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ISSUE 2   May 11, 2000

FLAX PLANTING RESPONSES

    Seeding Rates: NDSU Ext. Circ. 1038 entitled "Flax Production in North Dakota" suggests flax seeding rates of 20 to 45 lbs. per acre. Lower rates of 20-30 lbs/A in the west and 35-45 lbs/A in the eastern high rainfall areas. Flax seedling stands may sometimes be poor due to dry soils, deep seeding, soil crusting, herbicide injury or other factors. Results below show that higher yields can result from lower seeding rates and also result in less lodging in lodge prone environments.

Planting Rate

Environments

Lodging

Non-Lodged

Lodged

lbs/a

---------Yield (bu/a)---------

---0.9---

20

23.1

27.2

1.6

30

25.1

27.5

1.9

40

25.6

23.6

4.8

50

26.7

25.0

4.4

60

27.1

23.0

4.3

LSD 5%

1.2

NS

2.4

3 yrs.- 1986-88, Langdon, Cavalier and Tolna, ND
Lodging Scores: 0=no lodging 9=flat

 

FLAX PLANTING DATES

    How late can flax be planted and still get fairly good yields? Below are research results from flax seeding date studies conducted over 9 years at the North Central Research Extension Center at Minot, ND.

Flax Seeding - Minot, ND

Seeding period

Average* Yield bu/A

% Early seeded date

1st (Early-May)

24

100

2nd (Mid-May)

22

93

3rd (Late-May)

18

79

4th (Early-June)

16

68

5th (Mid-June)

11

48

6th (Late-June)

4

16

 

    Early June planted flax was 8 bu/A less than early May planted flax. These data suggest that all flax should be planted between late April to May 15 to ensure maximum yield potential. Good seedbed preparation, adequate shallow seed placement to moisture, weed control and fertility management also will contribute to high flax yields. Yield goals of 30+ bu/A are not unrealistic for well managed flax production.  Any flax planted after the end of May perhaps is not economically
feasible unless current prices or loan value is considerally higher.

 

CANOLA STANDS AND YIELDS

    Canola is a flexible crop and variations in seeding rates or plant populations over relatively wide ranges have little influences on final yield. Plant stands as low as 3-4 per square foot have good yield potential if weeds and other pests are adequately controlled.

    1999 Canola seeding rate planting results in North Dakota are shown below:

Seeding rate effects on Canola*

Planted Seeds/
sq.ft.

Stands Plants/
sq.ft.

Ave. Yield**
lbs/A

5

3.8

1724

10

6.3

1914

15

9.0

1961

20

11.6

2029

 

*Research conducted by NDSU Research/Extension Center Agronomists at Langdon, Carrington, Williston and Prosper (1999). **Averaged over two canola varieties at all locations.

    These preliminary ND results from 1999 show that even at low stands of 3-4 plants/sq. ft. the yields were acceptable. This type of research is continuing in 2000.

Research results in Canada shows similar results with various plant populations.

Canola Plant Populations and Yield

Plants/sq.ft

Yield (%)

Plants/sq.ft

Yield (%)

2

43-72

16

92-99

4

75-95

18

91-99

6

83-100

20

90-99

8

88-100

30

86-97

10

91-100

40

83-90

12

93-100

50

83-87

14

92-100

   

Source: Canola Connection
Website: www.canola-council.org/manual/seedrate.htm

    It was observed that under very high plant populations, and under drought conditions, competition between plants results in fewer pods and smaller pods concentrated on the upper part of plants. The high position of seed bearing pods, combined with thin stems, frequently resulted in lodging and reduced yields. The ideal stand to strive for would be somewhere between 8-14 plants per sq. ft.

Duane R. Berglund
Extension Agronomist
dberglun@ndsuext.nodak.edu

 

WINTER WHEAT CROP FORECAST

    The annual tour of Kansas and the surrounding regions hard red winter wheat crop sponsored by the Wheat Quality Council took place last week and gives us an idea of how the crop down south is shaping up. The tour indicates near average yields.

    The winter wheat tour this year estimated yields for the 2000 crop year of 41.4 bushels per acre. This compares with the tours estimate last year of 47 bushels per acre. USDA yield estimates for Kansas in 1999 were 43 bushels per acre in May and 46 bushels per acre following harvest in August.

    Some of the insect and disease pests reported during the tour include greenbugs, barley yellow dwarf and wheat streak mosaic.

    Unfavorably dry conditions have contributed to smaller than normal heads. Producers in the region expect average yields. The growing season is far from over and crop conditions could get better or worse.

Michael D. Peel
Extension Small Grains Agronomist
mpeel@ndsuext.nodak.edu

 

MAXIMIZE LIGHT INTERCEPTION IN CORN

    Grain yield response in corn is very dependent on light interception and use. An increase in light intensity may increase photosynthesis and thus more energy is provided for crop growth. Likewise, more efficient use of the light into a field by planting narrow-row corn may optimize crop radiation interception. Optimizing light interception may be even more important if a nitrogen deficiency is noted within a corn field. No-till corn grown without adequate nitrogen during vegetative growth
intercepts less radiation at silking and could moderate yield loss if radiation interception was increased to provide more energy for more kernel numbers and thus more grain yield. Narrow rows were shown in recent research to increase kernel number and grain yield, even when nitrogen availability was slightly limiting. Nitrogen stress decreases leaf area index, leaf area duration and crop photosynthetic rate. Trials comparing 27.5 inch rows to 13.5 inch rows showed that the narrower rows intercepted more light and had an effect on kernel number and grain yield, moderating yield loss in the plots that had the slight nitrogen deficiency. Indeed, dry matter partitioning to the corn ear at pollination seems to be influenced more by intercepted radiation than by nitrogen deficiency at silking. In order to optimize corn growth, eliminate all crop input deficiencies and optimize plant spacing to take advantage of light interception and ultimate kernel fill.

    Be careful when moving or loading seed to the planter. Soybean seed is very fragile, more than most seed as can be seen at harvest when very low crop moisture can result in cracked soybeans. A 10% reduction in germination can occur simply from throwing soybean seed out of a truck and onto a concrete floor or onto hard ground. Try not to let seed fall more than a foot when handling bags for planting. Test any saved and stored seed for intactness of the soybean seed coat, germination under stress, germination percentage and seed viability prior to planting.

 

NO-TILL CORN YIELDS CAN COMPETE

    Corn yields on no-till ground can be improved by using a starter fertilizer of nitrogen adjacent to the seed as well as by using row cleaners and by later injecting nitrogen below plant residue accumulated on the soil surface. In a recent study out of the University of Minnesota, findings were reconfirmed that no-till corn may be slower in early plant growth, show lower yields in the northern Corn Belt and have reduced profitability unless specific strategies are used to optimize corn growth conditions. Emergence rate of corn seedlings is greatly affected by temperatures in May. Good soil and air temperatures greatly
encourage robust corn growth and quicker emergence. Emergence can reach 50% two to four days quicker when row cleaners are used on the corn planter unit during springs that are normal or below normal in temperature. Corn following corn yields are also increased with the use of row cleaners and starter fertilizer. Yield responses were also dependent on nitrogen source used for the starter fertilizer whether starter addition was used in a corn-corn or a soybean-corn rotation. Use of anhydrous ammonia rather than UAN near the row provided a 7 bu/A increase as compared to a 2 bu/A increase due to a
UAN nitrogen source in continuous corn. In the soybean-corn system, anhydrous ammonia provided a yield increase while UAN injected into the system did not show a significant boost. Indeed, starter fertilizer effect seems to be the result of the nitrogen addition rather than phosphorus on soil testing high in phosphorus, even in cooler conditions. Later spoke-injection of UAN at the V1 to V2 stages of corn was a better practice than broadcast application of UAN even with NBPT added to reduce volatilization of the nitrogen.

 

PLACEMENT OF K IMPORTANT IN NO-TILL SOYBEANS

    In an evaluation of no-till soybean response to phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertilizer in 10 and 11 long-term trials from 1994 to 1997, P placement did not influence yield; however, banded K produced slightly better yields than when it was broadcast. Research from Iowa State compared various P and K treatments by broadcasting, banding with the planter and deep banding (at a 4-6 inch depth). P fertilizer influenced yield when the pre-application soil test was low in P but the placement of the P did not influence yield. The banded K placement did produce slightly higher yields than the broadcast placement even without the responses to K always being related to the soil test. Both P and K addition influenced P and K uptake, although they did not have much influence on very early growth in no-till soybeans. Banding generally was more effective than broadcasting and would probably be most efficient when considering deep-banded K in corn-soybean rotations where the fertility would be used optimally by both crops. However, consider additional costs when deep banding and soil test to determine true need of either P or K in no-tilled soybeans.

Denise A. McWilliams
Extension Crop Production Specialist
dmcwilli@ndsuext.nodak.edu

 

PESTICIDE USE INCONSISTENT WITH THE LABELING

    It is illegal to use a pesticide in any way not permitted by the labeling. A pesticide may be used only on the plants, animals, or sites named in the Directions for Use. In North Dakota an off-label application carries a minimum $5000 fine per application.

    You may not use higher dosages, higher concentrations, or more frequent applications. You must follow all directions for use, including directions concerning safety, mixing, diluting, storage, and disposal. You must wear the specified personal protective equipment even though you may be risking only your own safety by not wearing it. The use directions and instructions are not advice, they are requirements.

    Federal law and North Dakota law does allow you to use pesticides in some ways not specifically mentioned in the labeling. These exceptions are listed below:

Andrew Thostenson
Pesticide Programs Specialist
athosten@ndsuext.nodak.edu


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