Pro Farmer Crop Tour - Day 4

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Eastern & Western Routes - Thursday August 24

Eastern Route - Day 4

Map for Day 4, Eastern Route, Pro Farmer Crop Tour

Western Route - Day 4

Western Crop Tour Route - Day 4

Leader - Jay Zielske, Pioneer Field Agronomist, Southeast Minnesota

Jay Zielske, Pioneer Field Agronomist, Southeast Minnesota
  • Corn currently experiencing significant drought stress across much of the area … worst since 1988.
  • Season began with heavy rains and saturated soils in May with large areas requiring replant.
  • Soybean diseases have been minimal to date however impact of soybean cyst nematode (SCN) has been felt.
  • Soybean crop stands to benefit more so from rain that finally returned in early August.
  • Find more updates & photos.


Crop Conditions - Southeast Minnesota

- Jay Zielske

Weather Challenges

  • Some years more unusual than others.
  • Cold wet May resulted in prolonged saturated soils resulting in near record amount of corn replant.
  • Late May rain shut off, and conditions switched to the most severe drought for many since 1988.
  • Drought has been the chief concern throughout the summer in southern and south-central Minnesota.
  • Some relief arrived first week of August:
    • Stabilizing and salvaging the corn crop.
    • Soybeans better positioned to capitalize on August rains.


  • Dry weather for much of the season led to significantly less Tar Spot.
  • Corn rootworm diapause replaced tar spot as corn farmer’s biggest concern.


Looking Ahead to Harvest

  • Drought stressed crop is likely to race to the finish.
  • Farmers should not waste time getting the crop out of the field.
  • Phantom yield loss is real.

Disease Challenge - Tar Spot

Quoting colleague Josh Shofner:

"You can’t fungicide your way out of Tar Spot.”
  • Dry weather conditions throughout much of the area kept tar spot largely in check.
  • Return to more normal weather conditions will likely bring a return to tar spot in 2024.
  • Farmers in southeast Minnesota remember strategies learned in 2022:
    • Tar spot management begins with hybrid selection.
    • Scouting
    • Timely fungicide applications

Tar Spot treatment comparison

However ...

Extended Diapause of Corn Rootworm Replaced Tar Spot in the Headlines Going into 2023

  • Extended diapause and damage to first year corn from northern corn rootworm is back with a vengeance.
  • First year corn without a below ground rootworm trait or insecticide fell victim to heavy rootworm pressure.
  • High adult beetle populations in 2021 and back-to-back mild winters resulted in high survival rates and heavy pressure.
  • Pioneer® brand Qrome® products fared well under rootworm pressure in 2023 … looking to the future we’re eager to rollout Pioneer® brand Vorceed™ Enlist® products.
  • VORCEED Enlist® technology provides the yield/insect protection / weed control options farmers are looking for.
  • Looking ahead to 2024 whether it be tar spot or extended diapause, Pioneer is positioned to be the LEADER for both challenges.

Rootworm injury to non-rootworm traited hybrid

Rootworm injury to non-rootworm traited hybrid.

Soybean Cyst Nematode

Populations Continue to Build

  • Dry weather has resulted in minimal disease pressure thus far.
  • With dry weather the impact of Soybean Cyst Nematode has been magnified.
  • As part of our summer contact plan sales reps sampled 40 fields of non-Pioneer customers.
    • Nearly 60% of those fields showed high to very high populations even where resistant varieties have been planted.
    • Indication that reliance on PI88788 source of resistance is not enough.
  • Pioneer continues to have success with PEKING source in our A-Series Enlist E3® varieties.

Soybean cyst nematode


Mary Gumz - PhD - Pioneer Agronomy Manager

Pioneer Agronomy Manager Mary Gumz

Tar Spot

CU Agronomy Manager Mary Gumz reviews Tar Spot management strategies.
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Adam Theis - Portfolio Marketing Leader - Corn

Pioneer Portfolio Marketing Leader for Corn - Adam Theis

What’s Next in Pioneer Corn

Portfolio Marketing Leader Adam Theis reviews new & upcoming corn technologies.
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Photo - man reviewing tablet in cornfield - mid season

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Enlist E3 logo

The transgenic soybean event in Enlist E3® soybeans is jointly developed and owned by Corteva Agriscience and M.S. Technologies L.L.C.

Logo - Qrome Products

*Data is based on the average of comparisons made in the US 2019-2021. Comparisons are against all competitors, technology segment matched, unless otherwise stated, and within a +/- 3 CRM of the competitive brand. Efficacy from multiple trials with moderate & high CRW pressure at 8 locations in 2014, 6 locations in 2015, 8 locations in 2016, 8 locations in 2017, 10 locations in 2018, 9 locations in 2019, and 15 locations in 2020.