Air May 1 - 7, 2007
Bluestem Pasture Rental Rates Report
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. Most of the people that know me know that I'm really a numbers kind of guy. Show me a report full of numbers and tables and I'm as happy as a honeybee in a field of sweet clover. The Bluestem Pasture Rental Rate report came out on the 25th of April. There were some surprises in it, to me anyway. A few disclaimers first - the area surveyed includes just the 14 counties considered to be in the Flint Hills region, which includes Geary county, but technically not Dickinson or Riley. Every pasture owner or person that rents pasture is sent the questionaire, so it's more of a census, not a random survey. So let's get into it. Cow with a spring calf rate jumped from $119 in 2006 to almost $126. But average per acre rental rate remained constant at $17.60 per acre. Remember that these rates are for a May to October or full season rental. Well, how could the per pair price go up, but the per acre price remain the same? Simple, the guaranteed acres per head increased from 2006 to 2007. In 2007 we are at 8.0 acres per cow with spring calf which is getting pretty close with my preferences. Just keep in mind that this is acres of grass, NOT acres in the pasture! For partial season we are at about $60 per head for 2.9 acres per head and off by mid July. Now, if you think these numbers are cheap, cheaper than you are paying, be aware that the range of responses for a cow/calf pair was 38 to 200 dollars per pair. The wide range is due to what all the landlord and tenant came to terms on as to who pays what. Copies of the full report are available from my office. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
A Clearer Picture on Wheat Freeze Damage is emerging
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. I'll be very blunt that the wheat picture is getting clearer and it isn't a very pretty picture. The mid to upper 80s over last weekend were not what we needed. Temperature in the 60s and 70s and some regular rainfall is what we need. Based on what we are now seeing, and what we know from the past is this. For those plants where secondary tillers, those tillers that are produced each year and normally don't do much, are the main source of the production, we can expect a 25 to 50% yield loss. Where it falls in that range is dependent on the weather. Now, for those fields harder hit, and in general those are the fields or plants where all the tillers went flat and killed, they have a tougher challenge. These plants have had to go back and start from very dormant buds. In essence these plants have now become the equivalent of spring wheat. Spring wheat is a real iffy crop in Kansas and assuming that we have normal weather, we can expect no more than 30 bushels per acre, it's liable to be light test weight and you'll be harvesting it in July, maybe late July. If most of your field falls in the last scenario, I would start looking at alternative crop options because you probably have better profit potential elsewhere. If your field is in the first scenario, I would be inclined to ride it out right now. But what do you do if your fields are a little bit of both? In those cases I would look at hoe much of each you have. Then I'd look at what your other crop plans are and what will fit into your crop rotation, as well as what your crop insurer has to say. But do that NOW, so when it's time to plant in a couple more weeks, you already know where you're headed! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Fertilizers in direct seed contact
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. Applying fertilizer with the planter is an excellent way to get your starter fertilizer applied or even your phosphorus if you don't need a starter. Many of the newer planters often have the option of placing fertilizer in a 2 by 2 position, or 2 inches below and 2 inches to the side of the seed, as well as placing fertilizer in direct seed contact. While the direct seed contact has certain advantages for that starter or popup fertilizer, there are limitations. Many fertilizers are chemically a salt. We all know that salt, in excess can have a real problem on plant growth, so care needs to be taken with how much we use with the seed. In general, the 2 by 2 placement is far enough away from the seed that we don't feel that there is a limit to how much can be applied there. The limit is usually with the equipment and if you can apply it with your planter, the fertilizer should have diffused enough by the time the roots get there to where there won't be a problem. Keep in mind that not all fertilizers are the same when it comes to this issue. Phosphorus fertilizers are not a salt and there isn't much of a limit as to how much to put on. Nitrogen and potassium, or K20 are potential problems. We also know that dry or sandy soils create greater risk for injury. We also know that urea containing urea based fertilizers or ammonium thiofulfate by itself, should never be in direct seed contact, even at very low rates. For 30 inch rows, given the moisture conditions this year, you could go up to a total of 8 pounds per acre of combined nitrogen and potassium. If you are planting in rows narrower than this, or drilling, give me a call to find out what the safe rates would be. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
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