More rain last night & taking a crop of alfalfa in mid-September

I got 1.5 inches in my gauge when I checked it this morning, from yesterday & last night. Well we could have really used this rain 6 weeks ago for our soybean crop. But this rain will definitely help the wheat that has been planted recently and any fall seeded alfalfa. Someone asked me yesterday if they can take a crop of alfalfa now. The quick answer is I prefer that you don’t. If you need the feed then you will need to take a cutting, but if there is not a strong need or another crop at your operation it is a lot easier on the stand to leave it alone after September 1st. When you take a late cutting now, you are forcing that plant to use more energy above ground instead of storing up reserves for winter. If you do take a cutting please be sure that your potassium levels are adequate to help build up energy for the upcoming 6 months. I ran into a grower that was still seeding alfalfa yesterday. In my opinion it is getting a little late, but he said the seed he planted a few weeks ago is just coming up so this new batch will not be far behind.

– Rob Shields, Agronomist

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Tissue Sampling Alfalfa Today in Galesville

With third crop well on its way, we are checking to see where the fertility levels are. This way if some crop nutrients are needed, we can add some in when we spray the alfalfa for potato leaf hoppers. Please let us know if we can assist you in managing this crop.

– Rob Shields, Agronomist

Alfalfa tissue sampling.

Alfalfa tissue sampling.

Tissue sampling in Galesville, WI.

Tissue sampling in Galesville, WI.

Insects attacking our alfalfa fields!

We scouted a lot of our producers’ alfalfa fields today. Second crop is well on its way and we are finding some insect pests. The potato leafhopper is one of the most damaging pest to alfalfa in Wisconsin. I looked at a number of fields today that will need to get treated very soon to take care of this troublesome pest. Also with first crop off, now is a very good time to topdress second crop with a mixture of Potash, K-Mag and Boron. Please get a hold of us for a recipe that will best fit your fields.

Potato Leafhoppers found today.

Potato Leafhoppers found today.

Rob Shields scouting alfalfa.

Rob Shields scouting alfalfa.

– Rob Shields, Agronomist

Headline® Fungicide On Alfalfa

Average total stem counts for sites treated with Headline were 31% higher than untreated sites.

Average total stem counts for sites treated with Headline® were 31% higher than untreated sites.

With the cold, wet spring and summer we are having, it is the perfect time to spray Headline® fungicide on your alfalfa. Headline is a fast acting, broad spectrum fungicide that delivers a high level of activity on more than 50 major diseases that can threaten yield and crop quality. We have seen tremendous yield increases over the past couple years using Headline; we also see higher quality feed as well.

Untreated plants vs. plants treated with Headline® fungicide.

Untreated plants vs. plants treated with Headline® fungicide.

Not only does Headline provide excellent disease control, it actually promotes improved plant health.

The unique chemistry of Headline enables more efficient nutrient uptake, more robust plant growth, and better stress tolerance to heat, hail, wind, and drought. Ultimately, this means healthier plants and higher yield potential.

Growers who have used Headline on their alfalfa report far less disease, more vigorous plant growth, higher stress tolerance, better standability, and, of course, higher yield — helping reduce losses and improve ROI.

044To be more efficient you can also run Ascend, Micros, and your insecticide for leafhoppers, Alfalfa weevils, etc., at the same time, greatly improving the health and yield of your high dollar alfalfa field.

To learn more about the benefits of using Headline fungicide on your alfalfa fields, call any of the Agronomy locations of Allied Cooperative and talk to one of our agronomists soon.

Thank you,

Izaak Rathke, Sales Manager

Reduce Stress on Your Crops Through Aggressive Scouting

With the challenging conditions this spring, it is more important than ever to scout your fields aggressively. It is critical that the insect, weed, disease, and nematode pressure be monitored accurately. When the crop is already stressed due to late planting and adverse weather conditions, it is important to reduce or eliminate additional stressors.

Alfalfa

On our alfalfa crop, we want to reduce the amount of disease pressure, especially during this wet season. One way to assist your alfalfa crop and reduce the presence of leaf disease is to apply a foliar fungicide. A foliar fungicide will allow the harvest to have more green leaves, from the soil surface to the top of the plant, than you would see without such treatment. This corresponds with increased yields and quality. I would also encourage you to look at tissue testing after you have adequate re-growth, to ensure that your alfalfa plants are finding the proper nutrients. It is important to watch the insect pressure in your alfalfa fields as well; the biggest insect pests we currently deal with are potato leaf hoppers and the alfalfa weevil. Weed pressure can also greatly impact the ability of an alfalfa field to produce. The most effective and least stressful option for weed removal on production alfalfa fields is to use the Roundup Ready® System. Other options, such as Raptor® herbicide, can set back the growth of the alfalfa. The Roundup Ready System also allows us to remove broadleaves easily from fields such as clover, dandelions, and thistle.

Corn

In our corn fields, we need be watching for insect pressure. Some common pests we deal with during spring and early summer are black cutworms, dingy cutworms, and armyworms. These pests are very destructive and can advance rapidly, increasing the need for regular aggressive scouting to help monitor these pest levels. When the corn hits the V5 stage (5 collars), you have the option to apply a foliar fungicide, such as Headline AMP® or Stratego® YLD. This practice may prove even more advantageous this season with all of the additional stressors that our corn crop is facing. Controlling the weeds in your corn fields is also critical. When conditions allow you to enter the corn fields this year, I would strongly encourage you to have at least 3 active ingredients in your spray mixture; I would not recommend Glyphosate alone to protect your crops. There are many different recipes you can use on your corn post-emergence. Selection of these recipes depends on many factors: weeds present, herbicides used to date, economics, and rotational restrictions (what are you going to be planting in this field down the road). An example of a post-emergence herbicide recipe on glyphosate tolerant corn could be 5# Glyphosate at 24 to 48oz (rate depends on weed height and species present) + Capreno® at 3oz/acre + Atrazine 4L at 1pt/acre (only if you are in an area that is legal to apply Atrazine) + the appropriate amount of surfactant and spray grade ammonium sulfate. There are many other post-emergence products that can be used in various combinations, such as Status® (safely-formulated dicamba), Cadet®, Laudis®, Halex™ GT, Prowl® H20, Lumax®, Hornet® WDG, and more.

Soybeans

On our soybean crop, it is very important to start clean and stay clean. As with corn, I would strongly encourage you to have a minimum of 3 active ingredients for your herbicide program. If your soybeans have not been planted yet, or have not emerged, there are a number of herbicides that can help burn down any weeds present and also offer some residual control, such as Authority® First, DUAL®, Gangster®, OpTill®, Valor®, and others. After the crop has emerged, our list of products changes somewhat. One of my favorites is to add Cadet® in at about .5 oz. per acre with Glyphosate. The Cadet will “flash” the soybeans, but it helps take down larger broadleaves such as Giant Ragweed and Lambsquarter, which Glyphosate alone would not. If there is any volunteer corn present, I would encourage you to add in a non-selective grass herbicide, such as Select®, Section® 2EC, Poast®, Fusion®, or Assure® II. When looking at other post-emergence herbicide products, it is important to consider crop safety, weeds present, height of weeds, and tank mix partners. Some products you might consider adding to your tank mix are Cobra®, Extreme® (mixture of Pursuit® and Glyphosate), Phoenix™, Raptor®, Resource®, and Warrant®. Disease control in soybeans starts with variety selection, followed by appropriate treatments of fungicide, insecticide, nematicide, and inoculants. After emergence, we can look into a foliar fungicide program to assist you with disease management programs. There are many products to choose from, and rates and timing are different for each product. It is best to discuss your product options with your agronomist to find the best fit for your crops. Some examples of these products include Stratego® YLD, Quadris®, Quilt®, Proline®, Priaxor®, Headline®, and Endura®. Insect control is also very important in soybeans. Last year we saw a lot of spider mite activity, and in past years we have seen outbreaks of soybean aphids. The best advice I can give on insect pressure in soybeans is to scout regularly and apply the appropriate insecticide when pest levels warrant an application.

Please contact one of our professional field scouts or agronomists to assist you with any field scouting you need done this season. I also highly encourage you to consider tissue testing, disease testing and nematode testing. This way we can more accurately recommend a course of action for you to manage your nutrient and pest levels.

– Rob Shields, Agronomist