Federated Co-ops Ag News

  • Crop Nutrition: Best Practice, All Season Long

    When it comes to crop nutrition, said Rod Gustafson, Federated Agronomist at the Albertville location, "growers need to seriously look at the BMPs -- Best Management Practices." Those farming practices are the ones that are economically and environmentally sound, and backed by good research.

    "Growers need too look at the sources of nitrogen (N) they are putting down, and account for the nitrogen added [or removed] by the previous crop," said Gustafson.

    "Also take into account the nitrogen supplied through the manure [in the case of livestock producers]. And consider anything applied commercially, through starter fertilizer, for example," he said.

    As the season progresses, what's been figured out in the spring will determine what's needed throughout the season.

    For growers in medium to fine-textured soils, the trend has been to put on all the N pre-plant. However, the trend has moved toward split applications - 50% pre-plant and the balance as side dressing when the corn is about 12 in. tall. Crops in sandy soils have been following that practice all along, due to greater potential for leaching, but more and more growers are finding benefit in the split application.

    "Side dressing puts nitrogen down closer to the time when the crop needs it," said Gustafson.

    Protecting N with good products, such as SuperU (see article above), and using split applications play an important part in managing the total N. "Basically," said Gustafson, "make sure you take credit for the N that is there, and then add the proper amounts."

    These links from the University of Minnesota Extension Service, and from the University of Wisconsin offer good nitrogen articles, guidelines, and charts related to BMP and accounting for N levels. As always, talk to your Federated Agronomist for additional help with nitrogen management all season.

  • SuperU® Fits Well in Nitrogen Management

    "Growers should consider using SuperU® stabilized nitrogen as part of their nitrogen (N) management solution," said Brian DeVries, Federated's location manager at Ogilvie.

    DeVries continued, "SuperU is a granular urea fertilizer  that maintains a 46-0-0 analysis. It is a blue granule that is uniform for spreading and it is treated all the way through, not just a coating. It is soluble in water, identical to urea, and available to your crop once it is hydrolyzed."

    Super U:

    • contains a urease inhibitor (NBPT) to control volatilization losses for 10-14 days or more; 
    • contains a nitrification inhibitor (DCD) to reduce the potential for denitrification and leaching;
    • maintains a higher level of ammonium nitrogen (which is the positively charged and more stable form of N) for a longer period of time;
    • improves the potential for plants to feed on the ammonium. 

    These properties reduce N loss in a pre-plant application, but can also benefit the crop on light textured soils in a side-dress application. 

    DeVries pointed out that not only does SuperU reduce N loss into the environment, but it can add bushels to your crop with minimized N loss in the soil, and maximized yields at harvest.

    Contact your local Federated Agronomist to learn more about SuperU and how it can fit your 2017 nutrient management plans.

  • Proof of Certification Needed at Sale & Pick-Up

    Federated needs your help. Craig Gustafson, Federated's eastern division agronomy manager, explained the situation:

    If you do your own crop protection spraying, we need your help. In the past Federated was able to keep every grower's pesticide applicator certification license on file, which simplified the process of purchasing crop protection products from Federated.

    However, state regulations have become more stringent, which require the licensed individuals to show their applicator certification license at the point of sale (POS) for every "Restricted Use Pesticide" purchase.

    Gustafson added, "A valid license is also required to mix and apply crop protection products." 

    Customer service is one of Federated's primary goals, and by communicating the importance of these guidelines, Federated hopes to avoid any delays -- for all growers.

    Please remember:

    Bring your applicator certification license when you purchase or pick up crop protection products.

    Got questions? Call your Federated Agronomist.

  • Grower Workshops Wrap Up Successfully

    From the entire Federated Agronomy team, thank you for attending the 2017 Corn and Soybean Workshops. And thank you, too, for all the great reviews and positive feedback.

    Federated is more than just another ag supplier. Federated's ongoing goal is to provide current agronomic knowledge and Best Management Practices that will give growers the best return per acre.

    The agronomy team always welcomes grower input. Craig Gustafson, Federated's eastern agronomy division manager said, "If there are topics you would like us to address at future grower workshops, please send me an email and share your topic of interest."

    (If there's a topic that needs to be addressed sooner than later, we can address it in future editions of this Agronomy Update.)

    And, "thanks again for making our 2017 Grower Workshops a success," Gustafson said.

  • Annual Member Meeting

    Be sure to note the new meeting location. 

  • Finding Value in Pre- and Post-Emerge Soybean Herbicides

    Soybean weed management becomes more challenging as weed resistance increases. The questions then arise: Pre-emerge? Post-emerge? Both? Kevin Carlson, Federated's senior agronomist, said that even when a post-emerge treatment seems to be working, "there's value in the pre."

    Yes, it costs more to apply both a pre-emerge and a post-emerge herbicide (and there's no argument about post). But, Carlson said, "The value [of pre-emerge herbicides] is found when comparing the best pre programs that work really well with the post alone programs . . . especially when dealing with weed resistance."

    In herbicide trials conducted by the University of Minnesota last season (click here to see evaluation summary chart), combinations of pre-emerge followed by post-emerge herbicides demonstrated significant yield response. On average, those programs saw a 4-5 bu./ac. increase in yields (some were even higher).

    The trial, which used a weedy check (no herbicides or weed control of any kind) and a weed-free check (hand weeded with no herbicides) showed a 50% yield loss in the weedy check, and a 65% yield gain in the weed-free check. A number of the pre followed by post herbicide trials showed gains that matched or exceeded the yields of the weed-free check (see highlighted areas of this chart ) .

    It boils down to this, Carlson explained: The cost of a complete herbicide program that includes both pre- and post-emerge herbicide applications is offset by the improved yield potential. The benefit is found in a solid return on investment.

    "Start clean, stay clean," said Carlson. "Control weeds before they emerge or soon after to preserve yield potential." Plus, in a world of increasing weed resistance, a pre followed by post program can help manage the toughest weeds, such as waterhemp and giant ragweed.

    "We have lots of options," he said (see article at right on one option, Flexstar GT®). Federated Agronomists are ready to help you find the right combination of products for your soybean weed management program. Contact your agronomist soon!

    Be sure to attend a Soybean Grower Workshop where this will be a key topic.

  • Seed Treatment: Good Insurance

    "Seed treatments are a great insurance policy to growers," said Cody Lezer, central warehouse manager at Federated's Ogilvie location, and Federated has a new "state of the art automated KSI seed treating facility in Ogilvie."

    Seed is expensive, and protecting that investment is made easier with high-quality seed treatments that are relatively inexpensive and that "protect seed from issues that arise throughout the growing season," said Lezer.

    "Seed treatments help plants from Day 1, and can improve stand counts and promote better root growth to help plants find nutrients," he said.

    Federated offers CruiserMaxx with Vibrance, as well as Clariva Complete seed treatments.

    • CruiserMaxx helps protect seeds from above- and below-ground insects as well as seed- and soil-borne diseases.
    • Vibrance offers a fungicide component that enhances root health and improves the potential for larger root mass.
    • Clariva Complete leads the way in seed treatment to combat soybean cyst nematodes (SCN).

    Choose either the CruiserMaxx/Vibrance treatment or the Clariva Complete treatment to provide the best insurance against disease and insects (see fact sheet ) .

    Federated's Ogilvie bulk seed storage bins -- installed in 2016 -- store up to 14,000 units of soybeans, all of which are ready for treatment based on grower need.  Contact your Federated Agronomist soon to place your seed treatment orders.

  • Soybean Grower Workshops Next Week

    Federated's Annual Soybean Grower Workshops begin later this month and will focus on how to simplify and find value in soybean herbicide programs, and manage weed resistance.

    The workshops will:

    • Summarize soybean traits and herbicide programs;
    • Explain the differences between seed traits and herbicides in the trait packages, including: 2,4-D tolerant soybeans,
      Dicamba tolerant soybeans, and Liberty Link® tolerant soybeans.

    RSVP soon to your local Federated Agronomist. Workshops begin at 10 a.m. and conclude with lunch.

    • Mon., March 20 - Osceola
    • Tues., March 21 - Albertville
    • Wed., March 22 - Ogilvie
    • Thurs., March 23 - Rush City
    • Fri., March 24 - Isanti 
  • When Glyphosate Falls Short...

    The fight against herbicide-resistant weeds in soybeans gets help from Flexstar® GT 3.5 herbicide, a Syngenta product. Flexstar GT 3.5 is formulated to "combat weeds that are difficult to control with glyphosate alone or are resistant to glyphosate and ALS-inhibitors" (see fact sheet) with two active ingredients and two modes of action.

    "Flexstar GT 3.5 is one of the few post-emerge products that has good activity on resistant weeds, such as waterhemp and giant ragweed," said Kevin Carlson, Federated's senior agronomist, adding that "it really needs to be set up with a good pre-emerge herbicide" (see article above).

    Dale Hecht of Syngenta recommended Boundary® 6.5 EC herbicide as a solid pre-emerge herbicide choice to pair with Flexstar GT 3.5 post emerge to give "full season attention" (see fact sheet) to the most resistant weeds in soybeans. Boundary 6.5 EC (also with two modes of action) helps control early season grass and broadleaves, and also fits well in a resistance management program.

    Boundary 6.5 EC followed by Flexstar GT 3.5 couples with the Liberty Link® soybean system to add both plant growth and yield potential. Hecht noted that adding 1 pt./ac. of Dual with the Flexstar GT 3.5 post application can further boost residual control.

    Talk to your Federated Agronomist to learn more about pre- and post-emerge herbicide options for your soybean fields this year.

  • Economic Value in Soil Samples

    "In these times with low commodity prices, we need to be mindful of the economics, and we need to have a plan to keep us on track in order to obtain the highest return on investment," said Craig Loen, Federated agronomist at the Osceola location.

    That plan should include current soil samples (taken within the last four crop years). A soil sample is a valuable tool, "a critical layer of information for determining what inputs we may be able to hold back...or push higher," said Loen.

    Soil test results will reveal where nutrients are sufficient or lacking. "Remember that we have just come off two consecutive years of record yields," said Loen.  Record grain harvests translate into huge levels of nutrients now absent in the field, especially macro nutrients.

    If nutrient levels are low -- proven only through soil testing -- cutting back on fertilizer may cut into, or even limit, yield potential. "After all," said Loen, "yield is king." The number of bushels makes or breaks every grower's bottom line, especially with the currently low commodity prices.

    Federated's best recommendation for soil sampling is grid sampling, in 2.5-acre sections to get the best results and to show the variation across fields and soils. Grid sampling also allows Federated to use Variable Rate Technology (VRT) equipment to spread nutrients across a field.

    "Bring in your current soil test results and we can help you understand all the numbers and their value to you," said Loen. Contact your Federated Agronomist to get help with sampling (grid or composite), or with any questions.