Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wisconsin Corn and Soybean Conferences

Profitable corn and soybean production is extremely important to Wisconsin agriculture. In 2009, Wisconsin producers planted nearly 3 million acres of corn worth $1.0 billion. Another 1 million acres worth $0.7 billion was planted for corn silage to support our dairy industry. Soybeans worth $0.6 billion were harvested from 1.6 million acres.

Faced with fluctuating prices and rising production costs, farmers today must be well informed about new technologies to be profitable. The 2012 Corn and Soybean Conference meeting series is sponsored by the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, the Wisconsin Soybean Association and UWEX.
These Corn and Soybean Conferences are designed to provide technical insight, practical advice and interaction with university and industry experts and fellow growers.

Those attending will learn about:
The "new" economics of production
Selling strategies for corn in the new market
Top 10 Yield Detractors in Soybean
Producer tips for successful corn production
Will we ever see $7/$15 corn/soybean again?
Cash versus futures pricing
Storage decisions
Evaluating market outlook and alternatives
Traffic management to reduce compaction
Producing 300 bushel corn - Lessons learned
Fungicides: Are they working yet?
The latest on Twin-row corn production
An update on trucking issues in Wisconsin

We encourage you to pre-register early since space is limited. Invite a neighbor to join you. Contact the County Extension Office that will be hosting the meeting you plan to attend.

The meeting dates and locations for the 2012 Wisconsin Corn and Soybean Conferences are:

Tuesday, January 17 – Seymour  – Doxbee’s Banquet Hall
Wednesday, January 18 – Menomonie – Stout Ale House
Thursday, January 19 – Darlington – Bridges Banquet Center

2012 Wisconsin Corn Conference Program

9:30 am
Coffee, milk, rolls in Exhibit Area

10:00 am
Opening remarks by Host Agent

10:10 am
2012 Corn Production and Management Keys to High Yields and Profitability
Dr. Joe Lauer - UWEX Corn Agronomist

11:00 am
What’s Ahead For Wisconsin Corn and Soybean Growers - How Our Associations Helps Producers
Mr. Bob Oleson - WCGA/WCPB Executive Director and WCGA/WCPB Directors
Mr. Bob Karls – WSA/WSMB Executive Director and WSA/WSMB Directors

11:30 am
What's New in Seeds and Ag Products for 2012
Industry Co-sponsor Representatives

12:00 pm   LUNCH
Exhibits open

1:00 pm
Top Ten Soybean Yield Limiting Factors
Dr. Shawn Conley – UWEX Agronomist

1:50 pm
Back-to-Back High Yields and Prices: Now Where?
Mr. David Moll - UWEX Ag Economist

2:40 pm
Tips for Successful Corn Production and Profitability

Seymour: Is less more? Are twins better than singles? – Kevin Jarek, Outagamie County Agent

Menomonie: Timing fungicide applications – Is there a benefit? – Katie Sternweis and Jerry Clark, Dunn and Chippewa County Agents

Darlington: Wisconsin Agricultural Transportation Regulations – Ted Bay, Grant County Agent and TBD, Wisconsin State Patrol-Motor Carrier Enforcement Section

3:30 pm
Conference Adjourns

Support for the 2012 Wisconsin Corn and Soybean Conferences provided by:
Dairyland Seed Company
First Capital Ag
Legacy Seeds
Legacy Seeds
Partners in Production
Mycogen Seed
Pioneer Hi-Bred
Contree Sprayer and Equipment Company
Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board
Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board

Please join us at a meeting in your area.  To download the brochure and registration form, click here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wisconsin Agronomy Update Meetings for 2012

The Department of Agronomy will offer Crop Production and Management Meetings at eight locations during 2012. Joe Lauer, Dan Undersander and Shawn Conley will present the latest information on hybrid/variety performance, an analysis and discussion of last year's growing season, and updated recommendations for field crop production. 

The registration fee includes a meal and materials. Please pre-register with the Host Agent. A “walk-in” (Late) fee will be charged to those who have not preregistered. Additional information packets will be available for $18.00 each. Certified Crop Advisor CEU credits have been requested (2.5 hours in Crop Management). Below is a list of topics, meeting sites, dates and times. Please join us at meeting in your area. 

Packet Materials
2011 Wisconsin Hybrid Corn Performance Trials - Grain and Silage (A3653)
2011 Wisconsin Soybean Variety Test Results (A3654)
2011 Perennial Forage Variety Update for Wisconsin (A1525)
Small grain varieties for grain and forage in Wisconsin - 2011 (A3868)
Alfalfa germination and growth
Management of white mold in soybean
Extension publications
Agronomy Advice articles
Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association updates

Discussion Topics
  • Performance of Roundup Ready alfalfa varieties
  • Getting a stand – Alfalfa germination and growth
  • Do we need to do tillage following soybean? The influence of residue management and planting date responses.
  • Corn silage hybrids – What’s new and how are they performing?
  • Soybean seed treatments: Quantifying profitability and separating active ingredients
Small Grains 
  • Do oats require intensive management?
Portage:  Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 7:30 am
Fond du Lac:  Tuesday, Jan. 3 at noon
Kimberly:  Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 7:30 am
Wausau:  Wednesday, Jan. 4 at noon
Eau Claire:  Thursday, Jan. 5 at 7:30 am
Sparta:  Thursday, Jan. 5 at noon
Janesville:  Friday, Jan. 6 at 7:30 am
Belmont:  Friday, Jan. 6 at noon

Please join us at a meeting in your area.To download the meeting brochure and registration information, click here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Testing Organic Corn Hybrids in Wisconsin

In 2011, the UW Corn Hybrid Evaluation program conducted an organic hybrid/variety trial for corn at 7 locations in Wisconsin. The objective is to provide producers information on performance and characteristics of corn in a certified organic production system. Where possible the trials were conducted using approved organic production practices. At other sites where land was not certified organic, the trials were placed alongside conventional trials. Seed used for the trials was either produced organically or was untreated.

South Central Zone: Fond du Lac, Galesville, Hancock                      Table 22
North Central Zone: Chippewa Falls, Marshfield, Seymour, Valders   Table 23

Organic production is defined as “a production system that is managed, in accordance with the Organic Food Production Act and Regulations (October 2002), to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity.” The organic system is “a plan of management of an organic production operation that has been agreed to by the producer and the certifying agent and includes written plans concerning all aspects of agricultural production  or handling described in the act and the regulations.

Since 2004, the UW Corn Agronomy program has evaluated organic hybrids for Wisconsin farmers. For results from previous years, see the UW Corn Hybrid Trials program webpage.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Weather summary for the Arlington and Marshfield Agricultural Experiment Stations

Spring planting during 2011 was challenging due to cool, wet planting conditions, especially in northeastern Wisconsin where planting progress was delayed. Over the entire growing season, growing degree-day accumulations were below the 30-year normal. Precipitation was below average in southern Wisconsin, while northern Wisconsin had above average precipitation. Due to a dry and cool September and October, good grain drying occurred. Little insect or disease pressure was observed in most trials. High winds caused above average plant lodging conditions at dry locations. The killing frost date occurred in October. Harvest grain moisture was lower than normal in all trials, while yields were above the 10-year average at most sites. Fall weather conditions were ideal for harvest and fall farm work.

Weather at Arlington significantly deviated from the 30-year normal average for both Growing Degree Unit accumulation and precipitation (Figure 1). Growing Degree Unitaccumulation was below normal as well as precipitation. Meanwhile, Marshfield ended the growing season comparable to the 30-year normal average (Figure 2).

Figure 1. Growing degree unit accumulation and precipitation at the UW-ARS in Arlington during 2011.

Figure 2. Growing degree unit accumulation and precipitation at the UW-ARS in Marshfield during 2011.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Location summary of the 2011 Wisconsin corn performance trials

The University of Wisconsin corn hybrid trials are a good indicator of the type of year experienced by farmers around the state. These trials tend to be planted early and harvested at optimal times, so they are  are a good estimate of potential yields at various locations over an entire growing season (see map).

Grain yields were above the 10-year average at 9 of 12 locations (Table 1). Yield was below the 10-year average at Arlington, Hancock and Valders. For example, at Arlington during the 10-year period between 2001 to 2010, a total of 1988 hybrids were tested with an average yield of 216 bu/A. At Arlington during 2011,  150 hybrids averaged 194 bu/A. The 2011 yield was 10% below the previous 10-year average. The highest yielding locations were Janesville and Lancaster at 230 and 231 bu/A averaged over 150 hybrids. The lowest yielding location was Valders at 151 bu/A averaged over 144 hybrids tested. The location with the greatest increase was Spooner, which yielded 17% above the 10-year average.

Table 1. Grain summary of locations in the 2011 Wisconsin corn performance trials. Yield is in bushels per Acre at 15.5% moisture.

Silage yields were above the 10-year average for 8 of 9 sites (Table 2). For example at Arlington during the period between 2001 and 2010, a total of 642 hybrids produced an average yield of 9.6 T/A. In 2011, 62 hybrids produced an average yield of 9.2 T/A. This was a 4% decrease over the previous 10-year average. The highest yielding location was Galesville at 9.9 T/A. The location with the greatest increase was Coleman with an 18% increase over the previous 10-year average.

Table 2. Silage summary of locations in the 2011 Wisconsin corn performance trials. Yield is in Tons dry matter per Acre.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New features in the report on Wisconsin Corn Hybrid Performance Trials

Some new features were added to the 2011 report on Wisconsin corn hybrid trials. In Table 2, transgenic traits are described by the technology brand of the developing company with traits listed after the technology brand.

Specific transgenic events of the technologies are listed in Table 3. The year that these technologies were first introduced into the UW corn trials is listed along with the number of hybrids that were tested for each technology in 2011. For example, 96 hybrids were tested with the Agrisure® 3000GT technology which was first introduced into the trials in 2008. The second most popular hybrid technology was Genuity™ VT Triple Pro™ with 73 hybrids tested using the technology. The third most popular technology was YieldGard® VT Triple with 53 hybrids. A total of 83 conventional hybrids were tested in the trials this year.

Since 2004, we have tested 146 different seed treatment combinations on hybrids entered into the trial. The most popular seed treatment in 2011 (a total of 121 hybrids) in the trial was Dynasty+MaximXL | Cruiser25 (Table 4).

We have decided to include an extra location in the northern production zone (see map), which brings the total number of locations in this zone to five grain trials and four silage trials. Statewide there are 15 locations for testing grain hybrids and 11 locations for testing silage hybrids.

The final major change in the report was the performance tables themselves (Tables 7 to 23). Only traits are listed in the tables, rather than specific transgenic events

These new features are intended to make the report more readable and useful for farmers. Any suggestions for improvements are always appreciated.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

University of Wisconsin Crop Variety and Hybrid Trial Results

Results from the 2011 crop variety trials conducted by the University of Wisconsin can be found at the websites below. These trials are a "consumer report" of commercial varieties and hybrids offered for sale to farmers in Wisconsin. These results are derived from replicated plots grown around Wisconsin at university research stations and farmer fields.

These results offer the best predictor for next year's potential performance of crop varieties. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Every year, the University of WisconsinExtension-Madison and College of Agricultural and Life Sciences conduct a cornevaluation program, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Crop ImprovementAssociation. The purpose of this program is to provide unbiased performancecomparisons of hybrid seed corn available in Wisconsin. These trials evaluatecorn hybrids for both grain and silage production performance.

In 2011, grain and silage performance trials wereplanted at thirteen locations in four production zones. Both seed companies anduniversity researchers submitted hybrids. The results are posted at http://corn.agronomy.wisc.edu/HT/

This report is available in Microsoft Excel and Acrobat PDF formats at the Wisconsin Corn Agronomy website: http://corn.agronomy.wisc.edu.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Handling immature corn after an early frost

For many corn growers, the 2011 growing season came to an end last night over much of northern Wisconsin. Corn in many areas had not reached physiological maturity and was killed prematurely. Corn is killed when temperatures are near 32 F for a few hours, and when temperatures are near 28 F for a few minutes. A damaging frost can occur when temperatures are slightly above 32 F and conditions are optimum for rapid heat loss from the leaves to the atmosphere, i.e. clear skies, low humidity, no wind. At temperatures between 32 to 40 F, damage may be quite variable and strongly influenced by small variations in slope or terrain that affect air drainage and thermal radiation, creating small frost pockets. Field edges, low lying areas, and the top leaves on the plant are at greatest risk. Greener corn has more frost resistance than yellowing corn.

Symptoms of frost damage will start to show up about 1 to 2 days after a frost. Frost symptoms are water soaked leaves that eventually turn brown. Because it is difficult to distinguish living from dead tissue immediately after a frost event, the assessment should be delayed 5 to 7 days.

For fields that only had light frost damage, it is too early to harvest. Growing conditions may improve during September allowing the crop to mature and produce reasonable grain and silage yields.

For fields that were harder hit by frost, farmers will need to manage frost damaged corn silage and grain. For some useful guidelines see http://corn.agronomy.wisc.edu/Management/L041.aspx.