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Compaction, disease concerns could continue in 2020

The agronomic service director for Seed Consultants says growers should consider 2019 growing conditions when making decisions in 2020.

Bill McDonald says soil compaction could cause farmers problems this year.

“When I was doing some root digs last year, we had some pancake roots and we had some roots that were having trouble breaking through the soil profile to capture nutrients and water,” he says. “So, I see that as possibly being an issue this year.”

McDonald says he is hopeful for some cold conditions this winter to break up the compacted layer.

“I’m hoping that mother nature will take care of some of it for us,” he says.

He says disease pressure could also be a concern and growers should scout fields throughout the growing season.

“It’s always important that we scout,” he says. “We should never just assume that we need to spray or we don’t need to spray.”

He says growers in the eastern corn belt should watch out for gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, and tar spot.  

Brownfield interviewed McDonald during a Seed Consultants winter agronomy meeting in Bunker Hill.

Audio: Bill McDonald, Seed Consultants

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