Ag Radio programs for October 19 - 24, 2007
Still Planting Wheat
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. After a warm and dry September, and just about as we're getting ready to really crank up on soybean and sorghum harvest AND wheat planting, it has to get sort of dampish and a little bit cooler. Once we move into the last ten days of October, I like to start increasing planting rates. Now, I've come 180 degrees on several items when it comes to wheat production. I used to think that we were planting too much wheat, but now I think we are often trying to skimp on our wheat planting rates. I still think we plant too much milo and soybeans though! I also think that we apply fertilizer too soon and we probably don't use enough. But for this program we're talking about seeding rates. I really think that if we are able to plant in our prime time of mid October, we should be planting around 80 pounds per acre, 85 if it is a big seeded variety. But as we move into the last ten days of October, that rate needs to go up to 90 pounds per acre. Why increase seeding rates? Quite simply we want to make sure that we maximize the number of heads per acre. Later planted wheat will USUALLY have fewer tillers and the heads will be smaller. Now, I don't want to increase early nitrogen applications rates. There's some research now that is showing excessive early season, meaning now, nitrogen applications may increase tiller production at the expense of head size and then many of those tillers won't develop and you'll wind up with not enough small heads. Increase seeding rates and then focus on getting your nitrogen on with a top dress application in late winter. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Still Time to Soil Test
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. I was going through some soil test results recently for wheat recently. These were basic and nitrate samples, but in most cases the test is only on the surface six or eight inches. These soil tests had some nitrates levels in the upper teens to low 30s parts per million. While these high of rates will reduce nitrogen recommendations some what, it really teases us into thinking that we may have enough residual nitrate out there to do some serious reduction in fertilizer rates, and save us a bunch of dollars. But without a profile test down to at least 18 and preferably 24 inches. When we have several profiles to these depths composited together and run a nitrate test on them we can then start to make some good nitrogen recommendations. Why is that profile test so critical for nitrates? Well I did a little playing around with our nitrogen recommendation formula. I was planting wheat following wheat. I had what some would consider an aggressive yield goal of 75 bushels per acre. I plugged in 15, 20 and 25 ppm of nitrates with a sample depth of 8, 18 and 24 inches. With 15 ppm at those three depths we had recommended nitrogen fertilization rates of 110, 75 and 50 pounds per acre. In this case, taking the time to pull samples to 24 inches cut the fertilizer rate in half from 110 to 50. When we jumped that rate up to 25 ppm we found that if we had only sampled to 8 inches, we still needed 90 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer. But if we had sampled to 24 inches and still had 25 ppm of residual nitrate, we had reduced our nitrogen fertilization requirement to 0. So is your time worth 100 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer per acre? I'll bet it is! 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. I've had the opportunity to look at several soybean fields in recent weeks and have been seeing some interesting things. There are at least a couple of varieties that seem to having trouble dropping leaves and drying up. There are several possible problems. In several of these fields we are finding a couple of confounding issues. It appears that some fields had fairly high levels of stink bugs. We usually don't give a second thought about stink bugs, but in these fields there was a lot of feeding damage on the pods and developing beans. It has been documented that heavy stink bug feeding in soybeans has been known to cause delayed maturity, i.e. green leaves that are slow to drop. This usually hasn't been field wide, but very noticeable in parts of the field. Now, many of you have probably seen purple stain damage in beans before. The mature beans simply have a funny purple blob on the seed coat. This is caused by a fungal disease caused cercospora. Well, the stink bug feeding, in some of these fields, appears to have created a perfect spot for cercospora to infect the pods, and it did, and it has killed parts of pods, all of pods and many beans. In fact one part of a field I was in was so badly damaged that I doubt that there are any harvestable beans in several acres of this field. Now, I honestly think that this is just an anomaly that simply represents what a bizarre year we've had. We can treat for stink bugs, we can probably even treat for cercospora. But the odds of having these conditions that caused all of this again are slim... but with soybean rust showing up in Kansas now, we need to probably stay alert to that potential in years to come! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
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