied Cooperative’s agronomy staff to assist you with getting your meters processed early this year.

precision graphics

Why should I calibrate my meters on the MeterMax system?

The MeterMax system offers unique value compared to other test stands on the marketplace. Our trained technicians have years of experience and are trained by our experts. Make sure you work with a certified Precision Planting dealer. Certification means they have been to our training center within the last two years for all the current techniques. We ensure through a comprehensive process that the meter is calibrated to give the grower nothing but “picket-fence” stands. National tests showed a 10 bushel advantage with the MeterMax system. Furthermore, the MeterMax Test Stand is one of the few stands on the market that does not measure performance on a percentage basis. Accuracy not population – competitor stands that use percentages are not as accurate since 2 doubles and 2 skips on the stand would still equal 100%. This is not helping you as a grower achieve your maximum yield potential!

Harvesting your corn early to avoid field loss

You may be tempted to leave your corn crop in the field to dry down and reduce your drying expenses.   But by waiting you increase your chances of field loss.  Most fields have some anthracnose present, and this year we had a lot of moisture stress to add to the stalk quality issue.  Another fact to consider is that a lot of our corn was planted late in poor conditions.   This has resulted in may plants that have poor root systems.   These plants will have a much harder time standing during a October wind storm when you combine the anthracnose, poor stalks and smaller root systems.   I attached a nice piece from Ohio State going over what anthracnose looks like and what it is to help you identify it in the field.   Please consider harvesting your field corn early this year.   I do not want to see any down corn in our area.   Thanks for looking over my info on this blog and please have a safe harvest!

Anthracnose Leaf Blight and Stalk Rot of Corn


Patrick E. Lipps and Dennis R. Mills
The Ohio State University

Anthracnose has become one of Ohio’s most important corn diseases. This disease was first detected in Ohio in 1961, causing stalk rot in research plots at Wooster. Later reports of the disease were mainly concerned with the leaf blight phase and little damage was attributed to the stalk rot phase except in a few localized areas. Since 1972, the evidence of anthracnose has increased greatly. Anthracnose stalk rot has been severe in the state since 1979 when stalk rot was observed in more than 50% of the fields surveyed and the range of infected plants in those fields was 10 to 90%; some fields had 50 to 80% of the stalks lodged. Yield losses occur from premature plant death that interrupts filling of the grain, and stalk breakage and lodging causing ears lost in the field. It can be safely stated that anthracnose occurs in all corn growing areas of the state and that losses in certain years could be as high as 10 to 20%.


Anthracnose of corn may appear as a leaf blight, stalk-rot, top-kill of the stalk, and kernel rot. However, most damage results from the stalk rot and leaf blightanthracnosephases. The anthracnose fungus can attack corn plants at any stage of development. Lesions can be found on leaves of very young plants soon after emergence when the fungus has overwintered in the field. Leaf lesions are generally brown, oval to spindle shaped, about 1/4 inch wide by 1/2 inch long. Usually, a yellow or yellow-orange area surrounds the disease portion of the leaf. The actual size and shape of the leaf lesions varies greatly among different hybrids making diagnosis in the field very difficult. The fungus can usually be seen on the leaf surface with the aid of a hand lens. Spore masses within characteristic fruiting bodies are easily identified based on the presence of small, black spines (setae) arising from the leaf surface. Spines can usually be detected within fruiting bodies near the midrib of heavily diseased leaves or within older lesions on lightly diseased leaves.

Symptoms of the stalk rot phase are easy to recognize and usually are not confused with other stalk rot diseases. Late in the season shiny black, linear streaks and blotches appear on the surface of the lower stalk above the brace roots. Occasionally, the entire stalk becomes blackened. The internal stalk tissue or pith becomes discolored, turning dark gray to brown and shredded. Severely diseased stalks are weakened and are likely to lodge before harvest. Anthracnose may develop in the upper stalk above the ear, resulting in top dieback. These blighted tops may top-lodge above the ear.

Disease Cycle

Anthracnose of corn is caused by the fungus, Colletotrichum graminicola. This fungus has many strains, some of which cause various diseases of rye, wheat, barley, forage and weed grasses as well as corn. The strains appear to have a restricted host range so that only isolates from closely related grasses will cause disease when cross inoculated. For instance, isolates from johnsongrass, sudangrass, and sorghum will attack corn, but are not as pathogenic on corn as those originally isolated from corn. Isolates from small grains do not attack corn.

The overwinter survival of C. graminicola is dependent on corn residues being left on the soil surface. Deep plowing of infested residue for one growing season would eliminate the pathogen from the residues. In spring, conidia (spores) are produced with acervuli (fruiting bodies) on residues left overwinter on the soil surface. Conidia are rain splashed onto the surface of the leaves of young plants and cause primary infections. Leaf blight has been observed on the lower leaves of young corn plants in early June with little or no further disease spread until after tasseling. The disease is favored by warm, moist weather and disease severity is increased during protracted periods of low light intensity and high humidity. Therefore, severe leaf damage can result after long periods of heavy overcast, rainy weather. If weather conditions are favorable during late July and August the leaf blight may spread to the upper leaves. Yield reductions can be expected when significant leaf death occurs before six weeks after tasseling. Top dieback or top lodging can occur at any time after tasseling and premature death of the entire plant is an indication of stalk rot. The black stalk symptoms begin to appear soon after plants show signs of early death.


  1. Hybrid selection is the first step in disease control. Hybrids available vary widely in their level of susceptibility to anthracnose. Hybrids with some resistance to the leaf are not necessarily resistant to anthracnose stalk rot. Growers should carefully select hybrids with the proper leaf blight and stalk rot resistance, with good standability, and high yield potential.
  2. Since the anthracnose fungus survives in corn residues, especially on the soil surface, the disease may be more serious under reduced tillage systems and in continuous corn. A tillage system that chops and completely buries the residues coupled with a one-year rotation  away from corn will eliminate the local source of inoculum. A two-year rotation away from corn may be necessary under no-tillage or reduced tillage systems.
  3. Avoid excessive plant stress by using a balanced soil fertility program based on soil tests. Plant at populations suggested for the particular hybrid, and control insects such as the European corn borer and corn rootworm.

Additional information on Anthracnose leaf blight and stalk rot is in Ohio State University Extension Bulletin 802, Corn Disease Control in Ohio, available from your local Extension office or The Ohio State University web site Ohioline at:

– Rob Shields, Agronomist

Green Plants and Brown Pods?

The picture below was take by Dr. Mike Weiss, showing a curious condition we are seeing in some areas.   It has been brought about by the weather conditions we have seen this season.  It is best to be aware of it and plan your harvest schedule accordingly.    I also attached an article from Purdue giving some additional information.    Please have a safe and productive harvest!   Let us know if we can yield check any of your fields.

rob 10-10-13


Green stem syndrome present in some Indiana soybean fields

?????????????????By Amanda Gee | Posted on 9/30/2013

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Some Indiana soybean fields are showing symptoms of green stem syndrome, a Purdue Extension soybean specialist says.

Green stem syndrome occurs when soybean pods and seeds mature – turning harvest color and drying out – while the stems remain green. Late-season stresses that interrupt seed-fill, such as weather, the environment, viral diseases or insect infestations, usually cause the problem.

“It’s been noticed around the state, spots here and there where later-in-the-season weather stressed the plants,” Shaun Casteel said. “The dry weather and heat caused plants to abort pods. The plants’ demand for pod development and seed fill wasn’t there anymore, so the plants started maintaining the stem as the plant matured.”

Casteel said farmers should go into fields that seem to be browning and see if both the pods and stems are maturing.

“This year with some of those green stem-type fields, producers need to take a look at the pods themselves and the grain to see if they are dry enough for harvest,” he said.

Soybeans should be harvested at or slightly above 13 percent moisture to maximize yield, but green stems are tough to harvest.

Casteel said producers with fields exhibiting green stem syndrome have two options.

The first is to harvest the beans at optimal grain moisture to capture water weight. Doing so likely will slow harvest and increase fuel costs because of the green stems.

“For harvest, be prepared to have to ‘chew’ through fields with green-stem syndrome with the combine, especially with older equipment,” Casteel said.

Another option is to wait and harvest the plants when the stems turn brown. This option is easier on equipment but likely will reduce yield due to lost water weight. Delaying harvest for a few weeks also could allow the pods more time to dry out and possibly shatter.

“Producers need to be aware that this phenomenon is occurring so they can make informed decisions about optimizing harvest and reducing losses in yield and profit,” Casteel said.


— Rob Shields, Agronomist

Grain Plant Hours for September 28 & 29

The Adams grain plant will be open on Saturday, September 28, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. and by appointment. The Mauston, West Salem, and Tomah grain plants will be open by appointment only. Please call the following numbers for service this weekend.

Adams grain plant: (608) 339-0357

Mauston grain plant: (608)547-8302

Tomah grain plant: (608)547-6149

West Salem grain plant: (608)799-3622

– David Rappa, Director of Grain