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The Cropwalker - Volume 2 Issue 41

Always read and follow label directions.

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Crop Conditions

Soybean harvest continues with more acres coming off late last week. Yields of later harvested beans has been better than earlier ones. Maybe close to 80% harvested now. Some areas are still around 50% off. In 2014 at this date we only had about 15% of the soybeans off. There was only 200,000 acres of wheat planted on this date in 2014, Ended up with 625,000 acres, which yielded 78 bu/ac. Probably 95% of intended wheat is planted. Corn in areas where there was no frost continues to grow. Variability caused by last spring’s compaction is big. First few acres harvested have very good yields and so-so test weight. Corn silage harvest is starting to wind down in some areas.


Harvest Safety – A grower once told me about talking to a man from the U.S. who custom combines. Each year he puts his operators through a safety course. He tells them the “R” in the transmission is for ‘wReck.’ Never back a combine up! Every time you put a combine in reverse this year, Think Safety

Bean Leaf Beetle Update – Seed Treatments

In early September we had published an article regarding bean leaf beetle possibly having control issues with insecticide seed treatments. Please disregard the comment. Since publishing the article, we learned that all fields with significant pressure were fungicide only, and that if they were treated an insecticide, the most popular insecticide for soybeans (Fortenza) now has registration for bean leaf beetle.

What Genetics Should I Be Looking for In Corn If I Want Genetic Protection Against Western Bean Cutworm?

Only trait on the market that provides control of Western Bean Cutworm is Viptera from Syngenta. This may be available from other seed corn companies, for example, Pioneer offers the trait as Leptra. If this is a pest you are frustrated with, it might be time to check into the performance of hybrids with this trait and see if they are a fit on your farm.

I Planted Winter Wheat on Black Muck or Peat Soils

You must spray with foliar Manganese this fall. This must be done after the wheat is up, ideally on a humid day, with 20 gallons/ac of water. Use a high load single micronutrient product like SuperMn 1 L/ac or Yara’s Mantrac 0.5 L/ac or NutriAg’s Manmax 0.5 L/ac.

Corn Test Weights (TW)

The minimum for grade two is 333 gm/0.5 L. This equates to 53 lbs/bu. If you have 56 lb. bushel weight corn, this is 353 gm/0.5 L. Kernel size, shape, and density all affect TW. Higher TW means better filled kernels with a higher percentage of hard endosperm. Low TW frequently implies that the crop did not mature entirely or that it was subjected to stress conditions. Dry corn TW of 52-54 lbs/bu (compared with the more typical 55-57 lbs/bu are indicative of incomplete maturity. Ethanol processors may not be greatly affected by lower TW. Lower protein and higher starch yields more ethanol, but does reduce DDGs quality. The feed value on a weight, not volume, basis of low TW corn is nearly equal to normal corn. Light corn will break more easily and create more fines in storage. Corn grain is marketed on the basis of a 56 lb. "bushel" regardless of TW. At the end of the day, you are paid for weight, not bushels.  Test weight is a “quality adjustment” (notes from Iowa State University, Crop News)

Fall Fleabane Control

If you had fleabane in soybeans this year, consider controlling them this fall. If the field is destined for soybeans next year, you must control them now. Tillage will control the small rosettes, but not the large ones. Tillage will just move them around. One strategy is to spray with Eragon plus Merge and Roundup plus 2,4-D or dicamba (if they are big) and then plant fall rye to help smother the ones that germinate later. If you do not plant fall rye, then at least spray fleabane off. The key is to never allow fleabane get to a point it is too difficult to control.

Is Potassium More Available if Broadcast in the Spring or in the Fall?

There is no difference in plant availability if K is spring or fall broadcast. There is a difference in toxicity. The chlorine portion of muriate of potash can be toxic to seeds. There is a guideline that no more than 200 lbs. actual/ac of urea N + K should be broadcast on light soils. To overcome this, you can fall broadcast K. The issue then is leaching. If your soil has a low cation exchange capacity (CEC), in the single digits, there is a concern that K will be leached and thus K should be spread in the spring on low CEC soils.

Deep Ripping and Compaction

1) What tends to happen after a ripping operation is one or more passes with tractors and tillage implements. This can result in a reformation of a dense soil layer at the depth of the next tillage operation, or at even greater depths, if there are high axle loads with the tractor. 2) Excessive loosening can result in harvest delays the following year under wet fall conditions. 3) There is less benefit to loosening soil in fields high in organic matter, or with a history of manure application or regular forage crop production. 4) Deep loosening can expose soil to erosion, especially if the sub-soiling operation produces a large area of disturbed soil with little remaining residue cover. 5) Sub-soiling costs money in fuel, time and equipment use. Costs can increase if soil ripping brings up large clods, which then must be broken down by additional tillage passes. 6) The verdict is out on research tying crop yield response to sub-soiling. The information is very uneven. It's difficult to get a clear picture. That is, in part, due to the studies being done with varying degrees of compaction before the ripping was accomplished.” If you do some deep ripping leave a big check area to measure yield benefit. (Notes from Dr. Tony Vyn, Purdue)

Liquid Manure Samples

There is no good way to get an accurate sample, consider the following. Make composite samples of sub-samples taken from different depths of the pit at application time. You can do this by taking a sample from numerous loads as they are being filled. You could separate and submit as separate samples, the first 1/3, second 1/3, and last 1/3. Each storage must be sampled separately. Even if you did an analysis last year, it is a good idea to take more samples for testing, until there is uniformity in the results you are getting.

How Late is Too Plant Wheat?

All wheat has to do is germinate this fall to produce a crop next year. Wheat will germinate at +0.5oC. There will be reduced root growth on later planted wheat, so less chance of the starter fertilizer being picked up by the roots. Vernalization is the process wheat must go through before it will produce a head. It is a cold shock after germination. As long as wheat germinates before winter, it will produce a head. Winter wheat planted in the spring will not produce a head because it does not vernalize. There are the planting date restrictions to obtain Crop Insurance for overwintering (winterkill). For area D you can plant until October 27 and area ABC in Western Ontario until November 7. If you plant after these dates and your wheat makes it through the winter you can apply for yield insurance next spring. Some growers have had great yields by planting in November. The critical factor is soil conditions. If you have good soil conditions consider planting into November. Dr. Falk, former wheat researcher at U. of Guelph, suggests liquid starter has little effect when wheat is planted late.

Should I spray Infinity in my wheat this fall?

You should consider spraying Infinity in your wheat this fall if you did not do a fall burndown, and, you have winter annual weeds such as Canada fleabane, common chickweed, bird’s eye speedwell, field violet, and/or perennials such as dandelions etc.

I want to spray Peak in the fall to control Wild Carrot, are there any cropping restrictions?

The Peak label suggests that you cannot plant corn or soybeans for 10 months following application. Experience suggests it would be safe to plant corn, but you cannot plant soybeans. Alfalfa is 22 months and small seeded crops like canola require a field bioassay.

I used the 60 mL/ac rate of Eragon LQ this fall. Will I have to spray my wheat next spring?

It depends. The 60 mL/ac rate does provide control of winter annuals, which would mean you can delay your spring herbicide application. You may still have to do a delayed spring herbicide application if a) you have a high pressure of annual weeds, and a thin canopy) b) you have perennial weeds (which might be better off with a pre-harvest), and/or c) you have a spring/late fall population of Canada fleabane.

Updated Dicamba Table – Added Roundup Xtend

Had a question a few weeks ago about Roundup Xtend (pre-mix of Roundup Weathermax and Xtendimax), Here is the comparative rate of using it to other dicamba products this fall. In most situations, you will want to top up the glyphosate rate.

Table 1 - Dicamba Rates (Updated)

When should I cut my forage oats?

This is part of an excerpt on an earlier article on winter cereals. See information below on both yield and quality. When should you harvest earlier than is suggested in the article below? If you are going to have temperatures below minus 5’C, or you have run out of calendar, and the oats have essentially stopped growing. Oats will continue to grow in cool weather conditions, but compared to spring, will be at a slower rate due to less sunlight (days continue to get shorter and shorter vs. longer and longer in the spring).

I did the math for a field that is around the corner from my house (northern Wellington County), in the 14-day forecast, we have no risk of frost and should accumulate 140 growing degree days (base 0’C). The field is at growth stage 30-31 (stem elongation), let’s assume it takes about 200-250 GDDs to get from this stage to flag leaf. May not quite make it to swollen boot, without knowing the forecast out a bit further, but should be able to double biomass between now and then.

Stage of Growth for Harvesting a Winter Cereal for Forage (Repost)

According to Dr. J. Cherney at Cornell, stage of growth has a bigger effect on forage quality than the species of winter grain chosen. For quality winter forage, flag leaf rolled is a bit early, by waiting for 4-5 additional days to early swollen boot (head below the last leaf), you can have the same feed quality and gain a 35% yield increase. If the head has started to poke through, you have waited too long if trying to produce a 20% protein forage. Better to be on the early side than too late. Thus, you must harvest at rolled flag leaf to early swollen boot to have acceptable feed quality.

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