FMT, FFT and current events

Jul 10, 2019

FMT, FFT and current events
Stefanie W:  Welcome to another episode of Planting Profits with Jesse Wiant and today we have Katie Henk.

Jesse Wiant: Thanks Stef, It's nice to see you back at work after your long maternity leave as well. So it's been a while since we've done a podcast. I apologize for that as the spring has just been one heck of a bear cat to deal with and manage. I want to just kind of started off like we always do with maybe some current events, what we're seeing in the field. I'll start with, as we are getting closer to tasseled corn out in the field, yesterday was about V10, almost V11, and there was about eight leaves left to come out. So we're looking at probably V18 before the tassels are out. So when you look at the calendar and you're roughly getting a new leaf collar every two to three days, that's putting us into the end of July, early August before tassel time. Obviously it's depending on hybrid maturity, planting date, that kind of thing as well. But something to keep in mind as we're pushing that tassel time is a tassel fungicide, right? Over the last three, four years, we've seen very good responses on a high RTF or high response to fungicide hybrids when we spray a fungicide over those. Especially now you're looking at the board and we're at $4 corn real close to $4 corn, it makes it a little easier to justify or to bite that fungicide side component off. It's not something that's super cheap by any means, but if you can maximize, another 10 to 15 bushels out of that corn crop, especially for the spring we just went through, I think that's a huge deal. And I think our yield potential is still there. In a minute here, I'll have Katie just kinda touch on what the field forecasting tool is kind of saying as far as maturity dates yield, that kind of stuff. So switching topics a little bit, I guess we've made some videos here these past few days of what else were seen in the corn. There's leaf miners out there. I guess I personally haven't seen much for leaf diseases. I dug up a couple plants yesterday that the crown wasn't quite the white color that I was hoping it was gonna be. Which tells me that we were probably in some stress environment early, which maybe we'll have some interact, no set in here in the next month and a half, something like that. Switching to soybeans, there's just a plethora of things happening in our soybeans. One of those is not growing, it seems like. I mean it just seems like the beans are sitting there, which we kind of get to this early July time every year and the same thing happens where the beans just don't want to seem to grow. Last year I thought it was mostly due to too much water in the whole month of June, this year, I don't know if it's just planting date or calendar date. The beans are kind of stalled out. However we'll walk in bean fields, there's a lot of sub-toria leaf diseases in the lower part of the canopy, which typically that doesn't set until later in the year. So it's a little bit concerning that it's here now. Typically it's not a big yield impact-er but again, being that it's a little bit earlier it's something to keep an eye open for. Another thing I had a grower call and asked me if I could go check a bean field for him. Supposedly had some hail or thought he maybe had some hail, but it was only on one of his fields, so it didn't have much to compare to, but it was out in the field and it didn't really look like hail to me. It looked more like defoliation from an insect and that's exactly what we were finding. So it was green clover worms, it's depending on what stages the larva is at, they are probably about three quarters to an inch long, kind of a lime green color with a white stripe down the side. Pretty easy to find. If you've got a sweep net, it's super easy. If you don't have a sweep note way to go all just go down between the rows and just kind of take your hand back and forth and look at the ground underneath that row of beans and try to find them. Stef put a video kind of showing how to do that on Facebook. I guess what I was finding was maybe one per hundred feet of rows. So definitely not near threshold and not worth spraying. It looks a lot worse than it is. There's soybean defoliation charts that you can just Google and find them online. I think 30% or maybe it was 40% based on where the price of beans and what's your application for a insecticide would be. You've got to have like between 40 and 50% defoliation and I would guess we were at five to 10 in the field I was in. So it's very minimal. It looks a lot worse than what it is. It's a pest that has always been around in Alfalfa, haven't typically seen that too much in soybeans, but, for whatever reason this year there, they're out there. So definitely be scouting, if you've got a field that, just driving by, it looks really bad or it's, maybe it's surrounded by a meadow or some grassy areas. Those would be the fields I would check first just to see what's going on out there. And then IDC again, every year, this time of the year, it's kind of towards the tail end of the real hot flash. But you can definitely see where your IDC spots were this year. So moving forward for maybe 20 or 21 when that field will be beans again, maybe that's the spot where you try to figure out how to variable rate a iron in-furrow product. Something like Iron-up so you can, try to mitigate the risk of lack of iron out there. So with that, that's kind of what I've been seeing in corn and beans. Like Stef said, we've got Katie Henk here, she's a Winfield associate that's our ag technology lead in house here. Just wanted her to touch on what she's been seeing with some of the Winfield suite of tools, the R7 tool, the field forecasting tool and maybe just touch on the field monitoring tool as well.

Katie Henk: Yeah, thanks for having me guys. so like Jesse said, I'm a Winfield United agronomist in house, working with UFC. So just a little quick update about the field forecasting tool, it's the crop model that we are using for nutrient management, specifically nitrogen and potassium. It's saying this year that we're looking at max yields of around 200 depending on what your variety is and your planting date. We're seeing anywhere from 180's to max for fields to, I've seen as high as 260 this year. Nothing too crazy high, but nothing also too crazy low as long as you get your nitrogen out in a timely manner which this tool can help you do. And we've been getting a lot of tissue sample results back that are saying we're actually good with nitrogen for the most part, which could have a multitude of reasons specifically being how much water we're having this year.

Jesse Wiant: So in previous podcasts, Katie, we've talked about FFT and what that tool is. I guess, could you just give a quick synopsis of what you're looking at when you're talking about, predicted yields and nitrogen stress?

Katie Henk: Yeah, so what we're doing with this tool is we take your grid sampling information, you're planting date, when you harvested last year, what you harvested, what your yield was. Which then takes into consideration the algorithm and then it figures out that max yield of the field or the potential that that field has to yield. Then it looks at, like the water that we've had, the weather data that we're gonna have, and it looks at that to take into consideration like what our predicted yield would be or what we think that it should get if we have perfect circumstances. So we recommend always using a fungicide to make that condition more perfect.

Jesse Wiant: One nice thing that I like about field forecasting tool, and I know I've said this before, is the fact that we can calibrate this throughout the season. So there's other nitrogen models out that you basically put in your field parameters and that's it throughout the year. You maybe check it a couple times and that's really it. But with field forecasting tool, we take a V5 tissue sample and a V10 tissue sample and we can actually recalibrate that tool or that algorithm to try to more closely define what our predictive field is going to be. So with that V5 tissue sample, the key things that we're looking for there are, what's our yield limiting factor at that point. A lot of times in this area, like 90 some percent of the time we're deficient in zinc at that time. In a typical year, I would say we're pushing towards nitrogen stress already by that time. However, this year with the lack of rain in May and June, which is odd to say because after this last week it's been really wet, but I think we were retaining our nutrients within that plant a lot better. I actually, this was probably the first year I've seen so many really good tissue samples come back at that V5 time. I say usually zincs deficient, nitrogen is usually low, but I was really impressed this year. And when you look at what the tissue samples are saying versus what the tool is saying, there's such a strong correlation there. Right? Even before we calibrated the tool, it was telling us that we're only modeling the nitrogen and potassium, but it was telling us that we don't really necessarily need any more nitrogen out there. And like I say, that correlation is just so key for me. So we're also looking for that V10 tissue sample. There's really two reasons why we like taking that sample, the first one I would say is it's a report card. By a report card, what I'm getting at is we know what we did upfront, whether that was fall fertilizer or spring fertilizer, pre-plant allover you want to call it. And then if we made that V5 application of say a micronutrient like zinc or maybe a topdress nitrogen at that time, now we can look and see, okay, at V10, our tissue samples went from maybe low to a deficient in X, Y, Z nutrient. To now we're at an adequate level that's going to fulfill that plant's need for the rest of the year. So I really like looking at it for that. The second reason why I like the V10 tissue sample, it's our last chance to still make an application essentially, right? Especially with the ground rig. The corners are maybe shoulder tall so we can still get in there. If you wait til tassel to take that tissue sample, a lot of times you're too late then you're starting to look aerial, whether it's a helicopter or an airplane and it's gonna start costing you more to get that application done. So again, there's really two reasons why we're looking at those V10 tissue samples. Plus again, it's another way that we can recalibrate this model to try to get a more accurate reading.

Katie Henk: So speaking of V10 tissue samples we're starting them now, so I'm the first one was taken yesterday and we'll be continuing to do that until they're completed. Then we'll be getting results back to see how that correlated back to the V5 tissue samples and then if we did any applications and how that changed. One thing that I would like to mention, if you do see deficiencies within your micros or anything during that V10 tissue sample a fungicide application would be great time to put those on, just to make sure that the plant gets it when it's starting to ramp up for reproduction. To change topics now I'm a little bit just about the field monitoring tool. So that is how we are coordinating with our interns to get as much done for our scouting to make sure that we're scouting efficiently and where we need to be looking. So what the field monitoring tool is, is it's a branch off of R7 and it looks at daily satellite imagery. So it's all a low resolution, high frequency satellite that runs to make sure that we're getting imagery every day to see how your fields are trending, either above average, average or below average in terms of bio mass. So it's comparing your fields to each other that are planted plus or minus four days of each other to make sure that we're really looking at fields that are apples to apples instead of apples to oranges. So everyday our interns will look up how the field monitoring tool is looking. And then from that they'll decide how they want to scout. They'll pick a couple that are below average, couple above average, and then a couple average to make sure that we're looking at the whole range of the spectrum. So from just what the interns have been telling us and what I've been seeing over the field monitoring tool a lot of our fields are looking to be trending for average bio-mass, which is really good, especially with drown outs in the fields that we've been seeing through our in season imagery. With what I have seen there hasn't been a ton of issues there.

Jesse Wiant: I would agree with that. I mean, just was boots on the ground scouting, right? I don't know if there's one field out there that's 100% perfect fence row to fence row, but the bulk of a lot of these fields are very good. Especially corn more specifically corn I should say, I mean, that's kind of what we've been focusing on. But for the late planting, for the tough spring we had, or just getting things started, things actually looked pretty darn good. I mean, we're sitting good. It's impressive to me what this crop looks like and in a relatively short amount of time. So I mean, hopefully I guess with the stuff we've talked about gives the listeners and maybe something to go look at or to ask about there's so much within this ag technology space that is above my head, probably above your head, too Katie that there's so many things in development that I think are going to be key for helping us grow more bushels in the near future. Obviously the tools we're talking about today are the ones that we've got access to, the ones that are actually making a difference today, and I guess kind of closing this up, thanks for coming on, Katie, and just giving us a little brief update of what you're seeing and kind of what UFC is doing with these tools.

Katie Henk: Yeah, thanks for having me.

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