Hot Topics from Nichols Agriservice

  • Annual Customer Meeting 2016

    Please accept our invitation for you and a guest to join us for happy hour, dinner and informative meeting!

    Thursday, March 3, 2016

    5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Happy Hour

    5:30 pm Dinner served with speakers immediately following

    at The Rendezvous (3127 Lucas St, Muscatine, IA 52761)

    Be sure to mark your calendar, you won’t want to miss this meeting! Help us plan for dinner by providing your RSVP by February 24, 2016 to one of the locations listed above or

  • Holiday Hours

    We will be closed  the following days for the Holidays:

    Thursday, December 24

    Friday, December 25th

    Thursday, December 31st we will be closing at noon

    Friday, January 1st

  • Weekend hours

    We will be open 7:30 am until noon on Saturday, October 10.  Additional weekend hours will be available as needed.  Please call the office if you will need to bring in grain.

  • Lodged Corn

    Mid- to late-season lodging

    Why did the plants root lodge?

    First, hybrids vary in their tolerance to lodging. Second, root lodging can be directly tied to rootworm larvae feeding. Third, plants may lodge simply because of strong winds and saturated soils (may or may not exhibit rootworm damage). Warm, dry conditions during corn's vegetative period result in deep root penetration while cool, wet conditions result in shallow root systems. The latter would result in corn that is more prone to root lodging from strong winds and saturated soils.

    Roots act as guy ropes and props that anchor corn plants against lodging. Initially both windward and leeward roots play a role with slow wind speeds, however, as wind speeds increase, the role of the windward and leeward roots change. During high wind events, windward roots are pulled from the soil while leeward roots are pushed into the soil. Although it might make sense that lodging comes from windward roots that fail to hold fast to the soil, the fragile link in rooting structures is the weakness in compression of the leeward corn roots from bearing large downward loads. A rotation of 10 degrees is enough to cause the leeward roots to buckle and the plant to lodge (Ennos et al.).

    Root mass reaches its maximum at silking (R1). Brace roots provide support to the stalk and are of considerable importance in "resurrecting" plants root lodged by strong winds. Fortunately, plants root lodged before R1/R2 are somewhat able to compensate for the canopy disruption caused by the lodging. After a couple of days, the upper portions of these plants resume a vertical growth pattern, "goosenecking." Although this rearrangement of the crop canopy may limit potential yield losses, it does make harvesting slower and increases the potential for ear loss during harvest.

    How will root lodging affect yield?

    An Iowa State study forced V10-stage corn to "lodge" at a 45° angle in plots with and without rootworms. Grain yield of lodged corn without rootworms yielded 11 and 40 percent less than the control in the two years of the study while lodged corn with rootworms yielded 12 and 28 percent of the control. Years made a big difference in yield response. It was concluded that lodging was more detrimental to biomass accumulation and yield than corn rootworm larval feeding itself. In a separate study with natural root lodging, lodged plants intercepted 28 percent less light than un-lodged plants.

    This gives us some idea of the wide variation in years and among treatments at V10. Simulated root-lodging work from the University of Wisconsin addresses the yield impact when lodging occurs at silking. Corn was lodged in two years at three different growth stages each year (see Table 1).

    Lodging treatments in Year 1 Grain yield (bu/acre) Lodging treatments in Year 2 Grain yield (bu/acre)
    Control 199 Control 187
    V10 191 V11--V12 181
    V13--V14 182 V15 168
    V17--R1 151 VT 160
    LSD (0.05) 20 LSD (0.05) 10

    Table 1. Simulated root lodging. University of Wisconsin. 

    Lodging did not affect plant development, but it did increase the number of barren plants. The yield loss varied across the two years, with losses in the first year up to 30 percent and half of that in the second year. Overall, yields were reduced 2-6% when corn was lodged from V10/V12, 5-15% when corn was lodged from V13/V15, and 12-31% when corn was lodged on or after V17. We would expect less yield reductions after R1 since VT/R1 are the most critical stages for leaf loss, plant loss, etc. to occur.

    What can we learn that will reduce root lodging in the future?

    • Identify whether the lodging was primarily caused by rootworm larvae feeding, poor root development (due primarily to cold, wet soil conditions), poor seed placement at planting (too shallow of root mass), late-season stalk rot (see the Image Gallery for pictures of late-season lodging) or due to other circumstances. Understanding the cause will provide valuable information when managing this field in the future.
    • In areas where rootworm larvae feeding was the cause of the root lodging, use soil insecticides, crop rotations, or Bt hybrids resistant to rootworm feeding.
    • Hybrids vary in their susceptibility to lodging, select hybrids that withstand root lodging.
  • Your Invited!

    Asgrow/DeKalb Breakfast

    Date: Tuesday, May 27 2014

    Time: 9 am - 10:30 am

    Place:  Nichols Test Plot

    Call Nichols Ag for details

  • Sudden Death

    I would like to remind people that our seed treater is up and running.  We can run custom blends for any type of seed treatment available.  We will also treat anyone's seed.  Give us call if you need something done.  I think the conditions are right for seed treatment to really show some value. 



    I might be a little late but here is some information on sudden death.

    Disease Management

    Management options for SDS are limited. Although soybean cultivars that are less susceptible to SDS have been developed, no highly resistant cultivars are available (Njiti et al., 2002). Fungicides applied in furrow during planting or as seed treatments have only limited effects on disease reduction. Fungicides applied to foliage have no effect on SDS suppression, presumably because the fungal infection is restricted to root systems and fungicides typically do not move downward in the plant to reach this site of infection. Several management practices may reduce the risk of SDS damage, although they will not prevent the disease:

    Planting Date

    Early planting predisposes soybean to infection. In cool, wet soils, young soybean plants are vulnerable to infection by the SDS pathogen. If early spring conditions are favorable for rapid soybean growth, and if saturating rains do not occur during early reproductive stages of growth, the risk for SDS may be less even though the fungus is present in the soil. Fields with no history of SDS should be planted first; fields where SDS has been a problem should be planted last.


    Compacted soils impede water percolation and restrict root growth. A heavy rain when soybean has reached the reproductive stages will saturate compacted areas, which promotes SDS development. Correcting soil compaction and water permeability problems may reduce the risk for SDS. Soils respond differently to tillage system intensity changes; plowing, chiseling, or similar drastic soil disturbances strongly affect drainage, crop residue position, and the microbial composition of soil (Aon, 2001; Kladivko, 2001). Not surprisingly, reports on effects of tillage on SDS are contradictory. In some soils, no-tillage can be beneficial in reducing the severity of SDS compared to plow or chisel plow tillage (Seyb et al., 2007; Abney, unpublished). In other soils, intensive tillage reduces SDS presumably by maintaining sufficient vertical water movement compared to no-till (Vick et al., 2006). The best drainage and the most root growth-enhancing soil management may be facilitated in various ways — in some instances, this may require intensive tilling in some soil types, but no-till may be more appropriate in other soil types.


    Crop rotation may reduce the risk for SDS (Rupe et al., 1997), but corn-soybean in yearly rotation, common in the Corn Belt, does not reduce the incidence and severity of SDS (Westphal, unpublished). Severe outbreaks of the disease have occurred even after several years of continuous corn. Crop rotation reduces the inoculum potential of other soybean pathogens, but shifting to annual rotations of corn and soybean (compared to longer rotations that involved small grains and perhaps forages) fails to reduce the risk for SDS. Studies at Purdue University have found that soybean roots are not visually healthier after a rotation with corn compared to continuous soybean (Xing and Westphal, unpublished). When corn is grown in the field, soilborne pathogens may decline to some extent, but not enough to substantially reduce the disease pressure when soybean is grown in the field the following year. Although a two-year rotation may hold SCN population densities below threshold levels when the initial population density is low, such a rotation appears to be too short to reduce risk for SDS.

    Resistant Soybean Cultivars

    Soybean breeders are striving to develop SDS-resistant cultivars, but progress has been slow. Greenhouse and field methods, employing high rates of artificially produced fungal inoculum on grain sorghum and carefully selected watering regimes were developed (Hartman et al., 1997; De Farrias et al., 2006). While most seed companies have removed highly susceptible cultivars from their inventories, no highly resistant cultivars are available. Because seed companies continually introduce new cultivars and retire older ones, accurate information about the reaction of new cultivars to SDS is essential.

    Under these challenging management conditions, planting highly susceptible soybean cultivars into fields with high risk for SDS must be avoided. Field records of when and where SDS and other soilborne diseases occur are essential for management of SDS and other soilborne diseases. Handheld GPS receivers may assist in this strategy, but even simple sketched maps will help record problem areas. Fields severely affected by SDS should be earmarked for later planting and operations to improve water permeability should be considered, including compaction-correcting tillage or tile drainage. Finally, cultivars with some degree of resistance should be planted.

  • VRT Planting and Seed Treatment

    Hello everyone,

    I just have a few updates before what looks to be another hectic spring. If you are interested in variable rate planting, we have the technology available here on a local level with people you trust. We can do it if off of soil types or my preferred method, yield maps.  Give us a call soon if you are interested.

    I have one another announcement.  We are currently installing a state of the art seed treatment system.  With the improvements in seed care I believe it will be one of our most important tools to increase and protect soybean yields in the coming years.  Even if you haven’t purchased seed from us we would gladly treat anyone’s soybeans.  These advanced treatments are very important and we want to make sure you can take advantage of them.  Contact Jerry Gerot for the details. 

    Thanks for your continued support,

    Josh O’Toole




  • High Clearance Dry Spreader Now Available

    We are now able to do custom side-dress application of dry product

    We are pleased to announce we have just purchased a Rogator High Clearance Dry Spreader which will be available for use by all locations.  This will be available on a first come, first serve basis so call your local sales representative today to get your work scheduled!

RSS Feed

Receive e-mail updates from us!