AgroLiquid on Rural America LIVE

AgroLiquid’s goal is to prosper the farmer while safeguarding the environment. Learn how they are different from any other fertilizer company in the industry today as experts discuss details about their line of high-performance fertilizers formulated with scientifically based recommendations to help growers achieve the best possible production yields while employing sustainable agricultural practices.

Fertilizer Program Sustainability in Corn 2011-2015

Senior Research Manager, Dr. Jerry Wilhm discusses how and why the lower applied rates of AgroLiquid nutrients are sustainable and more efficient in feeding the plant the nutrients it needs to thrive. In this short video, Dr. Wilhm further demonstrates this through a four-year sustainability study from the North Central Research Station (NCRS).

Download a pdf version of Fertilizer Sustainability in Corn

Research Field Days 2015

NCRS Harvest Re-Cap

In the newest, installment of video from the North Central Research Station, Dr. Jerry Wilhm provides a comprehensive harvest re-cap, giving a glimpse into the harvest process that make AgroLiquid plot work possible.

Dr. Brian Levene also makes an appearance. Brian addresses grower questions from George McDonald of Catesa Farms in Riddleton, TN. Catesa Farms is a producer of high quality plasticulture strawberries and George is looking for the best step-by-step fertility program to bring sweet, firm berries with a good shelf life to market.

5 Popular Cover Crops

As interest in cover crops continues to grow many producers are looking for the best tried-and-true crops to blanket their fields this fall. While no cover crop is perfect for all situations a few stand out among the competition time and time again. In a web poll conducted by No-Till Farmer between mid-July and mid-August, 2014, respondents consistently reported plans to utilize five cover crops above all others.

Predictably, the popular Tillage Radish topped No-Tillers’ lists, with 62% of poll takers planning to plant radishes as part of their cover crop rotation in 2014. The practice of using radishes in a cover crop rotation has gained traction in recent years as more producers are turning to no and reduced tillage practices in an effort to reduce compaction and erosion while increasing soil organic matter. The tillage radish’s deep tap root has proven a valuable alternative tillage tool in and of itself, no doubt aiding in its skyrocketing popularity.

While Cereal Rye didn’t bring in quite as many votes as Tillage Radishes, more than half of respondents reported plans to plant the crop this year. Its ease of establishment and performance as both a nutrient scavenger and erosion controller are likely among the top reasons for its high ranking, though producers should be aware that cereal rye does not winter kill — a trait that can be either positive or negative depending on your circumstances.

Clover came in third in the poll, with 35% of respondents reporting plans to include the legume in their cover crops this fall. Compared to many other cover crops, clover’s low growth and nitrogen-fixing abilities can be a big advantage to producers looking for those traits along with their erosion control. Last, but not least, Annual Ryegrass and Oats came in a close fourth and fifth in the survey with 32% and 31% of respondents reporting plans to utilize them, respectively. While Annual ryegrass offers very high palatability for producers looking to turn stock out on their fields, oats are a top choice at the AgroLiquid North Central Research Station, where Senior Research Manager Jerry Wilhm reports they are easy to establish and offer the winter kill the busy research team prefers.

Cover crops can be a valuable tool in a well-rounded production toolbox. In combination with the 4-R’s of nutrient stewardship, cover crops can help producers better manage both the plant nutrition in their fields and their nutrient applications. Valuable as erosion control and helpers of both soil tilth and organic matter, cover crops can be both production and public relations-friendly — especially for farms near and inside sensitive watershed regions. For more information, reach out to an AgroLiquid Sales Account Manager near you.

LIVE FROM THE NCRS: Research in Oklahoma

So I was back in Oklahoma last week.  By chance, there was a farmer tour that I was able to attend at a place that helped to steer me down the road of crop research.  It was at the Caddo Research Station near Ft. Cobb in SW OK.  As an undergraduate college student at Oklahoma State University, I got a job at the OSU Agronomy Farm in the Weed Science department helping with field plots.  One of the farms where we established replicated plots for herbicide evaluations in peanuts was this one right here.  It’s a couple of hours drive here from OSU in Stillwater, but I was down here frequently back in the day. So it was fun to be back on the farm for the first time in….well, many years.


One memory I have of the place is the time I was driving here and turned on the radio and they were playing all of these Elvis Presley songs.  I remember thinking “did Elvis die or something?”  And sure enough as I drove down this lane to the station, the announcer said that Elvis had in fact, died that day.  It was August 16, 1977.  So I remember that moment 37 years ago, but admittedly this morning is a little fuzzy.


Actually, AgroLiquid was one of the sponsors of this tour, being the farming community boosters that we are.  I was accompanied by Area Sales Manager Ed Granger who lives nearby, and field agronomist Reid.  Here we see Ed and Reid pulling each other’s leg, although don’t pull Reid’s too hard right now.  (You know, that’s another one of those odd sayings.  I like to joke around, but really have no desire to actually pull someone’s leg. Who knows where it’s been?  There’s probably some strange origin of that. I’ll let you know if there is.)



One stop was to see some of the new genetics in cotton for dicamba tolerance, which is the XtendFlex trait.  Dicamba is the active ingredient in the herbicide Banvel, or Clarity as it is now.  Well dicamba can drift and even small amounts are pretty harsh on cotton.  But they have incorporated dicamba tolerance now to go along with glyphosate (Roundup) and glufosinate (Liberty) tolerance.  So this gives other options for weed control where resistance could be an issue.  These were from Deltapine and Americot seeds, and it will be several years till wide-spread sales.  But I wonder how smooth the transition will be.  Everyone probably has a dicamba story, but I remember spraying Banvel on corn at the NCRS years ago.  We had poly (polyethylene) tanks on the sprayer then.  We then cleaned the tank, thoroughly we thought, to spray something else. Well we sprayed two tanks of something else on corn, and then loaded up a tank of Roundup to spray some soybeans, and later saw some dicamba injury on those beans! After that we converted to stainless steel sprayer tanks.  So we will see how the transition goes. I forgot to say that since this is still under development, they had it all roped off and you had to sign your name in order to view the plots. It was similar to the Enlist trait in soybeans for 2,4-D tolerance that I reported on from the Ag Ph.D field day in July.


Another stop was to look at different peanut varieties being tested, both established and experimental. They also had some stops for cotton and peanut weed control.  But sadly nothing being researched on fertility.  Hmmm.


We also stopped to see our replicated plot research  at a facility in Hinton.  That’s Area Sales Manager Parker Christian on the right with Reid.  (He proudly wears his Aggie hat everywhere. Nice to see that in Oklahoma.  Not.)  It looks like something has caught Reid’s eye.

IMG_3065Yikes. On the underside of a milo leaf there is an explosion of what looks like aphids.  Well Parker and Reid informed me that they are Sugarcane Aphids.  Well I had never heard of these and they are new this year to Oklahoma.  I did a little reading and it seems that they blew up from Texas this year, having moved over from Sugarcane in Louisiana over a decade ago.  But they haven’t really been much of a problem in Texas sorghum until last year.  And now here they are in OK.  Although you can’t see it from here, they are all female, and produce asexually (what?).  They actually give live birth to 8 to 20 baby aphids.  That’s why you see different sizes in the pic.  And so many.  Well they aren’t babies for long as they reproduce again in only 2 to 7 days after they are born themselves.  So no boys, no prom….no fun.  See those black things?  Those are Ladybug larvae eating them.  But they are definitely not keeping up.  If you see 40% of plants infested, then it suggested to spray. Dimethoate is effective.  But infested plants decline in growth and grain production, especially with early infestation.  These were likely recently attacked.


Here is another problem.  The leaves underneath the infested leaves become all wet with aphid Honeydew.(Can’t believe in ancient times they drank this stuff.)  Well this can clog up a combine at harvest if there are too many infested plants.



Fortunately our plants were below threshold and harvest isn’t that far off anyway.  But if they are able to overwinter up here, then look out next year.  (Note: the lighter leaves on the right half are that way in the pic due to the sun angle, not from aphids or treatment differences.  Now some underhanded researchers may say it’s a treatment difference, but we’re too honest.  No, really.)

Well I learned some things on this trip, although I could have done without the aphid education. Farming is tough enough already.  Tomorrow I will show some more Oklahoma adventures in real farmer fields.  Tune in again.  You’ll be glad you did, and no pests will be mentioned.  Well besides Reid that is.



The Nutrients That Matter To Citrus Production

What are the nutrients that are most critical to citrus fruit color, weight and size; juice content and color; acid and soluble solids content; and peel thickness — the most important characteristics of a good citrus crop?

It’s about applying the right nutrients at the right time, says Bob Rouse, associate professor and citrus horticulturist at University of Florida IFAS. Citrus trees are most active and develop new growth the first six months of the year, so that would be the time to apply about 2/3 of nutrients applied to a crop.

“Rains always work against you,” Rouse says. “That’s another reason to get 2/3 of fertilizer out in the first half of the year. Florida’s rainy season doesn’t start until June or early July. The tree stores fertilizer nutrients really well before then.”
According to Rouse, there are four nutrients that most affect these key characteristics of citrus: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.

#1: Nitrogen
Of course, the number one element is nitrogen and the amount taken up by trees can positively or negatively affect citrus fruits. There is a balance between under and over application that can make the difference between a successful citrus harvest and a disappointing one.

• Adding nitrogen increases fruit juice content.
• Increases soluble solids (sugars) and increases acid slightly. Growers need to balance the increases from the sugars and the slight increase in the acid, which affects the flavor of the fruit and can lead to an acidic-tasting juice.
• Increases the juice color. Increasing solids or sugars on per box basis is what growers are paid for. “[Increasing nitrogen] will increase the sugar, so that means growers get more money,” Rouse says. “There’s a relationship there between profit and use of nitrogen.”
• Too much nitrogen can make the fruit green, preventing it from coloring up, and also makes an undesirable thicker peel.
• Too much nitrogen will make fruit puffy inside with less juice, as well.

#2: Phosphorus
Phosphorus applied during citrus production can work to counteract too much nitrogen, and a healthy balance between them is important.

• If you exceed the recommended ranges of phosphorus, it can negatively affect the acid content, pulling it down.
• Excess phosphorus can also increase the ratio of sugars to acid, since acid is decreasing during fruit maturity.
• Phosphorus has no effect on fruit size or weight, but will make fruit stay green if over applied, as nitrogen also does.
• Phosphorus can also help to keep peel thickness to a minimum.

#3: Potassium
Potassium does have quite an effect on the external part of the fruit.

• Potassium can increase your fruit size and weight.
• Over application of potassium can cause the fruit to stay green and not color up at the end of the season.
• Potassium can keep the peel thickness from being too thick.
• Potassium may increase acids, but it can also increase sugars.

4: Magnesium
Magnesium is the last nutrient that has much effect on the fruit directly. Chlorophyll is the driving force for making sugars in fruit. The magnesium is the center of the chlorophyll molecule, so plenty of magnesium means plenty of chlorophyll.

• In addition to increasing sugars, magnesium will also increase the ratio of the amount of sugars to the amount of acid and will result in a better tasting fruit or juice. That’s the main function of magnesium.
• Externally, magnesium can increase size and weight of fruit, because you’re increasing sugar content, which results in a heavier fruit.
• Magnesium can negatively affect the peel thickness, however.

To apply the optimum amount of nitrogen to citrus, refer to the ranges set forth by University of Florida Extension for leaf content for nitrogen, potassium on page 27 of Nutrition Of Florida Citrus Trees.

Nitrogen Placement Comparison in Corn South Dakota Ag Research. Lesterville, SD

Experiment Info aaaaaa

Planted: 6/11
Variety: DKC49-29
Population: 26,000
Row Spacing: 30”
Previous Crop: Corn
Plot Size: 4 rows x 10’
Replications: 4
Sidedress: 11/8
Harvested: 11/8

Soil Test Values (ppm)

pH: 6.4
CEC: 16.8
% OM: 3.1
Bray P1: 10
K: 136
S: 13
% K: 2
% Mg: 27.3
% Ca: 63.4
% H: 7.3
Zn: 0.4
Mn: 15.6
B: 0.3


Compare placement of different nitrogen sources for effect on corn yield. Application of nitrogen to corn can be a challenge. What is the best method of application? Some growers apply all of their solution nitrogen as a single application after planting as in weed and feed. Side dress is a common application method, but there too are options: inject into the soil or apply in a surface band? An experiment was conducted in South Dakota to provide some answers to these placement options. The spring was very wet and planting was delayed. In fact, the intended location was never able to be planted, and a second location was selected. However, this was corn in 2012, and all nitrogen application at sidedress is not a good option for corn following corn due to N depletion in the soil and danger of further yield loss if sidedress is delayed by weather. But due to the drought in 2012, soil test determined that there was 51 lb of N available to the crop in the spring. An N application rate of 140 lb/A was set. Three UAN sources were selected for comparison: 46 gal/A of 28% UAN, 33 gal/A of High NRG-N and 28 gal/A of High NRG-N. Stream nozzles were selected due to the corn stalks and residue. Applications were broadcast with stream nozzles after planting, sidedress with soil injection, and sidedress with a narrow surface band. All plots received 4 gal/A of Pro-Germinator + 2 gal/A of Sure-K + 1 qt/A of Micro 500 applied in-furrow at planting. Ample rain fell following the broadcast application, and rain fell within a week of the sidedress application. Yield results appear in the chart.


• Yield patterns were similar for all three N sources. Highest yield was with the broadcast application followed closely by the sidedress (SD) injected treatment. Lowest was with the surface dribble band. Ample rain likely influenced results. Will see about a repeat.

Planter Fertilizer Comparisons in Irrigated Corn Real Farm Research. Aurora, NE

Experiment Info 2013

Planted: 5/6
Variety: DKC 63-84
Population: 32,000
Row Spacing: 30”
Previous Crop: Soybeans
Plot Size: 4 rows x 153’
Replications: 2
PRE: 4/29
Harvest: 10/27

Soil Test Values (ppm)

pH: 7.1
CEC: 25
% OM: 3.3
Bray P1: 33
K: 406
S: 20
% K: 4.2
% Mg: 8
% Ca: 88
% H: 0
Zn: 1.55
Mn: 87.3


Compare several planter applied fertilizer options for effect on yield of irrigated corn. In this part of South Central Nebraska, a typical corn fertilizer program is a fall application of 200 lb-N per acre and then 5 gal/A of 10-34-0 applied in the seed furrow at planting. This experiment compared several planter-applied fertilizer applications in comparison to no planter fertilizer. They included the standard 5 gal/A of 10-34-0, a half rate of Pro-Germinator + Micro 500, that treatment with the sulfur fertilizer eNhance, and then this combination but with 5 gal/A of Pro-Germinator. The soil test P is high at 33 ppm as is the soil test S at 20 ppm. But yield expectations are high with this furrow-irrigated corn. Yield results appear in the chart.


• All planter fertilizer treatments yielded significantly higher than the no planter fertilizer treatment. (At the 0.2 level of probability).

• The highest yielding treatment was the higher rate of Pro-Germinator with Micro 500 and eNhance. But there was no statistically significant difference between the planter treatments.

• Numerically there was a yield increase with the addition of eNhance, which is a good way to add sulfur fertilizer.