Seven Agronomic Tips With Ken Ferrie

Seven Agronomic Tips With Ken Ferrie

In the heat of the growing season you can’t turn away from your crops, even in a challenging year. Farm Journal Field Agronomist, Ken Ferrie, provides some advice about what to be looking for in your fields.

1.Corn is in the middle of pollination. Look for yield clippers who can prevent successful pollination. Silks need to be at minimum .5” to pollinate.

2.In current conditions it is very likely there is disease pressure, so identify hybrids that are susceptible and be timely in fungicide application.

3.Soybeans are reaching R2 to R3 in many areas. Look for aphids and other insects late season that can destroy leaves and pods. Check fields to see if they meet or exceed thresholds and have a plan for treatment.

4.Watch for nitrogen deficiencies and be prepared to act quickly. In corn, you need to act before the silks turn brown.

5.Dig to check for rootworm damage. While checking, keep track of what conditions the worms were in. Was there a trait or insecticide? This can help you identify if you have any resistance issues.

6.Keep an eye out for weeds. If you have weeds that were sprayed by herbicide that are still growing it could indicate rate or resistance issues.

7.In soybeans, look for white mold and sudden death syndrome. Thanks to wetter conditions this season, it is likely you will have spots with sudden death. It could be an opportunity to experiment with new fungicides.

Get you boots dirty to finish the season strong. Keep an eye out for these seven potential issues and act quickly to preserve yield.


Upcoming Events

Reserve your seat for all-new agronomic events from Farm Journal Field Agronomists Ken Ferrie and Missy Bauer. Sponsor support provides an enriched experience and bargain for attendees. At press time, sponsors include: AgriGold, Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer, BASF, Chevy, Compass Minerals, Eco Agro Resources, FMC, Great Plains Manufacturing, Plant Tuff, Precision Planting and Verdesian Life Sciences. 

Soybean College

Coldwater, Mich.
Tues., Aug. 4

Understanding soybean yield components is the cornerstone of this one-day hands-on event designed to prepare farmers for the race to higher yields. Content includes: how to protect soybean yields from planting to harvest; in-field scouting to evaluate early season, midseason and late-season plants; population management and its effect in-canopy; and how to identify and manage resistant weeds. 


Corn College Advanced

Heyworth, Ill.
One-Day Session: Tues., July 14
Two-Day Session: Wed.-Thurs., July 15-16

Rooted in the Systems Approach, the advanced curriculum focuses on how to farm under the nutrient loss reduction strategies of tomorrow. Topics include: nitrogen timing and placement; hands-on breakouts to evaluate different nitrogen and phosphorus application sources; timings and rates; and how cover crops play a role in reducing nutrient loss. 

Corn College Fundamentals

Coldwater, Mich.
Two-Day Session: Wed.-Thurs., Aug. 5-6

The quest to ratchet up corn yields starts with a fundamental understanding of corn production and management. Using the Systems Approach, this event provides: tips on scouting during early season, midseason and late-season growth stages; how to manage population by hybrid for your soils; a below-ground assessment of root growth and soil density; and an in-depth look at nutrient management.

To learn more about each event and to register, call (877) 482-7203 or visit

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