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April 2012 Archive for Ask an Agronomist

RSS By: Farm Journal Agronomists, Farm Journal

Have your agronomic questions answered by a Farm Journal agronomist. E-mail us directly at, and we’ll respond on this blog to provide an interactive dialogue.

What to Know When Dribbling Nitrogen

Apr 27, 2012


Question: How many gallons of 28 or 32% can I dribble on top of the ground behind the planter in the press wheel track?
Answer: Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie details what risks you should control when applying nitrogen with this method.

Consider Soil Insecticides at Planting

Apr 17, 2012

Farmers aren’t the only ones who enjoy mild winters. Insects like them, too, and corn growers may see more of them based on the temperate winter and higher-than-average temperatures to date this spring. 

Western corn rootworm in particular is top-of-mind this year. University Extension researchers confirmed resistance to the Cry3Bb1 gene in some Midwest corn rootworm populations in 2011.

Farmers concerned about how well their trait package will withstand corn rootworm pressure this season might consider using a soil insecticide as they head to fields now to plant.

Insecticides that are labeled for 2012 corn rootworm control at planting are detailed in the following chart, courtesy of the University of Wisconsin cooperative Extension.

In addition, University of Wisconsin Extension advises farmers to be sure to avoid using the same insecticide for several consecutive years as that may increase the potential for insect resistance and decrease product efficacy.

Soil insecticides labeled for rootworm control at planting in 2012.

agronomist chart


Source: University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. 2012. Pest Management in Wisconsin Field Crops, A3646.

How Do I Know Whether to Replant My Corn Crop?

Apr 11, 2012

Question: I’ve had a light frost on my corn crop. How do I know whether to replant it?


Answer: There is no single answer that works in every situation. Our best advice is to encourage you to work through a logical, detailed process. This process will help you gather some financial and agronomic information to determine what is best in your situation, and it also will reduce some of the emotional stress associated with the decision.


Understandably, replant costs figure heavily in replant decisions. Bob Nielsen, Purdue University Extension agronomist has developed a publication, Estimating Yield and Dollar Returns from Corn Replanting, which provides a step-by-step procedure for determining whether replanting can be economically justified. That tool and other information are available at this site: Replant Tools.

"The cost of replanting a damaged field often makes or breaks a replanting decision," Nielsen says. "The usual costs include seed, fuel (tillage and planting), additional pesticides, and additional dryer fuel."

Nielsen advises farmers to consider the expected market price for corn: "The dollar gain or loss by replanting obviously depends greatly on what you expect to receive for the grain this fall. The volatility of the grain market this year makes it especially difficult to plug-in a value for determining a replant decision."

More information

Considering Replanting? Think Long and Hard
As the 2012 season progresses, the decision to replant will become more critical. Here are some pointers for consideration if your corn faces frost in the weeks ahead.


Assessing the Corn Crop
Replanting decisions and upcoming weather conditions will dramatically affect this year’s corn crop.


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