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CROP WATCH

By Staff | Nov 16, 2016

The midpoint of November has passed and with it we can say “adios” to the four-year circus of the presidential election. And what a mud-wrestling contest it was.

Most crop farmers had completed harvest more than a week ago and a high percentage were busy getting their last fields tilled, or in the case of strip-tillers, making their fertilizing strips in preparation for next year’s crops. Most put in tremendously long hours to get done before any rain or snow forced a halt to fall field work. The weather has been perfect for the last three to four weeks.

The next task was for those who use anhydrous to get it applied. They had to wait on the announcement that soil temps in the top 4 or 6 inches had dropped below 50 degrees. The big white tanks began to show up on the roads and in the fields in much of the northern and central parts of the state. If the weather holds for two or three weeks they will make tremendous progress in completing that task.

One change seems to be is that more growers recognize that a more efficient N program may consist of applying a portion of their N program in a sidedress, top-dress or dribbled application after corn reaches 6 to 8 inches. Even mid-season prior to VT foliar applications are being used with success.

Results have been good partially because ammonia has the capacity to kill the bacteria on leaf surfaces. This includes Clavibacter and likely Xanthomonas, the causal organisms for Goss’ wilt and the new bacterial leaf streak.

Not everyone who used a sidedress program saw their sidedressed fields out-yield where they had applied 40 to 80 pounds at V6 or later N. This was puzzling to those who invested money in equipment and product. The pertinent questions that have to be asked are “was the applied N in the NO3 form” and “was it being held in the top 12 inches or had it moved deeper?” But it was so dry during June and early July that leeching should not have happened.

Expect the role of stabilizers to increase in importance. And we may have to see more elevators move to newer safteners that have ot been around as long, thus are more entrenched within the N industry. We saw the best response with keeping the plants green and grain-filling longer when Nutrisphere with the pre and top-dress N applications.

Be expecting a new product from BASF which performed as the No. 1 product years ago in the Purdue N stabilizers. You may have to request some of these to be carried by your retailers.

Corn performance

In previous columns I mentioned field trials using BioEmpruv to keep the corn green and filling until early October. None of the early dying corn was seen, even on low CSR, steep sloped Guthrie County ground. The yield benefit from the program treated versus non-treated was over 50 bpa in fields on land that was a disease haven due to being surrounded by timber and having a stream running through it.

Ground that had never averaged more than 165 was in the 245 to 250 bpa range. Where the ground was better and flatter the monitor held steady in the 280 to 300 bpa range.

The pith in the stalks was still white, solid and juicy when harvested at 16 to 18 percent moisture in late October. Plant intactness was superb.

What has to be done is postulating and figuring out how the good Haney-scored soil biology soil quality interacted with stabilized N, in-furrow micros, the new Take-Off N management product discovered at Los Alamos, and the hybrid genetics to increase yields so dramatically.

Is the program repeatable? Definitely as other growers across the state saw their corn stay green and fill until early October to pump out memorable yields. As far as ROI, using such a program produced results far beyond what any new product or device released in the last two decades.

Expect this information to be discussed at winter meetings.

Banvel, 2,4-D crops

Oversight agencies recently announced the introduction of crops tolerant of Banvel and 2,4-D is moving forward. This does not mean that very late rescue applications of a non-selective herbicide will be permitted as they were 15 years ago. That is what the rule formulators and companies are attempting to avoid.

Every grower will be expected to follow the rules about shutting down with wind speeds over 15 mph and observing set-a-side areas with sensitive crops. That risk could occur many days in the late spring and early summer. The best pre-emerge programs involving overlapping residual herbicides will have to be used. That also applies to the specified nozzles. Until the prices of the new formulated herbicides are announced we will not know how tempting the use of non-approved formulations will be.

So how does the industry avoid weeds developing resistance to these introductions? One big item is that weeds partially switch their hormonal balance near their reproductive stage. Palmer amaranth has been found to start forming seed heads as quickly as 12 days after emergence. Thus the period of being effectively controlled with a post-application of an auxin-based herbicide will be narrow.

Each applicators liability insurance company, whether with a large retail location or an individual farmer, will have a say in this if and when damage complaints arise. To me the most worrisome issues that exist will be what the gene pairs that were shoved out when the insertions were made actually control, and if a contaminant will exist in the products as alleged in the 2015 published book covering the history of the EPA, aka “Poison Spring.” If you have not read it you should.

Remember to get registered for the ISU ICM Conference with their update sessions.

There is also the Acres Conference in Omaha that always presents lots of interesting information. The Farm News Expo is also slated for about the same time frame.

The election

As to the national election: I get to put on quite a few miles during the summer and fall across about a half dozen states. It was easy to see the many political signs through the area. Near the end of the campaign season it was easy to see that 80 to 90 percent were of one color, which was counter to what we were told by the national polls. Were the different media sources reporting on or trying to sway the election? To me the one side’s leaders represents those that don’t want to work while the other leaders often represent those that don’t have to work. Thus if you have to work for a living, and enjoy your work or profession, which are most of the people I know, they are going to recognize who has been or who is working to support their views. In the end the silent majority let loose with its pent up emotions and let the country’s political leaders know were sick and tired and wanted a change. They decided they were the majority and they wanted their country back and their voices heard. Just like that it happened. Lots of announcers, political forecasters and state/national newspaper editors got to eat their fair share of crow.

It is going to take a joint effort working together for the next eight years to achieve the lofty goals we need to get the economy and educational systems rolling again. It can and has to be done. All most citizens can and should ask for is the opportunity to use their God-given talents and hard work to achieve what they wish for. Check out our website www.centraliowa.com and look for the Jeff Daniel’s piece on this topic. It is great.

Bob Streit is an independent crop consultant and columnist for Farm News. He can be reached at (515) 709-0143 or www.CentralIowaAg.com.orwww.CentralIowaAg.com.

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