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JenREES 4-14-19

*Note: you may have to turn your cell phone horizontal to more easily read this post.*

Some commented we’ve felt all four seasons last week! This additional weather event didn’t help with stress levels. Disaster stress stages can include heroic, honeymoon, disillusionment, and reconstruction. Heroic was at the beginning of the blizzard/flood disaster. This quickly progressed into the honeymoon phase where we’ve seen an outpouring of support to help with donations, clean-up, etc. It’s very heart-warming and provides some hope in the midst of disaster. While there’s overlap of phases, we’re seeing more of the next stage called ‘disillusionment’ now. This phase can last a year with events like this past week’s weather triggering new anger, grief, loss. It’s during this phase that people more affected by disaster can feel forgotten as others not affected move on with life. And, those not as affected as neighbors/others may experience guilt. For any type of stress, it’s important to talk to a trusted friend, family member, counselor, pastor and not isolate. Unhealthy coping can include turning to substance abuse or other unhealthy options. I’ve been asked what can be done to help. Perhaps the biggest help is to keep praying. Also, keep checking on and reaching out to friends, family, neighbors. These things are more helpful than I can express here! Reminder: the Wellness for Farm and Ranch Families webinar will be held on April 23rd from Noon-1 p.m. at: http://go.unl.edu/farmstresswebinar.

In-Season Nitrogen: I know several were glad to get some nitrogen on last week! For those in NRDs which require nitrogen rates based on UNL recs, it’s important to note that the UNL nitrogen equation uses a weighted average soil nitrate test for the ppm Nitrate. A minimum of 2’ is required. Thus, if you only have a 0-8” soil sample, you have to account for a weighted average or the equation will overestimate the amount of soil nitrate and result in a lower requirement than what may be needed. The Extension circular “Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn” (http://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/ec117.pdf) explains this in detail with an example. There is also an excel spreadsheet that does this for you when you input the depth of soil samples taken. If you’d prefer to use the excel spreadsheet, you can find it at the following website by scrolling to “Corn Nitrogen Recommendations Calculator” https://cropwatch.unl.edu/soils.

With a full soil moisture profile, some have wondered at the impact of using a nitrification inhibitor with their anhydrous this spring. We have a couple farmers testing this and if you’re interested, here’s an on-farm research protocol: https://go.unl.edu/j9dg.

We’ve had some on-farm research studies recently look at sidedress applications using either the UNL equation/Maize N model or industry models such as Climate Field View. In all these studies, the recommended rate was compared to rates that were at least 30 pounds over and under the recommended rate. Some of the studies went as high as +/- 50 lbs/acre compared to recommended rate. I’ve compiled these results in a table at http://jenreesources.com. Take homes: In none of the studies did the addition of 30-50 lbs N/ac above the recommended rate increase the yield statistically. A few of these studies also compared side-dress applications vs. pre-plant alone. One situation resulted in a statistically lower yield with pre-plant alone while the other two resulted in no yield differences. In-season nitrogen studies is our featured on-farm research study this year. You can find protocols at: https://cropwatch.unl.edu/farmresearch/extensionprotocols.

For chemigating fertilizer, often we tend to apply 30 pounds of nitrogen with each quarter inch of water. However, Randy Pryor shared: “did you know that a high capacity injector pump on a pivot can supply 50-60 pounds of nitrogen with a quarter inch of water safely on corn with one application? A soil at field capacity will still intake a quarter inch of irrigation water. Split applications of nitrogen reduces risks with corn injury when the time window is shortened between pre-plant anhydrous applications and corn planting.”

Soil Temperatures: Soil temperatures are available at https://cropwatch.unl.edu/cropwatchsoiltemperature. Your local field and lawn conditions may vary, so you can check with a meat thermometer at 4″ depth. It’s too early for crabgrass preventer. More on that and planting considerations next week.

#NebraskaStrong also means being strong enough to ask for help. Nebraska Family Helpline: 888-866-8660. Nebraska Farm Hotline: 800-464-0258.

*Note: End of column for newspapers.*


 

Nebraska On-Farm Research Corn Yield Results (2015-2018) where Growers Tested a Base Pre-Plant + Varying In-Season Nitrogen Rates

Year County / Irrigation Pre-Plant In-Season Rate/

Yield

In-Season Rate/

Yield

In-Season Rate/

Yield

In-Season Rate/

Yield

Other
2015 Dodge

 

(Maize N Model)

12 lbs N/ac MAP (fall)

80 lbs N/ac 32% UAN at planting

70 lbs N/ac

222 bu/ac

100 lbs N/ac

220 bu/ac

2015 Dodge

 

(Maize N Model)

12 lbs N/ac MAP (fall)

80 lbs N/ac 32% UAN at planting

70 lbs N/ac

221 bu/ac

100 lbs N/ac

221 bu/ac

2016 Dodge

Rainfed

(Climate Field View Model)

78 lbs N as 32% UAN in April 30 lbs N/ac as 32% + 10% ATS (SD)

224 bu/ac

60 lbs N/ac as 32% + 10% ATS (SD)

226 bu/ac

90 lbs N/ac as 32% + 10% ATS (SD)

239 bu/ac

2016 Dodge

Non-Irrigated

(Climate Field View)

78 lbs N as 32% UAN in April 35 lbs N/ac  as 32% +10% ATS (SD)
196 bu/ac
65 lbs N/ac as 32% + 10% ATS (SD)

201 bu/ac

95 lbs N/ac as 32% + 10% ATS (SD)

201 bu/ac

2016 Dodge

Pivot Irrigated

 

70 lbs N/ac as NH3 110 lbs N/ac

247 bu/ac

140 lbs N/ac

250 bu/ac

170 lbs N/ac

249 bu/ac

2017 Dodge/

Pivot Irrigated 4”

70 lbs N/ac as 32% UAN Spring

 

110 lbs N/ac 32% (SD)

 

239 bu/ac

140 lbs N/ac 32% (SD)

 

243 bu/ac

170 lbs N/ac 32% (SD)

 

251 bu/ac

210 lbs N/ac 32% Spring Pre-Plant

216 bu/ac*

2017 Saunders

Non-Irrigated

100 lbs N/ac as 32% UAN Spring 40 lbs N/ac 32% (SD)

195 bu/ac

40 lbs N/ac 32% + Humic Acid (SD)

199 bu/ac

75 lbs N/ac 32% (SD)


200 bu/ac

140 lbs N/ac 32% Spring Pre-Plant

193 bu/ac

2017 Saunders

Non-Irrigated

100 lbs N as 32% UAN Spring

 

40 lbs N/ac 32% (SD)

183 bu/ac

40 lbs N/ac 32% + Humic Acid (SD)

183 bu/ac

75 lbs N/ac 32% (SD)

185 bu/ac

140 lbs N/ac 32% Spring Pre-Plant/

185 bu/ac

2018 Gage

Non-Irrigated

150 lbs N as 32% UAN in April. Rye cover crop. 0 lbs N/ac as AMS  (SD)

137 bu/ac*

50 lbs N/ac as AMS (SD)

161 bu/ac

100 lbs N/ac as AMS (SD)
151 bu/ac
2018 Franklin

Pivot Irrigated 4”

 

None. Cover crop mix. 0 lbs N/ac as Urea broadcast

210 bu/ac *

100 lbs N/ac  as Urea broadcast

254 bu/ac

175 lbs N/ac as Urea broadcast

272 bu/ac

250 lbs N/ac as Urea broadcast

275 bu/ac

*Denotes that treatment was statistically different from others for a given year and location at the 90% confidence level. All other treatments without this denotation are not statistically different although they may be numerically different due to variability.

(SD) = Sidedress application

Coping with Stress During a Crisis  

Good resources for managing stress during a crisis.

Views from VanDeWalle

With the flooding and blizzard conditions affecting a large portion of the state, this week I looked up some Extension resources and decided to write some of the research ideas for dealing with stress and how to help the whole family cope. First of all, our Nebraska Extension publication, Effective Management of Stress & Crisis points out numerous tips that come from worldwide research on strong families. It involves research from more than 24,000 family members in 35 countries. While the publication identifies 18 ideas, I selected the top ten that interest me. For the remainder of the ideas, go online to the publication which can be accessed through our extension.unl.edu website and search for “Effective Management of Stress & Crisis.”

close up composition conceptual creativity Photo by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com

Ideas for coping with stress and crisis include:

  • Look for something positive to focus and focus on that positive element in…

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JenREES 1-20-19

Stress. We all have it in life. I didn’t really think about how stress can be good until my colleague Brandy VanDeWalle asked us some questions during her presentation at the Cow-Calf College. She asked us what we look like with good stress. Thinking about it, good stress allows me to be that much more productive in achieving tasks. I’m not a procrastinator, but long gone are the days where I used to color code my planner. My experiences with the military and being in Extension allowed me to give all that up for being spontaneous and flexible with the changes and deadlines placed upon me each day. So that’s me and good stress. We were also asked what we look like with bad stress. Many of us shared we tend to withdraw from others and be shorter/abrupt in responses than we intend. Weather perhaps plays a huge role in adding stress to lives for those of us in agriculture.

Research has shown each person has around 70,000 thoughts per day with 80% of the more repetitive thoughts being negative. Wow-80% negative! That blew me away. But they don’t have to be. Research also showed that taking a 10 minute walk reduced cortisol (stress hormone) in the brain by 50-70%. Even if a person doesn’t walk, taking a break can help. Last week we lost a couple of Nebraska farmers and my heart goes out to their families. The National Farm Medicine Center in Wisconsin tracked farm suicides during the 1980’s in the Upper Midwest and found that the suicide rates were 58 for every 100,000 farmers and ranchers. Suicide rates today are more than 50 percent higher than they were in the 1980’s at the peak of the farm crisis.

It’s so hard to know what others are going through; so often we wear masks. I’ve done this too. We’re all prone to much pride in life, especially in the midst of struggling. I challenge us all to do more in 2019. Let’s pay more attention to those around us, spend more time connecting, be more honest about our situations. There’s so many times a simple text, phone call, email, or visit changed the outlook on my day. Last week a farmer shared how the weather made for a challenging time with calving; a neighbor stopped by and brought him a slice of breakfast pizza. That simple act of noticing his struggle and taking time to talk changed his outlook. So let’s check in with each other more and have the courage to be honest about how things are truly going. There’s also a number of free resources for help including: Nebraska Farm Hotline – 1-800-464-0258; Farm Mediation Clinics 1-800-464-0258; Nebraska Legal Aid: http://www.legalaidofnebraska.com.

Economics: In thinking through options for lowering input costs, there’s several things that come to mind. Some may even be good on-farm research projects to test. One consideration with the new farm bill is the fact that there will be an increase in CRP acres. So, producers have a decision to make regarding potentially enrolling acres into CRP. And, if doing that, perhaps converting some land next to that area into an annual forage system is another option if you have cattle. I will go into the details of this in another column. We have had some guys doing this and it’s just another alternative to consider.

Reducing soybean populations without affecting yields has been proven via on-farm research for 12 years now. I’ve documented this regardless of what has happened in-season. We even had a York county producer who did this study in 2018 and raised 93 bu/ac with a final average stand of 67,000 plants/ac! And, for those with dectes stem borer, my observation has been that dectes doesn’t penetrate the stems as easily on these thicker stems in lower population fields. I don’t have any research, though, so if you’re interested in testing that, please let me know.

Common thinking is that max yield provides max returns. There’s some things like early soybean planting that I will always push for increasing yields. But otherwise, I tend to look at that statement differently and ask if we always have to look at max yields. What if we looked at maximizing economics instead? I realize a lot of seed purchases have been made. There’s some strong flex hybrids that yield really well in non-irrigated environments. A couple of farmers have also mentioned this to me. We’re curious what would happen if we put them under irrigation at lower populations. It could even be an on-farm study to compare a low pop (28K or less), lower input system to one’s current system with higher inputs. However, the question would be which is most economical in the end. Please let me know if you’d be interested in trying this.

I’ve also had a handful of guys mentioning they were interested in sorghum because of the reduced input costs. For those of you who I worked with during the last farm bill who kept sorghum base acres, I mentioned it may be wise to plant sorghum somewhere on those farms before the next farm bill because we never know what will happen regarding payments. We’ve learned in this new farm bill that there will be a payment reduction for any crop not grown in the last 10 years that you have base acres for. So that may be another reason to consider planting some sorghum for the future. If it’s been awhile since you’ve planted sorghum, there’s a free sorghum symposium on January 24 in Grand Island at the Extension Office. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and you can RSVP at: 402-471-4276.

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