Nick Weidenbenner

Nick Weidenbenner

Getting farmland back on track in 2020 is a goal for growers who experienced prevented planting in 2019.

As growers work to get their farmland producing in 2020, they will consider their 2019 field management, said Nick Weidenbenner, BASF seed agronomist, from Farmington, Minn.

With wet and cold conditions in May, growers in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota reported over 5 million acres of prevented planting.

Fortunately, no two growing seasons are ever the same, and growers are hopeful that conditions will turn around in 2020.

The issue of prevent planting means corn/soybean growers now have to decide if they will stay with their rotation and return to their 2018 crop or plant the crop they intended to plant in 2019.

Growers who were able to get a cover crop seeded may have an advantage over those that didn’t, according to Weidenbenner.

“If a cover crop got established, especially a blend, that would help break up the pest cycle and could increase nutrient availability,” he said. “Growers could get a fresh start in the crop rotation they choose for 2020.”

For growers who did get a cover crop planted on prevented planting acres, the 2020 economics favor planting corn.

In fields where no cover crop was planted, there can be a yield penalty for planting corn after corn, or soybeans after soybeans. Growers will want to talk with their agronomist about fallow field syndrome that could lead to phosphorus deficiencies in the spring. This could affect corn production early in the growing season. If a grower wanted to plant soybeans after soybeans to maintain a rotation, there could be a 10 percent yield loss, he said.

“A lot of pathogens that survive in the soil and on soybean residue can be quicker to infect and cause disease in the following year. Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) control will be a significant concern because the population will just continue to escalate,” he said.

In Minnesota, SCN can have five life cycles in a growing season. With another five life cycles during a repeated growing season, the impact could increase SCN for several years out. “In addition to planting a SCN resistant variety, growers should consider using a nematicide seed treatment, like ILEVO, to help manage SCN populations in their fields.”

According to Minnesota Ag Statistics, about 7 percent of the corn crop remained unharvested as of Dec. 8. Weather over the next several months will determine when the corn will be harvested. Following corn harvest, soybeans will likely be planted. Soybeans have a long planting window, and even early maturing soybeans can do well given the right conditions.

“When reality comes in and you’re harvesting your corn in the spring, then you’re going to be turning around and preparing that field for soybeans,” Weidenbenner said. “Pay attention to fertility needs. It’s not fun to spend time waiting for that fertilizer pass, but certainly, replacing that potash is going to be important for the soybean crop.

“If fertility wasn’t able to be managed appropriately for 2019, it would need to be addressed for the 2020 season before you start depleting the soil too much,” he added.

BASF offerings

Weidenbenner worked with the Credenz soybean line for four years in Illinois before moving to Minnesota one year ago.

“Our new trait for soybeans – LibertyLink GT27 has been an exciting launch, now in its second year,” he said. “Credenz 1660GTLL (1.6 relative maturity) would be a highlight variety within the Credenz brand.”

Out of 43 new varieties, BASF is offering 15 Credenz varieties with 0.1-2.0 relative maturity. Thirteen of those products offer LibertyLink GT27.

“There were many fields that had no weed control at all in 2019, so several weed species were able to go to seed,” he said. “This is really a great opportunity for growers to maximize their weed control options and consider Liberty (Glufosinate) as a platform with the LibertyLink GT27 system.”

Weidenbenner said the LibertyLink GT27 trait allows growers to use Liberty herbicide as well as glyphosate to simplify application.

“Growers are able to use Liberty to control some of the weed problems that might be coming in 2020,” he said, adding that varieties with the LibertyLink GT27 trait are tolerant to the first HPPD-based herbicide for soybeans, pending EPA approval.

BASF officials are pleased with what they have seen from LibertyLink GT27. The system is built on a higher yielding platform and the Credenz brand has been championing the new trait.

In addition to Credenz 1660GTLL, Weidenbenner said Credenz 1139GTLL (1.1 RM) has done exceptionally well in higher pH, iron deficiency chlorosis soils. Both varieties have been standouts for white mold tolerance.

BASF is proud that the Credenz soybean brand is one of only five breeding programs producing commercial soybean varieties for the United States, and as one of the top four research and development agricultural companies. BASF can also offer full season technical support with their seed treatments, crop protection and plant health products.

“There’s a lot that we can help the growers with, certainly from managing their diseases with market-leading seed treatments, as well as state-of-the-art fungicides to protect the crop and bring yields to the next level,” he said. “Credenz is a great soybean choice on its own, but it’s really going to stand out being part of the whole BASF portfolio.”

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