Upcoming Meeting: Monitoring the Results of Investments in Water Quality Improvements: Are we moving the needle?
November 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
November 7, 2013 in Uncategorized
Growers in Delaware with ALS-resistant chickweed may be interested in the recent approval of Glory Herbicide. To learn more, follow this link to an article written by Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist, UD: http://extension.udel.edu/weeklycropupdate/?p=6438
October 22, 2013 in Uncategorized
The 2013 hybrid field corn trials have been posted and can be found here: http://extension.udel.edu/ag/field-crop-resources/variety-trials-corn-hybrids-small-grains-soybeans/
October 3, 2013 in Uncategorized
Small grain planting has begun in Kent County. A few growers have already planted barley and are getting ready to plant winter wheat. Past research has shown the optimal planting dates in Kent County are October 1-10 for barley and October 8-22 for wheat. Planting small grains too early can lead to excessive growth that leaves plants susceptible for cold injury. Other early planting risks include being more attractive to aphids (which can vector Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus) and Hessian fly damage. Planting too late does not give small grains enough time to form fall tillers and adequate root systems prior to winter. Fall tillers are important as they are responsible for producing a majority of the grain. While a warm fall or early winter will be more forgiving to late planted small grains, using the suggested planting dates above sets the crop up for maximum yield potential.
TIP: The Hessian Fly free dates in Delaware are: October 3 (New Castle County), October 8 (Kent County), and October 10 (Sussex County). Another way to determine the optimal planting date for wheat is to use the expected first frost date which is October 15 in Kent County. Wheat planting should occur one week prior to and after this date (October 8-22).
Seeding Rates & Plant Stands
Achieving an optimal plant stand should also be a high priority. The goal is to have a final stand of 22-25 wheat plants per square foot. Therefore, a seeding rate of 30-35 seeds per square foot, which roughly equals 1.3-1.5 million seeds per acre, is recommended. Seeding rates will need to be adjusted upward for later plantings. Additional considerations which may need an increased seeding rate include planting method (broadcast versus drilled) and tillage practice (full tillage, minimum tillage, or no-till). Adjust the seeding rate so that you achieve 22-25 plants per square foot. Barley seeding rates should also be 30-35 seeds per square foot with a final plant stand of 26-28 plants per square foot when seeded during the optimal planting date. The same adjustments concerning wheat planting will need to be considered for barley planting. Below is an example of how to covert square foot to row foot:
Example 1. If the goal is 35 seeds per square foot, then how many seeds in a row foot with six inch drill spacing?
6 inch drill spacing multiplied by 12 inches equals 72 square inches of area
72 square inches of area divided by 144 inches in a square foot equals .5 square foot per row foot.
35 seeds per square foot multiplied by .5 square foot per row foot equals 17.5 seeds per row foot.
The answer is 17.5 seeds per row foot with a 6 inch drill.
Use your desired seeding rate and drill spacing to convert to seeds per row foot.
TIP: If broadcast and incorporating, using a homemade square foot using ½” PVC works well. You will need four 90 degree elbows and roughly 48” of pipe. Alternatively, this same device can be used to measure combine harvest losses for corn, soybeans, and wheat.
A common rotation for our area is corn-wheat-soybeans or corn-barley-soybeans. Special consideration should be given to seeding small grains after corn, especially in 2013 due to the high corn yields. High yields typically meant plants were healthier with additional residue to deal with. Residue management has become the focus of equipment manufactures as many growers have transitioned over using less tillage to do the same job.
Growers have a few options to respond to high residue situations. The first option is to do nothing and no-till. This requires heavy drills specifically designed to seed into high residue situations. This will require excellent down pressure and good sharp blades. The seeding rate will likely need to increase to meet the optimal plant population. No-till may not be the most suitable choice when seeding wheat after the optimal seeding date due to the cold soils.
The next type of practice is using reduced tillage, often achieved using vertical tillage equipment (Great Plains Turbo-Till, Case 330, Landoll 7400, etc…) to prepare the seed bed. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list as there are numerous vertical tillage equipment manufacturers. The aggressiveness of tillage varies between manufacturer and model (i.e. A turbo-till does not work the same as a Landoll 7400). Either way, the goal is to chop or size the residue so that seed can be placed into the soil in a uniform manner. This may require several passes with the same tool to achieve a suitable seed bed. Hooking a rolling basket type finisher to the back will help to level the soil which further improves seed bed preparation.
Last, conventional tillage will completely invert or mix the residue into the soil. Most commonly a chisel plow, disk, and finisher are used to prepare the seedbed. The advantage to this system is the lack of residue, a smooth seedbed, and warmer soils. Consequences include over-drying of the seed bed which may result in uneven germination and emergence leading to a reduced stand. The cost of additional equipment, replacement parts, labor, and extra tractors are all additional factors to consider.
TIP: No matter which method above is used, the optimal planting depth for wheat is 1-1.5 inches. Wheat can be planted slightly deeper into moisture during dry periods. Do not plant deeper than 2 inches due to the delayed emergence. Conversely, planting too shallow (less than ½ inch) can result in uneven germination and emergence.
The fall is a good time to apply fertilizer for the small grain (and following soybean) crop. Soil sample prior to planting (the best is directly after corn harvest to facilitate sampling taking) as long as the ground is not too dry. This year is a bit of a challenge due to the lack of rainfall during the past month. Nitrogen (N) should be applied prior to seeding to stimulate fall tillers. In most cases, 20-30lbs of actual N should be enough though incorporating a heavy residue (carbon) crop like corn can cause an C:N imbalance resulting in immobilization of N which the crop cannot use. This may require an upward adjustment of nitrogen fertilizer to assure a healthy start for the young small grain crop. Phosphorus and potassium can be applied at this time according to soil test recommendations. When using poultry manure, be thoughtful about using high rates of manure that can cause lodging next spring. Choose a short, high yielding variety if using manure.
Getting a small grain crop off to a good start is vital for good yields next year. Pay attention to planting dates, seeding population, residue management, tillage, and fertility which are important components to maximizing yields. The road to achieving high wheat and barley yields begin now.
Small Grain Weed Control in the Fall: http://extension.udel.edu/weeklycropupdate/?p=6406
Using Saved Seed from the 2013 Harvest: http://extension.udel.edu/weeklycropupdate/?p=6312
Phillip Sylvester, Extension Agriculture Agent, UD, Kent County
October 2, 2013 in Uncategorized
Please read the following annoucement:
2013 Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School
November 19-21, 2013
Princess Royale Hotel and Conference Center
Ocean City, MD
The registration for the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School can now be accessed at http://tinyurl.com/crop13registration.
It will also eventually be posted at www.mdcrops.umd.edu.
A copy of the program is online at https://extension.udel.edu/weeklycropupdate/files/2013/10/2013CMSProgram.pdf.
September 27, 2013 in Uncategorized
September 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
Plans for the agronomy session at Delaware Ag Week 2014 have been announced. Read Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist, UD comments for more information:
*SPECIAL SESSION* Wednesday from 6 to 9 pm on January 15, 2014
The agronomy planning committee has secured Mr. King Corn, himself, better known as Dr. Bob Nielsen from Purdue University to speak about corn production problems that growers often encounter. Many producers may currently follow Dr. Nielsen’s ‘Corny News Network (CNN)’ via the articles posted online at the Chat ‘n Chew Café on the web at http://www.kingcorn.org.cafe. The same articles are also available by accessing the Café in a mobile Web format at http://www.kingcorn.org/cafe/mobile.html. Dr. Nielsen is also found on Twitter via @PurdueCornGuy.
Dr. Nielsen will speak first on stress effects on corn during different development stages. A brief abstract of that talk follows. “From germination to ultimate death of the plant after seed maturation, a variety of stresses can impact development of the corn plant. This session will begin as corn seed is placed in bags for delivery to the farmer and trace the effects on crop growth and development that result from a variety of crop stresses throughout the life of the crop. Learn about the impact on crop performance caused by various stresses as well as management options for minimizing the effects of those stresses.” This first talk will run from 6:00 to 7:30 pm and be followed by a short break.
Dr. Nielsen has also agreed to present a second talk entitled ‘Growin’ Good Corn: Rocket Science or Common Sense?’ which will run from 7:45 to 9:00 pm. The following is a brief abstract that Dr. Nielsen has provided us. “World population continues to increase. Global demand for food continues to increase. Grain yields of major agronomic crops need to increase to meet this demand. Some believe that “biotech” hybrid traits have already helped us begin to “turn the corner” on increasing grain yield. Consequently, some predict the average U.S. national corn yield will be 300 bu/ac by the year 2030. Does history offer any guidance on the likelihood of achieving this? What does it require to significantly “raise the bar” for corn yields? Join us for a lively discussion.”
A few of our local growers have heard Dr. Nielsen speak at our annual Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School and can certainly testify to the lively discussions that can occur with Bob in the room speaking. Please set aside this date (January 15, 2014) and time (6 to 9 pm) and join us for a great discussion of corn production in the Dover Building on the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington, DE.
Main Session: Thursday, January 16, 2014.
The morning program will start at 9 am with Dr. Mark VanGessel discussing corn and soybean weed control options for 2014. Mark will be followed by Dr. Doug Beegle from The Pennsylvania State University who will cover the importance of sulfur, lime, and soil pH in crop production. Dr. Beegle supplied the following short abstract for what will be covered in his talk. “Supplying adequate sulfur and maintaining a proper pH are both critical to successful crop production. While these two important management considerations are really independent, there are connections between them. For example, some sulfur materials, like ammonium sulfate, are acidifying and while gypsum is a good source of sulfur and calcium it is not a liming material. The management of sulfur and soil pH and how they might be linked will be discussed.”
Following Dr. Beegle, Dr. Bob Nielsen from Purdue University will speak on ‘Reading Corn Ears’. Dr. Nielsen will show and discuss many of the problems we see on the ears of corn with particular emphasis on some of the problems that have been seen this year. After Dr. Nielsen, the morning program will be closed out by Dr. Nathan Kleczewski, the new Extension Plant Pathologist at University of Delaware. Dr. Kleczewski will talk about scab control in small grains and be relating the latest available information on this topic. We’ll break for lunch following Dr. Kleczewski’s presentation.
After lunch, we’ll have the usual Delaware Soybean Board update and then the presentation of the Environmental Stewardship Awards. Following that, Ms. Joanne Whalen will give everyone an update on field crop insect management. Then, Dr. Jim Glancey will discuss the latest information on new poultry manure calculation revisions and how they may impact the Chesapeake Bay Model update. Finally, Mr. Dave Mayonado of Monsanto will talk about the interaction of dicamba resistant soybeans and herbicide resistant weeds and what this may mean for control of some of these resistant weeds.
I hope you agree that we have an exciting, quality, jam-packed program for the Agronomy/Soybean Day this coming January and will mark your calendars so you can attend. See you there!
September 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
Information on corn stalk rots from Nathan Kleczewski, Extension Plant Pathologist, UD: http://extension.udel.edu/fieldcropdisease/2013/09/12/identification-of-stalk-rots-of-corn/
Stay current on field crop diseases by visiting his blog at: http://extension.udel.edu/fieldcropdisease/
August 22, 2013 in Uncategorized
Most soybeans in Delaware have reached one of the reproductive growth stages. An exception is fields planted in mid-late July due to the excessive rainfall. It’s good to understand soybean growth stages and what they mean for plant growth (also for pesticide application restrictions). Follow the link below to read more.