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July Agronomy Update

Fungicides for Corn

Because of the abnormally hot and wet weather this spring and early summer we may see higher incidences of foliar diseases later on in the season.  Corn typically has pretty good disease tolerance prior to tassel emergence.  That tolerance declines once the plant goes into and through the reproductive stage to senescence.
There are two common classes of fungicides:
Triazoles (Tilt).   Triazoles are more curative.  They provide control after infections have already begun (before you can see the lesions) and are non-systemic.
Strobilurins(Headline) are protectants.  They provide control prior to disease onset.  They control a broder range of diseases and offer longer lasting residual control.  Strobilurins are more systemic than Triazoles.
Quilt and Stratego are a combination of both Triazoles and Strobilurins at a lower active ingredient of each.

Headline Fungicide

Headline® fungicide helps growers control diseases and improve overall Plant HealthPerhaps that's why Headline fungicide is the nation's leading fungicide.

How Headline Fungicide Works

Headline fungicide is a fast-acting, broad-spectrum fungicide that delivers a high level of activity on more than 50 major diseases that can threaten yield and crop quality. Headline fungicide helps prevent diseases and provides protection for more than 90 crops, including corn, soybeans and wheat.
Not only does Headline fungicide provide excellent disease control, it actually promotes improved Plant Health. The unique chemistry of its active ingredient, F500®, enables more efficient nitrogen uptake, more robust plant growth and better stress tolerance to heat, hail, wind and drought. Ultimately, this means healthier plants and higher yield potential.
Growers who use Headline fungicide for disease control report more vigorous plant growth and stress tolerance advantages such as better standability and improved harvest efficiency — helping to reduce losses and improve ROI.
Note the “Headline – Application Guidelines” chart and be aware of applying Headline prior to the VT stage, this is critical to prevent yield loss.  VT stage is identified as the last tassel branch fully visible outside of the whorl.  No adjuvant is recommended for either ground or aerial application before VT and if the grower chooses to have a fungicide applied by air before VT stage then it must be in at least 5 gallons of water per acre.  The optimum window for application extends from VT stage through R2 (early brown silk).  Many fields are showing uneven growth this year.  Those fields will be coming into the VT stage at various times.  Growers will need to work with the individuals that apply the product to their fields for timing of application and the use of adjuvant and carrier rates.Note the “Headline – Application Guidelines” chart and be aware of applying Headline prior to the VT stage, this is critical to prevent yield loss.  VT stage is identified as the last tassel branch fully visible outside of the whorl.  No adjuvant is recommended for either ground or aerial application before VT and if the grower chooses to have a fungicide applied by air before VT stage then it must be in at least 5 gallons of water per acre.  The optimum window for application extends from VT stage through R2 (early brown silk).  Many fields are showing uneven growth this year.  Those fields will be coming into the VT stage at various times.  Growers will need to work with the individuals that apply the product to their fields for timing of application and the use of adjuvant and carrier rates.

Time to scout and manage western bean cutworm in southern Michigan

Scouting for this pest isn’t too difficult. Western bean cutworm egg masses are large, initially white and laid on the upper third of pre-tassel plants. With some practice, they are easy to spot, especially if you put the sun behind the corn leaves and look for their shadows.
According to MSU Extension entomology specialist Christina DiFonzo, when scouting for western bean cutworm, count 20 plants at five different locations. Since the eggs hatch (Figure 6) in a week or so, they should keep a running total of how many masses they see each week. The treatment threshold is five percent of plants with egg masses.
A common pyrethroid (the “-thrins”) insecticide such as Warrior (lambda-cyhalothrin) will control western bean cutworm larvae and typically provide 10–14 days of residual activity. Once the larvae have “fattened up” on pollen packets in the tassels and made their way back down the plant and into the ear, control is all but impossible.

Soybean Frogeye Leaf Spot

Fungicide seed treatments can reduce the risk of infection. Spray applications of fungicides after growth stage R1 can reduce disease severity. But applications made at stage R3 are considered most effective.
My advice would be to contact Soybean Product Manager Steve Sick first before treating.

Late Season Nitrogen Application

NOTE: Practices such as fall-applied or early-spring applied N or surface-applied urea provide a larger “window of opportunity” for N loss and therefore would require higher N rates to achieve optimum yield.
Providing sufficient but not excessive nitrogen (N) to corn is difficult especially with fall and early spring fertilizer applications where N loss can vary substantially with the timing of the application relative to the occurrence of warm soil and excessive rainfall. Nitrogen deficiency occurs most growing seasons and often leads to an interest in applying N fertilizer beyond the growth stage and height where standard N application equipment can be used.
Nitrogen applied up to 2-3 weeks after silking to N deficient but otherwise healthy corn can result in increased grain yield. The greater the N deficiency and the earlier the N application the larger the yield increase.

Nitrogen Deficiancy in Pre-Tassel Corn













Gray Leaf Spot 


Northern Corn Leaf Blight

Agronomy, Corn, Disease, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Soybeans

It is GREAT to be us!

Thanks to all of your efforts, NuTech Seed is enjoying another year of outstanding sales and business performance. More growers than ever are planting our products this spring and seeing our top performing corn products and soybeans with the LibertyLink® gene. It is truly ‘Great to be Us’ and a great time to be part of the NuTech Seed team!

I often get asked the question: "How are you doing it?"  To me, the answer is quite simple: the answer is some of the basic attributes of a healthy and growing seed company, even in these challenging times in agriculture.

I had the opportunity to review some market research recently regarding growers' purchasing decisions. The respondents' answers were very insightful and they answer the 

question about our recent success at NuTech Seed. The question that caught my eye was around the factors that were most important for choosing a seed brand. Product performance, yield and dealer relationship were the top three responses, accounting for more than 85% of the most mentioned factors. Other agronomic characteristics, trait package, price and other factors were far less important and almost inconsequential in the decision. Those three factors are all key to NuTech Seed’s recent success.

Our products, from about any performance measurement, are showing up time and time again and our solution-based approach with the right traits for individual growers are delivering choice and tremendous value. This performance and flexibility is being noticed as we continue to receive unsolicited calls and inquiries asking to try our products or to join our team. And you, our sales teams, continue to provide sound advice regarding product placement along with outstanding and dependable service. Growers are seeing the value and they are rewarding us with their purchase decisions.

At NuTech Seed, we truly do ‘Lead with Seed’ and we are passionate about your success. I would just like to say thank you for putting your trust in NuTech Seed products and people once again this year and best wishes for another great crop.

Improve NuTech Seed's brand awareness with social media

Social media is constantly changing. Every social site has its own algorithm to determine how users view content and that algorithm is regularly adjusted to keep everyone, especially marketers, on their toes.

Gone are the days when the Facebook News Feed is a timeline of content, listed in the order each piece was created. Now the posts you see in your News Feed are based on your browsing patterns. 

Have you ever wondered why you don’t see every piece of content that NuTech Seed posts on Facebook? Just “liking” NuTech Seed’s Facebook page doesn’t guarantee you’ll see anything we post. You have two options: FOLLOW the page, so you get a notification every time we post, or INTERACT with our posts (like, comment, and share). The more you interact with a page and its posts, the more content you will see from that page in your News Feed.

With every algorithm update that Facebook makes, companies are seeing constant decline in followers, reach, impressions, website clicks, and more. Instagram operates the same way. Twitter still follows the “timeline” approach, for the most part, but if you haven’t logged on in a few days, you’ll see a section of tweets labeled “Here’s what you may have missed…”

So here is my request, if you spend time on social media, make sure you are interacting with NuTech Seed’s posts. Like, comment, and share – it’s a quick and effective way to help our marketing efforts and continue spreading our brand across the country.

Don't forget to follow @NuTechSeed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

1. "Like" NuTech Seed's Facebook page.
2. "Follow" the page to receive a notifcation when new content is posted.
3. "Share" to invite your friends to "like" NuTech Seed on Facebook. 

Facebook, Instagram, social media, Twitter

Seed Treatments

The calendar has once again turned to spring and we find ourselves putting the seeds of a new crop into the ground. The smell of freshly tilled soil fills the air as the planters roll across the fields dropping those seeds of optimism with pin point accuracy. As soon as those seeds come in contact with the soil, soil-born fungi are trying to attack that seed and keep you from achieving those dreams of higher yields.

Seed treatments have long been used to protect seeds from these soil-born fungi and to help protect your seed investment. Combating these seedling diseases becomes harder and more complicated each year due to the fact there are multiple fungi or multiple species of fungi in any given field. However, not all pathogens are fungi. We have some organisms that are oomycetes. Controlling both fungi and oomycete can be challenging for any seed treatment, especially when it takes the seed 3-4 weeks before the seedlings start to emerge.

Here at NuTech we like to say “We lead with seed!" One of the ways that we do that is by providing growers with a premium seed treatment such as Poncho 500/VOTiVO at no extra 

charge. This premium seed treatment has just gotten better for the 2017 planting season with the addition of Ethaboxam to our portfolio.

Ethaboxam is a new novel thiazole carboxamide fungicide that we are adding to our seed treatment.  This addition of Ethaboxam gives NuTech Seed multiple modes of action to better protect seed/seedlings from oomycete pathogens such as Pythium. By having multiple modes of action against Pythium, growers will experience better control of seedling diseases and help them achieve that early stand establishment they are looking for. Too many times, growers have learned the hard way that it takes multiple modes of action to help control most targeted pest.

Now you have one more tool in your toolbox to help you reach your dreams of higher yields. Rest assured that we will not stop there. We will continue to look for other promising seed treatments and to continue to provide more value to our growers.

® Poncho, VOTiVO and ILeVO are registered trademarks of Bayer. Poncho and Poncho/VOTiVO are not registered in all states. For additional product information call toll-free 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937) or visit our website at www.BayerCropScience.us.

Put your planter through a thorough inspection prior to planting

The planter is the most important piece of equipment that growers own.  It is the tool that sets the trajectory of their profits for the season.  If planting is done to perfection, the sky is the limit for profitability.  If it’s just a process we do to cover acres, our ceiling has been set and we will be playing catch up the rest of the season.  Believe it or not, but 75% of the yield for a field is dictated by the time the planter pulls into the field to the time it pulls out.  This fact is why growers should spend most of their time in the offseason making sure their planter operates at peak performance from begging to end.  I’m going to highlight a few areas that play a big role in determining yield.

When planting is done take your meters apart, clean them and look for any area that is abnormally worn.  If possible have your meters calibrated every two to three years to make sure they are in top condition.

Disk openers is the next place I would inspect.  The disk openers prepare the seed bed where the seed will be placed.  If they are off the seed is not placed where we want and germination could be reduced.

To ensure that a perfect “V” is made there needs to be 2-3 inches of contact between the disk openers.  This can be checked by using two business cards, one started from the top, one from the bottom until they stay by themselves, then measure the distance between them.  The diameter of the disk opener is important in determining the true depth where the seed is placed.

Most disk openers when new are 15” and should be replaced when they get below 14.5”.  If you have coarse soils or plant over 2,000 acres you will want to replace your disk openers sooner, around 14 5/8”.

After inspecting the disk openers I would check how level the planter runs.  To do this, hook up the planter as you would if you were planting, take out to a field, put it in the ground and drive 50-75 feet, then slowly stop the tractor.  When this is done go back and check level at four spots on the planter.  First check the transport (tongue) toolbar, this can be done best with a 4’ level.  You want the planter to be level with the ground to slightly pointed up.  If it is not where it should be, go back to the tractor and adjust 2-point or hydraulics to get it where it needs to be.  Once the main toolbar is level go back to the row unit toolbar and check level on each side and middle, this can be done with a torpedo level.  This toolbar should have the same or similar attitude as the toolbar you already checked.

Chains and Sprockets are the next location to inspect.  If your planter has chains, specifically row unit chains, they need to be looked at very closely.  If there is a kink or a stuck link that is in the chain, every time that comes around it could cause a double, skip, or spacing issue.  The growers that take planter prep to the nth degree actually replace row unit chains every year.  It is a small price to pay to ensure planter performance and seed placement.  All chains should be inspected and lubed as well as looking for even wear on all sprockets.  If sprockets aren’t wearing evenly replace and look at adjustment.

Gauge Wheels are one of the most important parts of planters because they are what is used to set the depth at which the seed is placed.  How you set them will vary based on the make of the planter.  The true depth will also vary on wear on the gauge wheel arm.  If there is over ¼” wear on the arm where it meets the “mustache”, the arm needs to be flipped to the other side. Example, if the gauge wheel arm comes off the right side of row 6, it can be flipped and put on the left side.  If this has already been done, the gauge wheel arm needs to be replaced.  If a grower wants to get the most out of their planter, they can index their planter.  This is somewhat complicated to explain, but I can describe it in person.  The gauge wheel also needs to be shimmed or adjusted so that wheel runs tight against the disk opener.  This helps to clean the disk opener and once again maintain depth.

The last mechanical part I will talk about is row cleaners.  Row cleaners are an important part on a planter because they remove residue from the row.  If residue makes it into the seed trench it can greatly reduce germination and or emergence.  Residue in the trench acts as a wick, in a dry planting season it removes needed moisture from the seed.  In a wet planting season it wicks more moisture to the seed and can also be a starting point for diseases.