Ag Radio programs for August 9 - 15, 2007
Soybean and sorghum insect problems
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. I've finally been finding some time to get out and start walking fields. Soybeans first - starting to pick up a fair amount of leaf feeding, but so far this appears to be as much grasshoppers as bean leaf beetles or green cloverworms. And the weather has been far more favorable to grasshoppers than the other two pests or even soybean aphids. If most of the feeding damage is on the edges of the fields, suspect grasshoppers as the main culprits. If evenly found throughout the field, the bean leaf beetles or cloverworms are more likely to blame. We sometimes get in a hurry to treat soybeans because we are seeing some holes in leaves, but we need to make several random samples throughout the field. Bean leaf beetles need to be over 50 per foot of row or we start to see pod feeding, before we can justify treatments. If you are seeing what looks to be a lot of feeding damage, give me a call and let's take a look at it. I was somewhat surprised to see a fair amount of feeding damage in sorghum fields also. Some of this was from grasshoppers, but I was finding a surprising number of fall armyworms also. I don't get too concerned about foliage feeding, but head feeding is another problem AND a lot of the milo is in boot or now heading. We need to watch this one really close as all it takes is an average of one fall armyworm per panicle to justify an insecticide treatment. I was also seeing a lot of corn leaf aphids up in the whorls of the milo plants. I never get too excited about corn leaf aphids. It takes a lot to cause problems and they help predator numbers increase. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Make sure you soil test wheat fields
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. Last time I checked, the price of fertilizer wasn't going down very much. Nitrogen was anywhere from 29 to 52 cents per pound depending on your choice of formulation. As usual, we'll have a lot of wheat planted this fall. Maybe a little less than normal if corn and soybean yields hold on and prices hold on, but we'll have a lot of wheat go in the ground in October none the less. If you are managing it like you should, and shooting for a conservative 65 bushels per acre - I say conservative because the genetic potential is there for 70 and 80 bushel wheat with any of the newer varieties, then you need to be applying a fair amount of nitrogen. Let's just carry our 65 bushel yield goal on and tie in some soil test data. If we are sampling even just 18 inches down and turn up 5 parts per million of nitrogen, we'd be recommending 90 pounds of nitrogen. But if we find that we have 10 ppm of residual nitrate nitrogen then that fertilizer requirement drops to 60 pounds of N per acre, and if by chance there's 20 ppm residual nitrogen, then all of a sudden we've reduced our N application rate to 10 pounds per acre. Do you know what a good profile soil test costs? About ten bucks and an hour or so of your time. We could have a lot of fields with surprising residual N levels. But if we don't know for sure, we could be wasting money on fertilizer we don't need, or shorting the crop, hurting our yield and raising the per bushel cost of growing that crop. We've got a couple months before wheat planting starts and that's plenty of time to get some soil samples pulled and analyzed. Then we can make an educated recommendation instead of shooting in the dark! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Time for field days
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. August and September are the months when there are a lot of field days going on all over the state, both university and private. It's also a somewhat slack time on most producers work schedule. So I'm a big believer in getting to as many of these as you can. There is no one field day that will give you ALL the answers, because no one has all the answers. But the more people you listen to, and the more ideas you open your mind up to the more likely you are to finding those new ideas that will help you stay in business. Some of these field days will be free, some of the opportunities may cost you up to a couple hundred bucks. But you mingle with various experts as well as producers just like yourself. You visit with them, you ask each other questions and it gives the opportunity for everyone to become a learner and everyone to become a teacher. One that's almost on us and you'll have to register at the door, is the 2007 Risk and Profit Conference at K-state on August 16 and 17th. This one will be at the KSU Alumni Center and registering at the door is going to cost you $200 for this two day event. But everyone I've ever talked to that's attended it felt that they got their money's worth. There are a lot of excellent breakout sessions on a lot of cutting edge and headline topics. Contact me for more information. Another one, and this one's free including a meal, is at the Belleville experiment field on the evening of August 30th. Two of the topics really caught my eye: No-Till Crop Rotation comparisons and seed treatments for sorghum and soybeans. If you need directions or want more information on either of these events, give me a call. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
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