Air May 28 - June 4, 2007
And Still It Rains
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. When it rains, it pours and boy is that old adage coming true this year. Of course, it could turn off dry any day and stay that way through the end of summer. The thing that we need to keep in mind is that any weather extreme can come back to haunt us long after the daily weather has returned to normal. We still need to get alfalfa and bromegrass mowed. Watch the forecast and move as soon as the soil is firm enough and you've got a few days without rain. In the long run, usually, having hay down and getting it rained on will lose you less quality then leaving it stand and losing quality that way. Sure, there are always exceptions, but in general, if you've got a few clear days in the forecast, be ready to move! Anytime you have a crop out of the ground or just coming out of the ground, and it goes under water, even briefly, it is at risk for several rather bizarre diseases. We'll probably see some of those this year, especially in the corn. Not much we can do about it, but be aware you may see it. Some of these rains have arrived really hard and fast. That makes soils very compacted. Don't be surprised to see a lot of poor root development, especially early season, in your corn and milo. Soybeans don't seem to have as much problem with this, but those brace roots of our grass crops can end up trying to grow into ground as hard as concrete. And finally, I have seen a lot of very uneven bromegrass this year. The unevenness was caused by insufficient fertilizer and I'm betting that this was brought on by high fertilizer prices. Under fertilizing often raises the cost per ton. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Wheat Disease Updates
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. With all the rainfall, it should be no surprise to anyone that we have a few wheat diseases going on right now. And a few non-pathogenic issues causing as many problems, perhaps. Starting with the latter, wet fields comes to mind. I've been seeing more and more areas of fields dying because of wet soils. IT may be kind of tricky to separate this from take all, but take all will usually just hit individual plants and will be worse in 2nd and 3rd year continuous wheat and then become less of a problem in long term continuous wheat. Drowning damage will be in obvious low spots and will be very strictly conforming to elevation contours with no difference in the number of years a field has or hasn't been in wheat. Naturally, the foliar diseases are just going ballistic right now and not much we can do but ride it out. Had it been drier earlier we might have been able to fly on some fungicides, but now all we can do is wait out the weather. A disease that is just now going to be showing up is head scab. Rainy weather during flowering get's this disease cranked up, so 2007 may be a poster child year for head scab. As the crop starts to mature it will be very noticeable, but it can be seen fairly easily now as well. Again, not much we can do about it, but it may be a problem if you were to keep wheat back for feed as some livestock species are very sensitive to it. There also seems to be a higher amount of smut this year than normal. This speaks very highly of the need to make sure you are using a seed treatment on all wheat that you keep back for seed. Smut is easily preventable with seed treatments and an justify the expense very quickly! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Wet Soil Issues
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. Eventually it will dry out and eventually we will be able to get back to planting. Given the conditions that we are facing this year, I would strongly encourage you to be using fungicide seed treatments on everything yet to be planted. Research over the past few years appear to show that you can justify seed treatments on soybeans most anytime in no-till fields and I believe we just need to be using seed treatments all the time. It doesn't take very much early season stress to knock a few bushels off a field's yield potential. Commercial seed treatments are probably the preferred route to go, but given the timing of everything, planter box treatments will be worth the cost and the hassle as well. If you are using a rhizobial bacteria inoculant, also make sure that the seed treatment is compatible with the inoculant. Switching from beans to corn and sorghum, these wet soil conditions are not great friends with nitrogen fertilizer. If you put down all your nitrogen pre-plant, you can probably pretty well assume that you have lost some of it now to the various processes that can occur in wet soils. I know that the last thing you want to do is to spend more money on nitrogen fertilizers, but a timely side-dress of 10 to 20% of what you had applied earlier could be very beneficial. Finally, alfalfa: older stands and stands that were hit hard by the frost need to be evaluated right now. As you start to get regrowth from the first cutting, get out and randomly do some stem counts. Count stems, not plants, that are at least 2 inches tall in one square foot. If you are not averaging 20 stems per square foot, you probably need to replace the stand after this season. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
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