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gil.gullickson
Veteran Contributor

Crop disease

All,

I'm going through some story ideas for the coming year and wanted to run this one by you. I was at a seed/chemical meeting a couple days ago and a plant breeder was going through all the different diseases that afflict corn and soybeans. His contention is disease like anthracnose, northern corn leaf blight, gray leaf spot, and goss's wilt were taking a significant chunk out of potential corn yields...much more than they did 10 years ago. Ditto for soybeans and diseases like white mold and pests like soybean cyst nematode.

 

What are you seeing on your farms. Does diseases resistance in seed selection and use of fungicides play a bigger role than it did, says 10 years ago? Or are companies just trying to sell more fungicides and sell seed attributes you don't need?

Thanks,

Gil Gullickson

Crops Technology Editor

Successful Farming 

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8 Replies
ECIN
Senior Advisor

Re: Crop disease

As far as my crops - I don't think that there has been a increase in disease - if anything they have gone down - with the use of a better hybribs for disease protection .

 

As far as others around here - still have not really seen much of an increase in disease's - The Goss's Wilt - so far seems to be in Iowa - anyway that is where I hear the news about coming from .

 

BASF -has had the best marketing there is - there personal are the ag business's best there is - Look at how they sold Headline - Out standing job of selling a product that just don't work without a disease problem to start with - As any fungicide . Then they got it approved to help in Plant health and that would help increase yields - which I have done plot work with others that said the same and found - no increase in yield - even without disease pressure . Today - BASF has managed to create frogeye leaf spot resistance to headline in soybeans in TN and KY - you just can not keep spraying for something thats not out there with a chance of resistance .

 

Gil I would like to throw out one more idea on what the speaker was saying - that there is more problems than 10 years ago - How about crop insurance is the problem ????  First off - I have done custom spraying for many years - till this year = retired from it , But it is so different than - say just 10 years ago - I would spray from 5,000 to 10,000 a year , then in the last 5 to 7 years it has dropped off the map - no I didn't lose the business to somebody else - They just let problems go that they once did not , case in point was 2012 - very dry year here , I was geared up to spray from day light to dark = spider mites - I had many calls about them , but everybody said why spend money on it ? The insurance will pay - The only one I sprayed for was me , lol  Most thought I was crazy for spraying - Not only did I spray for spider mites I also sprayed for bean leaf beetles - One neighbor stopped by at harvest and whated to ride a few rounds - first thing he did was check out the yield monitor - then he said bad words - Mine were making 52 bpa - his made 32 - one bu. over gaurantte - that is what the spray did 20 bpa more . But thats the new way of farmig around here - plant it and harvest it , if theres a problem ,screw it , the insurance will pay them , I'm not nocking insurance at all - but it is what it is .

 

Hhave a good day

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Crop disease

I suspect many farmers are not as good at crop scouting as they might be,and thus are prone to being confused and convinced by these kinds of salesmen.

I don't know of any farmers around here who do their own on-farm trials so they don't have a good basis to know if a product works or not - they have to take someone else's word on it.

The companies are getting good at defeating university trial info - the plot was too small, they didn't use the right protocol, etc etc.  Thus, some farmers don't give credibility to university results.

I honestly don't believe I have a problem with any of the diseases you mention.  I've used a paid crop consultant the past couple of years to give me another set of eyes on the question.

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Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: Crop disease

Jim I fall directly into the category of farmers you described above.  That is the exact reason I hired a crop consulting firm to scout my crops as well as idle acres.  I figured one correct recommendation of pesticide and it's appropriate timing of application and I've paid for the yearly fee.

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ECIN
Senior Advisor

Re: Crop disease

Jim and Shaggy - I have a question for you 2 and anybody else that whats to put there 2 cents in -  Why do you think that is ? As in farmers not doing there on scouting ? time ? Knowledge ?  One thing I see here - is that any -- any meeting put on by a chemical company that has a FEE meal is packed - but the ones you have to pay to attend they shi away from - Thats here . The ones I pay for do cover lunch and are all day meetings - Most class room time is in the field - hands on - so to speak . These meeting are for commerical and CCA's but farmers can attend ,  Last year - in our field day here - we had classroom time and then heade to the fields , This appeared to hit the home run for having it - I have asked that we do the same this year - but manybe expand that time some , this is where you learn - in my book  Smiley Happy

 

One other thing - Jim hit the nail on the head about the companies verus univ. studies - This is a true story , back several years - when Headline came out - the land grants were all over it - testing there calms to fame - so to speak - then after they ( Univ.) found no advantage to using it when disease present - then they pulled there money for reseaching it - I asked a BASF rep - why they pulled there funds on them - He told me they didn't need to pay them money , when thery that thousands of on farm tests that showed it worked - And it do's as long as you have a problem - but I really have to question them on plant health and response to increasing yields - yes it makes the plant stay greener longer - but in my trails - never once seen an increase from there plant health claim .

 

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Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: Crop disease

Ken, for me it's a combination of lacking knowledge and time and lets not forget experience.  I've got enough knowledge to know when I've got weed or insect or even disease issues, but lack the knowledge to pinpoint an accurate diagnoses of what it exactly is or how to treat it.  Time just falls into me having a full time off the farm job.  I need to spend those hours actually doing spraying, planting, harvesting and everything that the livestock end of my operation requires now, which during the growing season mainly includes spraying/digging thistles checking and maintaining fences and making sure drinking water is always available.  I get ridiculed often on this site about my outside employment, but the dollars I pay for custom work and an agronomic service are still far less than what my job brings in.  When those two figures start nearing each other, then I'll have some decisions to make.

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JCCWIS
Senior Contributor

Re: Crop disease

Right on Ken.....Crop Ins. is for "wimpy cats'!!!!!! Orfor us wimpy wantabe farmers up Here in "the fringe".  Somedays I spend half the day trying to come up with a plan to grow and sell enough of a crop too bring to bring prices low enough so bto dairies can afford to feed their cattle!!!!!   Its really hard to be me !!  LOL  Hoping to get an early planting start this year. Quit the off-farm job sooooo guessing I could be in field by 6:00 AM and that would be my earliest start ever!!!!!

 

Have a good day.....had a little band of freezing rain move threw this morn. Looking to hit 60 degrees by Wed.  Spring in the FRINGE !!

 

John

 

 

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Crop disease

Hiring a crop scout adds some time and method discipline to scouting, and hopefully it is objective.  Also not sure I'm as knowledgeable as I'd like.

Farmers attending free meetings is partly trying to get something for nothing (or payback for doing business with the company) and partly social.  The paid meetings are seldom all that social.  The paid meetings often make you thnk and don't have neat answers.  The free meetings don't require thought and have all the answers.

An example of company info is:

2/3 of the time this increases yield, and you have to sign up early to get a slot.

The university says:

1/3 of the time you have yield loss, 1/3 of the time a yield gain that doesn't pay, 1/3 of the time this makes you money.

The applicator still says you have to sign up or not get the product applied when you want.  Crop scouting may be interesting but it is too late to get a slot, so you end up signing up early.  Why crop scout if the result means you're too late to get a slot?

Which style of presentation does one believe?  I tend to believe the latter, some prefer the former.

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ECIN
Senior Advisor

Re: Crop disease

Thanks you guys - highy respect you thoughts - But this is just me talking here - but if it was not for the plot work and the hands on meetings - to Ken , farming would be to boring for me - As I have more harvests behind me as in front know - I love this kind of work - maybe it will help somebody else - maybe the younger group coming on as so many helped me out with advise many moons ago .

 

One other thing - after college - I worked at fert. plant for 3 years then part time for another 2 or 3 - then would fill in for a driver in busy season so he or they could have a day off , loved that job - but found out very quick that it was a very cut throat business = chemical companies ! lol Still is today . Like they stay about being in jail = DON"T drop the soap and if you do - don't bend over and pick it up  Smiley Surprised  Smiley Very Happy

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