It’s Time to Check Your Planters

Yesterday we were out with Agronomy Advisor Marilyn Whalen and Precision Ag specialist – Bernardo Calo looking at a number of area planters. We were helping local producers confirm that everything is ready for the spring planting season.

If you haven’t done so already give Bernardo a call to have your planter evaluated prior to spring.  You may reach Bernardo at (608) 403-1163.Planter assements 3-10-16


Time to Evaluate Wheat Stands

With the recent warm up we were out looking at wheat fields just East of Arcadia yesterday. The stands we viewed look to have survived the winter just fine.  But a number of small broadleaves are starting to show up. Please check with you local agronomy advisor to make sure you have your wheat fertility, fungicide and herbicide program ready to roll.                                                                                                                   –Rob Shields, Agronomist

Wheat assesment 3-10-16 #3Wheat assesment 3-10-16


Producers: please remember to check your private applicators expiration date

Please remember to check the expiration date on your private applicators license.  Now is a great time to take the test and renew your licenses for another  5 years.  By having your license current it allows you to have access to a broader range of herbicides and insecticides. What we don’t want to have happen is for you to arrive in season looking for a specific product and being unable to purchase it due to an expired license.

The DATCP (Department of Agriculture Trade Consumer Protection) website is an pesticideexcellent source for more information on applicator testing and training. For more information on testing and training, including downloadable training manuals visit . A complete training schedule is available at .

Certification Process

Purchase private applicator training materials and inquire about applicator certification training from your local UW-Extension county agent. Visit for a list of agents.

A schedule is posted on the UWEX Pesticide Applicator Training website — . Training materials cost $30 per applicator category and $10 per subcategory.  County UW-Extension agents oversee private applicator certification exams.  Certification is good for five years.  For more information, call (608) 224-4548.

Problem Weed: Little Christmas Trees

equisetumI have been asked by a lot of growers on how to get rid of the “little Christmas trees” in their soybeans and corn fields. This weed has a lot of common names; little pine trees, Christmas trees, scouring rush, horseweed and others. I refer to it as Equisetum.

This weed is extremely difficult to control. There are very few if any herbicide options available.  Purdue mentions a few that have activity but none that have control.  This plant is very primitive, it is not a broadleaf or a grass. Relatives of this species were around at the time of the dinosaurs. This plant can reproduce via underground stems and by seed.equisetum drawing

If possible keep it mowed off to inhibit reproduction and spreading. Tillage can spread this plant to some degree.  Please let us know if you have any questions on this troublesome weed.

Following are some datasheets that give you more insight on this weed and how to manage it.




Rob Shields, Agronomist

Updated Wisconsin Crop Progress

The new crop report came out yesterday.  It looks like we are at 86% corn emerged state average vs 48% last year this same time.  Soybeans we are at 61% emerged state average vs 35% last year.

To see the full report, click on the following link.  WI_05_31_15 Crop Progress report

I had over 4.5″ of rain over the past 10 days, I’m hoping for a couple of weeks of sunshine moving forward.

Rob Shields, Agronomist

Warning! Variegated Cutworm found East of Mauston

Warning!  Variegated cutworm has been found just east of Mauston.   This pest can move in and multiply very fast.   The Varigated cutworm East of MaustonVariegated cutworm will attack most crops grown in our area.    Please check your fields now, corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, pasture, etc.    

Please look at the fact sheets (links below) and the picture that  intern Allen Herritz and agronomist Austin Bohm found today in a soybean field.  (Photo by Allen Herritz).

Varigated cutworm fact sheet Cutworm on Alfalfa

 Let us know if we can help you look for this pest.

Second crop Alfalfa — Light PLH and Alfalfa Weevil pressure found

We finally have a nice sunny morning, and I’m out scouting some second crop Alfalfa.  I figured we should get it   scouting second crop done today with the forecast for storms tomorrow.    The Alfalfa is at 4 to 6” tall.  We found low levels of PLH (potato leaf hopper) and Alfalfa Weevil.    But with warmer temperatures these pests can advance rapidly, so I would encourage you to keep a close eye on your second crop. 

I have included a few pictures from this morning.  For some reference materials to help you identify these pests, click on the following link  AlfalfaInsectMgt by Craig SaxePotato-Leafhopper-Adult

Please call your local Agronomy Advisor if you need help checking your fields.  We like to check fields approximately 7 to 10 days after cutting.  — Rob Shields, Agronomist2nd crop weevil feeding


Corn at V2 and V3 — Time to consider pre-sidedress nitrogen testing

Our field corn is already hitting V2 and V3 in area fields. Time to be looking at what additional nitrogen is needed to make Grace sampling 5-20-15 #2target yields. Our Agronomy intern at Galesville / Arcadia, Grace Curran, was out with me today looking at area fields and pulling some pre-sidedress nitrate tests.

Below are some links to information on what this test is and why you should be looking at it.


Wisconsin pre-sidedress soil nitrate test

Please contact your local Allied agronomy center to get some pre-side dress samples pulled today!