Ag Radio programs for August 2 - 8, 2007
Soybean Rust on its way
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. Soybean rust was discovered every closer to Kansas recently. The latest round of reports showed positive hits in northeast Texas, southwest Arkansas and south central Oklahoma. The Oklahoma sites were about 235 miles from Kansas. My gut feeling at this point is that we will see soybean rust in Kansas before the end of the growing season. But it is very important to not start making any knee jerk reactions or letting anybody talking you into starting to apply fungicides to your fields, just in case. These fungicide applications are not cheap and to start spraying them when the nearest detection to us is still over 400 miles away just doesn't make sense. In reality, the window in which treatment for soybean rust is justifiable is pretty narrow. Soybeans between the R1 stage which is flowering and R5 stage beginning seed in moderate to high risk OR rust is barely detectable in the lower canopy are the stages when fungicides should be applied. Once rust has reached the upper to mid canopy and is easy to detect or after the plants have reached R6 or full seed, we just can't see any justification in spraying. So what you do now is simply stay tuned and listen for any updates. Unless you have a really late maturing field with high yield potential I would be quite surprised if we could justify a fungicide treatment this year. However, we may get some practice at scouting for and identifying soybean rust later in the season. There are several websites that are tracking the soybean rust movement and I can provide those addresses to you on request. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Should I burn that stubble?
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. There seems to be some interest in late burning of wheat stubble this year, although we didn't see nearly as much right after harvest as there was in other parts of the state. I think most of you know that I am not a big proponent of burning wheat stubble and here's several reasons why. For each harvested bushel of wheat, the remaining stubble contains about one half pound of nitrogen and two tenths of a pound of phosphorus. A lot of that will be lost when you burn the straw. Sure, a fair amount is in the ash, but that ash is going to move with the wind. The resulting bare soil following the fire is going to be far more prone to wind and water erosion. Just a half ton of wheat straw left on the surface of fields reduces soil loss from over 14 tons per acre to just under 1 ton per acre. When it does rain, that wheat residue reduces the impact of each raindrop on the soil surface. It holds the water I place longer so there is less runoff and the soil has more time to take in the rain water. Long term burning, which we have fortunately moved away from does have a long term impact on the soil, most often in reduced organic matter levels. Reduced organic matter does have a whole host of problems associated with it. And finally, there is always the notion that burning the stubble will reduce the amount of volunteer wheat and cheat in the field next year. The truth is that it doesn't and there's even some evidence to show that it will increase both. So if you were thinking about burning those messy wheat fields yet this summer, please don't. That straw has a lot of value that I'd really hate see go up in smoke! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. If you haven't gotten tired of me talking about it yet, then I guess I haven't been talking about it enough. We need to be testing all of the forages that you are baling or ensiling before you start feeding it. I'm not worried about nitrates or prussic acid, I just want to know what is in that forage so you can utilize it best in livestock rations. We have a few producers who have been bringing in quite a few samples of alfalfa and brome this year. To say that these results have been all over the board would probably be an understatement. The heavy rains, the unusual temperatures, and just the natural variability of forages and soils have led to what is probably pretty normal fluctuations. But if you just assume that all alfalfa, or all brome, or all native hay is the same, you are going to be wasting money through over feeding or poor performance. I'm going to be working with some producers to sample various cuttings of different forages from different time frames. If you are interested in working with me on this, please let me know. I'd really like to get some early cut brome and some later cut brome. I'd like some prairie hay put up in early to mid July and some put up about now. I don't have an unlimited source of funds, but I can probably scrounge up enough to 15 or 20 different hay lots so call if you are interested. With the hay probe we have and a good cordless drill, it isn't too tough at all to get these samples collected. The key is to be sure to sample enough bales in each lot. The number we need to sample depends on how many bales there were, but we'll figure that out when you contact me. But please, make plans to test this year! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
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