OSU Plant Nutritionist Brian Arnall Says Wheat Producers Should Make These Considerations Before the Next Crop SeasonMon, 19 Aug 2019 12:32:19 CDT
Oklahoma State University Extension Plant Nutritionist Dr. Brian Arnall offered producers some key points to keep in mind this year as they begin to think about the 2019-2020 growing season, during the recent joint-meeting of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association and the Oklahoma Wheat Commission held in El Reno this past week. Arnall sat down with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn to share some of his advice with ROAN listeners. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
One of the things Arnall has recently studied is sulfur’s role in protein production. While it has always been understood that sulfur is a critical component to producing protein content in wheat, Arnall explained that is becoming clear that the scientific community actually knows less about its function in growing wheat than previously thought. This realization came about, he says, when it was discovered that too much sulfur can actually lead to reduced productivity.
“While we’ve always thought a little bit of sulfur is good, we’re now finding out too much sulfur can be bad,” Arnall said. “So, as we go forward, if you’re making sulfur applications, we really need to be cautious with making sure you have a good soil sample and know the soil texture because what we’ve seen is too much sulfur - even as much as just 15 to 20 lbs. more than it needs - can reduce yield and reduce protein. Going forward into next year, you need to keep that in mind.”
In addition to that, Arnall offered a few notes on the upcoming crop season that he advises producers to take under consideration before planting. According to recent reports, barge access to river ports in this region is limited due to the heavy rainfall of late. This has in turn limited the available amount of preferred fertilizer in the area. While there may be a shortage of 18460 though, Arnall says there is an abundance of MAP 11-52-0. Comparable to other products that farmers are more acquainted with, Arnall vouches for this product’s effectiveness. One notable difference, though, is that it contains more phosphorous than nitrogen. Essentially, you will have to apply less to get the same amount of phosphorous as you normally would want, but at the same time you will be applying less nitrogen.
Nitrogen will be particularly important in the early stages, Arnall says, in order to jumpstart your forage production. However, he warns producers not to ‘put all their eggs in one basket like last year’ in order to mitigate any potential hurdles that arise.
“Get enough for one or two tonnes of forage production up early. If we have a good season,” he says, “then come in and top dress. We’ve seen great response with top dressing for graze out, even late. I’m really wanting to see more producers move to more in-season management of nitrogen. It really improves quality, yield and production as far as efficiency too.”
Arnall says that favorable results have actually been garnered as late as March, when held out from the typical December/January time period - depending on your location in the state of course.
“That opens up the top-dress window which allows the environment to tell us more about what’s needed,” he said. “So, you don’t have to get in a rush in December/January to top-dress if the weather is not right. So, if you don’t make that traditional window - don’t give up - there’s still time to get it done.”
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