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Soybean Crop Management
Control Weeds While They're Still Small 

Weed control options are an important consideration as the soybean crop gets planted in Minnesota and Wisconsin. While there are many acres yet to be planted, for soybeans already coming out of the ground, Flexstar® GT 3.5 is an effective herbicide choice on Roundup Ready soybeans (not on conventional beans). It is labeled from pre-plant to pre-emerge to post-emerge.
Flexstar GT 3.5 offers multiple sites of action, which helps with resistance issues. Flexstar GT 3.5 is effective on broadleaves, even the resistant ones, according to Tim Stelter, manager of Federated's Osceola Country Store, adding, "but you have to spray early, when the weeds are small."
Flexstar GT3.5
Click to view PDF.
"Whatever [herbicide] you are spraying, you need to have multiple modes of action," said Stelter, "so you kill the weeds twice - once with glyphosate, and once with fomesafen [which is in Flexstar GT 3.5]." Glyphosate alone offers no residual, and no help for resistant weeds.
"You will see some crop response -- such as leaf bronzing, crinkling, or spotting on soybean leaves," said Stelter. Those issues can be minimized by spraying before it's too late, but soybeans will still outgrow any adverse effects and develop normally. Flexstar GT 3.5 controls:
  • black nightshade,
  • pigweed,
  • common ragweed,
  • waterhemp (partial control),
  • giant ragweed (partial control, but better than glyphosate alone).
Rates vary with Flexstar GT 3.5, based on geography, from 2.68 to 3.5 pt./ac. (and can only be applied in alternate years). Talk to your Federated Agronomist for specific recommendations and/or custom application scheduling. As always, read and follow label instructions.
If the beans are not out of the ground already, Federated recommends Enlite® or Ledger® pre-emerge herbicides, but either way, spray while the weeds are small. Contact your Federated Agronomist with questions.
May 24, 2016
Top Dressing Alfalfa Promotes a Good Stand

"Alfalfa establishment is very costly," said Craig Loen, Federated agronomist at the Osceola location. Maintaining a quality alfalfa stand, and prolonging the life of the stand, "depends on good management practices . . . and good management depends on maintaining, not mining, your fields' soil nutrient levels, controlling
weeds, and insect management," Loen added.

The first 2016 crop of alfalfa is being harvested in some areas and, said Loen, "it's time to think about top dressing your alfalfa fields for maximum yield potential" in the remaining cuttings of this season.
For every ton of alfalfa yield, the following nutrients are removed, and need to be replenished accordingly.
  • 51 lb. actual/ac. of nitrogen (N), which requires 111 lb./ac. urea to replace lost N.
  • 12 lb. actual/ac. of phosphorus (P), which requires 26 lb./ac. DAP to restore depleted P.
  • 49 lb. actual/ac. of potassium (K), which requires 81.6 lb./ac. potash to replenish K.
Boron is also crucial to alfalfa yield. For "lush, highly digestible alfalfa," said Loen, "don't forget about adding boron to your broadcast application at a rate of 3-5 lb./ac. When alfalfa is deficient in boron, the growing points shut down, and the alfalfa will eventually die (if deficiency persists). Alfalfa lacking boron will also appear bushy, with yellowing or a reddish color on the tops of leaves.
Just as soil testing -- the frequent cry of every Federated Agronomist -- reveals what's in the soil, tissue testing is the best way to determine deficiencies in alfalfa plants. Loen said, "Tissue sample at early bud stage" as part of good alfalfa nutrient management to determine what needs to be broadcast on the crop.
Additionally, fungicides are valuable on alfalfa to promote faster and healthier regrowth of the next cutting.
Talk to your Federated Agronomist to work out your alfalfa nutrient management plans.
Versa Max® AC
Improve Plant Health While Controlling Weeds

Versa Max® AC helps plants access vital nutrients when it is added to herbicide applications. It can also help crops through early stress -- such as that from the recent cold temperatures. Versa Max AC can improve plant health and maximize yield potential with its enhanced blend of macro and micronutrients (N, K, S, Fe, Mn and Zn), according to Russ Overaas of Rosen's.
"The addition of Versa Max AC to the herbicide will keep it wet on the leaf longer and allow more of the nutrients and the herbicide to be utilized, and it will also aid in tank mix capabilities," said Overaas. While Versa Max AC will not meet all the plant nutrient requirements, it is a valuable part of an effective fertility program.
In 60 corn tests, Versa Max AC-treated acres averaged an 8.8 bu. advantage vs. untreated acres. In 59 soybean trials, treated acres averaged a 3.3 bu. advantage over untreated acres.
step by step Versa Max AC can be tank mixed with Flexstar GT 3.5 (see article at left) to help soybeans in their critical early growth stages. The mixing order is important to successful use of Versa Max AC with any herbicide, and 
is as follows:
  1. Fill tank half full of water.
  2. Add AMS-based adjuvants and other adjuvants as needed, agitate.
  3. Add Versamax AC, continue agitation.
  4. Add herbicides per label, continue agitation.
  5. Finish filling tank.
Contact your Federated Agronomist with any questions about Versa Max AC and herbicide tank mixing.
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