Ag Radio programs for September 13 - 19, 2007

Sericea Lespedeza control

This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. While we are blessed that we don't have the sericea lespedeza problem that southeast Kansas has, we still have enough of it to be concerned and to make a concerted effort to control this serious noxious weed. Fortunately, time and weather are working in our favor right now to put a whoopin' on it right now. Of course, like with any tough perennial weed, one treatment is not going to stop it, so plan on follow up treatments in coming years. Sericea is not easily controlled while under drought stress, which was the case up until a week or so ago. Now it is coming out of that stress and is starting to bloom - which means that it's a good time to go after it. Now, if the sericea has not started to flower yet, you can hit it with Remedy, triclopyr, at the rate of 1 pints per acre, along with plenty of water to give thorough coverage. However, more than likely it is flowering now so you need to go to one of the metsulfuron products like Escort, Ally, Cimarron and others. Metsulfuron can be used from flowering clear up to frost, although it works better the earlier you can get it on. If the plants are already to say mid seed fill, then if though the plants will be killed, the seed is far enough along to sprout next spring. Now, next spring, you will want to burn the area that was treated to stimulate a lot of the seed to germinate and grow. Graze the area heavily until about mid-July. Cattle will graze sericea when it is young. Pull the cattle off the sericea, let it grow for 4 to 6 weeks and when it isn't drought stressed, but before it starts to flower, hit it with triclopyr. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.

Weeds in pastures

This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. As has been the case the past several years, many pastures are about to explode in a riot of color that may well drive most pasture managers to drink. Most of the plants that will be blooming will be the yellow of the annual broomweed, the purple of liatris or gayfeather, or the light blue of pitcher sage. That is unless you had some areas that were disturbed and then you'll have a bunch of sunflowers. The natural inclination is to get out there and start spraying, but the truth is that spraying now won't do any good. The biggest concern is probably the annual broomweed, and it's going to die at frost anyway, it's hard to control with herbicides because the leaves are so small, and the weeds aren't really the problem here. Annual weeds or rather annual forbs, and to some extent perennial forbs, are going to get established and maintain a foot hold only if there isn't strong competition from desirable grasses. Each pasture and each situation is different. But in general, to get grasses more competitive, you need to reduce the grazing pressue on them. You need to provide more rest in the last half of the season. You may need to move feeding, salt or mineraling areas in pastures to other locations to reduce traffic and pressure on certain spots. Herbicides now, or herbicides next spring or summer are an attempt to treat a symptom, but they do nothing about the problem. And often, excessive spraying of broadleaf herbicides reduces the quality of a pasture because it kills out desirable native forbs. While these problems may have appeared to show up overnight, they took several years to develop and they are going to take several years of concerted management to cure. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.

Wheat variety selection for planting after row crops

This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. One of the things that changes in the farm programs the past decade has done for us is to encourage us to do a lot more crop rotation. Crop rotation, especially in reduced or no till systems, does a wonderful job of helping to control weed problems, and reduce the risk of insect and disease buildups. But because we use so much winter wheat in our crop rotations, it often means that we will be planting wheat into a field in October right after we have removed a summer crop. Which then begs the question of what varieties do best following soybeans or sorghum or corn, or even following wheat. And what we have found out from the research to date, is that we need more research. A serious attempt was done to study this very question this past year, but the study was seriously disrupted by the Easter weekend freeze. We do know that following a corn crop your fields are at high risk for scab, so avoid Overley or 2137 as they are highly susceptible to scab. We know that no tilling wheat into wheat stubble will give you lots of tan spot and speckled leaf blotch, so look for good resistance to these foliar diseases. But that's about as far as it goes, so far. We know that you'll have the most problems following grain sorghum unless you till or spray the stubble with glyphosate. We can counteract some of this with higher seeding rates, were talking about 20 to 30% higher seeing rates, and with higher nitrogen fertilization rates, tack on another 30 to 40 pounds, which all of a sudden makes higher seeding rate or treating the stubble with glyphosate more attractive. We're still looking for answers and if the weather cooperates, we should know more next year at this time! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.

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