Lebanon Crop Management Video


26 January 2011

Pop Up fert

Pop-up and/or Starter Fertilizers for Corn
 Do not exceed the 10 lbs in the row of N plus K. 
We did use Ammonium Sulfate as a source for the high P soil response.  This link might be helpful to you. 
Some have also tried the 3 gallons of UAN as a pop up that was cut with water and had Agrotain mixed into it to protect the seed. I think there is more inherent risk but I am not aware of any research to test this.

Mark Alley, Dept. of Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech; Scott Reiter,Dept. of Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech; Wade Thomason, Dept. of Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech; Mark Reiter; Dept. of Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech
Corn growers continue to look for ways to improve yields and production efficiency. Early planting and the use of starter fertilizers are practices that many growers utilize to maximize yield potential. “Pop-up” fertilizer use is currently being discussed in the corn production community, and the purpose of this article is to clarify the definition of starter and pop-up fertilizers, and share thoughts about the use of these materials as part of a comprehensive soil fertility program for corn production.
Early season planting means that corn is being planted in cool soils and early root growth is expected to be slow. Nutrient uptake during early growth can be low due to the small root system and cold soil temperatures which limit root exploration and nutrient movement to roots. Starter and pop-up fertilizers address this issue of early season nutrient availability to plants by placing fertilizer in the soil
near or with the seed.
The generally accepted definition of “pop-up” fertilizer is that the fertilizer is placed with the seed at planting while “starter” fertilizers are placed near but not with the seed. Standard placement of corn starter fertilizer is a band of fertilizer 2 inches to the side and 2 inches below the seed (Fig. 1). However, this distance from the seed is modified to fit various management systems.
Pop-up Fertilizer Use Considerations
The potential benefit of a pop-up fertilizer is to increase early season corn seedling growth with a small amount of fertilizer. Using a pop-up fertilizer program, less fertilizer is applied per acre through the planter compared to standard starter fertilizer programs. In addition, some growers consider using liquid insecticides at planting to control soil insects that may not be adequately controlled with seed treatments. Growers using continuous no-till systems often have cooler soils in the spring and have experienced soil insect damage to corn seedlings. Therefore, these producers have inquired about using pop-up fertilizers as carriers for liquid insecticides to reap both nutritional and insect control benefits early in the growing season.
The major concern with the use of “pop-up” fertilizer is the potential for salt injury to germinating corn seed. Salt injury occurs when the fertilizer concentration in soil solution surrounding the seedling is so high that water moves out of the seedling and into the soil. Salt injury then results in killed plants or reduced growth. Severe stand reductions and yield losses have occurred with the use of excessive rates of seed-applied fertilizers. Salt injury is associated with the total amount of nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) fertilizer applied (fertilizer rate per acre multiplied by nutrient concentration) and the sources of these elements in the fertilizers.
Recent research by Rhem and Lamb in Minnesota (2009) showed that 12 lbs of N/acre applied with the seed reduced plant populations on a loamy sand soil, while no stand reductions were observed on silty clay loam and clay loam soils. A lower rate of N (6 lbs N/acre) did not reduce stands on either the loamy sand or heavier textured soils. Gelderman and coworkers (2004) working in South Dakota also demonstrated that higher rates of N as either dry urea or urea ammonium nitrate solution (28% N) significantly reduced corn plant  populations when applied with the seed. For urea containing fertilizers, ammonia is formed during the conversion of urea and can be toxic to plants. When high rates of urea are applied and this conversion happens near the seedlings, injury or death can occur. For these reasons, maximum rates of N plus K2O applied in pop-up fertilizers should not exceed 10 lbs/acre for silt loam and clay loam soils. For sandy and sandy loam soils or soils with dry conditions at planting, the rates of N plus K2O applied with the seed should not exceed 5 lbs/acre.
Ammonium polyphosphate (10-34-0) has been used for many years as a pop-up fertilizer and can be applied directly in the seed furrow. At rates of 100 lbs/acre (8.65 gallons/acre because10-34-0 weighs 11.65 lbs/gallon), 10 lbs of N and 34 lbs P2O5 would be applied. Other clear liquid fertilizers are being marketed for pop-up application and contain N, P and K. These fertilizers are generally made using liquid urea, phosphoric acid, and a source of K such as potassium carbonate, which has a lower salt index than potassium chloride (muriate of potash). While the salt index may be lower than standard fertilizers, rates of application must be carefully controlled to avoid seedling injury. Also, if a liquid insecticide is to be mixed with the fertilizer, all batches of fertilizer and the insecticides must be tested for compatibility. Compatibility of other products such as micronturients and fungicides should also be tested prior to mixing in your application equipment. Low application rates of fertilizer and/or insecticide solutions and cooler temperatures during early season planting are favorable for precipitation of incompatible product mixtures. For all pop-up fertilizer applications, consult with the fertilizer supplier to determine the appropriate application rates (gallons/acre or lbs nutrient/acre) for each fertilizer material. Careful application equipment calibration and proper rates are essential to prevent crop injury.
A final consideration in the use of a pop-up fertilizer is that the rate of N supplied by the pop-up fertilizer will meet the corn seedlings need for only a short while. Therefore, if a pop-up fertilizer is the only source of N used at planting, early side-dressing will be required to prevent N stress.
Starter Fertilizers
Starter fertilizers allow higher rates of N to be applied near the seed during planting compared to pop-up fertilizers. Our work in Virginia demonstrated that 40 to 50 lbs N/acre applied in a 2 inch × 2 inch band was the optimum starter band N rate. With these N rates, we also applied P2O5 that was needed according to soil test calibrations. Optimum side-dress N rates varied with the site and should be based on soil and environmental conditions along with yield potential. If potassium is to be included in the starter fertilizer, then a total of 70 lbs N plus K2O should be the highest rate applied in the 2 × 2 inch band as higher rates may cause salt injury. Sulfur and micronturients, such as zinc (Zn), can also be efficiently applied in starter bands. 
Various fertilizer sources can be used to make starter fertilizers. The most common liquid materials are ammonium polyphosphate solution (10-34-0 or 11-37-0) and urea ammonium nitrate solution (30% N). Dry materials used to prepare starters include diammonium phosphate, urea, and ammonium sulfate. Growers should discuss with dealers the exact sources being used to prepare the starter fertilizers and the correct placement. In some cases, growers have decided that higher starter fertilizer rates are the most efficient way to fertilize their corn and have moved the starter band to 3 inches from the row in order to safely apply the higher rates.
Nutrient Removal: Pop-up and Starter Fertilizer Applications
While fertilizer prices have declined in recent months, P and K fertilizer prices have not declined to pre-2008 levels. The question is asked, “Can I reduce my application rates using pop-up and starter fertilizers without risking yield loss?” While placement of fertilizers in bands near the seed generally increases the efficiency of fertilizer uptake, low rates of starter and “pop-up” fertilizers cannot supply the total plant nutrient needs for a high yielding crop. A way to consider this question is to consider nutrient removals.
A 150 bu/acre corn crop takes up approximately 200 lbs N/acre, 85 lbs P2O5/acre, and 200 lbs K2O/acre in the entire corn plant, but only 112 lbs N/acre, 66 lbs P2O5/acre, and 44 lbs K2O/acre are removed from the field with the harvested grain (International Plant Nutrition Institute). If the crop is harvested for silage, then the total uptake values would equal removal. Over the long-term, if nutrient removal exceeds nutrient applications from manures, fertilizers, legume cover crops, biosolids, or other sources, soil fertility levels will decline. In other words, if soil test levels of nutrients such as P and K are high because of previous fertilizer applications, no yield differences may be seen with low rates of  pop-up or starter band fertilizers because the residual supplies of nutrients are adequate to grow the crop. If crop nutrient removal is greater than nutrient application, residual P and K soil levels will decline over time. However, at low soil fertility levels yields will likely suffer because of inadequate nutrient supplies with low rates of pop-up or starter band fertilizers.
Many growers in Virginia have built soil test levels for P to very high levels. A very high level is greater than 55 ppm for the VA Soil Testing laboratory (Mehlich-1 extract). No yield responses would be expected to additional P applications at this level, and certainly not at higher levels. An early season growth response would be expected from a starter or pop-up fertilizer in cool soil conditions, but most of that response will be associated with the N supplied to the seedling. However, a starter or a pop-up fertilizer may be a good method to assure early season seedling vigor while applying a small amount of P. Soil test P levels should be monitored over time as they will decline at a slow but steady rate, i.e. 5 or more years may be necessary to “drawdown” soil test levels into ranges that warrant P fertilization (Kamprath, 1999). Time needed for  rawdown depends on crop removal and residual soil P levels.

Potassium soil test levels that are high to very high in Virginia are associated with heavier textured soils, i.e. silt loams and clay soils. Many sandy and sandy loam soils do not have adequate cation exchange capacity to hold enough K to reach a high soil test level. Therefore, potassium soil test levels will decline more rapidly than P. Potassium removal rates are such that not enough K can be supplied in starter or pop-up fertilizers to supply plant needs and yield reductions will be seen if no other fertilizer is applied.
As with K, the N needs of the corn crop cannot be solely supplied with starter or pop-up fertilizers. The use of a high N rate starter fertilizer (40 to 50 lbs N/acre) can be paired with a side-dress N application program to ensure that corn is never under N stress (Alley, et al.). With the pop-up fertilizer application, another source of N must be available to the corn plant because the N rate in the pop-up is not high enough to supply a significant amount N to meet corn needs. Some growers are using a starter fertilizer along with their pop-up, while other growers are opting to side-dress quickly after planting or apply significant amounts N as broadcast applications at planting. Each grower must make the appropriate decision for their soil and environmental conditions.
Pop-up and starter fertilizers can be part of an efficient plant nutrition management program for corn. Pop-up and starter fertilizers can be used effectively to deliver small nutrient amounts precisely
early in the growing season to seedlings. An understanding of the potential benefits and precautions with each fertilizer application method and source enables the appropriate choices to be made by each
grower. Overall, a comprehensive soil testing program combined with appropriate fertilizer sources, application rates, and application methods will enable growers to manage one of their greatest input
costs, nutrients.
1.    Alley, M. M., M. E. Martz, P. H. Davis, and J. L. Hammons. Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization of corn. Virginia Cooperative Ext. Pub. 424-027. Available on line: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/424/424-
027/424-027.html Accessed 21 February 2010.
2.    Anonymous. Plant food uptake for Southern Crops. International Plant Nutrition Institute, Norcross GA. Item #03-1364.
3.    Gelderman, R. A. Bly, and J. Gerwing. 2004. How near to the corn row can nitrogen fertilizer safely be placed? Plant Science 0411. South Dakota State University. Available on line: http://plantsci.sdstate.edu/Farm%20Reports/Beresford%202004/PS_0411.pdf Accessed 21 February 2010. 
4.    Kamprath, E. J. 1999. Changes in phosphate availability of ultisols with long-term cropping. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 30:900-9-919.
5.    Rhem, G. W., and J. A. Lamb. 2009. Corn response to fluid fertilizers placed near the seed at planting. Soil Science Society America Journal 73:1427-1434.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, re-print, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Alan L. Grant, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Interim Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg;  Wondi Mersie, Interim Administrator,1890 Extension Program, Virginia State, Petersburg.
March 8, 2010


24 January 2011

2011 Winter Impact on Pests

Winter’s Impact on Pests-  Del Voight Senior Extension Educator- Penn State Extension



Many pests are impacted by winter’s climate conditions. For the most part, fungus spores are highly resistant to winter conditions but are sensitive to tillage much more than certain weeds and insects. A large amount of insect mortality occurs in winter. Insects perish due to cold temperatures and natural diseases that attack them while they are in the resting stage. Grubs for example, over winter as larvae and many are killed by a pathogen that infects their outer skin, which desiccates the body. Some insects which normally over winter in surface residue (leaves, corn stalks, etc.) and soil many times don't locate themselves deep enough to survive winter and normally will be killed


by cold temperatures. This winter, being mild (?) to date, may cause an increase in the amount of insects that over winter and may bring increased insect pressure next season. On the other hand if the mild weather forced some insects to start growth and the weather turns sharply cold many insects will perish. A lot depends on the temperatures in February, the particular insect, and if snowfall occurs. Snow insulates the soil and will lessen the mortality of insects. For example, Flea Beetle populations will be elevated when February temperatures are mild.


Insect hatches usually occur when the host (preferred food of the insect) is present. If the host is not present in enough quantity to support the insects when they hatch then the insect will die. This is why crop rotation is critical because by rotating the crop (corn, soybean) the insect life cycle is broken and the insect population plummets. For example, the most effective root worm (severe insect pest in corn) control in corn is to rotate to soybeans to break the life cycle. Another example is the recommendation to wait 12 days after killing a field infested with

chickweed or any other spring weed to allow the insects time to die before planting corn to avoid damage to the corn stand. Once the food source is eliminated the cutworms die.


Many species of insects like root worms, and grubs lay eggs in late summer. Last summer the drought certainly impacted the moisture in the soil where the eggs were deposited and may have caused a condition where the eggs desiccated (dried out) and populations could be lower. At this point, it is difficult to tell whether insects are going to be a problem in the summer of 2000 due to the mild winter (so far). One can bet that certain fields will be infested with insects for other reason besides weather such as rotation and tillage system impacts. Entomologists are expecting large populations of brown marmorated stink bugs and soybean aphids. It is wise to begin planning now to manage these pests.  Seed treatments in combination with post emergence applications of pyrethroids may prove useful in manageing these pests next season.


The major impact on weeds from winter weather conditions is the competitiveness of winter annuals on perennial crops such as alfalfa and winter annual crops such as winter wheat. This fall was mild and chickweed and henbit populations thrived with ample moisture and cool temperatures. If the winter remains mild wheat and alfalfa fields may need to be sprayed sooner than normal. Wheat growers should be assessing stands before tillering (February) to determine whether a treatment is needed to ensure weeds will not prevent tillering space. In addition, alfalfa fields should be assessed in early March to determine a need for treatment. By understanding the behavior and requirements of pests more effective pest management programs may be developed to lesson our reliance on pesticides and ensure adequate control of pests. The Extension office has fact sheets detailing pests. If you have an unknown insect, disease or weed or just want more information about a pest please visit or call me at the Lebanon Extension Office.

2010 Soybean Yield Contest.

Soybean Yield Contest winners top 92 bushel/acre

Two winners in the 2010 Pa. Soybean Yield Contest both topped a whopping 92-bushels per acre, more than double the 2010 Pennsylvania average soybean yield of 43 bushels per acre reported by the USDA.

A. Dale Herr, of Kirkwood, Lancaster County was the top producer in the annual competition sponsored by the Pennsylvania Soybean Promotion Board, with a yield of 92.78 bushels per acre. Not far behind was fellow Lancaster County soybean grower Charles Farms, Inc. with a 92.36 bushel per acre yield. Third place winner was Robert Shearer of Mt. Joy with 87.18 bushels per acre.

Prior to this year, Charles Farms was the only contestant in the 19-year history of the contest ever to beat the 90 bushels per acre mark, winning the Yield Contest in 2007 with 90.11 bushels per acre.

We asked the two top contest winners to share their crop management strategies for producing 90+ bushel beans.

Foliar feeding
A. Dale Herr's record-breaking yield was Pioneer 93M11 planted in 7.5" rows. The crop followed corn, was drilled no-till at a population of 176,600 and was harvested on Sept. 21 a final stand of 163,786 with 10.04% moisture.

 "We've been in the top five a number of times," says Herr. "We did some experimenting and backed off on population. The advantage to that is the beans don't get so tall. They don't fall down on the ground and you put more pods on the bottom. That's my thinking. If you plant real thick, the beans have to stretch up to get the sunlight, and then they get so tall they end up on the ground.  For most of the beans I planted for the contest, we dropped back to about 175,000 population, and they did real well for us.

"And then the last couple of years, we've been doing some foliar feeding," he continues."Last year we did it one time and got the best yield I ever had, so this year, we went to double foliar feeding for the contest, and I had the best average I ever had this year in my whole crop."

Plant early
Charles Farms, another frequent winner in the Yield Contest, also planted Pioneer 93M11 in 7.5" rows in rye stubble. His crop was drilled no-till at a substantially higher population of 225,000, and the final stand, populated at 209,088, was harvested Sept. 20 at 12.67% moisture.

"We try to plant early, pretty much the end of April is when we get our highest yields," says Charles."The last few years we've planted the same variety, which has been pretty hard to beat. Some of the shorter season beans did really well, and then we had a longer season bean planted just a week later, and the yields dropped by 4 bushels. This year, early was the best because of the very dry summer we had: the later beans ran out of moisture."

In contrast to Herr's approach, Charles Farm plants a higher population. "We plant early and we never know what kind of weather we're going to get, so we err on the high side," Charles explains. "We drill, and it's almost like a controlled spill. With a corn planter, you could put the seed in more accurately. I think we could get away with a little less, but we plant early when it's cold, so we plant on the high side."

Charles added that proper potash levels are also vital. "It's important for tomatoes, corn and whatever we do, but especially for soybeans. They like potash," he says.

Yearly yield average increases
According to Delbert Voight, Penn State Senior Extension Agent who oversees the program, average yield of the 30 participating growers in 2010 was 70.44 bushels per acre. "Each year, the base soybean yields have been climbing at a rate of about a bushel per acre," says Voight.

As the winner of the contest, Herr receive an all-expense paid trip for two to the 2011 Commodity Classic, the annual joint convention of the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Grain Sorghum Producers. Commodity Classic features a trade show, valuable educational sessions, technology demonstrations, association banquets, and networking opportunities. Second-place winner Charles Farms received a $500 cash prize, and third-place winner Shearer received a $250 cash prize.

Yield Contest Crop Management Statistics

Crop management statistics gleaned from the 2010 contestants' reports:

·         30 growers participated

·         Average yield = 70.44 bu./acre

·         63% of growers used no-till

·         70% planted by May 20 or earlier

·         43% favored 11 to 20 inch rows, with the remainder evenly distributed between 30" rows and 10" or under rows

·         70% used treated seed

·          53% followed with a small grain cover crop 

·         Average seed drop = 176,118

·         Average population at harvest =150,338

·         Most growers had the crop in the bin by Oct. 20


A summary of the production information for all 30 entries can be found on the Pennsylvania Soybean Board website at www.pasoybean.org.



2010 Soybean Yield Contest Top Ten




Yield (bu./acre)



A. Dale Herr



Pioneer P93M11


Charles Farms, Inc.



Pioneer P93M11


Robert Shearer



Pioneer P93M11


James E. Hershey



Northrup King NK S28‐B4


Richard C. Krieder



Pioneer P 93Y13


Kyle Henninger



Asgrow AG3539


Herman Manbeck



Pioneer P93Y91


David Wolfskill



Asgrow AG3803


Elvin Reilt



Hubner H3901


Darren Grumbine



Pioneer P93Y20



How to enter the 2011 Soybean Yield Contest

The yield contest, launched by the Pennsylvania Soybean Promotion Board in 1992, is attracting more growers every year. Any bona fide farmer who farms in Pennsylvania and grows five acres or more of soybeans within Pennsylvania's boundaries is eligible.



To download an application for the 2011 contest, go do www.pasoybean.org or send a request for an application to:

Pa. Soybean Yield Contest, Attn: Del Voight
2120 Cornwall Rd., Suite 1
Lebanon, PA 17402


13 January 2011

Soybean Seed Treatments | Corn and Soybean Digest press release archives

Soybean Seed Treatments Corn and Soybean Digest press release archives

Pioneer will have a green type of seed going into this spring. More on seed treatments as I gather the necessary information.

2010 Soybean Contest Results

2010 Soybean Contest Results
I have posted the results at the Pa Soybean.org website as well as the Penn State CMEG website.  Interesting results despite a dry season.

04 January 2011

Technical Glitch

Due to my other blog the "Penn State ICM blog" getting hacked into by spammers. I was forced to restart a new blog.  I will strive to keep this updated as the season progresses.