View from the Cab: Facing the challenges

By: Kent Casson

It may come as no surprise this year, but there are definite challenges out in the field.

All of the wet weather from the past month had a negative impact especially on soybeans and has taken the crop completely out in places.

“That’s going to take the top end off, depending on what the overall drainage situation is,” said Jason Webster, commercial agronomist and PTI Research Farm director with Precision Planting.

Webster is waiting for the disease aspect to enter the picture as the right conditions exist. Corn is the ideal candidate for fungicide applications this summer and growers want to protect the crop as much as possible. Webster feels the corn has taken all of the heavy rain fairly well as long as there was no standing water to a large degree.

“We are gearing-up here at the (Precision Planting research) farm for fungicide applications in corn and soybeans,” noted Webster.

Webster worries about the amount of white mold which could develop on soybeans at any time. It all comes down to scouting out in the field to determine what the crop needs.

With all of the rain this summer, Webster hasn’t had to irrigate very much at the research farm in Pontiac. A little over a month ago, we were hot and dry then things suddenly changed and we became too wet. Precision Planting has used irrigators to put fertilizer on crops instead of water. This includes nutritional products such as potassium, sulfur and nitrogen.

It sounds like neat things are happening at the Precision Planting research farm with tours starting now and running through Labor Day. Sessions will focus on topics such as furrow creation, hands-on demonstrations and agronomy. Visitors will even be able to play in the giant “sand box” by planting corn. If you’ve ever dreamed of driving a tractor and planter, this could be your chance.

“We want farmers to know what technology is available but we want them to know how to use it,” Webster told me during a recent interview.

The Pontiac farm has well over 100 trials and those attending summer field days will be able to dive into some of the information with Webster.

Our family had an awesome time at last week’s Livingston County Ag Fair at Pontiac. It was great seeing everyone out there during Kasen’s first in-person fair showing his calves. Now, we look forward to the McLean County Fair in early August before the Cullom Jr. Fair, Fairbury Fair and Illinois State Fair.

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