Air February 12 - 16, 2007

Wheat and publications

This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. I think most of the normal mid winter publications are FINALLY in the Extension Office. Last but not least, the 2007 Chemical Weed Control book finally arrived last week. Bigger and bulkier than ever. It is now over 100 pages and a few new features have been added - including sections on herbicides for use as harvest aids. There seem to be so many changes in crop herbicides that as soon as the book is printed it is out of date, but copies are now available, and they are still free. Kansas Ag Statistics released their annual report last week of wheat variety plantings for the current crop. And we have a new number one wheat - Overly. Overly just overtook Jagalene with 23.3% of the acres planted compared to 23.1% for Jagalene. Jagalene had only held the number one spot for 1 year. It was a close second in 2005, but for the 8 or more years prior to 2005, Jagger had held the number one spot with over 40% of the acres planted in three of those years. That many acres in one variety is never a good thing. Jagger is still a popular wheat at a strong 17.1% of the acres in the state. Coming in 4th place again this year was blends. Blends have been holding a fairly steady 10 to 15% of the acres for the past half a dozen years. In the east central reporting district, which includes Geary County, we have a pretty good division for the top five varieties. Jagger was number 1 with 20.5% of the acres, Overley was 2nd with 19.5%, Jagalene was 3rd at 18.3%, 2137 4th at 14.3% and 2145 was 5th at 8.7%. If anyone would like the full report, it's on the web, or call the office and ask for a copy. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.

Oats as forage

This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. I was talking about oats as a grain crop last week, and hinted at using oats as a forage crop and let's talk a little bit more about that today. Oats can provide excellent quality hay or silage and can even be used for pasture to help get cattle through until native grass starts to come on strong. Again, because of some of this winter moisture, we have a good chance to get some excellent vegetative growth. Our normal planting season is Valentine's Day to St Patrick's Day. Call me a skeptic but I think we'll be looking at the latter part of that window this year. If growing for forage, plant about 2 bushels of seed per acre - you can probably boost that to 2 bushels without hurting a thingand if you're going after grazing, push that all the way to 3 bushels.. Oats can be planted no-till, but we honestly seem to get better results if we can do some preplant tillage. Also, oats are very sensitive to Atrazine and other triazine herbicides, so be careful where you plant them. Again, we don't want to skimp on fertilizer. Plan on 75 to 120 pounds of nitrogen and if you are going to graze them, don't hesitate to push that up another 30 pounds per acre. Two years of trials at Hutchinson have shown dry matter yields of 7,000 to over 10,000 pounds per acre which is better than a lot of bromegrass has done in recent years. I won't go through the entire list of varieties that were tested, but Blaze, Esker, Gem, Reeves, and Richard all had 2 year average yields over 9,000 pounds per acre. If you want to see the whole list, give me a call and I'll send it to you. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.

Don't lock into tradition

This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. Just as grain prices are sitting high and pretty, the cattle and dairymen have more good news to look at. Forage prices aren't expected to come down much anytime soon, and many groups are pushing for more research and efforts in biofuel funding, including cellulosic ethanol production which includes alfalfa! One of the big topics at the national cattlemans association meeting in Nashville a couple weeks ago was the impact of ethanol production on livestock production. What all this means to the livestock producer is how important it is to stay flexible. I heard a speaker last fall talk about how humans need to be more like bacteria. They need to communicate better and change faster. It gets real easy to get locked into tradition and you just keep doing what you've always been doing.... because it is comfortable. It may cost more money, but the pain of paying more is less than the perceived pain of changing. Be on the lookout for different forage, grain and protein options. Learn to use wheat mids, or distillers grains or whatever you can find that is lower priced. Learn to put up hay at a slightly different time to improve the protein content. Go ahead and put the extra fertilizer on the bromegrass to get a little more yield. Take the time to fertilize that alfalfa to keep it healthy and apply a dormant season herbicide to keep that weed competition down and then spray a little sooner to control alfalfa weevil or pea aphids. More than likely a lot of what we have been doing the past 10 or 20 years isn't going to cut it in the coming years. Change is coming and we can either work with change, or we can be controlled by change. The choice is ours!! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.

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