Federated Co-ops Ag News

  • 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.

  • Both Pre & Post Needed in the Weed Control Battle in Corn

    Managing weeds, and actually getting control, in corn fields takes careful planning before weeds even emerge, according to Craig Peterson, Federated agronomist at the Ogilvie location. "Putting down a good pre-emerge herbicide with multiple modes of action right after planting is the best start," he said.

    Even though some of the toughest weed issues may be in soybeans -- such as waterhemp and giant ragweed (as discussed in previous issues of the Agronomy Update) -- weeds in corn are also becoming resistant to some herbicides, especially glyphosate.

    "Studies have shown that weeds can start to affect yield even when the corn is only 2-4 inches [tall]," said Peterson. Products such as Acuron®, Lumax®, and Staunch® can be a great start to clean fields.

    A fairly new tool, said Peterson, is the Herbicide Classification Chart, which provides information on how to get more than one mode of action when tank mixing -- the best way to combat resistance. The chart (a cut-out of which is shown above) shows, for instance, that Acuron has four active ingredients and three modes of action. Every product label includes this same information; the chart combines info from many labels.

    Always consult the label of any product being considered to determine if it will cover weed pressures throughout the season. "Using a full-labeled rate of a good pre will give you the longest residual, and the best defense on resistance," said Peterson.

    Even with a good pre-emerge herbicide program, today's weed battles in corn will require a post application. "Glyphosate used in the Roundup Ready crop system is the most popular," said Peterson, "but it only has one mode of action." Adding an HPPD product such as Impact®, or even adding atrazine, will boost weed control and combat resistance.

    Liberty®, a Bayer product, is another good post product gaining more attention, but it also has only one mode of action, Peterson noted. Check labels for proper tank mixes and check the mode of action classification to avoid doubling up in the same categories.

    "Remember," said Peterson, "post-applied products are aimed at 4-inch (or less) weeds, and timing is very important." 

    Your Federated Agronomist can help determine the best options to get started with clean fields and keep them clean to produce top yields and fight resistance in future crops.

  • Post-Emerge & Multiple Modes of Action in Halex GT

    In the quest for strong weed control, growers can add Halex GT to their list of solid post-emerge choices.

    Halex GT offers broad-spectrum weed control and application flexibility with glyphosate and mesotrione/S-metolachlor, a combination that provides burndown and residual control of more than 90 broadleaf weeds and grasses.

    Federated recommends Halex GT in the battle against herbicide resistance because it has the desired multiple modes of action (three), and has proven crop safety.

    Halex GT -- "Glyphosate with Residual™" -- is a premix that provides a "convenient alternative to other post-emergence, glyphosate corn herbicide programs" (see Syngenta/Halex site).

    Talk to your Federated Agronomist to see if Halex GT is the best choice for your fields this year.

  • Soybean Grower Workshops Set for March

    Federated's annual Soybean Grower Workshops will be held in late March. Growers are invited to join these valuable discussions on key soybean topics for 2017. 

    Each workshop begins at 10 a.m. and concludes with lunch.

    Please RSVP to your local Federated Agronomist .

    • Mon., March 20 - Osceola
    • Tues., March 21 - Albertville
    • Wed., March 22 - Ogilvie
    • Thurs., March 23 - Rush City
    • Fri., March 24 - Isanti 
  • Giant Ragweed: Another Battle in the Field

    In the last Agronomy Update, this series on herbicide-resistant weeds looked at waterhemp; now the conversation moves to giant ragweed.

    "This herbicide-resistant weed is showing up in [our] area," according to Bob Marquette, Federated agronomist at the Albertville location, and "without proper management [giant ragweed] will find its way to other parts of Federated's trade area, if it already hasn't."

    Giant ragweed resistance was first found with Group 2 herbicides (ALS-inhibitors) in the late 1990s in the "I" states (IL, IN, IA) and Ohio. "You probably know [Group 2] herbicides as Pursuit and Raptor," said Marquette.

    "Resistance with giant ragweed is not new," he said, but "what is new is its resistance to Group 9 (glyphosate/Roundup®)." Resistance to what has become the go-to herbicide started showing up in the last few years, and is now confirmed in 11 states across the Midwest and southern U.S.

    Resistance was built through repeated use of glyphosate year after year, first in soybeans and then in corn. "We found problem fields in both crops in Albertville this past growing season," said Marquette.

    Giant ragweed is a "huge problem because of its competitiveness" and the fact that it produces a "massive number of seeds," Marquette noted. The battle with these weeds will intensify if growers don't take action. And the answer lies in modes of action.

    As discussed in previous articles in this series, multiple, layered modes of action are being touted as the best option for achieving the desired level of weed control. And multiple, layered modes of action translates as "pre-emerge treatments followed by a solid early post-emerge program, and possibly a second post application," said Marquette.

    "The new Roundup-Ready 2 Xtend® (dicamba) weed control system looks like it could be one piece of the puzzle" to get or keep control of giant ragweed, "but it needs to be used in conjunction with a good pre-emerge program to get the results we're after," he said, emphasizing that RR 2 Xtend is not a stand-alone product.

    The battle rages with herbicide-resistant weeds. Talk to your Federated Agronomist to determine what products and programs should be in your weed-control arsenal.