I am required to have periodic continuing education in order to hold a chemical applicators' license. A couple weeks ago, I acquired a couple of those precious hours by attending the Pinney Purdue Twilight Session. This is the first time I have attended the evening session. I usually select the daytime session that comes with a free pork chop, but the combination of dry weather and our employee taking time off has stretched dad and I thin, so I opted for the shorter session. Topics presented included tires, palmer amaranth, and late season corn fertility.
Familiar to those of you in other geographies, palmer amaranth is an invasive species in the same family as waterhemp. It has just been identified in our county. From everything I heard, I don't look forward to dealing with this weed. I can't count the number of times the term "game changer" was used. I do believe that our experience with non-GMOs and familiarity with herbicide programs which do not rely on glyphosate will benefit us when palmer does come, as it is resistant to glyphosate. More information, including a herbicide selection chart, can be found in the Purdue extension publication WS-51.
The session on tires was another in what I would classify as a safety series from Purdue Pesticide Programs, presented by Fred Whitford. Tire experts explained different markings on tires and what the mean to us as agricultural producers. They also gave general recommendations and safety/usage guidelines.
Other safety guides include: Extracting Stuck Equipment, Keep the Trailer Hitched to the Truck, Farm Truck Accidents, as well as others. Visit www.ppp.purdue.edu for more information.
I found the late season corn fertility session the most interesting. Tony Vyn presented research that is helping to pinpoint when a growing corn crop needs which nutrients. This timing issue has already begun to play a role in our operation's fertilizer applications. I also believe doing a better job of "just in time" nutrients will have a more prominent role in tomorrow's farming practices.
I was surprised to learn that the corn plant takes up 40% of needed nitrogen, 50% of needed sulfur, and 60% of needed phosphate post R1 (silking/tasseling). The bottom line is, high plant densities require high crop management. More information can be found at www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/agronomy.