Monday, December 4, 2017

Research Update (December 4, 2017)

Diligence Technologies Inc., West Tennessee

We have said many times that in a good year we finish up harvest by Halloween and in a slow year we finish at Thanksgiving.  This was a slow year.  Frequent rain showers stretched out soybean harvest a bit longer than we anticipated, but we finally have everything out of the fields and the reports from last summer finalized.

Wheat planting has finished up and we are doing a little maintenance on the wheat heading into winter.

A few sprays remain on some late winter annual weed control trials, but we should have those wrapped up pretty soon.

In short, the field work for this year is slowing down as we transition to mostly greenhouse work over the winter.

Our winter meeting season will "officially" kick off with the North Central Weed Science Society meeting in St. Louis on December 4-7.

Other meeting we have on the schedule in January include:

Beltwide Cotton Conferences (JAN 3-5, San Antonio)
NAICC (JAN 17-20, Tucson)
SWSS (JAN 22-24, Atlanta)

As always, let us know where you plan to be this winter.  We look forward to catching up and planning for next season.

This year's round of maintenance is complete at the greenhouse.  The grow lights, heat, and irrigation are running.  A few pots have already been planted and we are shifting much more of our time and attention to greenhouse trials.

Now is a great time to let us know if you are considering generating some data in the greenhouse this winter.  We have several months and lots of space to work with, so let us know how we can be of service.

We were glad to see Eric Melton (Indigo) on a late-season stop to check the progress of his winter trials.  Look forward to having him back soon.

The weather this fall has seen a bit more rain than usual for harvest time, but the temperatures have been largely mild and pleasant.  If you believe the national weather service, we should experience a winter that is a warmer and dryer than normal.  We'll see. 

Winter annual weeds seem to be coming along fine.  Along with our usual covering of henbit, we are getting good populations of poa and chickweed.  If we pick the right spots, I believe we also have some pretty good cutleaf eveningprimrose and horseweed populations to work with.

We are very thankful to all of you that allowed Diligence Technologies to be part of your research program over the past year.  We wish you and your families a safe and blessed Christmas season.

Proverbs 22:29

Seest thou a man diligent in his business?  He shall stand before kings…


Monday, November 6, 2017

Research Update (November 6, 2017)

Diligence Technologies Inc., West Tennessee

The summer tour season is about over as we have less and less to look at in the field.  Thanks so much to all our friends that dropped by for a visit this summer.  We enjoy the chance to see everyone and show you through the plots.  Come back anytime.

I look forward to catching up with many of you at the North Central Weed Science Society meeting in St. Louis on December 4-7.  Let me know if you are planning to attend.  I would enjoy the opportunity to visit.

This field season is winding down rapidly.  All the corn data has been sent.  Cotton ginning has started and soybean trials are being harvested between rain showers.

All the winter wheat trials are in the ground (and most are up and growing).  We have had enough moisture and warm weather to get wheat off to a good start.  In addition to the wheat plots we currently have going, we have planted some large blocks of wheat that can be turned into postemergence trials next spring.

Winter annual weeds seem to be off to an early start, and we have late fall applications going out in the near future.  We should have some good populations for testing this winter and next spring if you have the need.

The greenhouse is back and better than ever.  Some of you may have been aware that a hail storm last winter left the greenhouse in need of repair.  However, our highly skilled group of greenhouse technicians (Jesse, Kevin, and Jackson) replaced the back wall and the roof.  We are looking forward to another season of having a warm place to hide when it gets cold outside.

If you are looking for a place to generate some data over the winter, our heated and lighted greenhouse may be just what you are looking for.  Let us know if we can be of service.

Fall temperatures have finally came our way over the past few weeks.  We have had several cool days mixed in with some very pleasant ones.

We have been getting just enough rainfall to slow down our harvesting a bit.  While few of the showers have produced large amounts of rain, the frequent, small showers have kept things just wet enough to keep us out of the field.  A few more dry days and we should be able to wrap up soybean harvest.


As mentioned above, our winter annual weeds (henbit, chickweed, cutleaf eveningprimrose) seem to be off to a good start.  We also seem to be getting some horseweed in the mix.  It should be a good season for winter and spring burndown trials.

On a less pleasant note, this past season gave us some soybeans plots with lowest frogeye leaf spot pressure we have seen in disease trials.  While we had a few trials that worked out well, we had several trials that did not get nearly the pressure we have observed over the years.  I am sure the farmers in the area were pleased, but it makes it tough when you are trying to evaluate fungicides.  We trust that this was an unpleasant anomaly and we will be back to normal in the coming year.

Proverbs 21:5
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Research Update (July 15, 2017)

Diligence Technologies Inc., West Tennessee


We have spent a good portion of the past couple of months trying to catch up on trial establishment.  Frequent showers meant that we had few full weeks to get things done, so we have been working where and when we can.  As a result, trial establishment was farther behind than in any year in recent memory.  Several trials had to replanted due to excessive moisture with a few even requiring three or four attempts before we finally got a good stand.  As always, the crew (Jesse, Kevin, and Jackson) did a heroic job of making sure everything got done.


Wheat is almost over for this season.  We are finishing up post-harvest data collection (seed weights, etc.) at present.  Disease pressure was pretty good in the fungicide trials and you could see the benefits of a well-timed foliar application.

We have corn trials at almost every imaginable growth stage.  Planting dates on yielded trials range anywhere from mid-April to mid-May.  Our later trials (generally fungicide trials planted intentionally late to increase disease pressure) are just beginning to enter the reproductive phase and corn fungicide applications will begin in mass next week.

Applications will also begin soon in soybean fungicide trials.  Applications at R1 will likely be next week with R3 applications a couple of weeks later.

Cotton trials began the year very slowly.  With excessive moisture and reduced amounts of heat and sunshine, the cotton struggled to get a good start.  Stands were sometimes thin and the crop in general was less than impressive.  The good news is that growth has improved substantially with the increased heat and sunshine over the past month.  It is finally time to break out the growth regulator and try to slow things down just a bit.


The greenhouse is officially closed for the summer which is a good thing.  The greenhouse is heated which makes it a great place to work during the winter.  However, the cooling fans can only do so much in summer and it is difficult to find volunteers to go in there in July.

Keep us in mind for your greenhouse needs later this fall.  We should have it back in operation in October.


Thanks to everyone who has stopped by for a visit so far this spring.  However, with trial establishment slower than normal, much of the prime viewing time for plots is still to come.  Several tours have been rescheduled for a little later in the season.  As always, just let us know when you will be in the area.  We always enjoy getting to spend time with friends.


Preemergence weed control has been generally good this spring as frequent showers allowed for herbicide activation in the soil.  Postemergence herbicide injury has been above normal as crops had little opportunity to “harden off” during the early spring.  Even our normal maintenance applications tended to show burn on the foliage.  Probably not a significant issue, but it does not help make the plots look good.

Disease activity is still pretty low right now in the fungicide trials.  It usually takes a while for grey leaf spot in corn and frogeye leaf spot in soybeans to build and the crops are still relatively young.  For those wanting to look at fungicide trials, late August has traditionally been a good time for viewing.

Insect pressure has been fairly light this year with the exception of thrips on cotton.  However, we generally have some excellent opportunities to test insecticides on late-planted soybeans.  Let us know if you need a late bug trial and we will work something out.

We are very thankful to those who have sent trials our way so far this season.  We still have some ground available for an evaluation late this summer or early fall.  I tell folks all the time that it is a rare September that we do not plant a few corn or soybean trials.  Just let us know how we can be of service.

Proverbs 12:27
… the substance of the diligent man is precious.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Research Update (May 6, 2017)

Diligence Technologies Inc., West Tennessee


One of our off-season projects was to construct some additional chemical storage.  Jesse and Kevin did an excellent job building the new shelves (as shown above).  With a little luck, maybe we can be keep our maintenance chemicals well organized and secure this season.


As is typical this time of year, we are beginning to schedule tours for late-May and June.  What makes it challenging is that the tours are often to view trials that we have not even established yet.  However, my guys always seem to rise to the occasion.  I expect no less in the coming season.

Like most farmers, one of our challenges this season will be keeping track of which herbicide traits are in which field (or in our case, which trial).  It is not usually an issue for the test treatments, but it can be a real issue for maintenance sprays.  Don’t be surprised to find multiple colored flags in the corner of your trials as we try to keep everything straight.


Burndown and wheat weed controls trials are done or pretty close at this time.  Another rating or two and they will be in the books.  Horseweed has been a bit lighter than normal to date (meaning we actually had to look for these sites), while things like henbit and chickweed have been available in abundance.

Wheat fungicide and other yielded wheat trials are progressing well.  We managed to miss any major freeze damage this spring and the trials appear to be on track for an early harvest.  Still have a ways to go to finish these off in good shape.

All the yielded corn trials are planted now except fungicide trials.  We usually hold off on those until mid-May in order to encourage disease development.  Corn weed control trials will be starting up soon.

We are in the early stages of cotton planting.  The first trials of the season were planted this week, but most of the cotton work is in front of us.  Recent weather has been wet and cool which does not make for a good start a cotton crop.  However, the forecast for next week appears to be much more favorable.


As the days get warmer and field work increases, we are bringing greenhouse operations to a close for another winter.  A few more ratings on our latest trials should do it.  We do have little greenhouse maintenance to perform (thanks to a hail storm around Christmas), and we will shut things down until next October.  Thanks to all those that keep us busy during the cold months.


The word for the past few weeks has been “wet”.  Good for seedling disease trials but not a lot else.  We have been blessed in that we have had a few windows where we could plant in selected fields on selected days.  That has allowed us to get things started.  However, we still have a lot of catching up to do when the fields dry and the things warm up a bit.

As always, please continue to let us know if you have additional research needs.  We still have sites available and would be more than happy to fill them up with your trials.
Proverbs 12:24
The hand of the diligent shall bear rule, but the slothful shall be put to forced labor.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Research Update (March 7, 2017)

Diligence Technologies Inc., West Tennessee


We are pleased to announce that we now have an expanded variety of turf research offerings.  Through agreements with local sod farms and golf courses, we can now provide testing on more turf varieties and a greater number of turf pests.

We will begin work at our new sites this season, so please let us know if we can help with you turf testing needs.  

Meeting season is nearing the end for this winter.  Over the past month, we were happy to catch up with some of our old friends at the Tennessee Ag Production Association, Cotton Focus, and Midsouth Farm and Gin Show meetings in the area.

The last meeting on the calendar for a while will be the Southeastern Branch ESA meeting in Memphis on March 12-15.  Let us know if you plan to be around.


Wheat continues to progress with the continued mild winter not slowing things down as much as normal.  Wheat stages vary greatly with early planted wheat already showing erect growth (up to first node) while late planted wheat is green but substantially smaller.  Many have taken advantage of the nice weather to spray and fertilize some of the smaller wheat.  The remaining late-winter applications will be made shortly if the weather holds.

We are currently cutting out trial areas for wheat fungicide and weed control trials this spring.  We still have wheat available if you need a spot.

As you might expect with the mild winter, we have a good collection of healthy burndown weeds (henbit, chickweed, Carolina geranium, cutleaf eveningprimrose, horseweed).  Let us know if you have additional burndown trials for this season.

Corn planting season is still a few weeks away for Diligence Technologies.  However, the warm weather has tempted at least a few of the more adventurous corn growers in west Tennessee to start early.  While February corn may be the norm for our neighbors to south, this is the first time I can recall seeing it in Tennessee.  The calendar says there may be some cold weather left this season, so we’ll see how it works out.


Greenhouse trials are in full swing with a wide variety of crops and pests currently being tested.  Thanks to all those who helped keep us busy through the winter.  We have about two more months of testing left before we shut things down for the summer and concentrate on field trials.


We were glad to welcome Jo Gillilan (Winfield United) and Cletus Youmans (BASF) to the warm confines of the greenhouse this month.  Visitors are always welcome to step out of cold and join us (although this winter it has felt pretty good outside on many occasions).


This might be the biggest winter for henbit that I can recall.  While henbit is always a common winter annual in this area, it seems to have been particularly prolific this season.  It might be difficult to run a burndown or wheat weed control trial that does not include the weed.  However, our other winter annuals seem to have done just fine also.  We may just have to look a little harder to find them under the mat of henbit.

Proverbs 10:4
He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand, but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Research Update (February 2, 2017)

Diligence Technologies Inc., West Tennessee


Diligence Technologies now has office space at the Agricenter International in Memphis.  We have been working over the winter to turn it into a functional space for meetings (Jesse and Kevin built the conference table) as well as getting the computer system ready for data processing.  If you would like the 30 second tour, we are located in C wing on the second floor (office C-31).


The past month has been busy with the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, NAICC, and Southern Weed Science Society.  Toss in the Dyersburg Grain Conference (earlier today), and you can tell that meeting season is in full swing.  Several of the upcoming meetings are a little closer to home:

Tennessee Ag Production Association (Feb. 8, Jackson, TN)
Cotton Focus (Feb. 9, Jackson, TN)
Mid-south Farm & Gin Show (Mar. 3-4, Memphis, TN)
Southeastern Branch ESA (Mar. 12-15, Memphis, TN)

We look forward to seeing you at one of the remaining events on the calendar.


Wheat continues to look unusually good for early February.  A long, warm fall combined with a mild winter (so far) have allowed wheat to grow without much of a break.  In fact, we are holding off on fertilization for a while as we do not want to generate too much growth while we still have the potential of a hard freeze.

As is our tradition, we have quite a bit of extra wheat planted for use in foliar trials.  Let us know if your plans call for wheat trials this spring.

One side "benefit" of the mild winter is that it has given the winter weeds a good start which should make for excellent burndown trial opportunities.  With burndown trial season approaching soon, let us know your needs in this area.


Greenhouse testing for the season is in full swing and the greenhouse continues to be the best place to work on a cold winter day.  We currently have a wide variety of insecticide, herbicide, and fertility trials underway.

With 1,650 square feet of heated greenhouse space, we still have room for additional trials if you have the need.  However, don't wait too long.  Our window for starting greenhouse trials and being able to finish them off prior to closing down for the summer will begin to close in a month or so.

Hope to see you all around the farm this season and let us know what we can do to be of service.

Proverbs 27:23-24
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds; for riches are not forever.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Research Update (January 8, 2017)

Diligence Technologies, Inc., West Tennessee

Upcoming Events:

Meeting season is well underway and we have enjoyed seeing many of our old friends at the North Central Weed Science Society meeting in Des Moines and the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in Dallas.  We have several additional meetings on the calendar so please let us know if you plan to attend.  As always, we look forward to the opportunity to catch up on what is new with you.

NAICC (Jan. 18-21, St. Louis)
SWSS (Jan. 23-25, Birmingham)
Dyersburg Grain Conference (Feb. 2, Dyersburg Fairgrounds)
TAPA (Feb. 8, Jackson)
Cotton Focus (Feb. 9, Jackson)
Gin Show (Mar. 3-4, Memphis)
Southeastern Branch ESA (Mar. 13-15, Memphis)

Cropping Information:

Field work is fairly slow at present with the exception of wheat trials started in the fall.  Wheat was unusually large heading into the winter due to the extended warm weather we experienced this fall.  In addition to the trials we have already established, we have some extra blocks of wheat that can be used for wheat trials initiated in the spring.  We still have wheat available if you need a spot for testing this spring.

Greenhouse testing is in full swing.  We have several trials ongoing with others scheduled to begin in the near future.  Greenhouse testing is always interesting due to the wide variety of crops and pests that we get to deal with (everything from weeds to aphids and from cotton to citrus trees).  Now is a great time to get a trial started if you have something that needs to be evaluated over the winter.

It may interest some of you to know that we have a good aphid population that can be used for greenhouse testing this winter.  Let us know if you need any testing done on aphid control materials.

Also, it is not too early to begin thinking about burndown trials.  As usual, we should have a fine collection of winter weeds available for testing in late winter and early spring.

We hope you all had a great holiday season and we are looking forward to seeing and working with you in coming year.

Proverbs 22:29
Seest thou a man diligent in his business?  He shall stand before kings…