Fond du Lac Recap

Dec 01, 2021

Fond du Lac Recap
Soybeans in our area were record-yielding this year, with most averaging around 60-70 bushels. Fond du Lac had near optimal growing conditions for soybeans year-round due to timely rains. We still had disease pressure, primarily phytophthora and some white mold. However, it was minimal compared to previous years.

We all know waterhemp is not going away anytime soon. Therefore, we plan on spraying Boundary with the addition of Blanket pre-emerge on soybeans for 2022. Blanket is another pre-emerge product with the active ingredient called Sulfentrazone, a photosynthesis inhibitor. The weeds take it up in their roots and die once they are exposed to sunlight. This addition to the tank mix will give us better control on broadleaves such as waterhemp.

The year started off dry for corn. This caused some problems with our pre-emerge herbicides. Pre-emerge products such as Acuron require rainfall to activate. Due to the lack of rainfall, we had several instances where we had to respray corn acres due to waterhemp break-throughs.

The majority of the corn crop yielded around 200-230 bushel. Instances where fungicide was applied to varieties with high response-to-fungicide scores the crop continued to excel by an additional 5-15 bushel. As tar spot and other disease pressure continues to increase, it is important to ask your agronomist what the response to fungicide is for the hybrids you plant and determine if it is a good fit on your operation.

New to Fond du Lac is a variable rate technology called Augmenta. Augmenta will allow us to variable rate nitrogen in real time. It applies more Nitrogen where needed and less where it is not. This device mounted on the cab of the spreader will read NDVI imagery, determining a vegetation index, and adjust nitrogen on the go. Maps are then created that showcase how the application was adjusted across the field. With the rising cost of nitrogen, we are very excited to try out this new technology, and in return save growers’ money.

The wheat crop was above average due to ideal planting conditions and timely rains. Instances where fungicide was applied, wheat yielded an additional 10-15 bushel. The fungicide applied to wheat out of Fond du Lac is called Miravis Ace. Fungicide is a preventative used to protect the crop from fusarium head blight, common rust, and powdery mildew just to name a few. This is something all growers should consider, especially if the crop is off to an awesome start.

Alfalfa also had a substantial year. Multiple growers had production so high that they have additional carry over on their feed pad. As potassium prices continue to rise, the first thing growers like to short is the potassium in their alfalfa. It is not suggested to short the crop and deplete the soils. For every one ton of alfalfa, 60 pounds of potassium is removed. That is huge!

For example, 6 ton of alfalfa X 60# potassium = 360# potassium removed = 580# Pegasus/acre.

Fond du Lac converted an old ford ranger into a soil sampling truck this year. The passenger seat was replaced by an automated soil probe that takes the sample directly through the floor of the cab. This has increased our efficiency because samplers do not have to constantly load and unload the four-wheeler or UTV. It allows the sampler to drive field-to-field and cover acres faster. An increase in efficiency allows energy to be focused on other tasks. Fond du Lac takes roughly 4,000 soil samples per year. This year we had one person do 90% of the sampling instead of three people sampling.

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