|Agronomy News & Field Notes|
from Country Pride’s Sales Agronomist Team
Visit with your local Country Pride Sales Agronomist for great prices on pre-pay products and services for 2013!
Click here to read an Agronomy update from Vice President of Operations Darin Abel.
May 1 , 2013
Boost Corn Yield Potential with a Seed Treatment or an In-furrow Application of Ascend® by Winfield
Planting season is here and there is still time to add Ascend to your starter program or your seed corn! Here's an idea on how you can improve early season growth without making any major changes to your operation. Ascend® by Winfield plant growth regulator will give your corn just the boost it needs to get up out of the ground and out ahead of your neighbors!
Ascend® can be applied both as a seed treatment and in-furrow with pop up fertilizer because direct contact with the seed improves early root development and vegetative plant biomass accumulation. This early growth will help build a root system that will access your soil’s fertility earlier which will help promote natural drought tolerance to your crop.
Growers looking for a consistent way to improve corn yield potential should consider the in-furrow use of Ascend® at 4.5 0z rate per acre with a liquid starter fertilizer containing zinc and other required micro-nutrients in 2013. If you don't have the proper equipment for in-furrow treatment, contact your Country Pride Coop agronomist for details on equipment assistance and product usage.
Precision Phosphorus Management from Country Pride Coop
Country Pride Coop is excited to let you know about the availability of our precision Phosphorus management system designed to increase yields for all of your crops. First we use zone mapping and soil sampling to establish your crops Phosphorus needs. We then apply P-Max® to the phosphorus fertilizer of your choice to protect it from tying up with the calcium and magnesium in your field’s soil. Your fertilizer blend is then precisely spread by our air-flow machines to ensure proper placement in the field.
At planting time, we recommend using P-Max® LFS in your liquid starter to protect Phosphorus from tying up along with JumpStart® on your seed to grow roots that provide better access to soil and fertilizer phosphate.
As part of a balanced fertility program, implementing this system into your crop rotations will help manage your Phosphorus investment by improving efficiencies on every acre. Consult with your Country Pride agronomist for additional details and recommendations.
Double Inoculate your Soybean and Field Pea Seed for Maximum Yield Potential
Drought affected soil can seriously impact rhizobia populations. Like most bacteria, rhizobia require adequate moisture to live and grow in the soil. While tolerance to drought varies among different rhizobia species, drought like last growing season probably caused a reduction in all rhizobia populations. Lack of rhizobia on your soybeans and field peas will impact final yield and quality.
Another concern is the effectiveness of the surviving rhizobia population which may have become weak and ineffective at fixing nitrogen for this year’s crop after battling for survival last summer in the hot dry conditions. Native rhizobia change their focus from infecting roots to survival in the hostile environment of dry, hot soil. These rhizobia become hardy, but unable to form nitrogen-fixing nodules.
Growers should restore rhizobia populations following dry conditions by inoculating soybean and field pea seed with a high quality inoculant that also contains a growth promoter and phosphorus solubilizer. Coming out of severe drought conditions, the best recommendation is to treat the field like virgin ground and double inoculate. This can be accomplished by an on-seed application and also by an in-furrow application of either a liquid or granular inoculant. This super-charging of the soil with a heavy load of rhizobia will ensure optimal opportunity for nodulation and increased yields.
See your Country Pride agronomist for details on the quality inoculants for on-seed and in-furrow applications and consider plans to double inoculate this year for top yield potential in your soybean and field pea crops.
April 2, 2013
Organic Fertilizer Trial by Shaina Sabel CPC Agronomist Winner, SD
Click here to read about the Certified Organic Micronutrient Trial Country Pride Cooperative and South Dakota State University is currently working on near Wood, SD.
March 25, 2013
Alfalfa: Why or should we be thinking why not? by Roger Cuka CPC Agronomist Wagner, SD
With all the volatility in the grain markets why not either keep or add back in to the rotation one of the most consistent players in the lineup in our area. We are not suggesting to totally switching your crop rotation but to either start pushing existing alfalfa acres or planting some additional acres to spread risks as well as help build up your soil.
Some reasons I hear from growers for not planting include the following. It’s too costly to plant, too labor intensive, I have enough hay for my cattle or the most common is that I can make more money planting corn or beans.
Seed cost concern: Average cost for a good multi leaf alfalfa is around $4 to $4.50 per pound depending on volume and when you buy. Average seeding rates are from 15 to 20#’s per acre so at $4/lb you would be looking at $60 to $80/acre seed costs. So at a 4 year rotation you would be looking at $15 to $20/acre seed cost. A 5 year rotation would be $12.50 to $16/year seed costs.
Fertilizer costs: Will depend on yield goals and soil test results but most base or maintenance blends will run $30 to $50 acre.
Production costs: For a three cut system you are looking at around $150/year not including rent, taxes or crop insurance if covered.
Potential return: In the Wagner area I have growers averaging 3 to 5 ton per acre on normal years on their dry land acres. With the alfalfa market currently from $200 to $300/ ton you are looking at $600 to $900 acre at 3 ton per acre yield and $1,000 to $1,500 at 5 ton yield, less expenses.
New tools for alfalfa production: Headline fungicide has been labeled for alfalfa and is being used for enhanced plant health, disease protection and leaf retention. In early trials growers are seeing some tonnage and feed quality improvements.
RR Alfalfa: With the release of RR alfalfa we now have another valuable tool to look at in our alfalfa line up. This is not for every acre but would be an excellent fit for a field that you might have just started farming or that has heavier weed pressure. The cost per pound is about the same as conventional alfalfa with the exception of the $130/bag tech fee. Before you let the sticker shock scare you off here are a couple things to think about. You could plant with no cover crop or a very light seeding of oats (for cover only) and make your early application of glyphosate to take out the weeds and the oats to eliminate completion. By starting out clean and with no completion and with even just a little bit of help from Mother Nature you should be able to have clean usable or marketable alfalfa your first season. Another way to offset the seed cost is the fact that you should be able to keep a clean and fuller stand of alfalfa for a longer rotation period if you choose. Talk to your local CPC Agronomist for more details.
Managing Herbicide Weed Resistance by Jerrod Rolston CPC Agronomist Wagner, SD
The definition of herbicide resistance is the inherited ability of a weed to survive a rate of a herbicide that would normally kill that weed. Some ways a weed can become resistant is through agronomic practices, environmental effects, and also a genetic diversity in weed population. We will focus on how agronomic practices have developed our weed resistant issues.
In 1980 we only had around 50 weed species in the world that were resistant to some kind of herbicide. Since then that number has climbed to a staggering 397 weed species. South Dakota alone has documented mares tail, kochia, common ragweed, and waterhemp as being resistant to glyphosate. Chemical companies are working very hard and spending millions of dollars every day to develop new modes of action to combat this problem. However the last new mode of action to be developed was the HPPD inhibitor family back in 1984.
Now that we know there is a problem how are we going to protect ourselves from these weeds impacting our farms profitability?
We need to identify which weed or weeds have developed resistance.
We need to start clean and stay clean. This will include using a pre-emergent chemical with at least 2 different modes of action.
Soon after planting we need to have an intensive scouting program in place identify and ID weeds when they are small and still within labeled heights for post emergent chemicals.
When we are applying pre and post emergent chemicals we need to be using full lethal rates. Half rates simply don’t have long enough residual activity to get us to canopy closure.
Prevention of resistance should be a goal rather than managing a problem. We will be making a big mistake if we say “We will handle the problem when it happens.” Once we have resistant weeds it will be almost impossible to eradicate the problem. Prevention is a lot easier and cheaper than the cure. In general the more diversity and modes of action we can add to our herbicide choices and programs the fewer problems we will face in the future.
February 25, 2012
Winter Wheat Stand Evaluation and Fertility Considerations
The “big picture” is very important when it comes to evaluating winter wheat plant stands. The first areas we are naturally drawn to are the poor spots in the field. Those areas should be looked at, but always in the broader context of the entire field. If the thin stands only represent let’s say 10% of the field like hill tops, then you will probably be better off leaving it as is. When evaluating, look across the field versus looking down the rows to make your visual observations.
Calculating the number of plants per foot of row gives you some idea of the yield potential of your crop. Country Pride agronomists have the tools and information to help you determine this. Evaluating this properly can be the difference between making the “right” decision and making an “uninformed” decision. Looking at the health of the plants in those stands is important, as well as how well rooted those plants are can give you some idea whether or not those plants should be counted or written off.
Hold off on plans to tear up wheat until you have had a chance to evaluate your stands and the viability of the germinated plants with your Country Pride agronomist. You should evaluate the condition of your winter wheat stands so you will be prepared to make a decision about potential replanting options. Prioritize the fields by condition; those with the best stands might be worth saving. Remember, wheat is a very resilient crop and be patient when making your final decision.
Assuming you have an acceptable stand, what’s next?
Wheat requires two or more pounds of nitrogen for each bushel of grain produced. Your next application can occur before but for sure shortly after dormancy has broken. This application should be made between beginning tillering to the end of tillering. Rates should be adequate enough to meet your yield goals. If this is no-till wheat, add an additional 10-15 lbs. of nitrogen. This application will optimize the number of tillers and potential heads produced.
For high yield goals, having sufficient sulfur available becomes more of a challenge. Field trials have shown that 15-25 lbs. of applied sulfate sulfur (AMS or ATS) ensures both sufficient tissue sulfur levels and may help the plant better utilize nitrogen and increase protein. Best timing for this is with the top-dress nitrogen application made just after dormancy break.
There have been studies in South Dakota that have evaluated wheat response to chloride. Chloride is essential for photosynthesis, it is important in controlling the opening and closing of leaf stomata (heat and drought tolerance), it influences the nitrogen nutrition of plants, and also advances plant maturity and improves overall disease resistance. Wheat response to chloride is usually expressed in improved color, suppression of fungal diseases, and increased yield. The average yield increase due to chloride is usually about five bushels per acre in responsive conditions, although yield increases as high as 23 bushels per acre have been observed. Contact your Country Pride agronomist today for recommendations that will satisfy your wheat’s hunger for nutrition.