I’m writing this column from our National Agriculture Agents meeting. Tonight was our inspirational service. Our speaker was Marine Corporal Joshua Bleill. He was conducting combat patrols in Fallujah in October of 2006 when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. He suffered multiple injuries, including the loss of both legs. He shared about his background in ag, learning how to walk again, and the importance of family. He also shared how grateful he was for everything that happened to him for how it grew his faith and made him who he is today. I could relate to gratitude for difficult things in life for how they can shape us. I think many of us have been through difficult things. This year has been especially difficult for many in agriculture. Sharing two things that helped my perspective right now. These things aren’t new, but I needed a reminder. One: Remember the ‘why’ behind what we do every day and keep that fire within us to do our best. Two: Live life so at the end of each day we hopefully made a difference to another person. Again, not new, but good for me to have these reminders when I’m a bit weary right now. Sharing in the event these reminders help you too!
Crop Updates: Grateful for sunshine and some heat last week to help with seed fill and moving along maturity! Seeing some early death and/or compromised stalks in corn plants that are nitrogen deficient, in compacted/formerly ponded areas of fields, or plants with sidewall compaction. I’m not always finding a stalk rot pathogen present right now, but the stalks are compromised and crush easily. So it will be important to continue monitoring fields to assess which should be harvested first. In soybean, sudden death syndrome is causing early maturing and death in some situations. If you’re also seeing pods on plants shriveling up and dying, look for symptoms of pod and stem blight (rows of black dots on the soybean stem). Anthracnose is also present in fields and is indicated by black ‘blotches’ on soybean stems. I have photos on my blog at https://jenreesources.com. There’s nothing to do for either of these right now. Pod and stem blight is part of the Phomopsis/Diaporthe complex that caused dark and chalky looking seed at harvest in 2018. Also note what varieties appear more impacted.
Soybean Quality Research Project: Speaking of seed quality, a study funded by the Nebraska Soybean Board is focusing on influence of water regime (irrigated vs. non-irrigated) on soybean seed quality parameters (seed protein, oil concentration, and test weight). We’re looking for farmers who have BOTH irrigated and non-irrigated fields (dryland field corners don’t count as non-irrigated fields) and asking for help collecting seed samples at harvest time. Plastic jars will be provided to collect samples in each field (at around 25%, 50%, and 75% of the field being harvested). This seems like a lot of sampling, but it’s to help understand any variability of seed quality across fields. If you are interested in helping, please contact myself or your local Extension educator.
Wheat Information: I’ve had a few calls regarding wheat planting. Some have asked about using seed that has scab. Using that seed can greatly reduce the germination and seedling vigor. It’s best to clean the seed and have a fungicide seed treatment applied. I recommend a fungicide seed treatment for all wheat seed regardless if it is bin-run or certified seed. The August 30th UNL CropWatch edition at https://cropwatch.unl.edu has wheat information including seeding rates, disease and insect management, and variety information so be sure to check it out!
Fall Invaders: It’s that time of year for fall invaders such as millipedes, centipedes, crickets, spiders, roly polys, earwigs, and lady beetles. Control fall invaders once they enter the home by vacuuming them. There are home-owner sprays that can be used on the outside perimeters of homes to help reduce the number that enter your home. Sealing any cracks and crevices is another way to help exclude them.