NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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April 26, 2010 Ag Column


What a difference a year can make!!!!  For those of you that lost your memory of when we started last year, it was around May 15-20th.  I was driving home from Fargo on Wednesday and heard different crop commentaries and one agronomist mentioned the timeliness of planting and how that can affect yield potential.  Generally, early planted wheat will have a significant yield advantage compared to the latter planted wheat, however if we compare last year we also soon realize that our cool summer was a big blessing for our wheat crops.  Maybe not such a blessing for the warm season crops but the cool season sure made up the difference.  I also mentioned a week ago that our nutrient supply was heavily depleted last year and the fact that it was so cool, during the growing season really enhanced the plant ability to take in all of the nutrients available.  We will soon see how this year will differ.  On a side note of yield potential we are also finding ourselves in a very unique situation as our new cropping varieties, yielding capacities are so much better today than even 5 years ago.  We can no longer use the 1980’s and 1990’s yield goal recommendation.  Something else to consider, for this growing spring wheat crop, would be applying a post anthesis nitrogen application.  If we knew what the winter wheat crop quality would be answering the previous thought would be easy.  If the winter wheat crop is stressed and protein levels are high then our spring wheat concerns aren’t as much of a concern.  Planting a sound rotation of wheat varieties is a very good option if you are concerned about protein levels or the addition of a nitrogen application at post anthesis.

Farmer’s abilities to get around the Lake Region Area, this spring, are very troublesome.  Some producers are not able to get to some fields, others are going to have many acres under water and others may have to travel number of miles to get to a piece of ground only a mile away.  PLEASE BE VERY CATIOUS THIS SPRING AS WE TRAVEL OUR COUTNY ROADS.  ROADS ARE VERY TRECHEROUS AT BEST AND IN A LOT OF CASES UNDER WATER.  WE ALL NEED TO BE CURTIOUS TO EACH OTHER ON THESE BAD ROADS.  I would also encourage you be watchful for our farming communities as they travel, during our spring planting season.  They are not looking for trouble and only “HOPEING” TO GET TO THEIR DESTINATION.  REMBEMBER THIS EQUIPMENT IS NOT HORSE AGE SIZE EQUIPMENT AND TAKES ROOM TO MANEUVER.  


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