One question I have been asked very often over the years is, "Why is the chlorosis so bad this year?"
There have been a couple calls lately about poorly nodulated soybean in fields that were not previously planted to soybean or have not been planted to soybean in over 10 years.
In the drier areas of the state, notably Cass, Sargent and Richland counties, we have had recent calls and plant sample submission of soybean and corn exhibiting potassium deficiency symptoms.
Some plant leaf symptoms, such as potassium deficiency nearly always showing leaf necrosis at leaf edges, are decent beginning diagnostic indicators. However, purple corn is not.
There have been big rains in large areas of North Dakota, particularly north of Rt 2. Six inch rains in a few days, followed by 6-7 inch rains in a few days, 10-15 inches total over a few weeks.
Although there are numerous aquifers throughout North Dakota, only a few have water quality that would support long-term irrigation.
Nodule development in annual legumes in the region is not a 100% sure thing.
Flag leaves are emerged in many early seeded spring wheat fields, so one of the upcoming questions many of you will receive will center around strategies for protein enhancement.
Growers should be much more concerned about S availability in a wet year than a dry year, but yield potential of our crops is so great, and the natural inputs of S from precipitation is so low that in soils with low (less than 3%) organic matter, S can be a problem in dry years, also.
Corn in some areas is approaching V5 growth stage, which is the stage in which most side-dress N application should begin in this region.
The N rate calculators for wheat (2010), corn (2014) and sunflower (2016) are not yield-based formulas. I continually am asked how much N is needed for a bushel of ‘X’. The answer is: ‘It’s not important’.
It's important for farmers and agronomists to examine wheat plants, about 6 weeks after planting, because the plants can "tell" you a lot about their overall health, and lessons can be learned, if you know what you are looking for.
Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) is a widespread and destructive disorder of soybeans.
My colleagues in the soil fertility world have often assumed that shallow (inch or so) incorporation of urea was better than no incorporation at all.
This spring has seen several days of major topsoil loss in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and other areas of the state where conventional tillage and dry top soil conditions were present.
The Irrigated Corn category within the North Dakota Corn N Calculator https://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/soils/corn/ is not accessing the data it should to provide N recommendation values.
I think many consultants and growers understand that just because we grow corn and soybeans we are not Iowa, but some appear to be confused. There are two important differences that I need to stress for those who think the capital of North Dakota is Des Moines, and both are related.
To make strip-till practical in the Valley, follow the combine with the strip-till machine. Fertilizer P and K can be applied, and wait until at least the 1st of October to apply fall ammonia, and only then when soil temperatures taken between 6-8AM fall to 50 degrees F.
It is satisfying to see side-dress become more common in ND on soils with a high susceptibility to in-season N loss from leaching or denitrification. As plans are made this winter on strategies for next season, please consider the following:
There are some growers that are seeding cover crops into prevent plant acres, while others I think enjoy seeing their topsoil blow away during the winter and spring.