Are your customers applying the right nitrogen rate?

Eric Scherder

Eric Scherder,
Customer Technical Specialist – Western Region, 
Dow AgroSciences

A combination of three nitrogen tests is a powerful decision-making tool for farmers when evaluating nitrogen fertilizer needs. The tests provide accurate estimates of available nitrogen at various times during the season.

Each test provides farmers with the best information for making nitrogen management and application decisions. Whether farmers are applying nitrogen in fall, early spring or split, the tests help farmers manage nitrogen based on science and laboratory results instead of guesswork.

Dow AgroSciences, along with fertility experts at Iowa State University, recommend farmers employ a combination of late-fall, early spring and late-spring (pre-sidedress) soil testing. It is important to use all three tests in combination by sampling at various locations in a field to get an accurate reflection of nitrogen availability and future needs.

The three tests are:
Preplant soil nitrate test — A preplant soil nitrate test measures the amount of residual or carryover nitrate-nitrogen in the soil profile, typically sampled to a 2- to 3-foot depth in the fall or early spring. The preplant test measures the amount of nitrogen remaining from the previous crop year.

Pre-sidedress soil nitrate test — If nitrogen applications are lowered based on soil profile nitrate-N sample results, farmers should complete a pre-sidedress soil nitrate test. This test allows farmers to adjust nitrogen applications before peak growth at critical nutrient uptake stages.

Fall stalk nitrate test — After harvest, a fall stalk nitrate test provides information on the relative nitrogen program results that year. Taking fall stalk nitrate tests over a period of years can help farmers fine-tune nitrogen management. Test results are not simply to be used to adjust rate for the next year, rather longer-term evaluation.

Protect your nitrogen investment
Using a nitrogen stabilizer such as N-Serve® or Instinct® has long proven effective in reducing nitrogen loss into groundwater and surface water.

N-Serve and Instinct protect applied nitrogen by keeping nitrogen in the ammonium form longer by inhibiting the conversion process to nitrate nitrogen, which is moveable in the soil. Both products slow down the conversion so your nitrogen fertilizer investment is available when the corn plant actually needs the nitrogen later in the corn plant life cycle. Stabilizers ensure that applied nitrogen will still be there in the soil profile where a corn plant needs it and won’t end up moving lower in the soil profile out of a corn plant’s reach.

There’s no arguing that nitrogen stabilized with N-Serve and Instinct can increase yield potential. Ultimately, using a stabilizer is going to help make farmers more profitable while also being a sound approach to protect precious groundwater supplies.

To calculate your customers’ return when using Instinct or N-Serve, use the profit calculator at NitrogenMaximizers.com.

Advantages of using N-Serve® nitrogen stabilizer are clearly evident in this side-by-side comparison. Rows on the left, where N-Serve was applied, are taller, greener and healthier while rows on the right appear stunted, yellow and show firing of lower leaves — all symptoms of nitrogen deficiency.

®Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. Instinct is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Do not fall-apply anhydrous ammonia south of Highway 16 in the state of Illinois. Always read and follow label directions. ©2017 Dow AgroSciences LLC

Dow AgroSciences launches Season 2 of the Power to Do More contest

After receiving a great response to the 2017 Power to Do More contest sponsored by Resicore® corn herbicide, Dow AgroSciences is thrilled to launch Season 2 of the contest.

Your customers can enter the contest now through Feb. 11, 2018, by visiting PowerToDoMore.com and uploading a photo that represents the power of their farm, for a chance to win a trip for two to their dream sports field in the United States and $10,000 for a community nonprofit donation.

Photo entries might include fields, family, friends, pets, livestock, equipment or whatever represents the power of their farm operation.

More than 130 farmers entered the contest in its first year, and Dow AgroSciences awarded $10,000 to three winning community organizations in Iowa, Illinois and Ohio, plus $1,000 each to the seven-remaining top 10 finalists’ communities.

“We were thrilled by the incredible entries in the first year of the Power to Do More contest,” says Lyndsie Kaehler, U.S. corn herbicides product manager, Dow AgroSciences. “Each entrant had a unique story to tell, and we are proud to sponsor this contest again to give more farmers the power to do more on and off their farms and to share their stories with the world.”

Three contest winners will receive a $10,000 community donation to help build or revitalize a playground, park, school sports field, community garden or other local project. Winners will also receive a trip for two to visit their dream U.S. sports field during the 2018 season.

The entry phase closes Feb. 11. On March 26, up to 10 finalists will be announced and daily voting will begin.  The three finalists with the most votes by April 22, 2018, will win. Entries and votes will only be collected on PowerToDoMore.com, but everyone is encouraged to show off the power on their farms, and follow the contest, by using #PowerToDoMore on social media.

The Power to Do More contest is designed to give more power to farming communities, just like Resicore® corn herbicide does in cornfields. Resicore gives farmers power over more than 75 weeds, including Palmer amaranth, morningglory, lambsquarters, waterhemp and marestail, with versatility to be applied preemergence, postemergence or split.

Visit PowerToDoMore.com to watch three documentary videos featuring the 2017 winners and what powers their dedication to farming, and encourage your customers to enter the 2018 contest by Feb. 11.

Power to Do More contest

Encourage your customers to enter the Power to Do More contest now through Feb. 11, 2018, at PowerToDoMore.com.

®Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. Resicore is not registered for sale or use in all states. Resicore is not available for sale, distribution or use in Nassau and Suffolk counties in the state of New York. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. ©2017 Dow AgroSciences LLC

Retailers rank herbicide-resistant weeds as top concern in soybeans

“Herbicide-resistant weeds” was voted the top concern for soybean-growing customers in 2017, according to a poll on OperationCleanFields.com. A strong soybean herbicide, such as Sonic® herbicide, can deliver residual control of many herbicide-resistant weeds, including giant ragweed, waterhemp, marestail and velvetleaf.

With any potentially resistant weed, frequent and timely scouting after a preemergence application helps retailers and their customers identify troublesome areas and formulate a timely postemergence herbicide plan. After postemergence applications, scouting allows retailers and farmers to identify at-risk fields where herbicide-resistant weeds may already exist and decide if it’s necessary to make a sequential herbicide application with an effective mode of action.

With two nonglyphosate modes of action, Sonic controls many broadleaf weeds early in the season. Sonic can be applied in the fall, preplant incorporated, preplant or preemergence up to three days after planting, before soybeans emerge.

Visit the retailer-exclusive resource, OperationCleanFields.com, to view more poll results and learn about how your customers can get ahead of herbicide-resistant weeds this spring.

What is the biggest challenge you hear from soybean-growing customers?

In July 2017, 55 percent of retailers on OperationCleanFields.com ranked “herbicide-resistant weeds” as their soybean-growing customers’ top concern, followed by “low commodity prices.”

®Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. Sonic is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. ©2017 Dow AgroSciences LLC

Overlap residual herbicides to get ahead of Palmer amaranth

Winter is an ideal time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t work — especially when it comes to weed control. Mark Bernards, associate professor of agronomy at Western Illinois University, and his weed science class conducted research this year to learn about growth of two common weeds. The group compared the development of Palmer amaranth with waterhemp plants as they grew in the same pot and had to compete. The result? Palmer amaranth grew more aggressively than waterhemp.

“One of the things we noticed is that Palmer amaranth adds leaves a lot quicker,” Bernards says. “At the end, Palmer amaranth had 17 to 18 leaves per pot whereas waterhemp had somewhere between 13 and 14. Palmer amaranth is a much more aggressive species.”

Whether the concern this year was Palmer amaranth, waterhemp or giant ragweed, corn farmers can implement helpful practices to control herbicide-resistant weeds in the future. Bernards says the two best ways to delay, or prevent, herbicide resistance is to apply herbicide mixtures that have active ingredients effective on the targeted weeds and to overlap residual herbicides with multiple modes of action.

“Our primary focus needs to be eliminating weed seed return, which means we don’t let any new weeds into our fields,” Bernards says. “A preemergence application followed by a post- is critical for herbicide resistance management.”

Using a preemergence herbicide helps farmers protect yield potential early. Following up with a postemergence herbicide will not only provide additional control but also help farmers navigate unfavorable weather circumstances.

“Farmers need a powerful herbicide program to fend off Palmer amaranth next season,” says Lyndsie Kaehler, U.S. product manager, Dow AgroSciences. “An example of a strong approach is applying SureStart II or FulTime NXT herbicide preemergence followed by Resicore herbicide for four modes of action that will work deep into the season. Many farmers also choose to add glyphosate and atrazine to this program to increase the number of different modes of action.”

For more information about Resicore® herbicide and controlling herbicide-resistant weeds, including Palmer amaranth, visit PowerOverWeeds.com.

Competitive nature of Palmer amaranth

Mark Bernards, associate professor of agronomy at Western Illinois University, and his weed science class conducted research this year to learn about growth of Palmer amaranth and waterhemp as they grew in the same pot. Palmer amaranth grew more aggressively than waterhemp.

®Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. FulTime NXT is a federally Restricted Use Pesticide. FulTime NXT, Resicore and SureStart II are not registered for sale or use in all states. FulTime NXT, Resicore and SureStart II are not available for sale, distribution or use in Nassau and Suffolk counties in the state of New York. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. ©2017 Dow AgroSciences LLC

Use new technology, build your knowledge, help your customers

Farmers depend on you for information. That’s particularly true when a new product or technology comes along. You can help your customers succeed by providing advice about which new technologies are most likely to work in their fields.

One way to understand new technologies is to try them yourself to see where and how they perform. Alan Lager, a retailer with AgChoice, an MFA dealer in Rock Port, Missouri, is doing just that.

“I like to see what’s working and then talk to customers,” Lager says. “I can explain why a new product may work on their farm.”

Lager looks at what works in the field and reads everything he can to stay up on new developments.

“I read news articles and ask questions to learn about new systems,” he says. “I try to keep up with the ‘latest and greatest’ so I can help customers. You have to do your homework and be ready to answer their questions.”

Greg Young, a Mycogen Seeds sales representative from Lincoln, Nebraska, sees a lot of retailers who are hungry for solid information about new technologies.

“We show them new technologies such as the Enlist weed control system,” Young says. “We invite them to demo plots. We arranged several on-farm burndowns this spring with Enlist Duo herbicide. Those really opened some eyes.”

Young says the retailers involved in those trials can actively promote Enlist Duo® herbicide as a burndown for the coming spring. They also may be better prepared to help growers decide about opportunities for Enlist corn this spring.

“As a retailer, I try to visit research plots and ask questions,” Lager says. “With Enlist, we are interested in the effectiveness of weed control and on-target application. I think the flexibility to use glufosinate on Enlist soybeans may benefit many farmers.”

Lager realizes that when he earns a customer’s trust by providing sound advice, he’s earning their business. He can do that better by familiarizing himself with new technologies and understanding each customer’s needs.

Take five to 10 minutes to view the Enlist training module. It is designed to share with farmers interested in the Enlist system. The Enlist 360 Seller training is designed for retailers to learn about Enlist herbicides — become the expert so you can let your customers know about the latest in herbicide-tolerant technology.

®Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. The Enlist weed control system is owned and developed by Dow AgroSciences LLC. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use in Enlist crops. Always read and follow label directions. ©2017 Dow AgroSciences LLC

Weed of the Month: Purple Deadnettle

  • Purple DeadnettleCommon name: Purple deadnettle
  • Scientific name: Lamium purpureum
  • Grass or broadleaf: Winter annual broadleaf
  • Native to Europe and Asia, and widespread across the United States
  • Purple deadnettle develops in the fall and forms a small rosette of leaves that can overwinter. It can easily be identified by its broad, egg-shaped leaves that are often red- or purple-tinged. This weed dons blue-to-purple flowers, living up to its name.
  • Completing its development in early spring, the plant forms flowers and then seeds. It dies in late spring to early summer, soon after seeding.
  • The weed resembles the henbit, a close cousin. The square stems of purple deadnettle and henbit are common characteristics for members of the mint family.
  • Commonly, this weed is present in areas where the soil has been disturbed, such as in fields, winter grain crops, gardens and orchards and along buildings.
  • Without any competition, the weed can spread rapidly, producing 27,000 seeds per plant. Sources report purple deadnettle seed can be viable after 660 years.1

Fast Facts

  • Purple deadnettle belongs to the mint family.
  • This weed thrives in nutrient-rich, sandy soils.
  • It can reach heights up to 18 inches.2
  • Although considered a weed, purple deadnettle is a food source to pollinators in early spring, providing pollen and nectar to several species of bees.

A fact that may surprise you …

  • In olden days, this plant family was commonly referred to as “archangels,” which is believed to refer to the clusters of hooded flowers appearing like a “choir of robed figures,” according to the University of Tennessee.2

Purple deadnettle control/management tips

Herbicides can provide good to excellent control of existing purple deadnettle and henbit. Fall and early spring treatments generally are more effective than postemergence treatment.1

A popular burndown treatment, the combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D, along with other residual herbicides, can provide broad-spectrum control of weeds including purple deadnettle. Atrazine also can be effective. If you use paraquat, control of purple deadnettle may improve by adding metribuzin.3

Cool conditions may slow activity of some burndown herbicides. Contact herbicides may work more quickly in cool temperatures. Consider the weather forecast, and assume weed reaction to be slower in colder conditions.

Dow AgroSciences weed control solutions:

Corn
SureStart® II herbicide
Resicore® herbicide
Keystone® NXT herbicide
Keystone® LA NXT herbicide 

FulTime® NXT herbicide
Surpass® NXT herbicide 
Durango® DMA® herbicide
Duramax® herbicide
Enlist Duo® herbicide, as part of the Enlist weed control system

Soybean
Sonic® herbicide
Surveil® herbicide
Durango® DMA® herbicide
Duramax® herbicide
Enlist Duo® herbicide, as part of the Enlist weed control system

Additional information:

More information can be found through these weed science resources:
Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum L.), Michigan State University
Purple Deadnettle and Henbit, University of Tennessee

Sources:
1Michigan State University. 2017. Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum L.)
http://www.msuweeds.com/worst-weeds/purple-deadnettle/
2Steckel, L. Purple Deadnettle and Henbit
https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W165.pdf
3Hager, A. 2011. Dealing With Henbit, Purple Deadnettle In No-Till Fields
https://www.no-tillfarmer.com/articles/1433-dealing-with-henbit-purple-deadnettle-in-no-till-fields

®™Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT and Keystone NXT are federally Restricted Use Pesticides. Duramax, Durango DMA, FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT, Keystone NXT, Resicore, Sonic, SureStart II, Surpass NXT and Surveil are not registered for sale or use in all states. FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT, Keystone NXT, Resicore, SureStart II and Surpass NXT are not available for sale, distribution or use in Nassau and Suffolk counties in the state of New York. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state.  Enlist Duo herbicide is not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use in Enlist crops. Always read and follow label directions.

Enlist Duo® herbicide as a burndown inspires trust, confidence

Scott Wright

Scott Wright
Enlist field specialist
Dow AgroSciences

As with any new product, some farmers are asking questions about how Enlist Duo® herbicide works and how to use it. Several farmers in 2017 got their first experience with this technology by using it as a burndown. They found Enlist Duo was effective and gained confidence in the herbicide.

John Lindamood of Tennessee was one farmer who was interested in the system, so he purchased Enlist Duo herbicide for use in burndown. He was able to control tough weeds while they were still small. In particular, annual bluegrass was “thick as a blanket.”

Enlist Duo did a fantastic job controlling weeds in Lindamood’s field, including the pesky annual bluegrass. Now, he is very comfortable with the performance and handling of Enlist Duo, and he plans to use it postemergence on Enlist™ crops.

Farmers in other areas had similar experiences. Tyler Tietjen was among several southeastern Nebraska farmers who applied Enlist Duo as a burndown this spring. It was everything he expected.

“I want clean fields when I start,” Tietjen says. “I expect the field to be 100 percent clean. Enlist Duo got everything. The field was clean after burndown.” Tietjen says the technology works as well as he had hoped.

Enlist Duo herbicide contains two modes of action: new 2,4-D choline and glyphosate. In addition to burndown applications, it is federally registered for postemergence use on Enlist corn, Enlist soybeans and Enlist cotton in 34 states.

Many farmers have been hearing good things about the Enlist weed control system, and they gain confidence once they experience it. Seeing really is believing.

®™DOW Diamond, Enlist and Enlist Duo are trademarks of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. Enlist Duo herbicide is not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use in Enlist crops. Always read and follow label directions. ©2017 Dow AgroSciences LLC