Field Days, End of Season Fertility Assessment  08/15/18 9:34:17 AM

COUNTY FAIRS---Thanks to all who stopped by at our booth during the Sarpy and Cass Co. Fairs the past 2 weeks.  It was good to see and hear from all of you.  CONGRATULATIONS to Tom Murphy of Louisville and Tim Meyer of Avoca.  Both have won 6 FREE bags of RR2Xtend Soybeans from the door prize drawing at each fair.



Upcoming Events


We will cancel the last Tuesday morning field tour scheduled for next Tuesday August 21st.  We thank all who have attended our Tuesday morning tours throughout the summer.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions or want to inquire about additional personal tours of the Mynard plot.


Nest Friday Friday August 24th  Wiles Bros Inc. will again serve as a drop-off site for Household Hazardous Waste Disposal and Collection from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.  See Below for details. 













August 24th, 2018



7:30 a.m. -

9:00 a.m.

Wiles Brothers, Inc., 606

Wiles Rd.


August 24th, 2018




10:30 a.m. -

11:30 a.m.

Cass County Road Shop - Hwy 50 (South of Hwy 1)


August 24th, 2018



1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

West side - Midwest

Farmer's CO-OP, 400 Railway


August 24th, 2018



4:00 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.

County Shop - 813 N. 1st



August 25th, 2018


Pawnee City

7:30 a.m. —

9:00 a.m.

County Shop-342 5th St

Items accepted include cleaning products, lawn & garden chemicals, small quantities of farm
(NO more than Six -2.5 gallon containers of farm chemicals-LARGE, COMMERCIAL amounts of farm
chemicals WILL be turned away!),
paint, used oil, florescent light bulbs and
other hazardous household items.














NO tires, appliances, science lab chemicals, items containing asbestos, wood
preservatives, PCB's, explosives, or commercial quantities.





c-$5.00 donation per household requested. Help keep these eventsgoingC^

Other communities served include Pawnee City, Tecumseh, Plattsmouth, Eagle, Weeping Water.

Watch for flyers with more information for these communities!

**Thank you for your participation in this year's waste collections across the counties and for your donations to

continue these events in the future.**



This is a service provided by a coalition of organizations and volunteers concerned about the health of our environment, with financial support provided through a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and other assistance provided by Otoe, Nemaha, Richardson, Jefferson, & Saline Counties as well as Five Rivers Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D), Midwest Farmer's CO-OP, Ash Grove Cement, Keep Cass County Beautiful, & Wiles Brothers Inc.



QUESTIONS? Call Bobbie Meints at Five Rivers RC&D at 869-2355



The Nebraska Environmental Trust


































AUGUST 29th---Invitations are out, and preparation has begun for our FALL FIELD DAY, 2 weeks from today.  Our meeting this fall will occur in our climate-controlled shop here at the plant.  The agenda below details topics and discussions surrounding the grain markets and weather—2 topics that are playing a larger role in your operations this year than normal.   As always, we will have updates from our industry partners surrounding the fall herbicide/fertility pricing and product programs from each respective brand including, CPS, Winfield, Monsanto, Syngenta, Cortiva, FMC, Valent, Bayer, BASF and a number of others.  After our discussions inside will go to the field where we will also have in-field harvest demos from John Deere and Case I-H featuring their latest and greatest combines along with some insight on combine prep, maintance and settings for the on-coming harvest.  We will conclude with an evening fish fry/social with all the trimmings as well as some attitude adjusting beverages provided by Anheuser Busch.  For supply purposes, PLEASE RSVP prior to August 24th.  We hope to see all of you here!! 






  • As of August 13th---Corn planted April 25th has received 2615 GDD and 18.66 inches of rainfall here in Plattsmouth


    In a week or so, much of the corn will be at or very close to black layer/physiological maturity.  What this means is:


    The starch line is now becoming visible in some of the earlier planted/maturity hybrids. About 60 days after silking, kernel dry weight usually reaches its maximum and kernels are said to be physiologically mature and safe from frost.  Physiological maturity occurs shortly after the kernel milk line disappears and just before the kernel black layer forms at the tip of the kernels.  Kernel moisture at black layer typically ranges 30 to 40 percent grain moisture.  The black layer is actually a number of cellular layers within the kernel which forms a barrier preventing any further movement of dry matter into the grain.  Stress from weather or environment has little effect on grain yield unless physical injury occurs to the stalk or ear. 


    I have noticed a number of red corn plants during field scouting of the past few days.  These fields were in the areas where high winds have occurred a number of times this season.  About this time of year, you begin to see leaves and/or stalks of some corn plants turn a bright red color.  The reddening begins at the midrib and spreads throughout the remainder of the leaf.  Sometimes this occurs on only a single leaf, all leaves, or the stalk.  A logical reason exists for this symptom.  A physically damaged leaf or plant (a result of weather or insect damage) has a restricted flow of photosynthates (sugars, in this case) out of the leaf.  If these plant sugars are not transported and utilized by the plant (i.e. ear fill), the sugars accumulate in the leaf, turning it red.  If the plants are barren or lacking an ear, this symptom will also occur.  This is often confused with late season nutritional problems.


Soybeans are in the late R5 (beginning seed set) and R6 (green bean--full seed development).  Water transpiration use within the soybean is currently around 0.20 inches of water per day and the soybeans are now rooted between 3.5 and 4 feet will additional root growth beginning to slow.    During the “green bean” stage the moisture content of the seed is around 70 percent.  Dry matter (starch, carbohydrates) accumulation continues until physiological maturity. 

There have been studies for the past number of years trying to apply supplemental N and P through irrigation systems to boost yield potential.  The results have been mixed and here is the main reason results have not been consistent.  During this time, beans acquire about half of their N, P, and K through redistribution from vegetative plant parts and the other half by soil uptake and nodule activity.    Water deficiencies may reduce nutrient availability because roots cannot take up nutrients or grow in upper soil areas where the soil dries.   At, least part of the P and K must be located where the soil will likely be moist and the nutrients will be available to the plant.  SO, rainfall this time of year really puts the additional bushels into yield via soybean seed size and weight from the “moist nutrition” available from the soil.   


WHEN ARE SOYBEANS MATURE?  This seems like a foolish question given the date, but, as in corn, physiological maturity is when the maximum amount of dry matter has been accumulated in the seeds.  This by definition would mean they are mature.  The old rule of thumb is if the entire bean plant is yellow, a frost (as example) will have little effect on yield.  This is true!  Here is an explanation.  There are three stages of maturity.  Physiological maturity of soybean occurs 2-5 days after 95% of the plants have reached growth stage R7 (one normal pod on the main stem has reached a yellow color).  Visual or full maturity (R8) is reached when 95% of the pods have attained a yellow color (about 32% seed moisture).  And, finally, harvest maturity is when the seed reaches a moisture content of 14%. 


When a mature pod has turned yellow it has a seed moisture around 50%.  At this time, leaves and stems begin to yellow due to chlorophyll breakdown.  When this occurs, yield is fixed and cannot increase.  When the plant is fully yellow the effects of an early frost is usually not a concern.  Seeds injured by frost will remain green, and, if the seed has a high moisture, germination is reduced.  Immature seed can withstand temperatures of 28 degrees F, and will be killed by a 20 degree F temperature in as little as four hours.  Sometimes, if there has been poor pod set, the stems and leaves may remain green while the pods turn yellow and then mature to their final color (tan or brown).  This is common of plants with male sterility.


As crops are now well into the reproductive stages of their life cycle, now is a good time to review some of the basic fertility processes with the makeup of the plant.  We pay a lot of attention to fertility mainly in the “off-season” but, as crops grow closer to maturity, now is when the crop can tell you what it needs based upon some visual symptoms you may have observed this season as well as “spotty yields” you may encounter this fall within a given field..   All crops need a certain amount of many elements. There are 16 of them: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) sulfur (S), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), Oxygen (O), carbon ©, hydrogen (H), molybdenum (Mo), copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn) manganese (Mn0, boron (B), iron (Fe) and chlorine (Ci).  We mainly only consider the N-P-K mix in most fertility programs for many reasons.  The main reason is the amount of these elements that are used within the plants is much higher the other thirteen, and are classified by either being a primary, secondary, or micronutirent.


nitrogen (N) - Primary

phosphorus (P) - Primary

potassium (K) - Primary

sulfur (S) - Secondary

magnesium (Mg) - Secondary

calcium (Ca) - Secondary

oxygen (O) - Air/Water/Primary

carbon (C) - Air/Primary

hydrogen (H) - Air/Water/Primary

molybdenum (Mo) - Micronutrient

copper (Cu) - Micronutrient

zinc (Zn) - Micronutrient

manganese (Mn) - Micronutrient

boron (B) - Micronutrient

iron (Fe) - Micronutrient

chlorine (Cl) - Micronutrient


Recognizing the role N-P-K play in plant metabolism is an essential part to unlocking the mysteries of nutrient deficiencies

Nitrogen – a key component of protein and chlorophyll

Phosphorus – a key component in proteins

Potassium – plays a major role in catalytic processes in   plants such as enzymes and metabolism

Nitrogen is required the most as it has elemental roles in cell formation, chlorophyll production, protein and enzymes synthesis that drives metabolism.  Phosphorus aids in the formation DNA, RNA and forms of energy used in nutrient transfer, cell division, early growth and root formation, seed production and all aspects of plant growth.   Potassium plays a regulatory role in photosynthesis, carbohydrate movement and protein synthesis.  It aids in the development of normal plant height, healthy stems and roots, and disease resistance.


Vegetative Symptoms of Deficiency


A number of field symptoms may mask what may look like a nutrient level problem.  Here are some common things to look for in determining what or if a nutritional problem exists.  Although symptoms differ somewhat from corn to soybeans we will look at corn for point of conversation.


Nitrogen—Thin spindly plants that are light green with leaf yellowing that progresses from soil level up the plant.  Affected leaves begins yellow/orange pattern at the leaf tip and progresses down the midrib while broadening at the tip to produce a characteristic “V” pattern.  Tips can die and the leaf margins may remain green.  Ears can be stunted, poorly filled and appear pinched at the tip.


Phosphorus---Purpling and reddening of leaves starting at their tips and progressing toward their base.  Lower leaves are initially affected.  Leaf tips may later turn brown and side.  Ears may be stunted and twisted or bent with one or more rows missing on one side.  Look-a-like purple corn generally occurs early in plant development (prior to 4 leaf).  Usually occurs where lack of root growth occurs from cold, wet, compacted, or dry soils.   are present.   Symptoms are usually out-grown when the plants reach 24-40 inches.


Potassium---Yellowing of leaf tips which progresses around the leaf margins. Lower leafs are affected first followed by leaves progressively higher on the plant.  Affected tissue later dies.  Ears can be stunted, chaffy with poor tip fill  Plants may lodge late in the season due to stalk breakage.  Most common in sand soils or soils high in organic matter.  Can appear following high crops yields in the proceeding year or where root growth is slowed on cold, wet, or compacted soils.


Sulfur---Symptoms include stunting, delayed maturity, and overall yellowing of the leaves.  Yellowing begins with the tips and then the margins of the youngest leaves.  Affected tissue later dies.  Sulfur deficiency is favored in low pH soils with low organic matter, high rainfall and cold wet conditions.


Zinc---Symptoms appear usually 2 weeks after emergence and plants generally outgrow the symptoms later in the season.  Light streaking of the leaves, later turning into a broad band of bleached tissue.  Leaf midribs and margins remain green and sometimes leaf edges and stalk interior at the nodes turn red to purple or brown.  Usually does not affect the entire field.   Most common on soils with high phosphorous and high pH (higher than 7).


The normal course of action when these symptoms exist is to have a soil analysis done through plant tissue and soil sampling. The additional 11 elements normally exist in our soils for supplemental roles of vigorous plant growth.  Soil pH plays a large role in the plant uptake and element “tie-up” making them unavailable for plant use and giving a deficient appearance.


Soil Sampling--Soil tests ALWAYS are a valuable resource for making fertility management decisions for the coming season as well as an assessment for the season we are completing.  It also allows you to determine the levels of the 16 essential nutrients needed for vegetative growth and reproduction.  After harvest and before fertilizer is applied is a good time to soil sample.  Sampling every three to four years is a good practice to follow, dependent upon your crop rotation—(corn after corn after corn will deplete soil nutrient levels quicker than soil in a two or three crop rotation).  Composite sampling within a field should represent 10 acres or less of a uniform area.  Grid Sampling is normally done in 2.5 acre grids, but can be as small as 1 acre samples.  Collection of samples should follow a zig-zag pattern across the sampling area and an average of 15 cores at a 6-7 inch depth for every 10 acres is a good rule of thumb to follow.  Mix the 15 cores together in a plastic bucket and collect a lab sample from the mixture.

Results such as soil pH, (ideally between 6.5 and 6.8 for corn and soybeans) organic matter (between 2.5 and 3%), and soil type (everyone needs silty clay loam soils!) are determined through the sampling process. Element levels in the soil that are required in large quantities by the plant such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur—all from the soil, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen from the air, are also determined.  Many of the soil elements may have sufficient levels based on soil type and previous cropping practices, but we must determine those levels first to make any type of management decisions for the next season.   We can also determine what the soil needs for the coming season based on the intended crop to be planted and the levels of fertility the crop requires.  Consider the following table. 



Crop       Nitrogen   Phosphorus   Potassium   Calcium   Magnesium   Sulfur      Zinc


Corn                1.0           0.35            0.3              0.01         0.04              0.06      0.001

Soybeans         3.7           0.77            1.4              0.18         0.18              0.31      0.001



Field Days-- Making Sense of Hybrid/Variety Differences

What do you learn at a field day while the meal is being prepared?  Consider this:  When a field or hybrid yields or looks better in August at a field day than some of your other acres, it is hard to know for sure why. Weather undoubtedly plays a high role in all of our successes and failures when producing a crop.  As we approach field days consider these factors/ask these questions, as you analyze genetics in preparation for harvest and 2019 decisions.


  1. Compare Apples to Apples--What are these genetics being compared to? Where?  Competitive Brands? Maturities? Own Brand? Performance history? Geographic consistency?


  1. Yield history – Has this field tended to be different than your average in the past?
  2. Planting date – How did the hybrid/variety compare to similar fields planted at the same time?
  3. Maturity – How did the hybrid/variety compare to others of similar maturity?
  4. Rainfall – Could this field have received significantly more or less rainfall?
  5. Cropping practices – Are there tillage, fertility, herbicide or other differences?
  6. Hybrid/variety selection – How did that hybrid or variety perform in other fields?

Often the answer is never just one thing, but a very complex set of issues and conditions. In research we refer to this variability as G ´ E or Genotype by Environment interaction. Put simply, G ´ E is the way a hybrid or variety responds to its environment. We try to manage G ´ E by researching performance in as many environments as possible in an attempt to know where hybrids perform the best. Unfortunately, even if we know what hybrids will excel in a certain environment – the environment always changes from one year to the next. We use the best information available and then recommend a package of several diverse hybrids to put you in the best position to take advantage favorable environments and protect you from less-favorable ones.


John W. McNamara


Wiles Bros. Inc.

606 Wiles Road

Plattsmouth NE. 68048

(402) 298-8550--Office

(402) 499-3870--Cell

(402) 298-7174--Fax



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