Growing Knowledge

Read the latest insights from our experts as they cover agronomy issues that matter most to you and your operation.

How to Offset Nitrogen Loss With Sidedressing

Joel and Kyle
Hosts, WinField
On this episode of The Deal With Yield®, Joel and Kyle share their recommendations for sidedressing nitrogen, as well as answer an audiece question. Tune in to learn how to determine if your fields require sidedressing, what products are best for keeping nitrogen stable, and the best way to variable-rate nitrogen. 
Got a question about your operation? Email for the chance to hear their response on the show.
Season 6: Episode 4 — How to Offset Nitrogen Loss With Sidedressing

The Deal With Yield is a podcast series covering the issues that matter most in crop production.

Copper Is Golden for Wheat Yields

Eric Hanson
Copper is an enzyme activator that is necessary for protein production in plants. Wheat is highly responsive to copper applications in the spring as well as at flag leaf emergence.
  • In the spring, as wheat begins to rapidly extend stem tissue, a copper deficiency may limit the amount of protein the plant needs to take up for rapid growth. 
  • Copper is essential for pollination and pollen tube formation, so wheat is also highly responsive to copper applications at flag leaf emergence. 
  • Although not a replacement for foliar fungicide, copper contributes to a wheat plant’s immune system and improves plant health.
Copper is essentially immobile in the soil, so plant uptake is accomplished by direct root interception, making this timing is critical. Additionally, copper deficiencies are most common in either high-organic-matter soils or alkaline soils with a pH of 7.5 or greater.
Assess copper levels and hit the sweet spot
The first step in assessing copper levels in wheat is to take tissue samples prior to jointing and again at flag leaf emergence. One solution to address copper deficiency in wheat is to apply copper in the form of a foliar micronutrient product absorbed by the leaves of the plant, such as MAX-IN® Copper. 
When MAX-IN® Copper is applied at greenup, prior to jointing, levels in the plants are usually sufficient going into heading, allowing for only a single application. MAX-IN® Copper can be tank mixed with a variety of herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers, for added application flexibility.  
WinField research has shown that yield increases have been achieved when MAX-IN® Copper is applied when wheat is highly responsive and copper levels are commonly depleted. For example, 2015 Answer Plot® data* found that the yield response to a MAX-IN® Copper foliar application at the 4- to 5-leaf stage was 94.2 bu/A compared to an 88.8 bu/A with an in-furrow treatment of 10-34-0 alone. That’s a 5.4 bu/A increase achieved by adding MAX-IN® Copper.
Bottom line: Nutrient applications when crops are highly receptive help meet genetic yield potential and minimize unnecessary use of fertilizer.
*2015 Answer Plot® data based on eight locations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana.

Plant Nutrition Takes Top Priority

Agronomy Team
Cool, Wet Spring Comes to a Close
The cool, wet weather that delayed planting in the southern part of the Midwest has led to spotty soybean emergence in Illinois and Ohio. In Iowa, residue management has played a larger role in soybean emergence. And many farmers in Minnesota had to replant soybeans after a frost event three weeks ago, causing growth delays in this region. However, despite challenging planting conditions, the plants that have emerged are growing well.
At this point, farmers are encouraged to scout for weeds, which seem to be the only plants taking advantage of the cold, damp spring. Agronomists in Wisconsin have seen fast-growing lambsquarters and giant ragweed as tall as 20 inches in some fields.
Last Chance for Nutrient Applications
Corn is picking up speed, with most fields across the Midwest measuring between V4 and V8. Corn takes up the majority of its nutrients during these stages, so now is the time to pay close attention to nutrient deficiencies in this crop.
In general, tissue samples have been showing macronutrient deficiencies in plants. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio have deficiencies in zinc, boron and potassium, while agronomists in Indiana have noticed  sulfur deficiencies. Nitrogen deficiencies are common throughout the Midwest, and can be combatted by side-dressing during this time.

Feed Your Fields’ Full Potential

Joel and Kyle
Hosts, WinField
This week on The Deal With Yield®, Joel and Kyle discuss the importance of monitoring plant nutrition early in the growing season.  Find out how to spot nutrients deficiencies, when you should take a tissue sample and why nothing good happens after spraying soybeans with a herbicide after the Fourth of July.
Got a question about your operation? Email for the chance to hear their response on the show.
Season 6: Episode 2 – Feed Your Fields’ Full Potential

The Deal With Yield is a podcast series covering the issues that matter most in crop production.

Scouting for Technology?

Tyler Steinkamp
Regional Agronomist
What’s your commitment to ag technology? Whether you are gradually easing into adopting more tech-focused farming methods or have used technology for a while, you’ve probably discovered that these tools can serve as a tremendous scouting aid.
Technology should be paired with a more traditional walk-through of your fields with your agronomist to provide important field-level observations and quality data that can pay off at harvest. 
Most ag technology tools include some degree of access to in-season imagery, which indicates field biomass. This capability enables your agronomist to identify problem areas in a field as the season progresses so they can help you take corrective measures before yield potential is jeopardized.
Because technology helps you adjust the investments you make in your fields to fit their profitability potential, it helps you spend your dollars more wisely. For example, rather than simply blanketing a field with nitrogen or doing a side-dress application, it may be better to make a variable-rate application. Also, taking tissue samples can help you determine what, if any, nutrients may be lacking in your plants.
With all of the ag technology options on the market, how do you know which ones are the best? One resource is, where industry experts review a variety of ag technology devices and applications.
In the end, every bushel counts. If you’re not employing technology to help you determine where problems can be remedied, top-performing acres can be optimized or poorer-performing acres can receive fewer input investments, you’re leaving yield and capital in the field. 

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