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No-till Soybeans Emerged Without a Burndown or Residual?

5.30 no till beans with no burn down

Source: Penn State University Extension

Penn State University Extension has received some calls inquiring about herbicide options for soybeans that have emerged, but the field did not receive a burndown herbicide or a residual was not applied yet. Weeds like dandelion, resistant marestail/horseweed, etc. will be very difficult to control postemergence in soybean. Also, many of the typical soil applied residual soybean herbicides (e.g., Valor, Authority, Sharpen, metribuzin, etc.) cannot be applied over the top of soybeans because of injury concerns.

Below is a list of herbicides that have foliar broadleaf activity and/or residual activity and are allowed POST along with their labeled application timings and strengths. Unfortunately, most of these herbicides will not handle dandelion, burdock, curly dock, etc. very well. Keep in mind that products such as Dual Magnum, Outlook, Warrant, and Zidua will not control emerged weed, so they will need to be tank-mixed with herbicides that have foliar activity.

Additional details about these herbicides can be found in Table 4-14 of the Mid-Atlantic Field Crop Weed Management Guide .

This is not a comprehensive list and excludes generic products and herbicides that are mostly active on grasses and/or not typically applied POST.

  • Anthem Maxx – can be applied POST but the exact application timing is not specified but at least 60 days before harvest. Since it contains Cadet some annual broadleaves (not marestail) will be controlled during burndown but it tends to be weak on perennials. The pyroxasulfone (Zidua) portion will not control existing weeds but will provide residual activity on annual grasses and small seeded broadleaves.
  • Basagran – after emergence (general control of small annual broadleaves – good on cocklebur, lambsquaters, smartweed, and velvetleaf)
  • Blazer or Ultra Blazer - soybeans should have at least one to two trifoliate leaves (general control of small annual broadleaves – good on jimsonweed, pigweeds, nightshade, common ragweed, and smartweed).
  • Cadet – Preplant through full flowering (general control of small annual broadleaves – good on lambsquaters, nightshade, pigweeds, and velvetleaf).
  • Classic (or Synchrony) – at least one trifoliate leaf up to 60 days before maturity (general control of small annual broadleaves – good on cocklebur, jimsonweed, pigweeds, and smartweed).Cobra – apply PRE or POST up to 45 days before harvest- one to two trifoliate leaves is typical (general control of small annual broadleaves – good on jimsonweed, nightshade, pigweeds, ragweeds, and smartweed).
  • Dicamba products (Engenia, Xtendamax/FeXapan) – for use in Xtend soybean varieties only; soybean emergence thru R1 stage. Controls many annual and perennial broadleaf weeds.
  • Dual Magnum – can be applied POST but the exact application timing is not specified but at least 90 days before harvest. It will not control existing weeds but will provide residual activity on annual grasses and small seeded broadleaves and nutsedge.
  • FirstRate – 1st soybean trifoliate through 50% flowering (general control of small annual broadleaves – good on cocklebur, ragweeds, and velvetleaf).
  • Glyphosate (Roundup Ready only) - emergence through flowering. Overall good weed control of many species but it can be weak on perennials such as dandelion and glyphosate-resistant weeds such as marestail.
  • Harmony SG – after 1st trifoliate has expanded fully and no later than 60 days before harvest (general control of small annual broadleaves – good on lambsquaters, pigweeds, smartweed, and velvetleaf).
  • Liberty (Liberty Link only) – emergence through bloom. Broadspectrum control of many small annual weeds (including marestail) but tends to be weak on many perennials.
  • Outlook – can be applied post from soybean cracking to 5th trifoliate. It will not control existing weeds but will provide residual activity on annual grasses and small seeded broadleaves.
  • Pursuit (or Extreme with Glyphosate) – PRE to before bloom and 85 days before harvest (general control of small annual broadleaves and some grasses – good on cocklebur, pigweeds, smartweed, and velvetleaf).
  • Python - PRE and from 1st to 5th trifoliate (generally will not control emerged weeds, but provide residual control of annual broadleaves).
  • Raptor – early POST and before bloom (general control of small annual broadleaves and some grasses – good on cocklebur, lambsquaters, pigweeds, and velvetleaf).
  • Reflex or Flexstar (or Flexstar GT with glyphosate) – PRE to within 45 days of harvest (Prefix also has an early POST label) (general control of small annual broadleaves – good on jimsonweed, pigweeds, ragweeds, smartweed, and velvetleaf).
  • Warrant – emergence to R2; but label recommends application at V2-V3 state (will not control emerged weeds, but provide residual control of annual grasses and some broadleaves). Warrant Ultra contains fomesafen (Reflex) and is designed to be applied POST (emergence to R2 stage).
  • Zidua – can be applied post from soybean cracking to 3rd trifoliate. It will not control existing weeds but will provide residual activity on annual grasses and small seeded broadleaves.

Originally posted by Penn State University Extension. 

Grazing Crop Residues and Cover Crops

5.30 cows grazing on cover crops Penn state

Source: Penn State University Extension

By Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

Modern agricultural systems focus on specialization and simplification, but we are now experiencing unintended consequences: rural areas are depopulating as the number of farmers continues to decrease; water quality is under threat as soluble nutrients are leaking to ground and surface waters; soil organic matter has decreased, input costs have escalated and profit margins are small. It is clear there is a need for new strategies for rural revitalization and environmental improvement.

Re-introducing grazing animals on our cropland can be one of these strategies. It will involve some modest investment in infrastructure such as fencing and water supply, but it can add a new income stream to the farm while potentially improving soil health. Grazing has been shown to be a very cost-effective method to feed animals. Additionally, new grazing strategies involve frequent movement of animals and this can be an opportunity for new employment in rural regions.

One of the concerns with grazing cropland is the compaction caused by the animals but several studies have shown that this concern is overrated. That is not to say that grazing animals do not cause compaction. Their hoofs can exert as much or more pressure on the soil surface as heavy pieces of farm machinery. Nonetheless, there are important differences.

First, grazing animals rarely cause compaction below 3-4 inches, while farm machinery with axle loads exceeding 10 tons can compact the subsoil. This is important because biological and physical forces are most active near the surface of the soil to increase the resistance of soil to compaction as well as remediate it after it has been caused. Root density is highest near the surface of the soil – and roots act as a geotextile making soil resist compaction, while growing roots restore pore spaces in the soil.

Soil organisms such as earthworms, bacteria, and fungi are equally more active near the soil surface. Some classes of dung beetles, living under dung patties, make tunnels near the surface. Freeze-thaw cycles and wetting-and-drying cycles, more frequent near the soil surface, have been shown to create new pore spaces. In continuous no-tillage, the surface soil becomes more resistant to compaction because of high organic matter content and surface crop residues.

In a study in Georgia cover crops of rye or pearl millet were grazed in fall or summer in rotation with grain crops under no-till management. Compaction effects were only measured in the top 3” of the soil. The researchers measured slight but inconsequential increases in bulk density. Infiltration rate decreased only after grazing of pearl millet but not after rye. Penetration resistance increased somewhat in the top 4 inches due to grazing.

However, the effects of grazing were small and dissipated after a rest period, leading the authors to conclude that grazing the high-quality cover crop did not cause substantial damage to the soil. Similarly, corn residue was grazed in fall or spring in a corn-soybean rotation in Nebraska. Cattle grazing did not affect bulk density, soil aggregate stability, particulate organic matter, soil organic carbon, and nutrients except calcium and sulfur. Although spring grazing, at a higher stocking rate than fall grazing, increased penetration resistance, it never reached yield threatening levels. There were indications that microbial biomass was positively affected by grazing.

Crop yields were not affected by grazing in this 16-year study. Finally, in a study in northern Florida rainfed cotton yields increased 17% with grazing. The rotation was two years of bahia-grass, one year of peanut and one year of cotton. Cattle grazed cover crops of oats/rye in the winter. Bulk density was reduced due to grazing in the top 2 inches only, while microbial biomass carbon more than doubled in grazed rainfed plots compared with non-grazed plots.

Significantly higher levels of extractable phosphorus, exchangeable potassium, and acid and alkaline phosphatases were observed in the grazed compared with the non-grazed plots. The authors found evidence that root length and surface area increased due to grazing. Over the past three years we have followed three farms in Pennsylvania (two beef, and one dairy) who successfully integrated grazing with no-till crop production.

We observed high grazed yields of annual forages. High biological activity in the soils appeared to remediate the effects of compaction caused by the grazing animals. These studies show that with careful monitoring of soil and vegetation conditions grazing can be successfully integrated with annual crop production, especially in no-till systems.

Studies quoted

Franzluebbers, A.J. and J.A. Stuedemann. 2008. Soil physical responses to cattle grazing cover crops under conventional and no tillage in the Southern Piedmont USA. Soil & Tillage Research 100:141-153.

Rakkar, M., H. Blanco-Canqui, R. Drijber, M. Drewnoski, J. Macdonald, and T. Klopenstein. 2017. Impacts of cattle grazing of corn residues on soil properties after 16 years. Soil Science Society of America Journal 81:414-424.

Sheeja, G., D.L. Wright, and J.J. Marois. 2013. Impact of grazing on soil properties and cotton yield in an integrated crop-livestock system. Soil & Tillage Research 132:47-55.

Originally posted by Penn State University Extension.

New CFBF officer has a passion for preserving ag's future

Shannon Douglass
Shannon Douglass stands in a sunflower field on her family’s ranch in Orland, Calif. A long-time Farm Bureau activist, she was elected as the California Farm Bureau Federation’s first vice president in December.

Shannon Douglass has a passion for ensuring that the future of California agriculture remains bright.

The Orland, Calif., grower and former California State University-Chico instructor helped start a web-based job placement service five years ago. The CalAgJobs site matches students and others with employment opportunities on farms and ranches and in ag-related businesses.

Douglass, 34, also works to make sure new farmers and prospective ag employees have an industry to work in. For most of her adult life, she has been involved with the California Farm Bureau Federation, for which she was elected first vice president in December.

“I’m really fortunate to be part of Farm Bureau,” she says. “I think it’s an amazing organization.”


Douglass became interested in agriculture  through 4-H and FFA activities while growing up in the Sacramento area. She studied ag at Chico State, where she was in numerous clubs and was on the livestock judging team. That’s where she met her husband, Glenn County native Kelly Douglass.

After they were married, the couple started raising replacement heifers and steers, and later purchased beef cows. Now the family raises cattle and does a little direct marketing of beef, and grows sunflowers, watermelon and squash for seed, silage corn and hay in rotations, and a few pumpkins.

Shannon Douglass taught animal and crop sciences at Chico State for a few years while also recruiting young professionals for a pest-control trade group. She left the teaching job when she and her friend and business partner, Miranda Driver of Woodland, Calif., started CalAgJobs in 2013.

“You’ve got to pick your priorities,” Douglass says. “In some ways, I miss teaching and the connections with students, but you can only do so much.”

Douglass and Driver started their job-placement service with the help of a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant of about $66,000, which has been used to help students find internships. The service started as an email distribution list, to which Douglass would post job openings as they came in. But the list got too big for their email account to handle, so they started a website,

“I have zero interest in tech stuff, and that’s sort of in (Driver’s) wheelhouse,” Douglass says.


CalAgJobs offers three services – internship postings, job postings in which people can apply on the website or on the employer’s website, and recruitment services for specific companies. The number of jobs that have been found through the website has been difficult to track, Douglass said, but the site’s traffic has been growing.

“I think our growth has really been a result of our customers coming back,” she says.

The internship component is particularly valuable to students, Douglass says.

“There are more than four jobs for every graduate in the crop sciences,” she says. “One thing we’ve found is that internships are a great way to show people what a career in ag looks like.”

Internships are a good way to teach students about the different facets of ag, such as showing an animal science student “the agronomy side,” she says. The grant-funded program “has been a great way to get more employers to consider doing internships, as there’s been more interest from the ag students out there,” she adds.

When an employer had an internship available, the company used to have to contact each of the agricultural colleges separately to put the word out to students, Douglass says. They can still do that, but CalAgJobs gives them a central location to offer positions, she says.

“This doesn’t replace what the colleges do … but it helps a lot,” she says.

“The job market in agriculture remains strong, especially in the crop sciences and irrigation,” she adds. “A lot of that is due to the environment in California.”

For example, there’s plenty of need for pest control advisors, which “really aren’t a thing in other states” but are in California because of the state’s strict regulations on pesticides, she says.

“There’s a lot of work being done in nutrient management, with the expansion of food safety rules,” she says. “There’s a lot of opportunities for young people in agriculture.”


Douglass would like to keep it that way. She joined the Farm Bureau in college to take part in a discussion meet, and later she and her husband started a Young Farmers and Ranchers group in Glenn County. She later chaired the YF&R State Committee and took part in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Partners in Agricultural Leadership program.

Currently a Glenn County Farm Bureau board member, Douglass was chosen in December as the CFBF’s new first vice president. She succeeds Oroville, Calif., olive grower and former city councilman Jamie Johansson, who was elected as the organization’s 16th president after Modesto tree nut grower Paul Wenger served the maximum eight years in the position. Second vice president Shaun Crook of Sonora is also newly elected.

Officers are elected to two-year terms and can serve up to eight years in each office. It’s likely that Douglass will seek the CFBF’s presidency, once it becomes available.

“The future of Farm Bureau is very important to me,” she says. “I’m very excited to be part of this team.”

Among the top issues for the CFBF are state regulations, which have made it “very challenging to do business,” and water availability, which is different in every part of the state, Douglass says. The Farm Bureau seeks to work through regional differences and present a unified voice, she says.

“Farm Bureau has been very important for us for a long time,” she says. “They do tremendous work for farmers and ranchers big and small. They are the most unified voice we have in ag in the state. I think anybody who cares about the future of ag in California should be engaged with Farm Bureau.”

Despite her many positions within Farm Bureau, Douglass says she still has plenty to learn. The state has more than 400 commodities, each with its own issues and needs, she says.

“I was very lucky to have been so involved in a variety of levels of Farm Bureau,” she says. “There’s always more to learn.”

Will weather trump trade?

Futures reverse higher after post-holiday drubbing

Much of the chatter in the market after Memorial Day focused on trade and weather, which combined to send prices lower after the holiday. Futures edged higher overnight as trade tensions eased at least a little and traders focused on weather. While Tuesday’s first ratings for corn where well above average, Vegetation Health Index maps raised doubts, just as more worries emerged around the world about drought.

Knorr discusses overnight market moves with Pam Jahnke, Wisconsin Farm Report, and you can listen using the audio tool below.

Senior Editor Bryce Knorr first joined Farm Futures Magazine in 1987. In addition to analyzing and writing about the commodity markets, he is a former futures introducing broker and is a registered Commodity Trading Advisor. He conducts Farm Futures exclusive surveys on acreage, production and management issues and is one of the analysts regularly contracted by business wire services before major USDA crop reports. Besides the Morning Call on he writes weekly reviews for corn, soybeans, and wheat that include selling price targets, charts and seasonal trends. His other weekly reviews on basis, energy, fertilizer and financial markets and feature price forecasts for key crop inputs. A journalist with 38 years of experience, he received the Master Writers Award from the American Agricultural Editors Association. And you can follow Farm Futures throughout the day on Twitter at, and be sure to like or follow the new Farm Futures Facebook page.

Pam Jahnke is Farm Director of the Wisconsin Farm Report that is carried on 16 stations in Wisconsin.  Known as the "Fabulous Farm Babe" Pam studied broadcast journalism and broad area agriculture at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. After college, Pam moved into her chosen field, doing farm broadcasting, radio and television, from Green Bay to Eau Claire, WI - and she's never looked back.  Pam often says she feels like farm broadcasting and communicating on behalf of food producers is exactly what she was made for. Pam has been named "Friend of Agriculture" by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture for her assistance in raising awareness of the "Harvest of Hope" program. She has also served as president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.

Max Armstrong's Daily Updates

Farm Progress America, May 31, 2018

Max Armstrong offers insight into the "smoke and mirror" games being played with food labels. But one food company is sharing the news that safety is a key priority and that genetically modified ingredients are safe. General Mills shared the names of the agencies that say GMOs are safe around the world; and shared it uses those ingredients.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

1 dairy cow can make a difference

Holstein calves and huts
RAISING REPLACEMENTS: “I am focused on building my herd and retaining heifers,” Wisconsin dairy farmer Sam Zimmermann says. By using such technology as sexed semen and embryo transfer, he improves genetics in his cow herd.

Can you build a highly productive dairy herd with one cow? If you ask Sam Zimmermann, yes, yes you can.

The dairy farmer from Marathon County, Wis., returned to the family dairy farm eight years ago. He, along with his wife, Jenn, started milking 50 cows in April 2010. It was the first time in 15 years that dairy cows returned to the family farm.

DAIRY DUO: “We didn’t inherit the dairy farm,” Jenn Zimmermann says. “We had to buy it. We couldn’t afford 200 high-producing cows, so we had to build own herd using genetics.” Jenn, along with her husband, Sam, operates On-Q Holsteins.

Sam’s father was having health issues. “We decided at that point, at 31 years old, if we were to own the family farm, we needed to do it now,” he recalls. Today they operate On-Q Holsteins LLC.

His parents ingrained in him the value of cattle genetics. Sam knew that buying an expensive genetically superior herd was out of the question for a beginning dairy farmer, but he thought perhaps he could use advances in technology to create it.

Building the herd
Sam was able to buy an unregistered herd and then cherry-pick a bunch of good cows from sales to even out overall cow cost. “So I’d have higher-dollar cows — hardly over $2,000 apiece — from registered sales to mix in with lower-cost cows, to make a $1,400 average herd of cows,” he explains.

But in 2012, one purchase changed the trajectory of the farm.

Sam and his father attended a summer event sale held by Floyd and Lloyd Baumann, twin brothers and well-known Wisconsin dairy farmers. In it was the granddaughter to a cow named Apple — who made headlines in 2008 by selling for $1 million.

“I thought she would go for as much as $10,000,” Sam says. As the gavel dropped and the auctioneer yelled, “Sold,” he won the bid at $4,200. “I looked at Dad and said, ‘This is really going to change our farm.’”

Big plan
He named her Bella. She was a high-type, showy black cow. Since then, she’s been classified by the dairy industry as “excellent,” scoring 92 points. She breeds easily, milks a lot and has a large frame. “I wanted to proliferate that in our herd,” Sam says.

The very first daughter of Bella made it to the 10th spot on the Holstein genomics list.  “You saw ‘Sam Zimmermann,'” he says, laughing. “People probably thought, who is that?”

Using technology like sexed semen, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, Sam took a single animal — and over five years, between daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters — proliferated those genetics to produce a total of 60 cows.

He has even sold a group of Bella’s embryos to China and France.

BIG LUV: Sam Zimmermann is not shy regarding his affection for a few of his favorite cows. “He is in the field, hugging Bella or Luv,” Jenn Zimmermann says. Here he is with Luv.

Returning to roots
Since then, Sam continues to add high-performing females to his herd.

He bought one of his favorites, who he named Luv, as an embryo. After she was born, a friend visited the farm. “He saw the red calf,” Jenn says, “and said there was something special about that calf.” Sam took Luv on the show circuit to the Minnesota State Fair and won it. At the World Dairy Expo, she did not fare so well.

However, Luv’s first daughter via in vitro fertilization, LotsaLuv, finished ninth at the Expo. “It was fun to see her do so well,” Jenn adds.

But it is not all about prize cows. Sam does not pass on nostalgia.

A friend sold the couple a granddaughter of a cow that Sam had shown back in 1997. That cow was part of the original family dairy operation. “There is something about having offspring from your past helping build the future,” he says. Today, with the help of embryo transfer, several offspring of that cow are now in his herd.

“The seed of our old dairy operation was basically replanted in our new operation,” Sam says. “It is amazing what technology makes possible.”


World Dairy Expo to offer Virtual Farm Tours

Trevor Olson Photography virtual farm tour presentation
DAIRY TOURS: World Dairy Expo will feature Virtual Farm Tours each day of the 2018 show, presented by farm owners and managers.

World Dairy Expo Virtual Farm Tours have been bringing the best dairy operations in North America to Madison, Wis., for more than 15 years. The eight dairies selected this year are no exception, highlighting topics ranging from technology and genetics to strong community ties and cow comfort.

These virtual outings include a visual presentation led by the farm’s owner or manager, with time for questions and an open discussion to follow. Tours are presented daily during World Dairy Expo, Oct. 2-6, in the Mendota Room 1 of the Exhibition Hall.

Sponsors of the 2018 Virtual Farm Tours include: American Jersey Cattle Association, Compeer Financial, Kansas Department of Agriculture, Mycogen Seeds, NC Dairy Advantage, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Quality Liquid Feeds and Waikato Milking Systems.

Here is the schedule of tours this year:

Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. MasCow, Moscow, Kan.
Highlights: 3,500 milking, youth training
Sponsor: Kansas Department of Agriculture

Oct. 3 at 12 p.m. Blue Star Dairy Farms, DeForest, Wis.
Highlights: 2,600 milking, family-run, multisite farm
Sponsor: Compeer Financial

Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. VanderMade Dairy and FreshMade Dairy, Sherwood, Ohio
Highlights: 2,180 milking, cow comfort and longevity
Sponsor: Purina Animal Nutrition LLC

Oct. 4 at 12 p.m. Young’s Jersey Dairy Inc., Yellow Springs, Ohio
Highlights: 35 milking, value-added products, agritourism
Sponsor: American Jersey Cattle Association

Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. Selz-Pralle Dairy, Humbird, Wis.
Highlights: 450 milking, genetics, production
Sponsor: Mycogen Seeds

Oct. 5 at 12 p.m. Rocky Creek Dairy, Olin, N.C.
Highlights: 1,240 milking, milk quality
Sponsor: NC Dairy Advantage

Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. McCarty Family Farms LLC, Colby, Kan.
Highlights: 12,000 milking, non-GMO ration
Sponsor: Quality Liquid Feeds

Oct. 6 at 12 p.m. Benthem Brothers Inc., McBain, Mich.
Highlights: 2,700 milking, rotary parlor
Sponsor: Waikato Milking Systems

Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. Crowds of nearly 70,000 people, from 100 countries, will return to Madison for the 52nd annual event, Oct. 2-6, when the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class dairy cattle show and more will be on display. Visit, or follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube for more information. 

Source: World Dairy Expo


Barley program matches craft brew needs

Photos by Seth Truscott, WSU LINC Malt, head maltster Joel Williamson, shows off a full container of freshly malted Lyon barley
LINC Malt’s head maltster, Joel Williamson, shows off a full container of freshly malted Lyon barley. The new product is lending a unique local flavor, and its inaugural batch is now being used by craft brewers on the Palouse in new pale ales.

When craft beer drinkers think of ways brewers add flavor, what comes to mind are unique hops and added flavors like coriander or passion fruit. Malted barley has always been a base for beer flavor, but that’s changing — and Washington State University is taking a lead in the effort.

Recently, LINC Malt, a craft malting company, produced its first batch of Lyon malt. Craft-malted Lyon breaks the mold of the usual plain, basic malted barley. This new WSU-created variety brings a greater flavor depth to beer, says Heath Barnes, CEO of Washington farmer cooperative Whitgro Inc. He arranged for LINC (Local Inland Northwest Cooperative) Malt to create this first batch, letting the Lyon malt lend its flavors to Northwest craft beer makers.

Lyon is one of two WSU barley varieties to crack the growing craft malt market. Crop scientists at the university developed Lyon for the Palouse country; Fritz, a WSU-licensed variety that thrives in coastal growing areas, is available, too. Both are all-around varieties, equally versatile for food, feed and beer.

Kevin Murphy, WSU barley breeder, explained that what breeders really wanted were varieties that would work for Northwest craft maltsters. In Washington, barley is a $20 million crop, with about 4.5 million bushels harvested each year. Compared to wheat, chickpeas and other cash crops including spinach and potatoes, barley is a low earner. Farmers still turn to this crop to break disease and weed cycles, though.

Said Murphy: “By giving farmers new malt varieties, we’re adding a lot more value to barley. It’s all about discovering where these barleys fit best.” Murphy’s work continues, and he’s currently testing several potentially malt-friendly varieties.

Barnes adds that new malting varieties like Lyon “open up a new world of possibilities for growers. In a tough farm economy, that makes all the difference.”

Seth Truscott, WSU

Breeder Kevin Murphy tours a test plot of barley at WSU’s Spillman Agronomy Farm.

The Fritz story
It’s known as NZ151, for its original breeding designation, but Fritz has become a favorite for customers of Burlington, Wash.-based Skagit Valley Malting. The company contracts with local growers for Fritz.

Adam Foy, Skagit Valley Malting vice president of business development, notes that barley and wheat grow very well in the region around Burlington: “But without malting, the only markets growers had for their barley was food and animal feed,” he says.

It was one of those lightbulb moments when Steve Jones, director of the WSU Bread Lab, and Wayne Carpenter, Skagit Valley Malting founder, figured out the climate in the region was very similar to Northern Europe and the United Kingdom These areas are known for their big, plump, high-extract barley for malting and distilling.

“We can grow the same kinds of barley — in fact, even better, thanks to the uniformity of our climate,” adds Foy.

WSU researchers embarked on a mission to develop special malt varieties, and in 2014 released Fritz. This is a low protein barley that’s an exceptional malter. It offers the crumbliness and chemistry that helps brewers get more out of the malt, and it helps beer stay stable and dependably flavorful.

Skagit Valley Malting doubled its contract for Fritz for 2018, and some contract farmers are growing it organically for the first time. “Brewers want barleys with different malting and brewing qualities,” Foy says. “Instead of looking for sameness, we’re looking for uniqueness.”

At LINC Malt, Brian Estes, sales and operations manager, notes that brewers and beer lovers are realizing there’s a real story to tell through malt flavors. “Success is just a matter of getting malts in front of people so they can taste the difference.”

Malting barley at work
Graham Lilly, brewmaster at Hunga Dunga Brewery, Moscow, Idaho, likes the idea of brewing grains grown nearby. “I wanted to reap the benefits of geography while supporting the local economy. That’s why my customers are craving,” he says.

Set in the heart of Northwest wheat country, the brewery wanted a malt that evoked the Palouse. Lilly bought Whitgro’s Lyon malt, then set about experimenting to see what it does for a batch of beer. “We haven’t had an opportunity to do that with a locally grown malt until now,” Lilly says.

For Murphy, a cold glass of Lilly’s Oatmeal Pale Ale was a satisfying sip — and a highlight for his career. Murphy has released five barley varieties for food and feed, but this is his first that’s been brewed into beer.

“What a great feeling to drink a beer with WSU barley as the main ingredient!” says Murphy. “For the growers, the maltsters and for me — we’ve been waiting a long time for this.”

Source: Washington State University

Conservation partnership funds available

APPLY NOW: Regional Conservation Partnership Program funding is still available for farmers participating in most Iowa RCPP project areas.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and its partners are seeking applicants wishing to implement conservation practices in Regional Conservation Partnership Program project areas. The deadline to submit applications through RCPP is June 15.

Through RCPP, conservation partners develop projects and provide funding with technical and other financial help from NRCS. The projects vary in scope, from national level to statewide to critical conservation areas. Iowa’s priority resource concerns include water quality, soil health, retention of grasslands and forestlands, flood reduction, and wildlife habitat.

These projects have funding available:

 Regional Grassland Bird and Grazing Land Enhancement Initiative (southernmost 21 counties in Iowa)

 Improving Working Lands for Monarch Butterflies (statewide, with focus on Interstate 35 corridor)

 Midwest Agriculture Water Quality Partnership (various Iowa watersheds)

 Upper Cedar Watershed Urban-Rural Partnership (Rock Creek Watershed in northeast Iowa)

 Fox River Water Quality Project (Fox River Watershed in southeast Iowa)

 Innovative Conservation Agriculture Project (Allamakee and Clayton counties)

For more information about RCPP, including project maps and descriptions, visit RCPP. To apply for conservation practices through RCPP, visit your local NRCS field office.

Pilot project to boost conservation planning
In other news from NRCS, a new pilot project will add the expertise of private-sector technical service providers (TSP) to help Iowa farmers prevent two major causes of soil erosion, improve soil productivity and measure the return-on-investment for conservation work addressing those resources.

Producers of annually planted commodities in Iowa, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota will have the opportunity to hire TSPs who will work with NRCS to develop soil resources planning conservation activity plans. These plans, known as CAP 132, will prevent sheet and rill erosion, restore organic matter in soils, and provide economic information producers can use to make conservation decisions.

USDA partners with private sector
"Bringing on TSPs who can leverage precision ag technology and supplement our soil conservation efforts will help more farmers use economic information to make sound decisions to protect and regenerate their soils,” says Jon Hubbert, acting state conservationist for NRCS in Iowa. “Empowering TSPs to take on these important tasks will also extend the focus on the customer service NRCS provides to ensure producers get the help they need to be productive and profitable.”

NRCS field offices began accepting applications for the pilot project in early May. Deadline to apply is NRCS’ close of business on June 15.

Successful practices and methods developed through the pilot project may be adapted for use in other states and help inform future USDA conservation policies. NRCS administers the project through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

Helping farmers protect soil
TSPs are individuals or businesses who have technical expertise in conservation planning and design for a variety of conservation activities. Farmers, private businesses, nonprofit organizations and public agencies hire TSPs to provide these services on behalf of NRCS.

NRCS must approve plans and practices recommended by TSPs to ensure they meet the agency’s standards.

Every certified TSP must be trained in development of at least one conservation activity plan, and verify they have the essential knowledge, skills and abilities to be a TSP. NRCS encourages everyone interested in finding out more about becoming a TSP or the TSP pilot project to contact their local NRCS office.

Johnson is the public affairs specialist for NRCS in Iowa.

Turn up the heat on plant nutrition

Photos courtesy of WinField United top of corn plants
REMEMBER THE MICROS: In corn, watch your nitrogen-potassium and nitrogen-sulfur ratios. They indicate how your corn plants are accessing nutrients from the soil.

By Jon Zuk

A good plant nutrition program doesn’t stop when temperatures rise. Plants need checkups throughout the season, especially at key growth stages, to keep their engines running in peak form.

Winfield United

Jon Zuk

Here are some tips for keeping corn and soybean plants well-nourished the rest of the season.

Corn: Don’t forget micros
Corn takes up the majority of its nutrients between V8 and VT, so keeping tabs on both macronutrient and micronutrient deficiencies ahead of these stages is important. Of course, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are critical macronutrients for corn, and tissue samples indicate which one could be the limiting factor. Pay particular attention to nitrogen-potassium and nitrogen-sulfur ratios, as these will indicate how your corn plants are accessing nutrients from the soil and putting your fertility to work.

Though macros are important, don’t forget the micronutrients that can support corn plant health — specifically, zinc and boron.

Zinc acts as the forklift in corn, moving and organizing nutrients throughout the plant. It is important to know that zinc is relatively immobile in soil and in the corn plant, which creates issues with nutrient mobilization during that V8-to-VT uptake period. Because of immobility issues, addressing zinc deficiencies requires a multipronged approach. Managing soil fertility through broadcast applications and then making a foliar application of zinc in-season are the best ways to start.

Boron is another important micronutrient in corn and is most critical during reproduction. Since boron is a soil-mobile nutrient, foliar application should not be used. During the beginning of reproduction, boron moves from the leaves to the reproductive portions of the plant — the ear and tassel — to help ensure pollination. Approximately 70% of photosynthesis comes from the upper third of the leaves on the corn plant, which facilitates late-season grain fill. Dry conditions during reproduction could produce a double negative for corn plants: If rainfall and boron are deficient, you may see significant tip-back.

Soybeans: Potassium, manganese, iron
I recommend taking a tissue sample starting at V4 to V6 to get a baseline measurement of soybean plant health, and another at R2 to help ensure the plant has enough gas in the tank to flourish before pod set.

Potassium acts as the nutrient elevator, transporting nutrients from roots to leaves. Research has shown that aphids can thrive in soybean fields where plants are deficient in potassium, so pay attention to any visual symptoms of potassium deficiency, such as yellow leaves.

Manganese is important for photosynthesis efficiency and soybean nodulation. Make sure your soybean plants can maximize sunlight and nitrogen needs to limit late-season pod abortion. Glyphosate-induced manganese deficiency, which can cause yellow flash, is also a potential hazard. This happens when glyphosate grabs onto the manganese in the plant and shuts down photosynthesis in the leaf. If your soybean plants have yellow flash or shown to be deficient with tissue testing, try a foliar application of manganese.

Iron deficiency chlorosis can occur when iron is adequate in the soil, but doesn’t move into the plant; this results in yellow leaves with green veins. An in-furrow application of an iron product, along with an in-season foliar application, may help. Adequate rainfall and drainage can also alleviate IDC. If IDC is a big problem, consider planting IDC-tolerant varieties next year.

Work with your agronomist
If you don’t measure nutrients, you can’t manage them. Even small tweaks in your nutrient management plan can make a big difference. Work with your agronomist to assess nutrient levels throughout the season; this way, you will have a better chance of achieving your return on investment and yield potential goals at harvest.

Zuk is a regional agronomist with WinField United in southern Minnesota. Contact him at