August 19, 2020

Agronomy Update: The Finish Line Is In Sight

BY Dairyland Seed
Tip-Back In Corn: What’s Going On?

We are well into the grain fill stage in most corn. Some areas and some earlier maturities are already in beginning dent. The finish line is not that far away for grain corn, and silage harvest will be starting in the next two weeks in many locations.

So, what’s out there? How good is the corn crop? That’s an important question for many reasons: how do I plan for harvest? Do I have enough storage available? Am I satisfied with my marketing plan as far as what percent of the crop I have marketed? What about my agronomic program this year – did I do as well as I might have? How might I improve for 2021?

One of the observations we see in many fields is that there is some exposed cob, or tip-back, on much of the crop. That observation varies greatly by location, planting date, hybrid, and growing season weather.

What are the causes of tip-back? There are many and often a combination of contributing factors.

Observations thus far this year:

Now is a good time to be walking fields to get a clear idea of what is out there.


Continue to Scout, Take Notes, Learn, Make Adjustments and Decisions for 2021

As we draw closer to corn and soybean harvest, make a habit of taking a note pad (electronic versions work, just be careful to not get wet) to your fields and plots to take notes of what you see. A few things to be mindful of when walking fields prior to harvest:

When you are walking the Dairyland Seed plots, are you seeing products with better disease or insect tolerance? Do these products have better ear development or pod set? Do you like what you see, or is there something else that you wanted to see? Take notes of what you like and don’t like about the products you plant as well as the new products you see in the plot. These notes can help your Dairyland Seed Dealer as well as District Sales Manager and Agronomist fit the products you are looking for.

When the combine or choppers start to roll, take your notes with you and write down or type in what didn’t work or what you would like to change as well as the successes you see. Did that new tile you put in help with water management? Did that additional nutrient application bring in more yield and or a better quality crop? Taking good notes allows you to look back to decisions you made as well as look forward to find what works and what needs to change.

Dairyland Seed's Agronomy Team is more than willing to help you come up with solutions to make you more successful.


Summer Seeding Alfalfa

Now is the perfect time to get that summer seeded alfalfa in the ground. There are many reasons to seed alfalfa in summer. The biggest reason being reducing the instances of seedling diseases that we may otherwise have in the spring.

The month of August is the best time to get these stands established especially in the northern sections of the Dairyland Seed sales area. As we move further south in our footprint, planting can be extended by a week to ten days. Basically, one and a half to two months before the normal killing frost date for your given area.

Other advantages include improved yields versus spring seedings. Any annual weeds that may have germinated due to the field preparation process will be eliminated by frost and freeze. Should there be stand establishment issues, a spring reseeding could be possible. This would increase chances of ensuring forage harvest next summer.

Don’t forget the basics of starting with a good seedbed. A clean field with limited weed pressure helps in maintaining a quality alfalfa stand throughout its productive life. Make sure the soil is in proper balance especially when it comes to pH levels. Summer seeding may also help avoid some of the soil concerns we have in the spring such as compaction and wet soils.

Seeding rates and depth shouldn’t vary from spring seeding. So ¼ to ½ inch in a firm level seedbed at a rate of 18 to 20 pounds of Dairyland Seed alfalfa seed.


Corteva Technology Use Agreements

All growers with orders for any Corteva Agriscience brand seed product, regardless of crop or trait (including non-GM products) need to have a signed Corteva Technology Use Agreement in place by September 1. Growers should sign the Corteva Technology Use Agreement electronically at Signing electronically is preferable, however, paper copies are available at


Brian Weller
Western Region
Dan Ritter
Central Region
Branden Furseth
Northern Region
Rod King
Eastern Region
Terry Jones
Eastern Region

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