Friday, July 30, 2010

Here There and Everywhere (Darke County Extension)

This week has been a great learning experience for me, so I figured I should pass along as much as I can remember. I started this week in a bean field in Preble County, Tuesday I traveled a few hours north to the Allen/Hardin County border, Thursday, I traveled north to Custar for the Field Crops Field Day; and Friday learned about dragline application of manure.

Looking back, the week seems to be a blur. Therefore I’m going to blur all of the events together into something that makes a little more sense. Let’s start out with nutrient management. Tuesday I learned from Glen Arnold (OSU Extension), that in his research trials, swine and dairy manure top dressed onto wheat in the spring produced the same yields as an application of urea. Manure application method did not impact yield, so knifing manure in with a tank or dragline and, in one study, surface application produced the same yields in wheat. The benefit of draglining manure is time. It only takes one hour to cover 6 acres, where hauling a tank may only cover 2 to 3 acres an hour. Of course, with increased efficiency, there is a cost and draglining can cost more than using a tank.

On to Custar, Ohio, for the Field Crops Field Day at the NW OARDC station. The morning started with some updates on the station and this growing season’s weather conditions. The wagons rolled to our first stop to hear from Bruce Clevenger, from Defiance County. Bruce spoke mostly of profitability in soybeans. The comment that struck me was that since 2007, costs for seed, fertilizer, and land have increased by almost 50%. However, the cash price for soybeans has not increased and is still around $9.50. To summarize his research, Bruce put together a list of “higher returns on investments” and “lower returns on investments”. The investments that pay the most in soybeans are correcting soil pH, drainage, selecting disease resistant varieties, soil fertility and using IPM. Lower returns come from pesticide applications at low incidence of disease or insects and foliar fertilization.

Speaking of fertilization, I heard from Robert Mullen about many topics he is researching. Two of the main components of his talk, which might apply to Darke County, are starter fertilizer for side dressed corn and manganese application to soybeans. Mullen stated that starter fertilizer in corn that will be side dressed can increase yield potential and prolong the time for side dress application. There has been a lot of discussion about applying manganese to Roundup Ready soybeans. According to Mullen the thought is that the Roundup Ready gene inhibits the ability of soybeans to take up manganese. From his and other research, Mullen said the gene is probably not at fault, but dry soil conditions and low test levels of manganese in the soil are the more likely cause. “High clay soils with high organic matter are more likely to see deficiency”, said Mullen. A simple soil test before planting beans can tell you if your beans are at risk.

To continue with the hot topic of soybeans at the field day, I heard from and worked with Ann Dorrance, OSU Soybean Pathologist. She covered a broad range of topics, including some updates on seed treatments for soybeans. Ann found, in a foliar fungicide trial, that out of 28 applications to different fields only 3 of those producers recovered their money. She pushed selecting resistant varieties and crop rotation as a means to minimize the impacts of disease. I took some time to work with Ann and some of her research interns after the field day was over. In a small study, while doing stand counts, Ann found phythophthora, bacterial blight and downy mildew. This was proof that diseases were out there, but in the study only one of those diseases was causing stand loss, and that was only on susceptible varieties.

While we are talking about diseases, I took a trip down to Preble County on Monday. While scouting a field for weeds and diseases, I stumbled upon a soybean plant that had classic symptoms of sudden death syndrome (SDS). I shipped the sample off to Ann and her lab confirmed it was SDS. In 200 acres of soybeans I found the one plant that was infected. I saved some leaves from the plant which show the symptoms very well. If you are interested in seeing the leaves, or want to discuss any of these topics in depth, call OSU Extension, Darke County, at 937-548-5215, and ask for me. I look forward to another interesting week, that will include my talk on Tuesday, at 6:00pm, here at OSU Extension, about giant ragweed and marestail control in soybean.

Justin Petrosino, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, OSU Extension, Darke County, Top of Ohio EERA

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Posts

/* Track outbound links in Google Analytics */