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Friday, Sep. 19, 2014
Sudden death syndrome or brown stem rot
Posted Tuesday, September 2, at 11:24 AM
A large percentage of the local soybean fields are showing classic symptoms of sudden death syndrome (SDS). Early symptoms are mottling and mosaic of the leaves. Later, leaf tissue between the major veins turns yellow, then dies and turns brown. Soon after the leaflets die and shrivel. ...

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Soybean diseases to watch for
Posted Monday, July 14, at 8:18 PM

The growing season has been good for plants. The environmental has also been good for diseases. I have not heard of any reports of problems with diseases at this point, but the potential is there. Sudden death syndrome (SDS) has been a serious problem in previous years but not so much recently. ...

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Fungicide applications in corn
Posted Monday, June 30, at 10:31 AM

Corn in the area is beginning to tassel to a large degree. At this stage corn should be scouted for diseases which are key factors when considering fungicide applications. Most of the foliage diseases of corn are favored by warm temperatures and wet or humid weather or heavy dews. ...

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Watch for Japanese beetles
Posted Monday, June 23, at 8:50 AM

Japanese beetles are becoming a more common field crop pest in Missouri. Literature indicates that adults need about 1,030 growing degree days (GDD) -- base 50 degrees -- to complete development. Japanese beetles will continue to emerge until about 2,150 degree days. ...

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Postemerge herbicide applications in corn
Posted Monday, June 16, at 9:47 AM

Recent rains have delayed some of the postemergence applications of herbicides. Many herbicide labels contain application restrictions based on corn size using the leaf collar method and/or free-standing plant height. Additional label restrictions may exist when applying with or after some corn rootworm organophosphate insecticides. ...

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Sidedressing corn
Posted Monday, June 9, at 9:01 AM

Successful nitrogen management delivers enough nitrogen to the crop to optimize yield and profitability while minimizing losses to water and air. One of the practices used to accomplish this is sidedressing the crop. Applying fertilizer as close as possible to the period of rapid crop uptake will minimize losses of nitrogen from the field and will ensure adequate nitrogen availability to the crop during critical growth periods...

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Spotted wing drosophila and brown marmorated stink bugs
Posted Monday, June 2, at 3:05 PM

The first adult spotted wing drosophila (SWD) was detected by monitoring traps in Missouri in late June 2013. By early August, infestations of blackberry fruits had been reported. By mid-August, SWD was reported infesting crops state wide. SWD is a very serious new invasive pest that attacks small fruit crops, some stone fruits -- cherry, nectarine and peach -- and wild hosts including pokeweed, autumn olive, crabapple, nightshade, Amur honeysuckle and wiled grape. ...

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Black cutworms and wheat disease update
Posted Saturday, May 24, at 9:44 AM

Entomologists in Indiana, Missouri and Ohio have noticed higher than normal moth catches this spring. With the recent weather fronts moving through the upper Midwest, black cutworm trap catches have increased dramatically in several areas over the past weeks. ...

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Time to check your corn
Posted Tuesday, May 20, at 9:46 AM

As of May 11, 86 percent of the corn in Missouri was planted with 53 percent emerged. Both of these statistics are ahead of the five year average and almost three-fold greater than at that time in 2013. Corn needs between 90 and 120 growing degree days (GDD) to emerge and the weather at planting provided the temperature to get the crop up...

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Soybean planting date and depth
Posted Monday, May 12, at 1:06 PM

Soybean planting has started in Missouri with about 4 percent planted by May 4. Most of this has taken place in southeast Missouri. Bill Weibold, University of Missouri Extension soybean specialist said that Missouri soybean producers can increase yield by planting the first part of May. ...

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Micronutrients for your crop
Posted Monday, May 5, at 3:33 PM

As yields have increased over the years, the amount of micronutrients removed from the fields has also increased. Just as high-yielding hybrids take up more nitrogen, they also take up more micronutrients such as zinc, iron, manganese and copper. Many soils have supported crops without any signs of nutrient deficiencies in over a century. Bigger plants and more grain harvested mean more micronutrients exported, which could lead to depletion and deficiency...

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Nitrogen fertilizer for soybeans
Posted Monday, April 28, at 3:08 PM

The recent reports of 100 bushel plus soybeans have some producers wondering about using nitrogen fertilizer on soybeans to enhance yields. The soybean crop has a high requirement for nitrogen. The crop takes up nearly five pounds of nitrogen per bushel and about 75 percent of that is removed in the harvested crop. ...

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Planting soybeans early
Posted Monday, April 21, at 11:46 AM

The tendency in recent years has been to plant soybeans earlier. In general this has been beneficial. The ideal temperature for soybean germination and emergence is 77 F. Soybean can easily germinate at soil temperatures at 50 F at 2 inches but can take three weeks to emerge...

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New technology to change the potential of crops
Posted Monday, April 14, at 9:06 AM

Plant breeders have estimated that the built-in yield potential for corn is 500 bu/acre or more and for soybeans the number is 200 bu/acre or higher. Yield contests have produced greatly higher than normal yields and near to the estimated potential. Crop production companies and others are seeking to maximize the genetic potential of the seed you plant. Companies are turning to biological approaches to protect crops and enhance plant performance...

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Corn planting time
Posted Monday, April 7, at 9:44 AM

The earlier that corn is planted generally is advantageous for maximum yield potential. There are other factors to consider in addition to planting date. Corn seed ideally requires a soil temperature of 50 F in order to support germination and seedling growth. This also implies that the temperature forecast is for warming temperatures...

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Sulfur for your crop
Posted Monday, March 31, at 9:49 AM

Sulfur management should be based on soil testing and plant tissue analysis. Visible deficiency symptoms are an indication to be suspicious of what is going on. Symptoms include pale color, stunted growth and delayed maturity. The symptoms are similar to nitrogen deficiency. ...

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Checking stored grain
Posted Monday, March 24, at 7:13 PM

A lot of grain has been moved from the grain bin to the elevator recently. As planting season approaches there will be less time to check the remaining grain than there is now. As temperatures warm up and air moisture increases, this is a time that stored grain condition needs attention. ...

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Topdressing wheat
Posted Monday, March 17, at 6:56 PM

The recent warm weather and the melting of the snow have let the wheat crop start to show. In some cases, the crop is showing some green and in cases of later planted wheat the stand is not looking as good. Now is the time to start planning for topdressing nitrogen (N) on the winter wheat crop. ...

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Maximizing corn yield
Posted Monday, March 10, at 10:48 AM

Today's corn genetics have the potential to produce over 300 bushels per acre under the proper conditions. This yield level is being approached frequently but still is a goal to strive for. Research from the University of Illinois indicates that there are seven main factors that have the greatest impact on corn yield potential. ...

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Resistant weeds
Posted Monday, March 3, at 11:51 AM

The number and scope of resistance weeds are increasing every year. An average of 11 cases of weed resistance emerges around the world each year. As of January, there were 416 cases (weed species multiplied by site of action) of herbicide-resistant weeds globally among 222 weed species (129 dicots and 93 monocots), according to Ian Heap, an Oregon based weed scientist who tracks the statistics through the International Survey of Herbicide resistant weeds from www.weedscience.org. ...

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View all blog posts (128)

As our local University of Missouri Agronomy Extension Specialist, Crook has been writing a column for the print edition Agriculture page for the past three years and we will now be sharing it on our web version. Crook has a bachelor and masters degree in agronomy from University of Missouri and received his doctorate in Agronomy from Kansas State University. He was in soybean variety development research for 22 years for various seed companies and has been Saline County's agronomy specialist for 10 years.
Hot topics
Sudden death syndrome or brown stem rot
(0 ~ 11:25 AM, Sep 2)

Soybean diseases to watch for
(0 ~ 8:19 PM, Jul 14)

Fungicide applications in corn
(0 ~ 10:31 AM, Jun 30)

Watch for Japanese beetles
(0 ~ 8:50 AM, Jun 23)

Postemerge herbicide applications in corn
(0 ~ 9:47 AM, Jun 16)