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The Cropwalker - Volume 4 Issue 39

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Crop Conditions

Weather well, it turned wet again. Harvest and wheat planting has come to a standstill. Winter wheat some areas have less than 25% of intended acres planted (Haldimand) while other areas have almost all intended acres in (Lambton). Some replanting between tile runs or where water ponded. Probably 75% of intended acres planted. If soils dry more will go in. Soybeans harvest about 60-65% complete. Many growers are done. Yields remain good. Corn harvest continues with about 5% off. My grain merchant friend in Essex/Kent says that most corn is less than 1.0 ppm DON with 3-4 loads over 2-3%. Consider harvesting ASAP to keep quality up.


Top things to do this week

1.     Review marketing plan for corn and soybeans.

2.    Check winter wheat emergence.

3.    Plan termination of cover crop.

4.    Do population counts in your hybrid plots that will be harvested for comparisons. You want to make sure you are measuring hybrid differences not differences in population.

5.    Secure red clover seed for 2022. There is a shortage

6.    Finalize soil sampling for fall 2021 if you haven’t done so already. There will be a need to maximize all fertility dollars, especially on new farms/short term rentals.

Tips to Avoid Compaction on Wet Soils

  1. Don't use grain bin extensions or fill the combine as full.
  2. Use wide tires with lower inflation pressures.
  3. Keep trucks out of the field. Consider unloading at the ends of the field, not on the go.
  4. Grain cart should track the same rows as the combine.
  5. Don't turn around in the middle of the field.
  6. Don't fill the grain cart as full, unload more often.
  7. Establish a grain cart path and stay on it.
  8. Don't till wet soils, as they are easily compacted.
  9. Use cover crops to help build or maintain soil structure.

If the soil was wet enough to form ruts during harvest, it's probably too wet to do tillage. Driving on or tilling wet soil causes compaction. While the wheel traffic compaction (loss of pore space) is easy to see as the lost space reappears as ruts, the full-width compaction resulting from tillage isn't as visible as the entire surface is compacted below the tillage depth. If the combines and grain carts aren't leaving a rut, don't worry about compaction from the heavy equipment. Compaction is the loss of pore space between soil particles and occurs when that space is squeezed out of the soil and reappears somewhere else, such as in the form of a rut. If a rut wasn't formed, there was enough soil structure present to support the weight without causing additional compaction. A great example is when you play with playdough, after the air is out of the dough, it will form a shape.

(Notes on compaction from Paul Jasa Extension Engineer University Nebraska Lincoln)

Controlling Volunteer Soybeans in Wheat

When the hail went through a few weeks ago a lot of soybeans ended up on the ground. These are now volunteering in wheat fields. (See picture) There are reports that field trials showed no response to controlling volunteer beans in winter wheat. That might be sometimes. But the presence of large amounts of volunteer soybeans will hurt yields. This year with no threat of frost for a few days will increase odds of volunteer soybeans hurting wheat yields. We know that early weed competition hurts yield. I spoke with Mike Cowbrough OMAFRA weed specialist and he feel heavy soybean pressure can hurt wheat yields. As another CCA said with high commodity prices we want to do everything reasonable to help yields. Mike says that Buctril M will do a good job controlling volunteer soybeans. The low rate of MCPA in Buctril M does most of the work. So, while low rate of MCPA is not registered for fall use in winter wheat it probably will control volunteer soybeans. Mike also said that Refine SG will control volunteer soybeans. The first picture is amount of volunteer soybeans and second is 20 hours after spraying.

Picture 1 - Volunteer Soybeans in Wheat
Picture 2 - Volunteer Soybeans Affected by Herbicide Application

Winter Wheat – Yield Benefit to Even Emergence?

Research conducted in 1992 found that; 1) Wheat plants that emerged on day 1 to day 3 produced 1.4 times the yield of those that emerged on days 4-6, and 3.2 times the yield of those which emerged on days 7-9. When checking your wheat this fall, check your emergence rates, it may indicate adjustments are required in the future.

(From Gan, Stobbe and Moes, published in Crop Science, Vol 32 Sept-Oct 1992.

What can I spray in-crop in Winter Wheat in the fall?

There are a few products you could apply in the fall, most popular has been Infinity, mainly to control fleabane. Buctril M and Refine SG are also options. If Infinity FX is sprayed in the fall, it cannot be sprayed in the spring. Pixxaro is now registered for fall application. Lontrel has been applied for but currently not registered. The following products are not supported for fall application; 2,4-D, MCPA, dicamba.

Q - It’s October 13th and my soys/silage are off, what do I put in for a cover crop, Oats? A – likely limited benefit to planting Oats at this stage, my preference would be to do winter wheat or cereal rye. Cereal rye will have more fleabane suppression capability than winter wheat, but you run the risk of allelopathy the following year if corn is your spring intention. This can be overcome by harvesting the cereal rye or terminating early and increasing the amount of nitrogen used at planting.

Q – I want to fall mouldboard plough my alfalfa; do I need to spray it off first? A - Provided the plough is set up properly there is no benefit to spraying off the alfalfa. The reason to spray it off would be if you have a lot of perennials with Rhizome root systems like Quack grass and Sowthistle. If you want to use any other tillage system than a mouldboard plough, you will have to do a burndown.

Q – I have diseases on my alfalfa, what is causing this? Will this impact over wintering?

Ans The first is common leaf spot. It is characterized by the black spots. Practically every alfalfa field has this at some level. This is one of the diseases that is controlled by spraying Priaxor next spring. The other disease is Stemphylium. This disease is characterized by the oval light brown lesion with a dark border which may be surrounded by a light-yellow halo. This disease typically comes in after the leaves have been affected by another disease such as common leaf spot.

Neither of these diseases will affect overwintering. But if you have a lot of them now, you must consider spraying Priaxor next spring.

Picture 2 -Common Leaf Spot in Alfalfa
Picture 4 - Stemphylium in Alfalfa

Question Is it OK to take another cut from my alfalfa now. It is knee high now. I am afraid of it smothering.

Answer If you answer NO to any of these questions, do not cut.

  1. Do you need the feed?
  2. Have you fertilized with at least 50 lbs. actual P and 200 actual K this year?
  3. Is the stand seeded 2019 or later?
  4. Is there a period of 5 or more days of good drying weather?

This time of year, it will take at least 5 and maybe 7 days to dry enough even for silage. As far as smothering, alfalfa will not smother out. If there is a lot of grass, the grass or volunteer cereal could smother the alfalfa. Alfalfa will leave the stems and drop leaves so that should there be icing this winter the stems will act like smokestack to let the gas given off by alfalfa escape. If you take a cut now there will be a little less in next year’s first cut compared to leaving it alone.

Bushel weight of corn

We have this discussion every year. Bushel weight is a term used to market/trade corn. It is easily measured. It is the weight of a certain volume of corn. It has nothing to do with yield. A better yield factor is TKW (Thousand kernel weights). Right now, there is very little you can do about either. Field drying corn generally increases bushel eight since moisture leave the kernels and more can be compacted into a certain volume. Bushel weight is used to grade corn. The standard in # 2. As bushel weight goes down the grade and the amount paid to the seller goes down.

Bushel weight is not a factor in feed value. In 1992 when we had a lot of low bushel weight corn feeding trials were done on low bushel weight corn. In these trials with pigs, it was determined that pigs did as well on low bushel weight corn as higher bushel weight corn. I guess the take home is if you have low bushel weight corn try to get it into the feed market. Or if you can feed corn look for low bushel weight corn that you can buy for less by the tonne than #2 corn. Dr Bob Neilson Purdue has an article on explaining the relevance of bushel weight Grain Test Weight Considerations for Corn



Green stems on mature soybeans

Green stems on mature soybean plants may be the result of a source/sink problem. If there are a limited number of pods (sink), there are fewer places for the plant’s photosynthates (source) to go.

Research by Dr. Jim Beuerlein, (Ohio State University) when soybean pods were removed from a plant node when they first formed and started to expand, the leaf at that node stayed green after the rest of the plant matured. If all the small pods were removed from a branch on a plant, that branch did not mature. Further, if setting of pods were prevented on the main stem of a plant but pods allowed to develop normally on the branches, those branches matured normally while the main stem stayed green and held onto its leaves. Anatomical studies of the flow of carbohydrates within a plant show that each leaf fills the pods at its node only, but if all its carbohydrates are not needed at that node, the extra will move to the next lower node. Therefore, soybean plants digest their leaves, petioles and stems to complete the pod filling process and add a few more bushels per acre. If the digestion of plant parts is not needed to complete pod fill, then these plant parts remain green.

Another possible cause of stay green syndrome might be stink bug feeding. As the bugs feed, they inject saliva which may impact the plant’s physiology to remain green. To check for stink bug feeding, open a few pods and look for shriveled or flat seeds (see figure for stink bug damaged seed) that may indicate stink bug feeding. Stink bug feeding is usually heavier on the edge of the field so green plants may be more common there. (From C.O.R.N Ohio)

Glyphosate Shortage

First, what is causing the shortage? There are several different factors which are impacting this issue. In no particular order, the reasons for the herbicide shortage include a decline in number of laborers to unload tanker ships at gulf ports, lack of truck transportation from the ports to get the ingredients to U.S. formulation plants or formulated products to the retailers, reduced supplies of some of the inert ingredients of the formulation, shortages of materials to make containers and packaging, and Hurricane Ida that damaged a glyphosate production plant in Luling, LA (https://www.agweb.com/news/business/technology/hurricane-ida-idles-largest-glyphosate-production-plant-us).

From the archives 10 years ago

Harvest Safety – Sometimes we don’t realize how important safety is until it is too late. There has not been a combine built in the past 20 years without a locking mechanism to keep you safe while working under the header. Hydraulic systems can be unreliable. Fatigue, anxiety, and heavy machinery are a deadly combination, making corn harvest the most dangerous time of year. Please be safe.

Question - I think I have manganese deficiency in my wheat. Should I spray to correct it?

Answer - It is likely due to saturated soil in this situation, if your field is dry enough that you can get the machine on the field, a foliar Manganese would be required to correct it.

Collecting Proper or Quality Yield Data

Four things to think about. 1) Proper naming of fields. Almost all combines use a grower/farm/field file structure. Don’t label the field as “1” if the farm only has one field give it the same name as the farm. 1) Calibrating for weight or keep track of weight by field, to ensure the weights and yields on a field-by-field basis are accurate 2) Proper setup of the height sensor to remove the zero yield harvested strips 3) Proper setup of the time delay to ensure the start/stops line up.

BT Soybeans

If you haven’t seen the news, there is a few projects in the works to commercialize BT soybeans to help combat Soybean Cyst Nematode, to see a summary of the news release visit the link below.

Bt Soybean with SCN Resistance and Herbicide Tolerance

In an Aug. 19, 2020 DTN article titled “Bt Bean Targets SCN”, author Emily Unglesbee announces that the US-EPA has granted BASF a registration for a Bt soybean trait known as GMB151 that will target the soybean cyst nematode (SCN). The registration application for this trait can be found here.

Wheat Seeding Rates

Time to increase to 2,000,000 seeds/acre at a minimum. It’s better to seed too much at this point rather than too little.

Drowned out wheat

In most situations if are at the point that you need to make a judgment call, you are likely better to spray it off and start over rather than patch wheat in. If your feel you are in that situation and carry crop insurance, make sure you speak with your adjuster.

Your New to Fertilizer Storage?

If you are taking delivery this fall, keep it in condition for spring use. The big risk currently with liquid products is photo-degradation (10-34-0) and salt out (32% and ATS). Salt out occurs when a solution contains more solids in it than it can keep in solution when the temperature drops below its salt out point (think solid fat in soup or gravy after being in the fridge).

1)    28% UAN stores over the winter, ensure the tanks you are using are weighted properly for storing fertilizer and not water (liquid fertilizer is heavier than water).

2)    If you have 32% UAN left over, likely best to store it as 28% UAN. Adding water will reduce the super saturation and prevent salt out as temperatures drop.

3)    Ammonium Thiosulphate (12-0-0-26) will start to salt out at freezing and will require blending or heated storage. The alternative is to blend it with 28% UAN or water to lower the freezing point (see Article below).

4)    Urea usually doesn’t store well in a small pile(s) and quality is greatly affected by both sunlight and humidity. If you are planning on taking delivery, I would recommend waiting until we have lower humidity (below freezing temps is ideal) and store it in a building that does not allow direct sunlight on the product.

5)    MAP will usually store better than Urea but still need to keep moisture away from it.

6)    Potash will turn lumpy when wet but stores the best out of the three major dry fertilizer materials. If your product is dusty, avoid dumping the fines in one area of the pile to prevent segregation issues.

Winter Storing ATS?

Had a few questions on how to store ATS over the winter… I put out a few feelers and this is what I found out.

1)    In speaking with my western counter parts, they indicate they can store 15-0-0-26 (80% ATS, 20% 28%) without issue. Likely will want to agitate prior to pulling product out.

2)    The note below from the Canadian rep for Tessenderlo Kerley provides some suggestions on how to get the product to store for the winter.

Jonathan -There are two ways to winterize.

The most used one for Canada is 15-0-0-20S. You use UAN 28 – 20% = 5.6 units of N with 80% Thio-Sul (ATS 12-0-0-26S) = 9.6 units of N. Total 15.2 units of N. 80% of 26S = 20.8 Units of sulphur. This will adjust salt out to around 15 F. (-10 C)

The other way is just add(ing) enough water (10%) to make 11-0-0-24S should take salt out to 15-20 F (-10 to -6 C).

Thanks for your inquiry.

Mike Jennings

Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.

Figure 1 - Salt out Temperatures of Various Water/ATS Blends (Source: TK)
Figure 2 - Salt out Temperatures of Various UAN/ATS Blends (Source: TK)

Crop Vitality - ATS Storage and Handling Guide

PDF for Storage and Handling of ATS

“The golden rule of decision making is that the person making the decision needs to define the problem.”

– Shane Parrish