ISSUE 6   June 18, 2009

FERTIGATION

Irrigated acres are often seeded with minimal nitrogen due to the often sandy texture of the soil. Supplemental N can be applied at side-dress time, and additional N can be applied through the irrigation water of a center-pivot. Before applying liquid N fertilizers through a center pivot, make sure that connections are properly fitted with backflow protective valves as dictated and prescribed by State regulations. Also, make sure that the pump is calibrated to deliver the proper volume of fertilizer into the irrigation water stream. Pumps can be calibrated by disconnecting the discharge hose and timing the delivery of fertilizer into a gasoline-type test can or other accurate measuring device. The flow rate predicted and actual can be compared and the pump adjusted to deliver the proper rate into the irrigation system. Normally, about 10 gallons of fertilizer per acre can be delivered into the irrigation water without any crop burn. With 28%-N, this would be 30 lb N/acre. Ammonium thiosulfate at reasonable rates can also be mixed into the fertilizer if sulfur is a concern.

 

PREVENT PLANTING CROP CHOICES FOR SALTY SOIL REMEDIATION

It will be important to seed something into prevented plant acres to biologically remove water from the soil. High water tables produce salty soils. Crop or plants that are growing remove water and therefore lower the depth of water table and reduce amount of salt that migrates to the surface. Removing vegetation to reduce salts has an almost imperceptible effect on soil salt. The real advantage of growing plants in salty areas is lowering the water table. Choosing a long-season, deep-rooted salt tolerant plant would be most useful. Check with your FSA representative to review the rules of prevent planting cover crops.

 

MICRONUTRIENTS, ROUNDUP AND THEIR UNHAPPY MARRIAGE
A scientific fairytale for North Dakota growers

Once upon a time there were micronutrients.

They were needed to increase the happiness and prosperity of farmers in certain parts of the world.

Sometimes, the micronutrients were needed.

Sometimes, they were not.

Farmers were sometimes confused about what they needed and what they didnít need.

Friendly people would give steak dinners and encourage farmers to invite micronutrients onto their farms for only a little gold per acre.

The friendly people would provide "testimonials" from farmers who believed they had benefited from their micronutrients.

Sometimes these people came from the kingdom, but often times these people came from far away, where soil conditions and crops were different.

Farmers would try the micronutrients, and sometimes the fields would be better off; but often they were not.

The unhappy farmers would try to find the friendly people and introduce them to their solicitor, but the formerly friendly people were often hard to find and the farmers remembered that they had forgotten to leave "check strips" on their 1,500 acres of test fields.

The friendly people often had moved to Palm Springs after the steak dinner, and besides, even if they were found, the king had banned public burnings of traveling friendly people years ago.

And many farmers were sad because they hadnít read the "Terms and Conditions of Sale".

The farmers decided to go to an Extension meeting, where a soil fertility wizard would help them foretell what micronutrients might be important for which crops.

This is what they heard-

Micronutrient needs are crop specific.

Antagonism or non-performance is possible if metals are applied with herbicides.

So farmers came away from the Extension meeting knowing that only four crops (corn, dry beans, flax and potato) respond favorably to zinc, and that iron application in the EDDHA form is sometimes helpful for chlorotic soybean and for sugarbeet at seeding.

And there is no need for manganese in the state.

But still the friendly people tell them through the magic screen and other proclamations that micronutrients are important.

And it came to pass that a young maiden-Miss Roundup- came to the kingdom.

The farmers were delighted to see her, because everywhere she went, evil weeds would die and fields were made pure and clean.

Farmers courted Miss Roundup and eagerly sent gifts of "Tech Fees" to her guardians as thanks for her many blessings.

Miss Roundup performed her magic with a group of approved attendants, called adjuvants.

However, friendly people, seeing an opportunity, suggested to farmers that perhaps micronutrients could accompany her when she performed her magic within fields, and therefore provide a "weed and feed" blessing. Farmers were excited, because they could use the friendly peopleís micronutrients without an extra trip into their fields.

However, one wise old farmer, a true Consultant in the kingdom, suggested they ask the Extension wizard for wisdom.

And it came to pass that the wizard arrived, and unable to bestow wisdom, offered to share data instead.

The data showed that North Dakota crops do not respond favorably to manganese. Only a few crops need extra zinc. Soybean and sugarbeets do not need either micronutrient in North Dakota. Studies with micronutrient mixes in other states have shown a general decrease in performance by Miss Roundup when these micronutrients are applied.

So the farmers left the wizard and considered the wisdom of marriage between Miss Roundup and micronutrients.

Some were still enchanted by the lure of magic riches promised by friendly people through visitations by micronutrients on their farm that could be carried by Miss Roundup. Some weeds were not vanished by the blessing of Miss Roundup, the farmers lost their farms and became insurance salesmen.

Others took the Extension words to heart and refused to marry Miss Roundup with micronutrients, and lived

Happily Ever After

The End

Dave Franzen
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist
701-231-8884
david.franzen@ndsu.edu


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