I heard a couple interesting things at the first day of the NDSU Extension Roundup in Devils Lake, N.D.
Corn strategies -- if you are serious about growing corn, you probably should be prepared to sidedress nitrogen, says Joel Ransom, NDSU Extension agronomist. . Last year, nitrogen losses from leaching and denitrification were serious enough to reduce North Dakota’s average yield to from 134 to 110 bushels per acre. He says spring application of fertilizer plus sidedressing may reduce N losses and increase corn yields. He recommends knifing anhydrous ammonia in the middle of every or every other row. Dribbling liquid fertilizer between the rows or broadcasting dry urea are also options.
Kochia worries – You might not have to worry about glyphosate-resistant waterhemp if you farm west of the Red River Valley, but you will have to contend with glyphosate resistant kochia. In some ways glyphosate resistant kochia will be as bad or worse than glyphosate resistant waterhemp, which has caused some real problems in the Cornbelt. Kochia, or tumbleweed, will spread resistant seed as it rolls across a field. Resistant kochia will also cross pollinate with susceptible kochia and the new plant will be resistant. Rich Zollinger, NDSU Extension weed specialist, showed some pictures of Kansas wheat fields where resistant kochia blew in and took over in just a couple years.
Crop contracts – Read specialty crop contracts carefully. Frayne Olson, NDSU extension crops marketing economist, says that they are getting more complicated. New provisions for 2012: Prevented planting clauses (you may not be able to replant another crop on a contracted field) and MRLs (Maximum Residual Levels for the presence of desiccants and other crop protection chemcials).
Unnecessary adjuvants – Ever wonder if all those adjuvants that custom applicators sometimes add to wheat fungicide are necessary? Scott Halley, crop scientist at the NDSU Langdon Research Extension Center, did. He set up a test and found that changing nozzles and adjusting pressure produced the same results as the adjuvant. “You can save a few dollars,” he says.