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2016 Nitrate Testing

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~This weeks blog is brought to you by Dwight Willoughby, P.Ag, CCSC~

Corn Stalk Nitrate Testing

More agronomists are using the “cornstalk nitrate test” late in the season to evaluate their “N” management. This tissue testing procedure was developed at Iowa State University to help evaluate nitrogen management practices in corn as the crop matures.

The research shows that when corn has not had enough nitrogen, the nitrate value in the lower portion of the cornstalk will be low. If too much nitrogen was applied, the nitrate level in the lower stalk will test high.

This test may be of particular interest to growers who deal with manure or those wishing to evaluate their nitrogen fertility program.

 

Corn Stalk Nitrate Test Interpretations / Ranges and indexes used to interpret shown below

Low: (Less than 250 ppm) Likely that nitrogen was deficient and limited yield

Marginal: (250 – 700 ppm) Possible that nitrogen deficiency limited yield

Optimal: (700 – 2000 ppm) Yield was not limited by nitrogen

Excess: (> 2000 ppm) Nitrogen supply was excessive

 

2016 Samples Results

Corn stalks were collected midway through harvest in a random pattern and shipped to Agvise North Dakota.  Results were interesting, a couple fields were manure, others conventional programs and a couple top dressed.  Plans are to continue this service for interested customers

Minimizing Flea Beetle Damage

~ This weeks blog is brought to you by Dwight Willoughby, P.Ag, CCSC

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All Pioneer canola seed come treated with Helix Vibrance.  Seed treatments last 3 to 4 weeks under good growing conditions, however planting canola early and into cooler soils slows germination and plant growth.   In these conditions any seed treatment provides less than optimal protection.  As well lower than recommended seeding rates could increase the risk of damage from flea beetles.   This past spring we notice dry soils slowed emergence.  In areas of high flea beetle populations declining plant stand numbers.   Adding Lumiderm can improve control of flea beetles as well as control cut worm species.

Seed treatments can be maximized when in sync with cropping practices.

Here are some tips and suggestions:

  • Control cruciferous weeds (host for flea beetles)
  • Shallow seeding
  • Optimal canola emergence, 10C which promotes fast germ and plant growth
  • Target 6 to 10 plants per square foot seeding rate (based on 1000 gram weight)
  • Tall stubble interferes with flea beetle movement
  • Flea beetles tend to move in from neighbouring border fields that were canola the previous year.
  • Under hot windy weather flea beetles move great distances, so scout the entire field
  • At 25% damage apply a foliar insecticide (if low plant numbers the threshold should be reduced accordingly).   Attached feeding chart (croptalk, MAFRD)

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Straight Combining Canola

~ This week’s blog is brought to you by Dwight Willoughby, P.Ag,  CCSC

An interesting discussion of straight combing canola was published in the Canola Digest Science magazine.  The article sighted a four year study sponsored by SaskCanola.  Research noted differences in resistance to pod drop and pod shatter between 15 canola hybrids across varying growing seasons.   The study noted environmental conditions,  generally had a larger impact on yield reductions than varieties as well timeliness matters more than variety.

Grower Testimonial

~ Adam Legault  (Elie, MB)

“Pioneer 46H75 was a pleasure to straight cut this year.  It also slightly outperformed competing varieties on our farm.  With superior weed control options and a basis premium, I see good reason to include it in our 2017 crop plan.”

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