Air February 26 - March 2, 2006
This may be the year for wheat fungicides
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. We have an interesting spring shaping up ahead of us in wheat production. Most wheat fields went into winter dormancy in pretty good shape. We've gotten some pretty decent winter moisture so when it finally really warms up, expect some good growth on that wheat. Wheat prices are also looking pretty good right now with good expectations for that price to hold on into harvest. The El Nino event isn't as strong as it has been in some cycles, but there is still an opportunity for some wet weather this spring. So hear we have good yield potential, a higher than normal value for that wheat and a possible wet spring. Not only does this add up to a good formula for wheat diseases, it also increases the likelihood that it would pay to apply fungicides. Now wheat fungicides are preventative medicine for the most part. There are some products that have kickback effect where they can kill a disease on a leaf that is less than a couple days old, but if you have a leaf full of rust or powdery mildew, you can't save that leaf, you can only try to stop it from infecting the next leaf up on the plant. We have plenty of time yet though because we normally want to most protect that flag leaf. We have about a half dozen products out there that have anywhere from good to excellent control of our common foliar wheat diseases. So this is just the early warning system saying, this could be the year. If it turns off dry, it won't matter, but if the moon and the planets line up, it may be the year to get some fungicide on those wheat fields. Stay tuned! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Red Cedar Control in Pastures
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. I don't know about you, but I was getting a pretty good laugh about all the articles in the press the past couple of weeks talking about how red cedars are becoming an invasive problem in pastures. My first thought was, where the heck have these people been for the past twenty years. This is not a new problem and I think every pasture manager knows that. But as more people buy small acreages out in the county and build a home this will be an even bigger problem. Especially if these new rural residents let all the cedars grow thick and big right up around their homes. This is a bad idea because of one thing - fire! A cedar tree is a Roman candle just waiting to take off, and eventually it probably will. Every pasture manager knows this, and depends on it. We can control cedars three ways. Mechanical control is one. Read that to mean, cutting them off below all green foliage. We are lucky in that cedars are a nonsprouting species. If you cut them off below all the foliage, they die. Secondly we have chemical control. Tordon, Velpar and Surmount are all products that are quite effective on cedars, but not necessarily cheap. And finally we have prescribed burning. The cheapest and most effective way to control cedars that aren't too tall or too thick yet. The beauty of fire, is that you can use it at anytime to control cedars. So if your biggest concern is cedar tree control in your pastures, you can start burning anytime now when the weather allows. You don't have to wait until the end of April. If you have questions on cedar control, prescribed burning or pasture management, please give me a call at the Extension Office. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Winter Damage to Alfalfa Stands
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. It really has been quite a few years since we've had a good winter, meaning one that really acted like winter with cold temperature, lots of snow and ice cover and all the other fun things that winter brings us. And what this means is that alfalfa fields may show something we haven't seen in quite a few years, winter damage and newly seeded alfalfa stands will be at the greatest risk. As spring comes along and new growth commences, we'll need to take a good look at those stands to evaluate their condition just in case we need to take some action to fix some problems, as in needing to reseed! Although we didn't have near the ice and snow cover of western Kansas, we have had enough ice on fields long enough that we could see some suffocation (and by the way this could be in issue in some wheat fields also.) It only takes about two weeks of ice cover for death of plants to begin, and six weeks of continuous ice cover is guaranteed to cause problems. Newer stands are going to be at the greatest risk. If plants aren't greening up, dig up a few crowns and split them open. They should be a nice creamy color. If they aren't, there's a problem and give me a call. Heaving is another common problem when we have frozen soils, and we did get a pretty good frost line built up this year. Alternating cycles of freezing and thawing are more likely to heave alfalfa crowns out of the ground, and we haven't had a lot of that yet. There's not much we can do unless enough of the crowns are disrupted that we may need to tear up and replant. If you have any questions as you evaluate your alfalfa stands, please give me a call so we can take a look! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
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