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The Cropwalker - Volume 1 Issue 8

Always read and follow label directions.


Crop Insurance on Corn High In DON

Agricorp had a significant announcement about high DON corn . Lot of particulars, so check their web site. Basically, you have to get approval from Agricorp before you destroy your crop. Any acres destroyed will have zero yield. With this year’s high yields, and believing not all your acres will be destroyed, even if you destroy some acres, you may not get a payout from Agricorp.

http://www.agricorp.com/ for more information.

Comments from Growers in The Field On DON

One customer commented that he could cut his dock in half and therefore his DON readings by not combining when the crop was wet i.e. early mornings or when it was damp. Another customer commented that when they entered a field, he could predict the amount of DON based on ears standing upright and tight husks. Russ Barker a seed dealer near St. Mary’s did testing by removing the return door to let the junk in the return elevator fall to the ground and get a cleaner sample. He did 3 runs with the tailings door in and 3 with the tailings door out. There was no difference in the DON levels but he did lose about 2-3 bu/ac.

How to Destroy Standing Corn

If you are going to use tillage this fall, you must mouldboard plough. Using conservation tillage will do a great job incorporating the corn so you will have massive 2019 volunteer corn crop. In 1992 I was involved in some of the 100,000 +acres that were destroyed. Some growers were successful just taking the no till drill into the crop in the spring and planting soybeans, but most acres were mouldboard ploughed. If for conservation reasons you do not want to mould board plough, consider no till soybeans next year.

Nutrient Value of Corn Ploughed Down

The nutrient value would be equal to what would have been removed as grain. A 180 bu/ac corn crop removes about 70 lbs./acre P2O5 and 60 lbs./ac K2O. Presuming next crop is soybeans and yield 55 bu/ac, they will remove 25 lbs./acre P2O5 and 70 lbs./ac K2O. So, what is ploughed down is about equal to what soybeans would remove. There will be extra P2O5 which you can credit to your wheat crop, or build your soil test P value.

Fertilizer Nutrient Value of DDG’s

DDGs are distillers dried grains. The question of the fertilizer value has come up. The exact analysis will vary but a common analysis is 38-7-11 per tonne. To put a dollar value of fertilizer value of DDGs just ask your fertilizer dealer for price per tonne of 38-7-11. This is presuming DDGs are less than 15% moisture. Historically it has never been economical to buy DDGs for their fertilizer value.

Selecting Soybeans 2019, Wheat 2020

On fields where you will plant fall 2019 wheat, take special care with the variety selection when booking soybean seed. Pick something say 200 CHUs earlier. This should equate to 5-10 days earlier maturing. According to Horst Bohner, OMAFRA Soybean Specialist, this will equate to 2-4 bu/ac less beans. In the 2800+ CHU area it would be 2 bu/ac and in the 2600 CHU area or lower it could be 4 bu/ac. These are average, some years less, some years more.

What if You Did Not Get Your Strips Formed this Fall?

No big problem. You can make them next spring. If you normally put potash down in the strips in the fall you can do some of this next spring. Potash can cause seed burn. By applying it in strips in the fall you prevent this seed burn. So if applying potash in a strip in the spring, watch the safe rates.

Should Manure Be Incorporated?

Yes. While there is no law saying you must. I believe it is just a matter of time until you must. Part of the 4Rs of better nutrient management is that all phosphorous should be incorporated. This is aimed directly at commercial fertilizer, since there are more acres receiving commercial fertilizer than manure. You can be assured it won’t be long before all manure must be incorporated. Right now, it makes sense to incorporate spring applied to save nitrogen. One area of “open for discussion” is applying manure to forages. There is equipment that allows you to apply manure into sod but this equipment is not widely used.

Building Prescriptions - Continued (5)

Yield = Sunlight + Heat + Nutrients + Plant Available Water

The crop inputs industry has done a good job of creating awareness regarding the technology and capabilities. Many growers that have tried variable rate have likely done it through some form of nutrient application. Two applications that heavily pay for VR nutrient application are lime and P&K. Nitrogen and Sulphur applications can have a strong payback as well, but in my opinion, I would focus on some of the other macronutrients first, as it will impact all crops over multiple years. Not just corn or possibly wheat. Growers frequently ask which soil sample package they should use. It is more critical to establish zones that match the yield stability areas or management factors we can control, than the soil sample package we pick. At a minimum a soil sample package should have the following; pH, OM%, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Zn and CEC. While you are unlikely to VR the micros, they do provide an indication if they are required. The organic matter % can provide some indication on nitrogen potential for the various areas, and cation exchange capacity will provide a benchmark on the size of the soil’s holding capacity. Lastly, crop removal (yield data) should play a role in the recommendation to ensure soil test values are being maintained.

One application CEC can have is the potential to write VR pre-emerge herbicide recommendations based upon soil type (assuming management zones are representative of the field). Pre-emerge herbicides are one of the few crop protection products with a rate range.

Profitability Mapping

With harvest wrapping up for some growers, the poring over yield maps will start. These can easily be turned into a Gross Revenue or Profitability map. Dr. Clarence Swanton from the University of Guelph suggested at a recent meeting the data can be utilized to determine which parts of the field are not pulling their weight. His theory is that these areas also tend to be environmentally sensitive and should be considered for naturalization or another purpose. A few suggestions; 1) determine your annual input costs by crop (out of pocket expenses) 2) Review yield maps and determine which areas of the field are not covering the input costs/out of pocket expenses 3) Determine if management adjustments would improve profitability (seeding rate/fertility/alternative use) 4) If unable to adjust management to improve profitability, explore available conservation programs for an alternative land use (more in a future newsletter).

Considering Conventional Corn?

Continue to get questions on growing conventional corn for 2019. There is a heavy reliance on a handful of actives to make this option work. Products with dicamba (Banvel), mesotrione (Callisto), or topramezone (Armezon) need to be available as an option in-crop for a clean-up. This means watching which herbicides are selected for a pre-emerge. Yes, you must apply a pre-emerge, ideally one with residual grass control. If you had been using a $20-30/ac herbicide program in RR corn, expect to spend $40-50 or more/ac in a conventional situation. Pre-emerge chemistry pricing hasn’t changed much in the past 20 years, but weed shifts have. You can expect to save $30 to 100/bag over traited corn seed. On a per $/acre basis this will be $12 to 40. Our recommendation; buy the top genetics, use the trait package you require if corn on corn, weed control or WBC. Then, only then, should price be part of the conversation. Purchasing corn seed is about overall value.

Where do vomitoxins come from on the corn cob?

Took 20 random cobs from the field. Shelled each cob into thirds. So all 20 cobs had the top third (2”) in to one bag, middle (2-3”) into another bag and the butt (bottom 2-3”) into another bag. Overall the corn was quite clean, with only one cob showing visible mould. Grower combined the field today and said it ran under 2 ppm. Thank you to SGS for the tests. Here are the results;

Hand shelled vomitoxin results from 20 random cobs
Only 1 cob out of 20 had visible Gibberella
Top third of all 20 cobs in 1 bag
Middle third in a second bag
Butt of the cob in a third bag

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. -  Jim Rohn