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Agricultural News

Success Stories are Important to Consider in Preparing for 2012-2013 Winter Crops

Wed, 01 Aug 2012 18:01:06 CDT

Brian Arnall, OSU Extension Precision Nutrient Management Specialist, posted the following article as producers’ thoughts begin turning toward winter crops:

As the full season summer crops are maturing and the double crops are battling the Oklahoma summer producers are planning for the 2012-2012 winter crop. That means it’s time to remind everyone about the importance of soil testing and implementation of the N-Rich Strips. As Oklahoma wheat producers strive to improve the quality of OK grain and canola producers continue to push yield potentials it is essential to maintain proper soil pH, P and K nutrition. This is can be accomplished through soil testing. This past wheat crop, which left many scratching their heads throughout the year, was a great year in terms of showing the benefits of utilizing the N-Rich strip, Green Seeker Sensor and Variable rate application. What follows are two of the success stories, one from northwest OK using N-Strips and the SBNRC and one from northeast OK discussing his experience with sensor based variable rate N applicator.

Clint Wilcox of Major Co. reported right after harvest: “For crop year 2011-2012 a grad student from Oklahoma State University placed an N-Rich Strip on one of my farms. We read the strip in late February, we applied the recommended amount of top-dress which was more than we put on the rest of our fields. The results were that the field with the N-Rich was our best yielding field and I also on the other end of the spectrum can see where we had some fields that the strip probably would have recommended less nitrogen and yielded more due to less lodging. We will be applying N-Rich Strips on all farms next year.”

Brent Rendell of Ottawa Co. reported just prior to harvest: “The funny thing to see this year is the fields of the ‘low input’ farmers vs. the others. They are all standing nice and pretty with very minimal lodging, but they also do not appear to have top-end yield potential. My fields are lodged anywhere between 10-25 percent and most of the lodging spots are not severe. The ridges and edges are the worst in my fields, but that is pretty common in a heavy straw year like this one. The GreenSeeker definitely provided enough N to reach full yield potential without excessive over application. Overall, GreenSeeker reduced top-dress N use by almost 50,000 lbs. of actual N across 1,400 acres. The exact calculation works out to 35.53 fewer lbs. of N per acre. That savings is vs. 75 #/ac top-dress rate since I applied 25#/ac N at planting last fall. My UAN cost was $366.66 per ton = $0.573 per lb. of N. My N savings were over $20/ac this year and my wheat yield should meet or beat the heavy N fields. If lodged wheat losses are only 3-4 bushels/ac (and I bet they are much higher) you can add another $20/ac bump. Hmmmm....1400 acres...$20/ac to $40/ac advantage. That $15,000 investment in an RT-200 was pretty cheap.”

The N-Rich strips in the past season were able to identify extremes experienced, those fields that had very high residual and low N need to reach bumper yields and those that fell behind very early in the season and needed more N than typical. Take the time to visit with your local OSU extension educator about soil sampling, fertilizer needs of wheat and canola, and using the N-Rich strips.

Pete’s Sheets are available for winter wheat and winter canola nutrient recommendations along with nutrient deficiency identification. These cards are great for Extension Educators, producers, consultants, and Ag retailers and are free for any group or individual who requests. These cards are handy dandy cheat sheets that fold up to the size of a business card. We are able to send up to 250 cards of each design at one time. Also available are custom covers for all of the Pete’s Sheet options. With the custom covers a group can purchase the Pete’s Sheets with their logo placed on the front of the cards.

Information on requesting the standard Pete’s Sheets or about purchasing the custom cover Pete Sheet is available by clicking here.


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