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					                                      West Central AGRIServices
Feb. 6, 2012
Volume 7, Issue 1

                                                      Converting Fescue Ground to Crop Ground
                                                     The Crop Consulting Advantage
                                                    By: Jason Worthington - Agronomist for WCAS
                                                            By: Price Watson - Crop Consultant
                                      When spring rolls around and the soil begins to ripen (if you will) the word busy
                                      becomes an understatement. This is the most hectic time of the year with seed
                                      being delivered, planting, spraying burn down, applying pre-emerges, fertilizer
Inside this issue:                    application, field preparation, and the unavoidable rain delays, and the majority of
                                      us are never as prepared as we could be. No matter how much we try to have all
                                      of our ducks in a row come crunch time, there are always unforeseen problems;
Crop Consulting Advantage
                                      and it’s in times like these that crop scouting takes a back seat. West Central
Location Lowdown &             2      Agri-Services Crop-Trak program can help alleviate this time crunch.
Scholarship information
                                       As agriculture continues to change at a rapid pace, finding time to scout crops is
Ricochet Feed                  3
                                      a big challenge. Even for those who scout their fields and discover an issue, the
Herdsman Advertisement         4      solutions are not as clear cut as they used to be. The process of identifying the
FFA Chapter Spotlight          5-7    problem begins then, whether it is a weed infestation or harmful insect problem.
                                      With increasing resistance occurring in weeds, diseases and insects, the chemicals
Aflatoxin in Corn              8-10   and protocols we have relied on in the past are no longer as effective. As we all
                                      know timing is the key to how well a solution works. Having an early diagnosis
Protecting Yield or Prevent-   11
ing Resistant Weeds
                                      gives you, the grower, more time to treat or prevent a problem. This is where a
                                      Crop-Trak Crop Consultant becomes an asset to your operation!

   Upcoming Events                    Crop scouting is one of the main benefits to having a Consultant. Weekly field
                                      examinations and scouting reports, which you the producer receive, are standard
                                      with our Crop-Trak program. When problems arise we offer a non-biased opinion
                                      on products and innovative practices to provide solutions that fit your situation.
  Missouri Farmers                    With advancements in pesticide chemistry, new products, precision agriculture,
        Care                          and resistance occurring at an unprecedented pace, many growers have a tremen-
  Town Hall Meeting on                dous time keeping up with the latest solutions. In order to stay up to date with
  Thursday, Feb. 9 at the             new technologies and practices, during the off season we spend countless hours
      Harrisonville                   attending conferences with chemical representatives, scientists, university profes-
                                      sors, and many others who have a common goal of keeping agriculture sustaina-
   Community Center at                ble.                                                  (Continued on Page 3)
       6:30 pm
                                       All of us at West Central AgriServices
      TOPIC: HSUS and                  would like to take this opportunity to
   the attack on Missouri              thank all of our patrons for your busi-
        Agriculture.                   ness during 2011. We would also like
                                       to wish you all the best in 2012.                      Happy New Year to All!
                 Page 2 West Central AGRIServices                                            Volume 7, Issue 1

                                       Location Lowdown
                             By: Steve Himmelberg, General Manager - WCAS
West Central Ag introduces Mike Huston as the new Loca-
tion Manager at Harrisonville.
Mike comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experi-
He started his career in Agri-Business in 1974 with Coop
Association #1 in Slater, Mo.
In 1999 he went to work in Marshall, MO for Central MO
Agri-Service as a Sales Agronomist.
He switched hats in 2008 when he became the Location
Manager for Bartlett Grain in Marshall.
Mike has served as Mayor of the city of Miami for 3 years,
Miami City Council Member for 3 years, Miami R-1
School board member for 12 years while serving ten years as board president.
Mike has been a Certified Crop Advisor since 1998.
He and his wife have four children, he enjoys hunting, fishing, traveling and entertaining his 5 grandchildren.
Please stop by or call Mike at Harrisonville and join us in welcoming him to our organization.

SCHOLARSHIPS: It’s that time of year again, time for area high school seniors to decide what they want to
do with the rest of their lives. If they decide to attend college, scholarships are extremely helpful in providing
the financial means in order to achieve their aspirations of a higher education. MFA and West Central
AgriServices offer scholarships to graduating seniors of local high schools. Each MFA and MFA affiliated
location gives at least one local high school senior a one-time $2,000 scholarship.

Monsanto also offers a scholarship available to high school seniors. Monsanto has teamed up with the Nation-
al Association of Farm Broadcasting to provide $150,000 in scholarships. One-time awards of $1,500 will be
made to 100 high school seniors who come from a farm family and plan to pursue a career in the field of agri-

Missouri Corn Growers Association and the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council also award scholarships
totaling $7,500 each year to deserving college juniors and high school seniors. Applicants must submit an
application forn, official high school or college transcript and a least one letter of recommendation to the Mis-
souri Corn office by February 10, 2012. For more information go to

Have your high school seniors ask their counselor about the MFA and Monsanto scholarships. If the counselor
does not have information on these scholarships please contact your local MFA or West Central Ag store for
more information.
West Central AGRIServices                                     Volume 7, Issue 1                         Page 3

                          By: Jon Roberts - Area Sales Manager Livestock Products
                                    Greetings from our outfit to yours.
                                    I’m grateful for the mild winter we have enjoyed thus far, but my fear is
                                    that the worst is yet to come. With that in mind, and calving season right in
                                    front of us, now is a good time to implement management practices to miti-
                                    gate the ill effects of a harsh environment. MFA has recently released a
                                    new line of feed products to do just that.
The Ricochet line of products utilizes new nutrition technology to enhance the quality and quantity of colos-
trum for newborn calves. Calves consuming this enhanced colostrum utilize more of their energy for growth as
opposed to fighting off disease challenges. As far as what’s in this product line to make all this happen, I can
tell you that one glance at the feed tag would have a spelling bee contestant shaking in his/her boots! Speaking
in general terms, additives like mannon oligosaccharides, direct fed microbials, fermentation products, botani-
cals, yeast cell wall components, and beta-glucans, all have been demonstrated to enhance the immune func-
tion and performance of livestock.
The Ricochet line has a product to fit multiple supplementation strategies. If you have
adequate forage supplies and routinely supplement with a 20% all natural cube, then
the Ricochet Breeder Cube fed at 2 pounds per day would be an excellent fit for your
program. If you are forage short this season, you can use Ricochet Cattle Cubes fed at
5-7 pounds, to replace 7-10 pounds of forage. If you are fortunate enough to have an
outstanding reserve of winter feed on hand, be it high quality hay or stockpile, or are
utilizing an inventory of commodities, then you can still capitalize on the benefits of the Ricochet nutrition
technology by feeding free choice Ricochet Mineral. The ideal scenario would be to establish an intake on the
Ricochet product 60 days prior to calving, and continue for 60 days post calving.
                      Most cattlemen are running in high gear all winter just to get the feeding done, and eve-
                      rything held together. It’s nice to have a product come along that pays a return beyond
                      the cost, and can be incorporated into your feeding program without any additional ef-
                      fort on the part of the rancher. When you can go about your daily chores, and without so
                      much as one extra stroke, positively impact the survivability of your calf crop, and
                      achieve greater productivity out of more calves; then that’s one tool everybody should
                      have in their toolbox. Or in this case feedbox! If you have an interest in increasing your
numbers on sale day, then give me a call or stop by any of our WCAS locations. You can also visit us at I hope this 2012 year brings you health, wealth, and happiness.

                  The Crop Consulting Advantage                      (continued from page 1)

The primary purpose of your Crop Consultant is to protect your crops in order to maximize your farms yield
potential while giving you “piece of mind”. For more information please contact Price Watson, Jason
Worthington, or any of our West Central Ag location managers.
We look forward to working with you in helping make your operation more profitable.
                         Contact Price Watson by e-mail at
Page 4 West Central AGRIServices   Volume 7, Issue 1
West Central AGRIServices                                             Volume 7, Issue 1                          Page 5

                         FFA SPOTLIGHT - RICH HILL CHAPTER
                                      By: Kendra Taylor and Traci Stevener
        The Rich Hill FFA has been involved in many activities during the past year. A few of these activities
consist of the Washington Leadership Conference, Trapshooting, Barnwarming, State Convention, National
Convention, Area Officer Candidates, and Christmas Cards for the Elementary students.
Washington Leadership Conference
        Over the summer we had two FFA members attend one of the seven week-long sessions of the 2011
Washington Leadership Conference in the nation’s capital. This conference was sponsored by Monsanto as a
special project of the National FFA Foundation. The members that attended were Jara Mumma and Levi
Rapp. Over this week long conference the members were taught how to improve leadership skills and prepare
for leadership roles in their chapters, communities, and their future careers. The students attended sessions on
developing authentic leadership, serving communities and service learning. They also visited Arlington Na-
tional Cemetery, the Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt memorials, and other historic sites.
       Recently the Rich Hill FFA Trapshooting teams finished their season at Settles Ford. The FFA had
two teams which consisted of Team A; Hagen Fischer, Devin Laning, Riley Cameron, Gavin Steuck, Jacob
Thompson. Team B was Jackson Ogburn, Alli Steuck, Brooke Heckadon, Alex Wills, Justin Deems, and Ja-
cob Rapp. The A team finished 2nd overall in the points standing and the B team finished in 10th
place. Team A finished high enough to earn a plaque for their achievements. The Rich Hill FFA also had two
students (Devin Laning 3rd place and Hagen Fischer 7th place) rank high enough individually to earn a medal.
Devin Laning is the first Rich Hill FFA member to earn his perfect round patch. Devin shot a perfect 25 out
of 25 on November 10th. The season was a huge success for the competitors.
        The Rich Hill FFA had their annual FFA Barnwarming on
November 18th, 2011. The theme was “Honey Bee” and the event
was held in the Old High School Gym. As in years passed, Barn-
warming was determined on three factors; games, fundraising, and
popular vote. This year’s candidates were Senior Jara Mumma and
Senior Clayton Cumpton. Junior candidates were Katie Thornburg
and Junior Thomas Fleischer. The Sophomore candidates were
Kendra Larimore and Junior Samuel Laughlin. The Freshmen can-
didates were Riley Cameron and Freshmen Hayley Klinksick. The
retiring queen was Bailey Heckadon being escorted by the retiring
King Gavin Steuck. It all got under way at eight o’clock when the
                                                                                 Left to Right Front Row: Bailey Heckadon,
candidates played games for points. The games included blindfold- Jara Mumma, Katie Thornburg, Kendra Larimore, Hay-
ed cow patty tossing, an obstacle coarse, hay bale tossing, and noo- ley Klinksick
dle stacking. All candidates seemed to enjoy the games while par-                Back Row: Gavin Steuck, Clayton Cumpton,
                                                                        Thomas Fleischer, Sam Laughlin, Riley Cameron
ents and friends watched. The coronation of the queen started as
soon as the official points for each candidate were tallied. In the end the 2011 Barnwarming King and Queen
were Senior Jara Mumma and Senior Clayton Cumpton. All and all the night and the dance was a success.
                                                                                         (Continued on next page)
                         P a g e 6 West Central AGRIServices                                                Volume 7, Issue 1

                     FFA SPOTLIGHT - RICH HILL CHAPTER                                                      (Continued)

          State Convention
         State Convention was an exciting time with
lots of achievements to talk about. The first
achievement was the chapter had 2 contest teams
perform, a State FFA Choir performer, a State FFA
Talent Performer, and a State FFA qualifying Profi-
ciency Applicant.
        The two contest teams that were able to per-
form were the Soils Team and the Meats Evaluation
team. The Soils team members were Cody Yarick,
Josh Robb, Traci Stevener, and Jessica Nelson. The
team took seventh in districts and took thirty sixth in
the state. The Meats Evaluation team members,                      Back row: Caleb Skocy, Jacob Rapp, Bailey King, Allison Steuck,
Sara Hammett, Morgan Kithcart, Chase Stout, and           Emily Ward, Whitli Thomas, Madison Wheatley, and Shelby Gould

Logan Wheatley, finished tenth in districts and thir-              Front row: FFA STATE OFFICERS: Corey Hudson, Jill Blankenship,
                                                          Evan Grusenmeyer, John Littlefield, Trina Strumpe, and John Black
ty sixth in State.
        Justin Larimore represented the chapter on stage with a chance to win state wide proficiency. Lar-
imore, a senior who worked at Cruizers Pizza for three years, was the top Agriculture Processing Proficiency
in Area VII. He was recognized at the third general session with a plaque for his achievements. He is the first
to achieve the honor for the chapter in over nine years. The chapter was extremely excited about Justin’s ac-
         Jara Mumma, daughter of Jerry and Chantell Mumma, performed “Hip to My Heart” for over 7500
fellow FFA members at the 2011 State FFA Convention. Mumma had to send in an audition tape of here per-
forming in a public event to the State FFA Talent staff. The state staff had then to select twenty members
from the whole state of MO to perform in the MO State FFA Convention being held on April 15th and 16th.
Mumma was selected to play in the Friday session at two o’clock. She did an
awesome job and made the Rich Hill Chapter extremely proud. Mumma is the
first student to be selected for this honor out of the Rich Hill FFA Chapter.
Mumma has already expressed a willingness to try out again next year.
        Mumma was also selected to perform in the State FFA Choir. Mumma is
the third Rich Hill member to be selected to State Choir is the last ten years. Lora
                                  Drake and Daytona Davis were the other two
                                  students who served on the FFA Choir at the
                                  2009-2010 State FFA Conventions.

                                                                                                           Above -Left to right:
                                                                                                  Jara Mumma, Levi Rapp, and Hannah

                                                                                                  Left to right: Lizzie Jennings, Traci
           Left to right: Gavin Steuck, Traci                                           Stevener, Marriah Seider, Chase Stout, Sara
Stevener, Morgan Kithcart, Jara Mumma, Mar-                                             Hammett, Josh Robb, Jara Mumma, and Lora
riah Seider, Kendra Taylor, and Lizzie Jennings                                         Drake
                      P a g e 7 West Central AGRIServices                                                              Volume 7, Issue 1

                           FFA SPOTLIGHT — RICH HILL CHAPTER                                                                      (Continued)

         Along with Mumma, the local chapter received notification that for the sixteenth straight year the Rich
Hill Chapter was labeled a superior chapter in the state. This achievement came with two more honors of 10%
membership increase and 10+ membership increase. All of these are honors not to be taken lightly. To increase
your membership numbers by 10 percent in a small school is saying something. Also we increased our num-
bers by 10 percent plus 10 more new members at least. It shows the chapter is growing and so are the success-
es of its members.
                                                       National Convention
                                                               Every year the FFA has 4 boys and 4 girls go to Indianapo-
                                                       lis, Indiana for National Convention. In order to be eligible to go
                                                       you have to participate in the activities during the school year. The
                                                       members who attended this year were Kendra Taylor, Morgan
                                                       Kithcart, Jara Mumma, Marriah Sieder, Alex Wills, Sam Laughlin,
                                                       Gavin Steuck, and Cody Yarick.
                                                        Front row: Kendra Taylor, Morgan Kithcart, Marriah Seider, and Jara Mumma

                                                        Back row: Alex Wills, Cody Yarick, Gavin Steuck, and Sam Laughlin

                                                        Area Officers
                                                                2011 made the third year in a row that the chapter had an
                                                        Area VII officer selected. This is quite an honor for the chapter.
                                                        Not too many chapters can say that for three years they had a suc-
                                                        cessful Area Officer canidate. Jara Mumma was selected to Area
                                                        VII Historian for the 2011-2012 school year. The previous two
                                                        candidates from Rich Hill were Lora Drake, and Levi Rapp.
                                                                   Front Row: Lizzie Jennings, Marriah Seider, Kendra Larimore, Jara Mum-
                                                         ma ,Traci Stevener, Morgan Kithcart

                                                                  Back Row: Sam Jones, Hagan Fischer, Sam Laughlin ,Cheyenne Champlin, Bai-
                                                         ley Heckadon, and Jackson Ogburn

       Christmas cards for Elementary
       The Rich Hill FFA made Christmas cards for the Elementary kids. These cards are specialized just for
them to help each kid to have a very Merry Christmas. The FFA has done this for many years and continues to
get more creative each year.                                Right:

                                                                                  Hagan Fischer

                                         The Rich Hill FFA Chapter would like
                                         to thank the surrounding community for
                                         their support and wishes everyone a
                                         successful and prosperous 2012.

       Front row: Ashlyn Kithcart, Lizzie Jennings, Sara Hammett, Marriah Seider, Jara Mumma

       Back row: Gavin Steuck, Cheyenne Champlin, Kendra Larimore, Traci Stevener, Logan Wheatley, Alex Wills, and Sam Laughlin
                   P a g e 8 West Central AGRIServices                                       Volume 7, Issue 1

                                       Aflatoxin in Corn
                                    By: Diana DeHart - Grain Coordinator

Aflatoxin is a term used to describe a group of extremely toxic chemicals produced by the mold fungi, Asper-
gillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. According to a 2009 article by Laura Sweets and J. Allen Wrather
with the University of Missouri Delta Research Center, most of the aflatoxin problems in corn in the United
States are caused by Apergillus flavus (A. flavus). The fungus, A. flavus, can be recognized by a yellow-green
                          to yellowish-brown powdery mold growth on the corn kernels. Aflatoxins are not au-
                          tomatically produced when corn becomes moldy, but the risk of aflatoxin contamina-
                          tion is greater in damaged and moldy corn versus corn with little or no mold. Har-
                          vested or stored corn can appear to have little or no signs of mold damage, but can
                          still carry higher than desired levels of aflatoxin. However, the presence of the fungus
                          does not guarantee aflatoxin has, or will, develop.

According to an article by Paul Vincelli and a team of specialists from the University of Kentucky Extension
Service, A. flavus survives between growing seasons in crop residue and in soil. Spores also thrive in waste
corn around storage bins and in unclean harvest equipment. The fungus is nearly always present in corn pro-
duction areas, according to the University of Kentucky group, although the level of infestation may vary.

The University of Kentucky Extension article describes the infection of corn silks by A. flavus in the following
manner. During hot, humid conditions microscopic spores are produced on corn residue
and at the soil surface. These spores are carried by air movement, and some of them
land on the silks. The spores germinate, and the fungus colonizes the silks if hot condi-
tions continue. The fungus can then grow down to the developing ear. Yellow-brown
silks that are still moist are most susceptible to contamination. Fresh, un-pollinated
silks are relatively resistant, and brown dry silks can be colonized, but growth of the
fungus is limited.

             Once fungal growth is present under the husk, the fungus may infect uninjured kernels if the
             plant is stressed once the dough stage is reached. Drought and high temperatures (80 – 110 de-
             grees F) during grain fill are by far the most common stress factors associated with pre-harvest
             aflatoxin contamination. High nighttime temperatures are particularly stressful to the plant.
             Other factors that can enhance the risk of aflatoxin contamination include nitrogen deficiency,
             excessive plant populations, and poor root development. A. flavus can easily infect a kernel
             that has had the kernel coating damaged by insects, birds or weather damage, such as hail. Cer-
             tain insects can also carry spores of A. flavus and introduce them onto susceptible silks and into
wounded kernels.

Even if kernels are unifested at harvest, the presence of A. flavus spores on kernel surfaces sets the stage for
postharvest contamination with aflatoxin. When temperatures and moisture conditions permit, A. flavus spores
can germinate and infect injured or broken kernels within a day or two of harvest. Proper handling and storage
practices must be followed in order to limit potential damage and economic loss.
West Central AGRIServices                                      Volume 7, Issue 1                        Page 9

                               Aflatoxin in Corn                (Continued)

Aflatoxins are very potent compounds that cause a variety of human and animal health problems. Aflatoxins
are harmful and even fatal to livestock and are considered carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to animals and hu-
mans. Most commonly, aflatoxin reduces the feed efficiency of livestock, milk, and egg production as well as
the animal’s ability to reproduce. It can suppress the immune system of animals, leading to more frequent oc-
currence of infectious diseases. Respiratory illness, liver damage, and kidney failure are among the most se-
vere issues associated with feeding high levels of aflatoxin contaminated corn. The economic impact of re-
duced productivity, increased incidence of disease because of immune suppression, subtle but chronic damage
to vital organs and tissues, and interference with reproductive capacity is many times greater than that of acute
livestock death.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established an “action level” of 20 parts per billion (ppb) for
aflatoxins in corn in interstate commerce. This is the level at which federal agencies may take action, including
seizure of the corn or prohibition of its sale. Even one contaminated kernel in a 5-lb sample could result in
more than 20 ppb aflatoxin. Blending aflatoxin corn going into interstate trade is strictly prohibited by the
FDA. Blending aflatoxin-contaminated grain with clean grain is not legal except in advance of on site feeding
operations. The FDA has guidelines for using contaminated grain in livestock feed, shown in table below.

 Intended Use                                            Acceptable Aflatoxin level (ppb)
 Corn for Human consumption, dairy or poultry            Less than 20
 Corn of unknown destination                             Less than 20
 Corn for young animals                                  Less than 20
 Corn for breeding beef cattle and swine                 Less than 100
 Corn for finishing swine                                Less than 200
 Corn for finishing cattle                               Less than 300

So what is a “part per billion”?

According to a report by the Mississippi State University Extension Service
one part per billion (ppb) is equivalent to the following:

1 penny in $10,000,000 or 1 second in 31.709 years

20 ppb is equivalent to two kernels’ weight in a 1,250 bushel load of corn.

Ethanol plants are an option for selling higher levels of aflatoxin corn ONLY if they are not reselling DDG’s
(dried distiller’s grain). Aflatoxins do not acculmulate in the ethanol but they will be concentrated in the
DDG’s. In wet-mill processing, aflatoxins concentrate in the gluten co-products. A general estimate is that af-
latoxin levels in such feed co-products will be four times those in the whole corn from which it was processed.
West Central AGRIServices                                                               Volume 7, Issue 1                                  Page 10

                                                 Aflatoxin in Corn                            (Continued)
How do we prevent or minimize aflatoxin in corn?

Be sure the hybrids planted are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, and avoid excessive plant pop-
ulations. Also, compacted soil is a favorable environment for aflatoxin spores.

Maintain adequate levels of nitrogen for good growth and implement sound management programs against in-
sects that can damage kernels, such as the corn earworm, corn borer, and armyworm.

Scout your fields regularly, or hire WCAS to scout them for you. Early detection can prevent
serious losses and economic strain.

Decisions on handling moldy grain or corn contaminated with aflatoxin should be made prior to harvesting the
field. If possible, begin harvesting when the grain field-dries to 25 percent moisture and then mechanically dry
it immediately. Harvest only what can be dried within 24 hours. Harvest field-stressed areas separately, such as
drought or heat stressed fields, poorly drained areas, severely eroded areas, or areas outside of irrigation piv-

Adjust the combine to minimize kernel damage. Fungi will infect damaged or broken kernels more easily than
intact kernels. Operate the combine cleaning fans at maximum possible speed and cleaning. Slow the combine
ground speed to decrease the amount of grain being cleaned at any time.

Clean bins and grain-handling equipment and remove fines from the corn before storing. Coring grain bins will
remove most of the fines which is frequently a source of contamination. Damaged corn favors the growth of A.
flavus. It is important to note that aflatoxin concentrations never decrease in storage, it only increases or re-
mains the same.

According to Charles Hurburgh, with the Iowa State University Extension Service, after bins are cored, the
remaining dry corn can be kept through the winter if the grain temperature is maintained at 35 – 40 degrees F.
If corn will be stored during the summer, use aeration to gradually warm it to 50 – 60 degrees F in the spring.
Next to moisture content, temperature is the most important factor in preventing the development of molds and
toxins in stored grain.

Control storage insects. Grain damaged in the bin by storage insects will easily be infected by molds if the fun-
gus is present.

Finally, check grain at least every 2 weeks during storage (more often if quality is questionable). Check the
grain temperature and moisture then look for crusting, hot spots, and mold. If any of these conditions are de-
tected, take immediate action to reduce the temperature, aerate the bin, break up any hot spots and remove
spoiled grain.         Contact Diana DeHart at 660-200-6989 or by e-mail at
Resources: University of Missouri Delta Research Center: “Aflatoxin in Corn” March 2009 article by Laura E. Sweets and J. Allen Wrather.
University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service: “Aflatoxins in Corn” article by Paul Vincelli, Gary Parker, and Sam McNeill.
Mississippi State University Extension Service: “Harvesting, Drying and Storing Corn” article by Herb Willcutt.
Iowa State University Extension Service: “Aflatoxins in Corn” May 2009 article by Gary Munkvold, Charles Hurburgh, and Julie Meyer.
West Central AGRIServices                                            Volume 7, Issue 1                           Page 11

                    Protecting Yield or Preventing Resistant Weeds
                                     By Dale Guss -WCAS Location Manager

George Santayana said that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This was shared with
about 35 growers last December at our grower meeting where Dr. Kevin Bradley from MU spoke. In an attempt to bet-
ter convey the growing waterhemp concerns that I have spoken of in this newsletter for the last couple of years, I invited
Dr. Bradley to help me out. He presented a few points that I wanted to repeat or expand on for those that haven’t heard
them yet.
        Dr. Bradley said that waterhemp is a weed that has his full respect. It is very adaptable to the environment that it
has to exist in. It germinates for a long period of time, roughly May thru June and possibly as late as August. It produces
huge amounts of seed. Research from U of Illinois estimates in real field conditions around 200,000 seeds per plant; alt-
hough there are higher estimates, and these seeds are viable 7 days after pollination. Also, as the plant ages the leaf to
stem/root ratio decreases, which makes it much more difficult to get a lethal dose of herbicide into the plant.
        However, Kevin points out that this plant has its weakness’s also. No-till and reduced tillage has been a big in-
fluence to the spread of this weed. If this seed is tilled under for 1 year the germination drops to about 60%, year 2 is
down to almost 30% and by year 4 it is just barely 10%. Another is its susceptibility to pre-emergence herbicides.
         Yep, you picked up on that last sentence about ‘an extra herbicide trip’ and you are thinking about the added
costs, or maybe thinking I should add something to my Roundup, or maybe I’ll just quit using Roundup.
          Let’s use the advice of the 1st sentence and look at our past. I can remember our waterhemp problems starting
out well over 15 years ago when Roundup Ready soybeans came out. It had became resistant to the ALS herbicides ( i.e.
Scepter and Pursuit, Classic and Peak to name a few) when the RR gene was released. And in just a couple of years the
RR gene was on almost every soybean acre in the country. We sprayed every acre postemerge until the weed learned to
delay germination and then we sprayed it 2 or 3 times a year. We could compare this behavior to planting corn 3 times
to get a stand instead of fixing the planter problem.
          Well there are no new post-emerge herbicides this time to run to
and the products that can be used with Roundup MUST be used on 3”
weeds or less. Now I also hear the complaints about “if I spray this early
there will be more weeds come up later so I am going to wait”. This is
the behavior that has led to this conversation. Hopefully now there is
some consideration going on about using a pre-emerge herbicide trip in
the spring, but just in case there is some reluctance, think about this. If I
have admitted to myself that I am going to have to spray my soybeans
twice- why does it matter when these trips happen as long as my weeds
are controlled as expected and wouldn’t I rather have one of these trips
happen when my soybean crop wasn’t being driven on? The last objec-
tion I am sure to hear is the extra cost. In the University studies from 17
states including Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Illinois which
make up the chart to the right, it shows that allowing weeds from 4” to 8”
tall to compete with your soybean crop can reduce yields by almost 2
bushel per acre and greater than 8” reduce yields by over 5 ½ bushel. I can tell you that we spray far more weeds over 8”
tall than under. At $10 beans that is $20 to $55 /acre that your combine never had a chance to harvest. I’ll bet that if I
showed you a way to save $55 /acre on your fertilizer cost, I would have every acre in the county lined up.
         This also brings up a question I hope you consider. Is there even a yield drag from the RR gene or have we just
choked the yield out of a good technology? While there are other means of weed control than Roundup, none have
brought us the genetic advances to date or the advances yet to come. I urge you to visit with your West Central AG store
soon to develop the best program for you as I believe the West Central Ag and MFA staff has the experience, knowledge
and desire it takes to make your success our driving goal.
West Central AGRIServices                                              BULK RATE CAR-RT

                                                                        U.S. Postage Paid
West Central AGRIServices
                                                                          Permit No. 40
RR3 Box 335
Adrian, MO 64720                                                       Nevada, MO 64772
Phone: 816-297-2138
Fax: 816-297-2140
Grain Office: 816-297-2118
Centerview: 660-656-3311
Chilhowee: 660-678-2411
Harrisonville: 816-884-3247
Rich Hill: 417-395-2316

                  We’re on the Web:

    To receive nightly grain bids and comments via e-mail, send your e-mail address to and request bids be sent either nightly or once a week.
                         We can also send bids via text messaging.
                    Please call Diana at 816-297-2118 for more details.

    The West Central AGRIServices newsletter is coordinated by Diana DeHart and printed
  through the Adrian Journal. If you have any agronomy, feed, seed, animal health, or grain
 topics you would like us to address, please call Diana at 816-297-2118 or send an e-mail to

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