Agronomy Answers

January 6, 2013 08:36 PM
Agronomy Answers

Farm Journal experts are ready with solutions

Find answers to your crop production questions on Farm Journal’s "Ask an Agronomist" blog. A team of Farm Journal agronomists and experts responds to questions sent to based on their independent experience and in-the-field insight. Past questions and answers can be found at Here are two recent questions and answers from the blog:

Q How can I figure out whether my wheat crop is at risk for Fusarium head blight?

A A new online tool developed by several universities is available to help growers assess their risk for Fusarium head blight. You can find the tool at The tool helps predict the risk of a major epidemic (greater than 10% field severity) in your area based on weather conditions, temperature and moisture. While it’s not 100% accurate, it’s a very good resource.

If you determine your wheat crop is at risk of developing the disease, consider proactively using a fungicide such as Prosaro or Caramba. Both of these products offer good suppression of scab if applied proactively using the right timing, fungicide rate and nozzle technology.

I always tell growers to use nozzles that spray both forward and backward, which helps ensure good coverage. Adequate water volume is also important for good coverage. I recommend that you use about 15 gal. of water for your Fusarium fungicide.

Q What is the difference between phosphorus loss from fall-applied fertilizer versus spring-applied?

A If your question is about high-pH soils that tend to tie up phosphorus, you’re better off to wait until spring. In the spring, you’re applying phosphorus closer to plant uptake and limiting the risk of tie-up in the soil. When we talk about phosphorus loss from the soil through the tile, it usually means the soil already has more than enough phosphorus—essentially, excessive amounts—and it wouldn’t be a good idea to apply more. For more details on the phosphorus cycle and the value of phosphorus in starter, visit

For more crop production questions and answers, go to

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