ALCIVIA is excited to announce that we are enhancing our precision agronomy product line with tools to allow for predictive decision-making. Just like when constructing a building, a solid foundation is the most important. For this reason, we will be starting with the foundation of growing a crop: the soil. ALCIVIA’s suite of precision agronomy tools in our YieldEDGE Advanced Agronomy product line will take the approach to soil health and crop productivity from reactive to proactive; building a strong foundation for success.

Each year, we make many important decisions around seed selection, seed treatments, fungicides, nutrient rates, nutrient safeners, biological products, and more. As we look at the decision-making process today, it could be calculated, based on experience, industry best practices, or trial and guesswork. There are a multitude of products that can be used in crop production today. The challenge is making sure the products are positioned appropriately to perform to the best of their ability.

Crop rotations have often been thought to cure many of the weed, disease, and insect cycles that can become worse if the field is used to grow the same crop year after year. While crop rotation is an important part of integrated crop management, it can produce unwanted surprises. Surprises such as these have previously been extremely difficult to predict and plan for.

Starting with the foundation, YieldEDGE Advanced Agronomy is utilizing the same trusted local soil lab partners while bringing an additional layer of information. ALCIVIA is partnering with a leading soil genomics laboratory to bring additional layers to the standard soil sample. What this means at the field level is ALCIVIA will have the ability to use the soil DNA to make proactive decisions around seed variety and placement along with fungicide planning.

YieldEDGE Advanced Agronomy also steps into the area of biological activity, or lack thereof, in the soil. How is your phosphorus conversion from organic matter to available inorganic P205? YieldEDGE Advanced Agronomy helps predict this and plan for a strategy for the future. The same works for other nutrients. Risk of nitrogen loss? No worries; YieldEDGE Advanced Agronomy has a predictive index for this and the associated planning. What are your disease and insect levels? Some soil insects and nematodes, along with disease pathogens, can be detected to help put together a proactive approach.

Many areas we manage in a crop production calendar tend to be a reaction to something discovered in the crop while it grows. YieldEDGE Advanced Agronomy creates a proactive approach so that manageable problems can be solved through better agronomy. ALCIVIA is looking ahead and is excited to add even more cutting-edge solutions to our YieldEDGE program soon. Please reach out to your ALCIVIA agronomist to discuss how we can help you become ALL. TOGETHER. PROACTIVE. with your operation.

Much of Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and eastern Minnesota have experienced drier than normal starts to the growing season. As we all look and hope for the timely rains over the balance of the season, there are bound to be doubts as to what to invest into the crop. As we approach the reproductive stage of both corn and soybeans, we must stay vigilant in winning. No one wants to play the game to lose, and as we approach the next critical stages in plant development, we need to be mindful of that. Some crops have been put under significant stress and are already fighting the fight, so what can we do to help?

Fungicides, insecticides, micronutrients, and biostimulants may seem far-fetched this season, but all can bring value as the crop finishes. There is still potential to grow a strong crop, but we need to make sure to do all we can to help manage plant stress. In a weakened state, the plant will not be able to fight off disease as it could in perfect weather conditions. Don’t count on the dry weather keeping the disease out of your neighborhood. It doesn’t take much time for bugs or disease to change the future of the crop, so let’s protect what is currently there.

When it comes to micronutrients and biostimulants, pollination and ear fill is a critical time to utilize them. The plant needs micronutrients this time of year to truly help with pollination and ear fill.  Look to a product like PROVANT® Pulse for a well-balanced package of the needed nutrients. The biostimulant space is filled with many products to choose from, but make sure to stay focused on what has dependable data along with a product that is built for the timeframe of reproduction. YieldOn is a biostimulant that increases row crops’ productivity in cell metabolism, division, and expansion, all while improving the transport of sugars and nutrients. All these items are critically important during the reproductive phase as the plant focuses on pollination and grain fill.

Please reach out to your ALCIVIA agronomist for information on how to best pair these

products together to help win the game at the end of the season.


Micronutrients are essential elements that are required by plants in very small quantities for optimal growth and development. While macronutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK), are required in larger amounts, micronutrients, such as zinc, iron, manganese, and boron, play a crucial role in ensuring optimal plant health and productivity.

In corn and soybean production, the use of micronutrients can have a significant impact on crop yields and quality. Here are some ways micronutrient use can benefit corn and soybean production:

  1. Improved plant growth and development. Micronutrients play a critical role in various plant processes, such as photosynthesis, enzyme activation, and hormone regulation. By ensuring that the plants have access to these essential nutrients, farmers can promote healthy growth and development, leading to higher yields.
  2. Increased disease resistance. Micronutrient deficiencies can weaken plants and make them more susceptible to diseases and pests. By providing plants with the necessary micronutrients, farmers can help strengthen their crops’ natural defense mechanisms, reducing the risk of disease and pest damage.
  3. Enhanced nutrient uptake. Micronutrients can also improve the plant’s ability to absorb and utilize other essential nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. This can lead to improved nutrient use efficiency and better overall plant health.
  4. Improved crop quality. Micronutrient use can also help improve crop quality by promoting the production of higher-quality grains and seeds. This can increase the market value of the crop and benefit farmers financially.

Overall, the use of micronutrients in corn and soybean production can have a significant impact on crop yields, quality, and profitability. It’s best to consult with a trusted agronomist to determine the right micronutrient fertilizers and application rates for your specific crop and soil conditions.


Please reach out to your ALCIVIA agronomist

to discuss the right micronutrient package for your operation.


Weed management is critical for successful corn and soybean production, as it affects crop yield, quality, and overall profitability. Timely scouting for weeds and implementing appropriate control measures are essential for both crops.

Timing of scouting

Scouting for weeds should be done at least three times during the growing season for both corn and soybeans:

Weeds coming out of the ground in a field. Identification is essential for weed scouting.

  • Pre-planting: Scout the field before planting to identify any existing weed problems and determine the need for pre-emergent herbicides. It is important during this trip to look for winter annuals that are difficult to control, especially if you are in a no-till production system. Marestail is a key weed to check for in soybeans, for example.
  • Early post-emergence: Scout the field two to three weeks after planting. For corn, this corresponds to the V2-V4 growth stage; for soybeans, this is the V1-V2 stage. Scouting at this time will let you know if you need to make any adjustments to your post-emerge weed control plan.
  • Mid-season: Scout the field when corn is in the V6-V8 stage and soybeans are in the R1-R2 stage, as both crops have developed their canopy. This helps identify any problems that might have occurred with your post weed control pass and identify any late emerging weeds or other issues.

Identification of weeds

Proper weed identification is crucial for effective weed control. Learn to recognize common weeds in corn and soybean fields, including:

  • Broadleaf weeds: Examples include velvetleaf, water hemp, lambs quarters, and giant ragweed. Broadleaf weeds can be identified by their wide, flat leaves, and irregular leaf edges.
  • Grass weeds: Examples include foxtail, wooly cupgrass, and crabgrass. Grass weeds have narrow leaves with parallel veins and rounded stems.
  • Sedges: Yellow nutsedge is the most common sedge found in corn and soybean fields. Sedges have triangular stems and grass-like leaves. Only a few herbicides effectively control sedges, so identification of them is particularly important if your fields have a history of yellow nutsedge.

Scouting techniques

When scouting for weeds, walk through the field in a systematic pattern, such as a W or X pattern, to cover different areas of the field. Use the following techniques for effective scouting:

  • Observe the overall field condition: Look for patterns in weed distribution, such as areas with high weed density or specific weed species. This can indicate soil fertility issues, poor drainage, or herbicide resistance.
  • Examine individual plants: Inspect corn and soybean plants for signs of weed competition, such as reduced growth or discoloration.
  • Record your findings: Take notes on weed species, distribution, and density. There are many scouting apps available that allow you to record GPS reference points of particularly bad weed issues.

Monitoring herbicide resistance

Herbicide resistance is a growing concern in corn and soybean production. To detect and manage resistant weed populations:

  • Rotate herbicide modes of action: Use herbicides with different modes of action to reduce the selection pressure for resistance development.
  • Monitor weed populations after herbicide applications: Scout fields 10-14 days after herbicide application to assess control effectiveness. If weeds show little to no injury, they may be resistant to the applied herbicide.
  • Collect and submit weed samples for resistance testing: If you suspect herbicide resistance, collect weed samples, and submit them to a laboratory for testing.

Scouting for weeds in corn and soybean fields is a crucial component of integrated weed management. By following the best practices outlined above, growers can identify, and control weed problems early in the growing season, minimizing yield losses and maximizing profitability. Remember to scout regularly, identify weeds accurately, monitor herbicide resistance, and implement targeted control measures to achieve a successful harvest.

If you have questions regarding weed scouting, reach out to your ALCIVIA agronomist.

  1. Going the wrong speed

Make sure you are going the proper speed for your planter. Most think that this only means not to go too fast, but you should also avoid going too slow. Most planters require the seed meter to be turning at least at a minimum , 3-4 mph, to keep the seed flowing and the meter filled to the proper level to help create consistent . Too fast is not good either, as your seed could miss its mark, roll off-target, or alter the field population.

  1. Overcomplicating your attachments

There are a plethora of attachments that can be put on a planter. Fertilizer, both in-furrow and side dress, row cleaners, no-till coulters, insecticide, seed firmers, and so on, all can be necessary attachments in many cases. But don’t get so caught up in your planter’s attachments that when it comes to getting your seed at the correct depth and spacing, you struggle to work around all the attachments. Every attachment you add is another point of failure that can shut you down and prevent planting until repaired.

  1. Overlooking improper settings

Planters are complicated pieces of equipment, weighing several tons and spanning up to 120-feet wide, they lay tiny seeds into the ground with sub inch accuracy over hundreds of acres. It’s easy to overlook how large of an impact planter settings can have, even when off by the smallest margins. Constant monitoring of these settings is vital throughout the season for consistent yields and ROI. For more on planter settings, see our article, “Four times you should check your planter settings.”

  1. Not manually checking seed placement frequently enough

Verify the seed is at the correct depth and spacing at different places and times. Commonly, checks are not done often enough to get consistently accurate and precise placement. Others rely too heavily on their monitor as a guarantee that the seed is planting right, but the only real way to know is to dig your seed up and verify with your own eyes.

  1. Using improper levels of talc and graphite

With today’s seed treatments, treatment buildup can easily cause issues in any planter. These treatments are often sticky enough to clog hoses, cause seed clumps, or prevent seed singulation. Adding the proper amount of talc, graphite, or a combination of both, will dry your seed treatment and help keep the meter clean, along with help lubricate the moving parts. Be sure to check with your agronomist or planter manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific planter, seed treatment, and talc/graphite combination and be careful to add the proper amounts.

  1. Failing to clean the planter often enough

Fertilizer, mud, and trash can buildup in every nook and cranny of your equipment. This isn’t just messy; it can hide issues with the planter or even cause you harm. These dirty spots may not be “just dirt,” but insecticide, fertilizer, and other chemicals, which can affect the way your equipment places seed. Don’t neglect normal equipment cleanings, and always wash fertilizer off as it can cause corrosion and electrical issues.

  1. Check for mechanical wear before every planting season

A planter is a complicated piece of equipment – any number of things could have worn out enough to become slightly off between seasons. “Set it and forget it” doesn’t apply here. Do routine maintenance checks on your planter before every planting season. Get these things sorted well ahead of time or they could come back to bite you during a tight planting window.

  1. On the first day of planting

While you might think to yourself, “The planter worked last year,” it’s always better to take the extra few minutes to confirm your settings are correct. Even if the planter is still in great shape and everything is working right, that field is not the same field it was last year. Small changes in soil moisture, temperature, and residue need to be accounted for each year with changes to your planter settings.

  1. When switching crop or soil types

Not only can conditions for your planter shift between seasons, but during the season it is even easier to overlook improper settings as you move from field to field. Every field is a little bit different; soil type, moisture, residue, and crop variations all need to be factored in when preparing your planter settings. Don’t move too fast from field to field because any time you make up in planting speed will be overshadowed by money lost from seed planted at the wrong depth or spacing for its exact needs in the soil. 

  1. Whenever you get a failure or system warning

When you get a warning alert in your planter, it’s easy to assume the technology is just acting up. However, these are very precise machines, and often the system will know if something is wrong before you will. If you are questioning whether the alert is correct, take the time to check it. Make it a priority to understand the ins and outs of all the technology that is on your planter and believe it when it is warning you of failure or misadjustment. Planting too deep or shallow, with the wrong spacing, wrong population, with skips and doubles, or with the wrong fertilizer distribution, could cause your crop yield to vary dramatically.

  1. Always put in safety stops when working on the planter

Safety stops are critical to stop you from getting harmed. Safety stops are the last layer of protection if something goes wrong while you’re working on your equipment. You could get partially crushed, or even killed, without safety stops in place. With the stops engaged, turn the tractor off, take the key out of the ignition, and put it in your pocket for safety’s sake.

  1. Watch for low overhead powerlines

Planters vary greatly in size, with some of the largest being 48-row units that are 120 feet wide. These arms can easily reach powerlines and other low-hanging infrastructure cables that are often near the entry points of fields. Go slow, checking your arm height and clearance space as you go. These powerlines pose a serious risk for electrocution to you and damage to your equipment.

  1. Handle seed, fertilizer, and insecticides with personal protective equipment (PPE)

While crucial for a successful crop, the makeup of fertilizer, insecticides, and even some seed mixes are not safe for direct contact with your skin, mouth, eyes, or lungs. Even if you don’t intend to leave the cab, always have PPE with you in case you need it. Nobody expects you to know the exact chemical makeup of the products you’re using, but it’s important to read and follow the safety guidelines on the label. If you have questions regarding safety precautions of specific products, consult your agronomist.

After each use, PPE should be cleaned or thrown away. There is little point in wearing protective gear if your safety items are going to accumulate residue that you touch later.

  1. Safety First!

You’d think it’d be impossible to miss a machine this large on the road, but car vs. tractor accidents account for nearly 50 fatalities each year in the US. In some states, the frequency of these collisions is increasing, as farming operations grow in scale and tractors travel public roads to switch fields. Before getting on the road, double check that all your lights and signs are in proper order. Be a defensive driver, signal well ahead of time, and don’t assume cars can see you.

From the Field this week, Jenna Sloane and Nick Bloomberg discuss some of the key agronomic moves you should be making this time of year.

As always, make sure to contact your local agronomist with any questions you may have. Stay safe!

Hi, I’m Jenna Sloan an agronomy account manager out of the Milltown location and I am Nick Bloomberg an agronomy account manager out of new Richmond and Milltown.

Today we’re going to talk about a few in-season management tools that we can do here at ALCIVIA.

The first one that we can do while we’re out looking at the crops in this early stage is take a tissue sample and what a tissue sample does is it kind of gives us a report card and shows us where the nutrition levels are at in your field. So, it will tell us if you are responsive deficient or adequate on any given sample, this helps us by allowing us to make decisions before we do over the top or any fungicide passes. So, we can add micronutrients into that and adjust based off what our plant currently is taking up.

And speaking of microbes we’re kind of getting in that changing season around here, so dairy guys and gals can look at using products like boron and other things with their alfalfa. We can look at putting a fungicide application on, we should be looking for bugs here, after you take first crop off so we can get insecticide out there and go after the leaf hoppers.

We can take pink, mix that with a fungicide like I said. looking a little further down the road once we get into July, we’ll be looking at fungicide on soybeans and corn. Soybeans looking for some plant health benefits there at that r2 to r4 stage with r3 being that sweet spot we’ve seen some pretty good data over the last few years there and then on corn most of the silage guys are doing it already, but I think there’s some interesting opportunities on the green side and maybe some additional bushels that we can capture going into this fall.

If you have any questions feel free to let your ALCIVIA Agronomy account manager know, thank you.

Join Jedd Agnew and Billy Streich From the Field this week as they discuss growing degree units and the evaluation of stand counts.

As always, make sure to contact your local agronomist with any questions you may have. Stay safe!

Hello, I’m Billy Streich with ALCIVIA out of Whitewater and I’m Jedd Agnew ALCIVIA out of Genoa City.

Today we’re going to go over some stand evaluations and how to take a proper stand count the first thing we want to talk about is growing degree units. So, a growing degree unit is taking your high temp of the day maxing out at 87 degrees and the low temp of the day the lowest being the low of 50.

So, you’ll take those two temps add them together, divide it by two, and then minus 50 to get how many growing degree units you got for the day. So, for germination you’re looking at you’re, you’re going to need around 50 to 80 growing degree units. V1 you’ll need anywhere from 100 to 125. V2 you’re looking at 150 to 200, and v3 you’re looking at around 300 to 350. V3 they call the ugly stage due to the corn coming off from living on that seed to now living off its nodule root so it might get a little ugly looking, but that’s your early emergence.

Now, I’m going to send it over to Billy strike to do some stand evaluation.

All right in this field here we have a 20-inch row spacing in this corn field and a good way to help determine our plant population here early in the season is doing a stand count. So, in this 20-inch row spacing corn we got the tape measure laid out here and what we got after counting the stands here on both sides of the tape measure we have a 32-plant count so we’re at 32, 000 for a plant population. And the grower was planting at 34, 000 so we did have two plants here that didn’t make it due to either just early season stress or maybe the planter skipped.

Then we can take this tape measure and be able to evaluate our stand counts from the planting we did this spring, and we can use this as a tool to make good decisions for the rest of the growing season.

If you would like to have a stand evaluation in your field be in touch with your local ALCIVIA agronomist and we can go from there.

With the delays provided by Mother Nature this year, almost all Wisconsin farmers are anxious to get going with fieldwork and planting. The good news – if you’re working with ALCIVIA – your supplies are ready to go. That’s the word from Greg Springer, ALCIVIA Agronomy Sales Technician. Springer says ALCIVIA was very forward thinking and aggressive in 2021 to make sure tough to find products like herbicides were procured well in advance.

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Time again for our ALCIVIA co-op talk, remember it is a company that covers the state of Wisconsin committed to getting farmers started on the right foot. You can always find out more, from cash grain bids right on down to who you can connect with on the local scene, go to ALCIVIA.com.

My guest today is Greg Springer he is the agronomy sales technician, he’s located down in southeast Wisconsin, but he’s keeping a bead and eye on all of the inputs that farmers are going to be looking for real quick here in the growing season of 2022.

I know Greg, you know everybody feeling the pressure to get going. One thing I think a lot of growers are also wondering, how are supplies looking? Let’s start off first off with those pre-emerge chemicals that we are going to rely on where we can.

Depending on how long it takes us to get into those fields how are some of your chemistries looking this year Greg as far as availability across all of your territories?

Oh, chemistry for the most part especially on free emergence is sitting really well with a lot of that doubt in the countryside for guys that are doing their own application and we have a lot in-house on the three side of things.  Then I know everyone’s big thing is was the roundup last fall and you know some of the chemistry stuff kind of is getting kind of tight we just have to be really fluid with the situation, be in touch with your provider on, hey, what can we get, do we have an issue with something can we switch to something? We’ve been pretty good about being able to do that so far this year. And then the other thing is with the way the roundup situation was that we placed a lot of premix products like a Halex GT or Acuron GT on a lot of farms already.

So, if we do get in a bind, whether it’s we get caught by rain and can’t get the pre on the corn, a lot of those Halex and Acuron products we can’t just move the rates around in one pass early post on that and we’ve had a lot of good luck with that.

Then on the bean side of things, same thing might get caught you know who knows, the windows look like they’re going to be pretty small this year. And brought a lot of older chemistry in that well it doesn’t quite work like it used to when it was being used as a one-pass system on beans but allows us to go in very early post-emerge on those beans and just get us a little bit residual to open up our window for our second pass which and be relatively cost effective.

Yeah, right that’s something else you’ve got to keep in mind, now the other good thing that you were pointing out Greg, and sometimes people forget you guys have been layering in supplies since basically last fall. You may not see it when you walk into the warehouse at your location, but you guys have that inventory stashed at multiple locations across the state don’t you?

 Yes, yes I was just on the phone this morning and we’re looking for a little bit of COC oil to get done and well we’re going to probably have to run up to Evansville to get it, but hey they got a pile of it sitting there. So, if we’re selling our favorite.

Yep good, good you know the other thing that a lot of people might be a little nervous about it’s been making the news nitrogen availability. Greg, you know we’re trying to manage that very valuable resource as best we can, because it’s so cotton picking expensive then there was some conversation about the rail lines backing off on volume. You still feel pretty good as far as ALCIVIA’s position in that?

Yeah, we took a very I’d say, a large and strong position last fall actually last summer on nitrogen whether it was urea or 32 and I think we’re sitting really good on it at the moment. I know we’re full and I know the big tank up in Evansville’s full. You know a lot of our buildings are full of urea so, no matter what kind of source of nitrogen you use I know we’re sitting extremely well at the moment.

A lot of just where our geo location is here with the south branches pulling a lot of product off the Illinois river or out of Dubuque when it comes to nitrogen, and then the guys up north in Durand, they’re going to be pulling off the Mississippi the north there. It gives us a lot of options we don’t really have to rely on rail as much when it comes to nitrogen.

I do know some of my colleagues that work in other parts of the country that you know that’s how they get a lot of their 32 endurance in season, but we do a lot of trucking, so the biggest problem is making sure we have truck drivers. Which luckily here in the last week or two we’ve been doing the H2A program for the last couple years and our South Africans are very hard workers have started showing up. So, I think we’re trucking shortage trucker shortage is going to start getting a little less short, but we’re always looking for drivers.

Yep, absolutely I understand that well good news for anybody that’s working with ALCIVIA then this spring it sounds like the supplies are there waiting for the weather to cooperate, and like Greg said even feeling pretty good about their transportation situation all the way around.

That’s Greg springer he’s the agronomy sales technician with ALCIVIA, he is located in southwest, southeast Wisconsin but, again as he said it’s a coordinated map across the state with all the ALCIVIA locations working together to provide you what you need when you need it.

As always, you want to get connected go to alcivia.com and that’s your ALCIVIA co-op update. There are so many options these days for planting gardens and flowers in your yard from annuals perennials and pollinators to vegetables herbs and more Blaine’s farm and fleet is your one-stop shop for all your spring seeds and planting needs.