Insights from Ag Plus Answer Plot Day

June 26, 2024

As we navigate another growing season, Ag Plus recently hosted an insightful Answer Plot Day, bringing together growers and experts from Land O'Lakes/WinField United to discuss the impacts of this year's wet weather on crop development. Here's a recap of the key points and advice shared during the event.

Soil Moisture and Rainfall:

Since April 1, we've experienced 16 inches of rain, leading to soil moisture levels of 48-50%. While ideal soil moisture is 25-35%, our current conditions have created anaerobic environments that can stress plants. Anaerobic soil conditions can limit root respiration and nutrient uptake, leading to stunted plant growth and increased susceptibility to diseases. Proper drainage and field management are essential to mitigate these effects.

Growing Degree Units (GDUs):

In July and August, we typically accumulate 20-25 GDUs per day, with optimal temperatures between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This year, we've already reached 850 total GDUs, giving crops a solid start. GDUs are crucial for predicting plant development stages and planning agricultural activities. Adequate GDU accumulation ensures that crops reach maturity within the growing season, maximizing yield potential. Learn more about GDUs.

Early Growth Advantage:

Early emergence is critical. Plants that emerge first maintain their lead, making timely planting and early growth stimulants like Ascend², which acts like adrenaline for corn, vital for development. Ascend² contains gibberellic acid, which promotes cell elongation and division, enhancing early vigor and root development. Ensuring that crops emerge uniformly and quickly can set the stage for a successful growing season.

Nutrient Essentials:

Phosphorus remains the top nutrient for corn kernel development, playing a key role in energy transfer and photosynthesis. Zinc functions as a nutrient transporter and natural bactericide, facilitating essential metabolic processes. Boron is crucial for pollen production and silk function, essential for kernel development. Adequate nutrient management, including soil testing and tailored fertilization, ensures that plants receive the necessary elements for optimal growth.

Importance of Micronutrients:

Micronutrients like manganese, zinc, and boron can significantly boost yields, especially when applied foliarly. Foliar applications can quickly correct deficiencies and improve plant health. This year, tissue sampling is particularly important due to potential root system challenges from saturated soils. Regular monitoring of plant tissue nutrient levels allows for timely interventions to prevent yield losses. Ag Plus has foliar tank mix options that will set your crop up for success.

Pest and Disease Management:

While this year's rains have reduced corn rootworm populations, vigilance is necessary as remaining pests can still cause significant damage. The growing year started as a breeding ground for Pythium, and now Phytophthora is poised to thrive in our current warm, wet soils. These pathogens can cause root and stem rots, leading to significant yield losses. Emphasizing proactive disease management, including crop rotation, resistant varieties, and fungicide applications, is crucial to protect crops.

Optimizing Pesticide Application:

Using drift and deposition agents like MasterLock can dramatically improve pesticide coverage, ensuring effective pest control from top to bottom of the plant. MasterLock enhances the adherence and spread of pesticides, reducing drift and increasing the amount of active ingredient reaching the target area.


This year's wet weather presents unique challenges, but with informed strategies and proactive management, we can navigate these conditions to achieve a successful growing season. Stay tuned for more updates and tips from Ag Plus as we continue to support our growers through every season.

By leveraging expert insights and staying adaptable, we can overcome the challenges posed by this year's weather and continue to thrive. Thank you to everyone who attended our Answer Plot Day and contributed to these valuable discussions.

For more information, contact a local, expert Ag Plus agronomist. Together, we can ensure your crops get the care they need to reach their full potential.

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Marshall, MN 56258

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