Monthly Archives: May 2019
Driving through Nebraska towns around Memorial Day, I find the streets lined with flags such a beautiful site. Grateful to live in our Country with our freedoms. I’m also grateful for those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom and for their families left behind.
Flooding/Ponding and Crop Effects: With the rain, some may be experiencing ponding/flooding of crops. Emerged corn prior to 6 leaves can survive from two to four days depending on temperatures and if entire plants are submerged or not. Cooler air temperatures (60’s and cooler) allows for longer survival than temperatures in the mid-70’s and warmer. Little data exists for germinated seeds and seedlings prior to emergence, but they most likely would experience soil oxygen depletion within 48 hours. Once emerged, soybean may handle a fair amount of flooding due to the growing point being above ground (depending on if they’re submerged or not). Four or more days of flooding may result in shorter plants due to shorter internodes and/or perhaps fewer nodes. Stand reductions may be observed after seven days of flooding (depending on size and if completely submerged or not).
Prevent plant may be another topic on some growers’ minds in addition to considerations after the May 25 corn planting date for crop insurance. These are addressed in this week’s CropWatch at http://cropwatch.unl.edu.
Interseeding Cover Crops: In a previous news column, I touched on the topic of interseeding cover crops into corn or soybean. For this week’s CropWatch at http://cropwatch.unl.edu, we provide more information based on the research available. For those considering this as an on-farm research study, please contact me or your local Extension Educator soon to work out details.
Wheat: Michael Sindelar and I looked at wheat in Clay and Nuckolls counties last week. For diseases we’re mostly seeing powdery mildew and septoria leaf blotch. Backlighting revealing yellow specks on upper leaves in some fields will most likely develop into leaf rust. Wheat ranges from nearing flag leaf to beginning flowering. My concern for wheat in the heading to flowering stage is risk of fusarium head blight (scab) with the rain we’ve been receiving at heading/flowering. The scab risk tool (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/) is showing a low to medium risk for our part of the State right now. If you do consider a fungicide, your best options include Prosaro, Caramba, or Miravis Ace as these products will help protect against scab in addition to kill any fungal diseases on your wheat leaves. Other products are off-label once flowering begins or are not as effective preventing scab based on research. Best application timing to prevent scab is when 30% of the plants in the field are at 15% flowering (early flowering stages).
Lawn Care: I know some are getting tired of mowing already! Just a reminder to keep mowing heights at 3″. Spring is an important time for deeper root establishment before the summer heat sets in and maintaining a higher lawn height allows the grass to develop that root system. I’m seeing several lawns being scalped in an effort to reduce amount of mowing. Mowing too short stresses the grass impacting its ability to set deeper roots for later. It will also allow for more weeds to germinate in the lawn.
What a blessing last week was for many to be in the fields to either finish or start planting! And, while some may not want it, we could also use some rain to help with the crusting issues that have been developing in various fields due to the warm temperatures and wind. As you assess stands, the following article provides some guidelines on what to look for and any replant considerations for corn: https://go.unl.edu/j727.
For those who planted soybean earlier into cooler soil conditions, Dr. Jim Specht also did so on different dates this year and monitored air/soil temperatures at the former ARDC near Mead. Air temperature daily lows were less than 36°F on eight days (five of which were 32°F or lower), were less than 40°F on 17 days, were less than 44°F on 23 days; and notably, were less than 48°F on 31 of the 37 days. I’ve talked about desiring a 24 hour window of near 50F temps for avoiding potential seed chilling of soybean. It’s based off some Canadian research that showed soybean completing the imbibitional (water uptake) phase in as little as 8-24 hours. Jim had a demo study this year in which he placed water into furrows and planted soybean seed 1.25” deep into the furrows on various days in April at 2:30 p.m. Adding water to the furrow was to hasten the imbibitional phase. There’s a slideshow with the full article in this week’s CropWatch at: https://go.unl.edu/yu2m. The article shows the seeds in this demonstration did not appear to be impacted by chilling injury in spite of low air/soil temperatures on some of the days including within a 24 hour period. The hypothesis is that planting in a warmer part of the day with good soil moisture allowed the imbibitional phase to complete more rapidly before the cold snaps occurred in the evening/following day. While this was only a demo, it spurs many questions. Further research to better document chilling injury and imbibitional period for different soil temps/moisture contents would hopefully help growers planting soybean in April.
Silver and Red Maple Trees: While back home helping with planting, I was also receiving numerous tree questions. For those with malformed leaves or various leaf coloration, I’m thinking that’s mostly due to the cool temperatures we’ve experienced. Malformed leaves can also be due to growth regulator herbicides such as 2,4-D (from weed and feed products or sprays) being applied to lawns when trees are beginning to leaf out.
For the past few weeks, I was observing the slow leaf-out of silver maples in town…even where portions of trees were leafing out and other portions seeming bare. Now, if your maples look like mine, they look brown and bare with huge seed production and minimal leaves. This can also be seen in red maple varieties such as the popular ‘Autumn Blaze’ maples from my observation. For everyone who called or texted, I told you I was assuming it was due to the cold snaps and frosts affecting trees leafing out. It also could be a result of the hard winter. Trees are interesting as stresses from previous years can also affect them several years down the road. While all that’s true, what I didn’t realize is that based on information from Ohio and Michigan State, frost at specific times trigger whether a tree goes into seed or leaf production. Maple trees produce very small flowers that turn into seeds every spring. Frost will kill some of the blossoms if received at the right time which leads to less seeds and more leaves. Even though it was a cold spring, perhaps fewer blossoms were killed than normal at the right time? It could also just be the natural cycle of heavy seed production this year? Regardless, the trees can’t support both massive seed production and leaf production, so many opted for seed production. The good news is that shade trees in general have an ability to shoot new leaves after being stressed. I see this every year after trees lose leaves due to herbicide damage, insects, diseases, or environmental conditions. So, give the trees a couple of weeks and you should begin to see new leaves developing. Don’t add fertilizer or other products to them as it’s not necessary and can actually stress trees that are stressed even more. By summer, the trees should look fairly normal. If they don’t, perhaps there’s another stressor occurring with your tree? The biggest culprits I see are roots that girdle (choke) the tree by wrapping themselves around the trunk or damage to the trunk from weed whackers.
What about those seeds in lawns and gardens? Some pre-emergent lawn herbicides will keep them from sprouting. Pulling them is time consuming, yet a valid option that’s best done as soon as seedlings emerge. Mowing may help keep some of them at bay. Weed and feed products for lawns often contain 2,4-D so using that or lawn care products with 2,4-D can be an option (just be sure to read the pesticide labels). Products like Preen can be pre-emergent options for flower beds/gardens.
Crop Update: It is really nice to see crops emerging! The corn, soybean and wheat I looked at didn’t seem too impacted by the frost. There may be places where crops were more affected. For corn and wheat, it’s important to look at the growing point and make sure it’s white/yellow and firm and not discolored and soft. Impacts to wheat later on can also be seen at heading in white awns. Soybean are more susceptible to frost when those hypocotyls are just emerged at soil level or above and exposed when frost occurs. Soybean with hypocotyls that are pinched and brown will probably not survive. Soybean that have light scarring of hypocotyls and cotyledons most likely will survive. Look for the plumule (first true leaves from the shoot) within 7 days post-frost to ensure the growing point wasn’t injured. (You can see the plumule between the cotyledons in the upper right-hand picture below).
Hopefully we don’t have to deal much with replanting. As we assess stands, this week’s UNL CropWatch at http://cropwatch.unl.edu has an article regarding stand and replant considerations for corn. It’s important to take stand counts in several areas of the field. There’s a table on the CropWatch website which shows original planted stands with planting date and what can be expected for potential yields based on stand counts and replanting at a later date. Roger Elmore shared the following example, “If the original planting date was April 30, a population of 35,000 plants/acre is expected to provide maximum yield. If the population is only 20,000 plants/acre, yield potential is 89% of the maximum for the April 30 planting date. If several 4- to 6-foot gaps occur within the row, yields will be reduced an additional 5% relative to a uniform stand. Stand gaps of 16 to 33 inches will only reduce yield by 2%. Estimate replant yield with Table 2. Use planting date and target plant population to estimate the yield potential of the replanted field. Replanting on May 20 at 35,000 plants/acre will result in approximately 87% of the maximum yield. Compare the replanted crop to the original crop which was planted on April 30 that now has a population of 20,000 plants/acre, and consider the costs of replanting. Expected yields are 89% for retaining the old stand versus 87% for a replant. Remember though, there is no guarantee of getting a good stand with replanting. Insect and disease pressure may be greater in replanted fields.” You may also be interested in checking out a new CropWatch podcast on corn seedling diseases at: https://go.unl.edu/a5zf.
Interseeding Cover Crops: The past four years, some growers have shared with me an interest in interseeding cover crops into corn or soybean. The growers have different goals which may include fall grazing, additional nitrogen from the cover, or soil health impacts such as increasing soil organic matter. Because cover crop establishment after corn and soybean is more difficult and inconsistent year to year, there’s been an increasing interest in interseeding. Basically, the thought is to plant the cover before the corn or soybean crop reaches canopy closure. The cover emerges and then essentially doesn’t grow much during the growing season due to minimal light interception. After harvest, the hope is the cover has greater biomass production since it’s already established. Research in general from other states hasn’t shown yield reduction in corn when the cover was planted after V4…typically from V5-V7. When the cover was interseeded earlier, some states have found yield reductions as the cover basically competes like a weed with the corn for resources. A question we often receive is regarding herbicides. Wisconsin shares that Sharpen and Resolve for herbicides allowed for greater success with short half-life. They planted radish, oat, pea, rye, red clover in their trials. A family conducting on-farm research in Merrick County has been interseeding the past three years. In their 2018 trial, they used 32 oz glyphosate + 5 oz Status per acre post on 6/1/18 (planting date 5/17/18). They interseeded on 6/26/18 with 6 lb cowpea, 6 lb soybean, 0.5 lb crimson clover, 5 lb sunhemp, 2 lb hairy vetch, 3 lb buckwheat, 0.5 lb chicory, 0.5 lb flax, 0.5 lb rapeseed/canola, 6 lb Elbon cereal rye, 6 lb spring oats per acre. From conversation they were happy with cover emergence after Status application but I failed to ask which species looked the best. They will continue the study for several years. Outside of this, we have very little research from Nebraska and my hope is to obtain more research via on-farm research this year! We’ve created a 2 treatment and 3 treatment protocol which can be found at: https://go.unl.edu/kvjf. The three treatment protocol can be altered a number of ways: including looking at 2 different mixes compared to a check, looking at different ways of seeding the cover crop vs. check, and looking at different interseeding timings vs. check. Please contact me if you’re interested in trying this!
Crop Update: Every year provides ample opportunities to learn and this year will be no different. We’ll learn a lot in the next few weeks with corn/soybean germination and emergence and the cold tolerance of seed. Grateful for the planting that’s been accomplished thus far! Some rainfall hopefully is providing a much needed break for some and could also help with the dry seed bed and crusting concerns with some fields.
I’ve seen information going around regarding delayed planting and changing to early relative maturities for corn. The concern is regarding frost occurring before the crop reaches black layer. We’re honestly too early for that conversation until we hit early June, but that may be a reality in portions of the State. When looking at the number of GDDs to Black Layer, it’s important to ask your seed company if that number is based on ‘from planting’ or ‘from emergence’. Bob Nielsen, Extension Specialist at Purdue, found from research conducted in the early 2000’s that when hybrids were planted late, they matured in fewer growing degree days (GDDs) than predicted. In their research, Bob and his team found that hybrids matured around 6.8 fewer GDDs for every day planted after May 1. This continued through the second week of June and they didn’t evaluate planting dates beyond then. He gives the example, “a hybrid rated at 2700 GDDs from planting to physiological maturity (kernel black layer) and planted on May 31 reaches physiological maturity in less than 2500 GDDs after planting (e.g., 2700 – (30 days x 6.8)).” Roger Elmore, Nebraska Extension Cropping System Specialist, put this in perspective in an older CropWatch article, “A 115 CRM hybrid (2782 GDD) planted on May 15 would behave like a 111 CRM hybrid and when planted on May 30 it would behave like a 107 CRM (2578 GDD) hybrid. If planted on May 30 this hybrid should mature around September 14 in southeast and southern Nebraska and around September 27 in central and northeast Nebraska.” So hopefully this is helpful with the upcoming weather forecast potentially delaying getting back into the fields. Bob does have a calculator at the following site which provides an estimated GDD adjustment when you plug in the GDDs of your current hybrids and your expected planting date: https://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/HybridMaturityDelayedPlant.html.
Renovating Flooded Pastures Workshop: After spring flooding, many river frontage pastures and crop fields were left with sand and silt deposits ranging from a few inches to up to three feet. Recovering that land for production will be the focus of a May 13 on-site workshop near Ravenna at 1:30 p.m. Jerry Volesky, Extension range and forage specialist, will discuss treatments and practices to aid land recovery. Participants are invited to park at McAuliff Farms at 41465 325th Road south of Ravenna. A tractor and trailer will transport attendees to the workshop location, where there are heavy deposits of sand and silt from flooding of the nearby South Loup River. For more information, contact Volesky at 308-696-6710 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the program sponsor, Town and County Bank at 308-452-3225.
Tree and Lawn Care Programs for York and Seward Counties: Two upcoming tree/lawn care will be held in York and Seward Counties. Sarah Browning, Nebraska Extension Educator, will be presenting the programs. There is no charge but please RSVP to (402) 441-7180 to attend either or both programs.
- “Made in the Shade: Trees for Nebraska’s Landscapes” will be held on May 30th from 6-7:30 p.m. at the 4-H Building at the Fairgrounds in York. Trees are the backbone of our landscapes, providing beauty, shade, noise reduction, wildlife habitat, and reduce home heating and cooling costs. In this program, learn how to keep your trees healthy and vigorous. We’ll also discuss tree species well-adapted to Nebraska’s challenging growing environment.
- “Troubleshooting the Landscape” will be held on June 5th from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Civic Center in Seward. Learn how to better manage these common problems in your landscape: Emerald Ash Borer, Weed control in lawns and landscapes, Summer and fall lawn care, and Pruning trees and shrubs.