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Atkins Seed agronomy update

There will likely be some happy growers in Central Illinois come harvest time.

That’s the belief of Dale Atkins of Atkins Seed Service at Weston. Atkins notes the excellent crop conditions so far this season with a dark green color and good height. He urges farmers to pay attention to the new Pioneer varieties out this year.

“In most cases, I would have to say they look about as good as you could ever ask for,” said Atkins.

This is the time for corn fungicide spraying when some brown silks are present. There is not as much disease present now compared to previous years when fields were being sprayed.

“I would say do some scouting or have us do some scouting for you,” Atkins stated.

According to Atkins, spraying used to only be for major disease outbreaks but fungicides now give some growth-promoting actions and change the plant chemistry a bit.

As we get closer to August, the critical period for soybeans is just around the corner. Atkins believes fungicide applications in beans are also important. Having adequate moisture in August is what keeps beans from aborting blooms.

Temperature and moisture are key factors for a successful crop. Corn likes it best when temperatures are around 85 during the day with cool nights. Days when it stays over 90 degrees and remains in the 80s at night aren’t good growing conditions.

“That plant spends its time trying to evaporate and cool itself. The energy goes to that rather than into grain fill,” Atkins added.

Atkins Seed Service is located at the corner of the Weston Blacktop and Route 24 in McLean County and can be reached at 815-945-5113.

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