NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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April 7, 2014 Agriculture Column


Are you ready for spring to come?  A very good sign of spring is coming is the final College Championship game.  I do watch a lot of basketball and do look forward to the champion game however do not have a real favorite other than liking to see the very high ranked teams get beat.  Another sign of spring is Easter.  Two weeks away and counting.  There are many wise tales referring to Easter, relating to the start of spring tillage.  I do not know your wise tale but many have said that a late Easter celebration means a late spring.  I will be the first to tell you that I am not a weatherman; however the weather sure sounds good for the upcoming week.  If we can pull another week, next week, like the one forecast for this week we will be in good shape for an “earlier” start in the field than usual (whatever that is).  Time will tell. 

Wheat planting!!!

There has been a lot of talk about HRSW this spring and whether that holds true at planting time remains to be seen.  The markets should be setting some stage for garnering acres but with commodity prices lower than they have been for a few years some find it hard to be optimistic about what commodity to grow.  With that said many are thinking they see some profit in the Hard Red Spring Wheat.  The questions have been coming to my office referring what to grow for spring wheat’s.  There is literally many to choose from and depending on your style of management there is a wheat that should fit your farm.  One of the questions is “should I plant a high quality wheat like Glenn or Elgin (only picking on NDSU varieties, to not pick on any other variety) or plant a race horse type like a Faller or Prosper.  My response to most producers is to plant a diverse group.  This will help spread the risk at time of marketing as we have yet to determine what the winter wheat crop will be like in the wheat belt.  Just last week many of visited about the wheat belt losing the crop and then revitalizes itself to be the biggest crop ever, so like always, time will tell.  We had a lot of interest in the New Hard Red Spring Wheat Elgin and have it all spoken for.  If you might be interested in some Elgin give me a call as other counties may have some and I can hook you up with growers having seed for sale.

I might also suggest in choosing your wheat seed, even if it is more than one or two varieties, make sure you check your seed for seed count.  Seed counts can vary immensely and can change your cost per acre.  Some seed could be larger seed and have 11000 seeds per pound while another type might have 12500 seeds per pound.  Shooting for 1.25-1.3 million live seeds per acre can definitely change your seed rates.  I might also add, if you carried any seed over form last year (due to the very uncertainty of spring planting) do a germination test.  It is very painless and will give you a very good idea of what germination you are working with.

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