USA - How to cope with a cold and soggy planting season

Farmers sometimes find themselves in the spring planting Twilight Zone, where soils slightly cooler than 50°F. are fit to plant. In those situations, plant, says Dean Grossnickle, a Syngenta agronomic service representative based in central Iowa.

“I always get the question, ‘Do I wait for the soils to warm up or not?’” he says.

“If the soil is fit and you look at the extended forecast and the weather’s going to be good out into the future, I say go for it. Very few times have I been burned when soils are fit and a bit too cool.”

What burns farmers more often is waiting for soils to warm up and then being stymied by a three-week rain delay, he says.“Then, you’re panicking, feeling like you need to do something,” he explains. This can prompt planting into marginal soils.“It burns you more times than planting into fit soils with cooler temperatures,” he says.

So What’s a Fit Soil? 

One way to identify it is to form a soil ball with one hand. If the ball holds its shape and doesn’t break apart with some effort, don’t plant, says Grossnickle.If the ball breaks apart and crumbles, though, planting can commence, he says. Last fall’s delayed harvest is causing some farmers to consider applying spring anhydrous ammonia. Here again, applying anhydrous ammonia on excessively wet soils can set the stage for poor stands once planting commences. Applying anhydrous ammonia on sopping wet soils can spur uneven spreading in the soil to form concentrated anhydrous ammonia pockets. Seed burning and burned corn roots can result when farmers plant into those hot spots, he says.“You have to pay attention to the soil because mistakes will haunt you the rest of the season,” he says.

Don’t Panic About Switching Hybrids  

If corn planting delays result, don’t panic about switching to hybrids with shorter relative maturities, he says.Retaining full-season hybrids helps farmers maximize yield potential, says Grossnickle. Plus, many farmers have machinery capacity to plant many acres in a short time.The decision of when to switch hybrid relative maturity differs by geography. In central Iowa, the decision to back down from a normal full-season 111- to 113-day relative maturity hybrids normally surfaces around May 20, says Grossnickle. Then, he recommends knocking it down to 109 to 110 days.“If another 10 days pass and you’re still not in the field, you may want to knock another five days off (relative maturities),” he says.

Trade-offs exist. That’s particularly true if an unproven hybrid with less yield potential that may not fit a field’s soil type is the only one available.

“If it means I am stepping down to a genetically inferior hybrid, do I take that risk of going down those three maturity days (after May 20)?” Grossnickle asks. Sticking with an original full-season hybrid may mean dealing with wetter corn in the fall, but it also retains full yield potential.“This year when margins are so tight, you can’t afford to give up yield potential,” says Grossnickle. “It may behoove you to pay more in drying than to switch to a hybrid that will not perform (as well as the original one).”

Plant Treated Soybean Seed

Farmers who have never used a soybean fungicide seed treatment may want to reconsider this spring, says Grossnickle. Phomopsis infested a share of soybeans last year, and the inoculum may carry into this year’s seed lots. “We are starting out behind the 8-ball this year,” he says. Planting fungicide-treated soybean seed – particularly on seed with lower-than-normal germination – is a way to ensure adequate stand potential, he says.Cool and wet spring soils can prompt the soilborne fungus Fusarium solani to infect roots as early as one week after soybean emergence. These infections that key Fusarium root rot can produce the toxins that key the hallmark Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) symptoms of chlorotic and crinkled leaves in August.

No soybean variety resists SDS, but some varieties are better than others at tolerating SDS, says Grossnickle. Seed treatments like Ilevo can also help soybean farmers supplement SDS management on top of SDS-tolerant varieties.

Manage Weeds

A preemergence residual herbicide is essential to getting a crop off to a good start. However, this spring’s compressed schedule may pressure farmers to first plant corn and then worry about weeds. One perk corn has is that corn herbicides have flexibility. For example, Acuron can be applied before corn reaches a 12-inch height. If grass is a problem, the label states that a grass herbicide tank mix may be required. Corvus is another corn herbicide that can be applied in a tank mixture with atrazine from the corn spiking stage through the 2-leaf collar growth stage.

Soybean herbicides, unfortunately, aren’t as flexible, says Grossnickle. With soybeans, a preemergence residual herbicide is vital.

“You cannot get ahead (planting) of your sprayer on soybean acres,” he says. “Plant a field, spray a field.” If soybeans are planted and three weeks of rainy weather follow – with no preemergence residual herbicide down – it places excessive pressure on postemergence herbicides in herbicide-tolerant systems like glyphosate, glufosinate, 2,4-D, or dicamba to control weeds. “When there is too much pressure put on post products, we will find that unique weed that resists those programs,” he adds.

Watch for Disease

If growing season weather remains wet, disease may be rampant. Gray leaf spot (GLS) in corn was common last year. Meanwhile, a new disease – tar spot – surfaced in states like Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. “There is an issue where tillage was not done (last fall) to bury disease inoculum,” says Grossnickle. This is particularly the case in no-till, when tillage doesn’t bury inoculum. Newly planted crops join inoculum to provide the second peg of the three-legged stool for disease. The missing link of the disease triangle – environment – can join inoculum and host to result in disease outbreaks.“So, it’s setting up to where we could have an issue with the right environment,” says Grossnickle.

Ohio State University plant pathologists find high disease severity is more frequent from low areas and river-bottom fields where periods of leaf wetness and high relative humidity favor disease development.

“With GLS in corn, look for hybrids with good disease ratings,” Grossnickle says. Syngenta models for central Iowa show that with an environment conducive to GLS, a susceptible hybrid has a 94% chance of developing GLS. With a moderately resistant hybrid, the chances of a GLS outbreak dip to 14%, he says.Thus, he advises corn farmers planting a susceptible GLS hybrid to scout and be prepared to apply a fungicide. In soybeans, frogeye leaf spot infested a number of fields in central Iowa in 2018. Unfortunately, frogeye leaf spot that resists strobilurin fungicides is also surfacing.

He adds that many fungicides contain both strobilurin and triazole active ingredients. “If you have strobilurin-resistant frogeye, the triazole will help, but as far as giving preventive treatment, the strobilurin (component) will not do it,” he says. One option is to apply a fungicide that contains multiple active ingredients including one with SDHI chemistry, such as Trivapro, he says.

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Europe - Around 66,000 ha damaged - 23 million euros in damages


While Vereinigte Hagelversicherung VVaG reported 30,000 hectares damaged just a few days ago, this figure has more than doubled within a few days. A good 66,000 hectares were registered for regulation from June 18 to 25. This is due to so-called supercells, which came from France through Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria to Austria and the Czech Republic, causing hailstorms over a length of several hundred kilometers. Local heavy rainfall with enormous amounts of rain from so-called "water bombs" and hailstones the size of tennis balls caused damage to almost all crops, often with total losses. On June 22 and again on June 24, the damage area stretched from Lake Starnberg via Munich to Passau. In Baden-Württemberg, the Neckar-Alb region was hardest hit on June 21 and, just two days later, the strip from Freiburg via Reutlingen to Esslingen. A locally intense area of damage extended along the North Sea coast in the Groningen-Norden-Aurich triangle on both the Dutch and German sides of the border. In addition, abroad, the polder areas on the IJsselmeer and the Baltic region were particularly affected. After the first surveys, Vereinigte Hagel now expects damage of about 20 to 23 million euros, a doubling compared to the beginning of last week. Supercells and what they are about - currently no end in sight The background to the now considerably higher damage figures are so-called supercells, which have a much higher damage potential than ordinary thunderstorms due to their rotation and longevity. "Their most important feature is the so-called "mesocyclone," a powerful rotating updraft. It creates a negative pressure on the ground so that, like a vacuum cleaner, warm and energetic air can be constantly sucked in at the ground and reach the upper edge of the troposphere (above 10 km altitude). There the warm air is sucked in and there is also the danger of possible tornadoes. Subsequently, in the area of the sinking cold air, it is not uncommon for extreme downbursts to reach the hurricane range. Over time, supercells develop a momentum of their own that prevents the sinking cold air (as compensation for the rising warm air) from entering the warm air area. Thus, the mesocyclone is fed with warm air for several hours. Due to the longevity and massive power of the rotating updraft, hailstones can be flung into the air several times, growing into large hailstones. From Monday through Thursday, conditions in southern Germany were ideal for these rotating monsters. A warm and humid air mass was stored in the lower atmosphere, so to speak the fuel for the engine of the rotating mesocyclones. In addition, the wind near the ground came from an easterly to northeasterly direction (which favored suction), veered nearly 180° to the southwest up to an altitude of about 5 kilometers, and increased significantly. In short, there was sufficient directional and velocity shear. This is a basic requirement for the formation of rotation in the updraft region and helps to prevent the sinking cold air from reaching the front of the thunderstorm cell." And it's set to continue. The DWD forecasts heavy thunderstorms in the south and southwest of Germany on Monday evening, as well as on Tuesday. Experts prepared for this, because in June or July such weather phenomena are not uncommon, as Vereinigte Hagel knows from almost 200 years of experience. Source -


India - Crop loss imminent as IMD rules out rainfall till August-end in Odisha

With the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday ruling out the possibility of any significant rainfall in the State till the end of August, drought seems to have become imminent. IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra told media persons that 27 districts of the State have received 33 per cent less than the normal rainfall from June to August and deficit rainfall in August was 55 per cent. 


Germany - 2021 wheat crop to fall 3.6% after adverse weather

Germany's 2021 wheat crop of all types is expected to fall 3.6% on the year to 21.37 million tonnes after poor weather, according to estimates released by the agriculture ministry on Wednesday. Crops suffered from swings in weather, with a cold spring followed by a hot, dry start to the summer and then unwelcome harvest-time rain and storms, the ministry said in preliminary forecasts for the 2021 harvest. 


Egypt - Weather has caused a reduction in the mango harvest

There’s still a few more months left in the Egyptian mango season, but the year has brought significant challenges. The weather resulted in 30% less production this year, and the heat could be a threat to other Egyptian produce as well. Demand has been solid, but the lower harvest has resulted in a price increase. 


USA - Severe weather destroys thousands of acres of crop in Fairbank

Thousands of acres of corn and soybean in Fairbank were destroyed Tuesday night after severe storms rolled through eastern Iowa. A clearer picture of the scale of destruction was made clear on Wednesday. Adrienna Olson with the Buchanan County Farm Service Agency says only a few reports from Fairbank and Hazelton Township have been reported. They include corn and soybean damage. 


USA - Heat bears down on California grapes

California grape growers continue to contend with heat and drought issues. “There is ample volume of red and green seedless. There will be some shortages though I imagine,” says Philippe Markarian of Fresno, CA-based Mirabella Farms. “We won’t see them at the moment but it will be on red and black seedless grapes. 


India - Farmers in Erode urged to insure crops for Kharif season

The district administration has asked the farmers in the district to insure crops under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme) for Kharif season 2021 so that they can get relief for crop loss due to natural calamities, pest attack or disease outbreak in the current rabi season. 


Online Agroinsurance Conference to be held on October 4-5, 2021

Due to the concerns around health safety of conference participants and in accordance with the guidance from the Georgian health authorities, AgroInsurance is forced to reschedule Conference to year 2022. More detailed information about new dates and arrangements will be provided in February 2022. Notwithstanding another reschedule of the Conference, AgroInsurance is committed to conduct the online webinar with 2 sessions on October 4-5, 2021. 


Malaysia - Sarawak Disaster Management Committee to assist durian farmers

The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee is intent on working out a mechanism for durian farmers in areas under Covid-19 lockdown to bring out their fruits to the market. Its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said he would discuss with the divisional health department to work out a suitable arrangement.