Latest News From Rhonda Brooks

Can the $20-Billion Inflation Reduction Act Get Rolled Out Quickly Enough?

Industry experts say the new legislative package represents a 'generational opportunity' for conservation funding and needs to reach U.S. farmers and livestock producers sooner rather than later, starting this spring.

Valent USA Enters Corn Industry With Three Modes of Action Herbicide

The company, known for its extensive work in soybeans, formally moves into the corn marketplace with its introduction of Maverick herbicide, now available for use this season.

Ferrie: Seize Your Corn Growing Opportunities for #Plant2023

Do some final noodling on hybrid selection, planting processes and agronomic practices to grow that big-yielding crop you want to harvest next fall. Here are five tips to help you make this season a success.

New Systemic Nitrogen-Fixation Biofertilizer Can Be Used In-Furrow or In a Foliar Application

Envita offers corn growers season-long nitrogen availability, according to Azotic Technologies. The product retails for approximately $15 an acre.

First-Ever Solid-Encapsulated Herbicide For Pre and Post Weed Control in Corn

BASF plans to launch Surtain herbicide for 2024 farmer use, pending EPA approval. It features two active ingredients that tackle up to 79 tough broadleaves and grasses, including Palmer amaranth, waterhemp and ragweed.

Soil Sleuth: No-Till Icon Investigates Tillage’s Impact On Nutrient Stratification

Marion Calmer says nutrient stratification in soil is a significant problem on his western Illinois farm — and it’s only getting worse.

Ferrie: Nitrogen-Friendly Growing Season Results in Corn Yield Bonanza

Some farmers saw A 40-bu-per-acre yield surge across fields in 2022, thanks to nutrient efficiencies. They lost less N and had better mineralization. Now, they ask, how can they get a repeat performance this year?

A cotton boll from Red Land Cotton.
New Cotton Trait A ‘Game Changer’ For Tarnished Plant Bug, Thrip Control

The first-of-its-kind biotech trait is commercially available to farmers as Bollgard 3 ThryvOn cotton with XtendFlex Technology – just in time for the 2023 production season. 

Where Urea Fits

If you're looking to replace some of your nitrogen this season, urea is an option. Volatility will be one of the things to address.

Ferrie: Treat Sulfur Like A Macronutrient In Corn To Boost Yields

Fields planted to G and L1 hybrids especially need access to sulfur early season. Even hybrids planted in soils with organic matter levels at 3.5% or more are showing financially positive responses to the nutrient.

Corn Seedling Diseases Don't Seem Dramatic, But The Yield Losses they Cause Sure Are

Problems like tar spot get tons of attention because of the highly visible yield loss they cause in-season. Seedling diseases can pack the same punch. Some experts claim Pythium is the No. 1 disease issue in corn.

3 Tenets Of A Decade-Forward View of the U.S. Food System

The food system is undergoing transformation, says Rob Dongoski, Ernst & Young. He pulled back the curtain on three ways it will change and how farmers can be ready during a presentation at the 2023 Top Producer Summit.

Farmer Panel: Climate-Smart Program Rewards Must Outweigh Risks To Earn Grower Participation

Profitability and efficiency are big drivers for growers evaluating conservation-based farming practices. Each farmer who spoke at the Trust In Food Symposium said they have adopted at least one such practice, to date.

Ferrie: Assess Your Risks for Tar Spot this Season

Cornfields hit by the disease in 2021 are at risk from a homegrown infection in 2023, if you're in a corn-soybean rotation. Hard rains prior to crop canopy are an added concern. They splash inoculant onto corn plants.

Ferrie: You Can Reduce Fertilizer and Still Harvest Big Corn Yields, But Some Parameters Apply

There are ways to pull back on fertilizer effectively -- up to a point. Join Ferrie for the Winter Corn & Soybean College this Thursday, Jan. 5. Get practical answers to your questions during this live event.

$100 an Acre Herbicide Costs Won't be Unusual Next Season

On the low end, expect to invest at least $50 an acre in the Midwest and $85 in the South for products. Some corn and soybean farmers are evaluating adjuvants and management practices that could help trim expenses.

Ken Ferrie: Using Urea for N or Going Corn-on-Corn in 2023? Read this First

Urea can be used to replace part of your spring N needs, but there are risks to be aware of and evaluate before you decide to go with it. The same is true for a mono-crop, especially if you choose continuous corn.

Corn Yield Losses to ‘Edge Effect’ Elevated by Contrary Micro-Climate and Weather Patterns

Iowa State Extension agronomists say there are at least two strategies farmers can consider using in 2023 to address this phenomenon, especially if they expect to be hit by hot, dry weather conditions again next summer.

2023 Looks Like a Tough Year to Control Weeds

Dry conditions and limited herbicide supplies crippled many farmers' weed-control efforts this year, setting up a perfect storm for weeds and grasses next season. Here are five ways to take charge of the situation.

C-Suite: Vern Hawkins with Syngenta Crop Protection

The Scoop caught up with Hawkins during a recent Syngenta Media Summit. Here is a report from our conversation with him.

Ferrie: It’s Go-Time for Hybrid Selections and Anhydrous Applications

Farmers are asking, ‘Do I chisel first and then apply anhydrous? Or will I get better results doing the opposite?’ Get Ferrie’s answer and his insights on addressing hybrid weaknesses to harvest more corn in 2023.

Inflation Report Signals a Smaller Rate Increase likely in December

Experts say the Fed is looking for signs of weakness in the economy before deciding interest rates have been raised sufficiently to curb inflation. Some signs are available now, says Vince Malanga, LaSalle Economics.

With Soybean Planting Populations, How Low Can You Go?

Highly productive areas with adequate soil moisture are where you can usually trim seeding populations, says Matt Duesterhaus, Crop-Tech Consulting agronomist. He offers seven additional recommendations.

USDA to Address ‘Soybeans of Other Colors’ Issue, Grading Standards

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service announces the Federal Grain and Inspection Service will publish a proposed rule seeking public comment on whether to make changes to U.S. grading standards for soybeans.

Agronomic Phenomenon in Corn Strikes Outer Rows of Fields, Strips Yield

Some Iowa growers saw huge yield losses this season from a so-called edge effect. Illinois farmers also report seeing it ding yields. Agronomists are working to confirm contributing factors but haven't nailed them down.

The Correlation (Or Lack Of) Between Soil Health And Fungicide Use

Ken Ferrie says fields with good soil health can have as much disease present as an unhealthy field, but healthy plants handle stress better than unhealthy ones.

As Hearings for the Farm Bill Ratchet Up, You can Do 3 Things to Help Agriculture

Increasingly the members of Congress who hold the primary responsibility of drafting the farm bill come from suburban and urban areas. They need the information and insights farmers are uniquely equipped to provide.

Ferrie: Do Fall Tillage if Fields are Dry, Consider No-Till Corn and Soybeans for 2023

If conditions are good in your area, you won’t have wheel tracks or ruts to deal with. However, you do need to think about a winter burndown to keep fields clean before planting next spring.

New Weed Species Confirmed in Iowa Fields a Second Time

Asian copperleaf was found in an Iowa soybean field this summer. Agronomists are evaluating how much of a concern the weed poses to row crops there. It has been confirmed in only one other U.S. location: New York City.

Ferrie: Soybean Yields are Swinging More than Usual, September Rains Helped Corn

Results are also in from some corn teaching plots planted at the Heyworth, Ill., campus, including four starter plots, a series of sulfur timing plots, plus nitrogen and planting population plots.

Volunteer Corn in Soybeans Harbors Secret Pest Problem

This was a familiar scene in fields across the Midwest this season. Not only did volunteer corn impact soybean yields, agronomists say it sheltered rootworm eggs that can overwinter and infest corn crops next spring.

Ferrie: Dry Conditions Make Fall Anhydrous Applications ‘Nearly Impossible’ to Seal

Moisture is needed to temporarily hold the ammonia so it can become attached to clay or organic matter in the soil. In addition, if dry soils are cloddy and do not seal properly, the ammonia can be lost.

Ferrie: Here’s What the Textbook Photo Finish Looks Like in Corn

As the crop nears black layer, you can determine whether it's going to be the bin buster you hoped for, an average crop or simply "meh." Ken Ferrie says there are several things to look for now.

Ferrie: Evaluating Hybrid Characteristics Supplies Great Insights for Seed Selection

Harvest is underway with corn yields showing a wide range of results, particularly based on how much moisture the crop received and when it was received. Planting population and stresses also shed light on the results.

Ferrie: Stop Top Kill to get Better Kernel Depth and Heavier Test Weights

Are your corn hybrids undergoing stress 10 to 15 days before black layer and experiencing top kill? That's going to hurt kernel depth and knock off those top-end yields you want to combine.

Countdown to Atrazine Decision by EPA Underway

The 60-plus year-old product is used on more than 70% of U.S. corn acres to control grass and broadleaf weeds.

From the Combine Seat: Weed Prevention Starts in the Fall

Use the fall season to get a head start on weed control for next spring.

RNAi Technology Targets Corn Rootworm

Farmers looking to gain the upper hand over corn rootworm (CRW) pests have new tools to deploy in the field, thanks to Ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) technology.

Ferrie: Cross-Country 'Crop Tour' to Canada Showcases Corn And Soybeans

When you go on a 2,700-mile personal crop tour through parts of eight states, you see a lot of corn and soybeans and get a sense of where there will be stellar yields as well as below-average results this harvest.

New President takes the Reins at Michigan-based Seed Company, Outlines Goals

Janna Fritz, newly named DF Seeds president, speaks to the need for both conventional and specialty seed products that can fuel farmer profitability and also meet consumer wants and needs.

First-Ever On-Seed Nitrogen Introduced for Use in Corn, Small Grains

Pivot Bio announced an industry first for farmers this week – the development and introduction of on-seed microbial nitrogen for crops including corn, grain sorghum and spring wheat.

Corteva, BASF Partner to Deliver New Weed-Control Solution to Soybean Growers

Corteva Agriscience and BASF Agricultural Solutions are partnering to bring the first four-way herbicide-tolerant trait stack, based on PPO chemistry, to the marketplace for soybean growers.

Home Stretch for Crop Tour: A mix of Baseball Bats for Corn and SDS in Soybeans

Day 4 of the Pro Farmer Crop Tour is revealing some good to excellent corn and soybean crops in Iowa and Minnesota, along with concerns about drought in corn and the appearance of sudden death syndrome in beans.

Is Ordinary a Four-Letter Word? Maybe So, with Regard to Corn and Soybeans

The third day of the 2022 Pro Farmer Crop Tour is revealing a lot of average crops in some states, but Illinois and Iowa corn and soybeans are showing some strength.

From Clunker Crops to Bin Busters and Everything In Between

On Day 2 of the Pro Farmer Crop Tour, scouts see a wide range of conditions in Indiana and Nebraska. Some irrigated corn and soybean fields are performing well, while dryland crops are struggling.

New Mode of Action Herbicide Under Development 

Bayer Crop Science has the first truly new MOA in the herbicide-tolerant pipeline for soybeans in more than 30 years, the company reports.

Indiana Farm Thrives Thanks to ‘Three-Legged Stool’ Strategy

Dick Billings passed away several years ago, but his wife, their son and granddaughters have been able to build upon his vision for the family’s operation, thanks to a team of farmers and a forestry consultant.

New Corn Herbicide Approved for Use in 2023

Maverick features three modes of action and application flexibility to help growers address tough weeds, including waterhemp, Palmer amaranth and marestail, and annual grasses.

Two Times when Spraying Corn Rootworm Adults can Payoff

Trying to control adult CRW beetles can be a losing proposition. But this year, given the amount of population pressure in some fields there is better potential for a return-on-investment, agronomists say.

New Program Tackles the $1.5 Billion Bite SCN Takes Out of U.S. Soybeans Annually

Soybean cyst nematode can ravage a crop and destroy up to 80% of its yield potential. Two partners encourage farmers to take action between now and early September to address the pest.