MARION, Ind. — The 2019 AgriGold Academy connected farmers with agronomists, technology pros and other experts this month.
Jason Carey, digital ag field specialist for AgReliant Genetics, discussed Advantage Acre — a program that helps farms use data in practical ways.
“It’s a digitalized program our customers can use for things like placing hybrids, soil mapping, variable rate recommendations and predictive weather forecasts that can offer insight,” Carey said.
“We have a lot of tools in our program, but we want to find what fits for you. Wherever you’re at, we have tools that you can start using to add value to your farm.”
Carey expects digital technology to become a natural part of the farming world.
He said that digital tools help farmers visualize data. From there, they can make better decisions based off the numbers.
“I really think in the next ten or so years there will be more sensor technology across the farm, whether it’s a moisture probe out in the field or other sensors that tell you if you should apply a fungicide,” Carey said.
“Whether it’s seed inputs or fertilizer, they’re going to use digital tools to place hybrids so they can the maximum production possible.”
Joe Stephan, AgriGold regional agronomist, was another keynote speaker at the academy.
He and Darcy Telenko, plant pathologist at Purdue University, spoke about plant diseases to be on the lookout for.
“My concern for my customer base (in northern Indiana) was that we’d be more prone to some of these fungal pathogens and late-season leaf diseases,” Stephan said.
“Due to late planting, we’ve made this 30-day shift later in the year, and that coincides with typically higher pressures from some of these leaf diseases.”
While farmers tend to be familiar with diseases such as northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot, other pathogens are less-known.
He shared three corn diseases farmers should look out for:
1. Tar spot: “It was widespread across northern Indiana last year. That disease likes cooler weather. As you look at this weather pattern that we’re getting ready to go into, it seems we’re headed for much cooler conditions. That’s really well-suited for that disease.
“We have longer nights, the days are getting shorter. That means the dews come in earlier and leave later in the day. The leaves are going to be wetter for a longer period, allowing for some of these diseases, especially tar spot, to advance more rapidly in the coming weeks.”
2. Southern rust: “For our clientele in northern Indiana, we typically don’t see southern rust move in, or if it does, it’s extremely late in the growing season and not normally with an economic impact.
“But with so much grain fill yet to occur, we wanted to talk about southern rust. There’s been one confirmed case in Henry County.
“As we look at this, we wanted guys to be prepared. Understand what to look for, how to identify it, and the steps to take as far as fungicide applications and diagnosis.”
3. Physoderma brown spot: “We’re seeing physoderma brown spot in a pretty good amount this year. It can show leaf symptoms and stalk rot.
“This is a disease that took off early in the season. There’s nothing (farmers) can do about it now. But as guys are walking the fields, they may come across it. We want to make sure they know what they’re looking at and are well versed in common diseases they may see.”
Learn more about AgriGold at www.agrigold.com.