7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs: #5 In-Season Scouting

A solid integrated pest management (ipm) program wouldn’t be nearly as valuable without a consistent in-season scouting program at its core. In-season scouting helps growers identify and correct problems before they reach epidemic and costly proportions. Scouring fields for debilitating pests, noxious weeds and crippling diseases is undisputedly a big part of in-season scouting, rooting out fertility issues is another preventive measure that can save big bucks in the long run.

A field scout is the watchperson responsible for alerting growers to potential dangers both seen and unseen. Similar to a ticking time bomb, nutrient deficiencies are a hidden danger that scouts must help growers detect and defuse early on, before they wreak havoc in the field.

Oftentimes, a scout’s eyes are one of their best assets for spotting problems. That’s not always the case with fertility issues, according to Izaak Rathke, sales manager and agronomist for Allied Cooperative in Adams, Wisconsin. “The problem with visually scouting for nutrient deficiencies is by the time signs become visible the damage has been done and yields are affected,” says Rathke. “A big part of our in-season scouting program is taking tissue samples to get a snapshot of what is going on in the crop at various growth stages. When we sample crops in their early stages, we can build up fertility and stay ahead of deficiency problems.”

Micronutrient deficiencies can be difficult to detect when scouting without the aid of tissue samples says Rathke. Many of the micronutrients are very leachable, so it is a challenge to build them up in the soil. Rathke says tissue sample results for crops like alfalfa, corn and soybeans often show boron, manganese and other micronutrient shortages that need correction.

Rathke advises growers to scout early and scout often to prevent problems. Those who put off scouting run the risk of having to play catch-up all season. It becomes a challenge to provide enough nutrients for crops like corn, which pull hardest at ear fill. “Once you have a serious nutrient issue, it is nearly impossible to get ahead of the problem,” says Rathke. “Taking preventive measures when problems are in their early stages will give you a better chance at success.”


Why Go to Your Retailer for Help with In-Season Scouting?

Extensive knowledge: Expertise in pest, weed and disease identification, nutrient issues, crop development and more are essential for successful in-season scouting. Retail agronomists keep up with the latest training and certifications in these areas.

Company backing: Scouts with company backing have a whole team of experts at their disposal. When growers have a problem, the company is a one-stop-shop for everything from fertilizer and pesticides to equipment and supplies.

Technology: Retailers keep apprised of the latest technology for scouting that will benefit the grower. They equip their scouts with the tools they need to get information from field to farmer quickly and efficiently.

Home-field advantage: Retailers have a greater awareness of what pest, weed, disease and fertility issues are plaguing farmers in their area. They are a good source of information for growers dealing with similar issues.


Sponsored by PotashCorp

About The Series

The fertility program is at the heart of a comprehensive cropping plan, and at the center of influence in the relationship between ag retailers and grower-customers.

To highlight the important aspects of fertilizer management programs, CropLife® magazine and sponsor PotashCorp are pleased to present the Seven Keys to Delivering Effective Fertility Programs.

Leave a Reply

7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs Stories
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
corn field
CropLife 100The Andersons’ Humic DG Now Available In Canada
February 13, 2015
The Andersons, Inc. Turf & Specialty Group has announced its Humic DG product is now available to customers in the Canadian turf, agriculture and horticulture markets. Read More
Latest News
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Me…
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Equipment10 Tips for Spring Planter Preparation
March 3, 2015
Kinze Manufacturing offers advice on how to ensure your planter is ready before you hit the field. Read More
Industry NewsOABA 2015 LAUNCH Program Recognizes 20 New Graduates
March 3, 2015
Twenty Ohio agribusiness leaders are being recognized as the latest graduates of Ohio AgriBusiness Association’s LAUNCH program. Read More
EquipmentNew AGCO Website Helps Customers Shop For Certified Pre…
March 3, 2015
RoGator sprayers are among the wide range of CPO equipment available through AGCO's site. Read More
Enlist spray Demo
HerbicidesGuiding New Herbicide Systems’ Launches
March 3, 2015
Under careful watch, the new 2,4-D- and dicamba-tolerant crops hit more acres this season. Read More
Eric SfiligojCommodity Classic 2015: Playing The Waiting Game
March 2, 2015
There was plenty of future-talk at this year’s event as companies (and growers) are largely in a holding pattern of sorts. Read More
Industry NewsHighway Equipment Appoints New Director Of Business Dev…
March 2, 2015
Cory Venable, who joined Highway Equipment Company (HECO) in 2013 as OEM Account Manager, has been promoted to Director of Business Development. Read More
Prairieland FS employees
Eric SfiligojWorkforce Worries
March 2, 2015
Finding good employees almost always ranks as the No. 1 or No. 2 problem for ag retailers in our annual CropLife 100 survey. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location I…
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
2,4-D Celebrates 70 Years; GROWMARK Uses Super Bowl Ad To Share Positive Message
Management2,4-D Celebrates 70 Years; GROWMARK Uses Super Bowl Ad …
February 27, 2015
Jim Gray, executive director of the 2,4-D Research Task Force, lays out planned activities to mark the chemistry’s 70th anniversary. Read More
HerbicidesUniversity Of Arkansas Flag The Technology Program Adds…
February 27, 2015
Started in 2010, the Flag the Technology program provides a visual reference for applicators to distinguish between fields planted with different herbicide-tolerant trait technologies. Read More
Luckey Farmers, Inc.’s Berkey Farm Center
Industry NewsLuckey Farmers’ Berkey Branch Certified In 4R Nut…
February 26, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Luckey Farmers Inc.’s Berkey Farm Center in northwest Ohio has been added to its growing list of nutrient service providers to achieve certified status. Read More
Crop InputsWinField Unveiling NutriVision Technology, Ascend Dry F…
February 24, 2015
New for 2015 are NutriVision Technology, a unique tool for monitoring in-season plant nutrient availability, and Ascend WSG plant growth regulator, a new dry formulation of Ascend plant growth regulator. Read More
FertilizerNew Formulation Of NutriSphere-N Protects High Volume U…
February 24, 2015
Verdesian Life Sciences is launching NutriSphere-N HVTM, a new polymer formulation of the proven NutriSphere-N Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager that protects high-volume applications of UAN. Read More
EquipmentIowa Ag Secretary Northey Names Hagie Water Quality Lea…
February 24, 2015
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has named Hagie Mfg. as a recipient of the Secretary’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI) Leader Award. Read More
FungicidesEvito Fungicide Gives Canadian Wheat Growers New Diseas…
February 24, 2015
EVITO fungicide from Arysta LifeScience North America gives Canadian wheat and barley growers a new option for disease control. Read More