News from Your Federated Agronomists | January 23, 2018
Corn Grower Workshops: Week of Feb. 19th

Invitations will be in the mail soon. Plan now to attend
and gather good info for 2018 crop planning.

An Introduction to Palace Corn Herbicide
Early Season Discovery Plot Corn Results
2017 Discovery Plot Results for Corn Hybrids
Managing Corn Inputs for the Best ROI
Essential Nutrients in Every Fused Granule
Microessentials granules
In today’s tight market, getting top yields is essential. Craig Peterson, Federated Agronomist at the Ogilvie location, highlighted a one key to obtaining top yields: “Getting the proper nutrients in the proper place for plant uptake.” Federated Co-ops offers a premier product, MicroEssentials® SZ™ (Mesz), to help with that process.

Mesz contains 12% Nitrogen, 40% Phosphate, 10% Sulfur, and 1% Zinc, all of which are combined with “Fusion Technology” to get all four nutrients into every granule. Mesz helps improve plant availability and uptake, and the unique granular formulation allows for highly uniform distribution across every acre.

Mesz has two types of sulfur: 5% sulfate, and 5% slow release sulfur. “The slow release sulfur becomes available later in the season, giving you protection from leaching,” said Peterson, “while the sulfate is available for early season plant growth.” Additionally, Mesz is a harder granule than most other fertilizers; it isn’t affected by humidity, which means it doesn’t gum up planter augers and application remains at a constant rate.

 MicroEssentials SZ also blends effectively with other fertilizers and when blended with potash, it works well as a banded starter. Mesz can also be broadcast, Peterson noted, which means “it has a fit in pretty much any crop.”

With increased plant uptake, more even distribution, and season-long nutrition, Mesz is a perfect fit for today’s top yielding hybrids. Talk with your Federated Agronomist to see where Mesz may fit in your 2018 crop plans.

Go to this link for more information on MicroEssentials SZ yield benefits based on years of research.
Cost Savings Line Up with Parallel Herbicide for Corn 
G etting the most out of every input at a cost growers can afford brings Federated to recommend Parallel® herbicide, the generic version of Dual®.
Parallel is a cost-effective option for managing small-seed broadleaf weeds, such as waterhemp, in both soybeans and in corn in a pre-emerge and layering residual program. Its active ingredient, metolachlor, is a group 15 herbicide that has no known resistance, and has shown itself effective on waterhemp species.

Parallel gives growers more flexibility than other pre-emerge soybean herbicides by being labeled to spray both pre-emerge and post-emerge with no crop response.

Matt Kurtz, manager at Federated’s Rush City agronomy location, said, “Parallel can be tank mixed with many other herbicides and offers an easier and effective way of stacking residual chemistry to start clean and stay clean in the field.” Parallel Plus is a premix of metolachlor and atrazine. See Parallel label.

Kurtz identified “a point that speaks to all residual chemistries: Moisture is needed to activate the chemisty.” Metolachlor requires up to an inch of rain to fully activate its chemistry. However, with that moisture, Parallel, at 1 pt./ac., will provide approximately four weeks of residual broadleaf control.

Kevin Carlson, Federated’s senior agronomist, said, “Growers are looking for more value. Here [with Parallel] is a place to cut cost without impacting yield.” See Parallel fact sheet.

Contact your Federated Agronomist to discover more cost-cutting but still effective weed control options.
Federated Focus: A Service, A Person
Nutrient Management Plans: Years of Experience Prove Their Value
Rod Gustafson
When Federated Agronomist Rod Gustafson (pictured) started as the assistant manager at Albertville in the mid-1990s, RoundUp Ready® crops were new and ag technology was slowly gaining momentum. Corn prices were just over $2/bu. back then, and they rose to over $7/bu. before coming back down to the current $3-4/bu.

Gustafson has “seen a lot of things” in his 24 years with Federated, and when it comes to crop nutrition, he’s seen more than a few failures when growers have ineffectively planned crop nutrients.

Sounding like the ag teacher he initially trained to be, he said, “You have to go back to the basics.” Look at soil samples and determine what the [nutrient] needs are. With commodity prices what they are, this basic approach can positively affect yield potential.

“Try to have the most current soil samples,” said Gustafson. For the 2018 growing season, don’t rely on samples that are older than Fall 2014. “Get new samples early in the spring,” he said, but if time doesn’t permit, in-crop soil sampling is the next best option so the test results are available for fall-applied nutrients.

Growers can take full credit for nitrogen from alfalfa and other legume crops, and if manure has been applied, “you can fully take advantage of that, too,” said Gustafson. But basing nutrient needs on crop removal alone – trying to guess what was added or taken away – isn’t a good basis for effective nutrient management.

“With commodity pricing, you don’t want to overdo it (fertilizer application], but you can’t afford to underdo it either,” he said. “Don’t shoot from the hip.”

“Go through, field by field, and get a plan set before you are too busy to think about it,” said Gustafson. It’s also a good time to think ahead about grid sampling for variable rate technology (VRT) applications (a Federated service).

As technology races forward, farms grow, and costs soar, the need for expertise is greater. Working with customers is still one of Gustafson’s “favorite things,” and he will readily share his hard-earned ag expertise – as will his fellow Federated Agronomists. Contact one of them to get your nutrient management plans in place today.