Extension Update from Jenny Rees

Extension Update from Jenny Rees

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UPCOMING EVENTS:  

Apr. 10-12:  Water for Food Conference, Nebraska Innovation Campus,http://go.unl.edu/p9rd
Apr. 11:  Pesticide Training, 1:30 and 6:30 p.m., Hruska Library, David City,mrethwisch2@unl.edu
Apr. 11:  Emerald Ash Borer Workshop, 6:00 p.m., Fillmore Co. Extension Office in Geneva, RSVP to 402-759-3712
Apr. 12:  Contract Livestock Production Meetings, Seward Fairgrounds (Harvest Hall) 7am, David City (Winfield’s Opera House) 12pm, York (Cornerstone Event Center) 5:30 pm. RSVP by April 5 to 402-362-8496.
Apr. 12:  Heuermann Lecture “Water and Global Issues”, 4:00 p.m., Nebraska Innovation Campus or live-stream:  http://heuermannlectures.unl.edu/
Apr. 22:  Household Hazardous Waste Collection, 8-11 a.m., Parking Lot of City of Seward Wastewater plant
Apr. 22:  Household Hazardous Waste Collection, 1-4 p.m., York County Landfill, York
May 30-21:  Youth Tractor Safety Class, 8am, Kearney Fairgrounds (308) 236-1235
June 28:  South Central Ag Lab Weed Science Field Day, SCAL near Clay Center (morning)
June 28:  South Central Ag Lab Cover Crop Field Day, SCAL near Clay Center (afternoon)
July 10-11:  Youth Tractor Safety Class, 8am, Grand Island College Park (308) 385-5088.

Farm Finance Clinic Sites and Dates To sign up for a clinic or to get more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

Soybean Planting Dates:  As we approach mid-April, I’ve received questions on soybean planting.  Our recommendation remains to plant soybeans the last week in April in the southern two-thirds of Nebraska and the first week in May in the northern third of the state if soil conditions are suitable and the weather forecast is conducive.  Our Nebraska on-farm research data always showed a yield increase from planting soybeans early compared to 2-3 weeks later (average of 2.9 bu/ac statistical increase with a 1-10 bu/ac range).  April 18 was the earliest planting date in the study with May 24 being the latest.  Our research in addition to UNL and other mid-west University research have shown planting date to be the primary factor in increasing soybean yield. 

We do recommend using a seed treatment insecticide/fungicide when planting soybeans in April to help protect soybeans in cold, wet soils and also ward off early season bean leaf beetles.  If you’re unsure how to make early soybean planting work for you, consider penciling out what it would cost to rent/lease equipment to plant soybeans at the same time as corn or hire someone to do this for you.  Depending on the operation size, some farmers are choosing to plant their soybeans before corn or are planting some soybeans and corn earlier and later to spread risk. 

Chilling Risks:  Regardless of corn or soybean planting, immediately after planting occurs, a two-day (48 hour) window is needed where the soil temperature at planting depth does not get much lower than 50F.  Imbibitional (fast) water uptake occurs within the first 48 hours of when a seed is planted.  When the soil temperature drops much lower than 50F within that time-frame, there is potential for chilling injury which can affect the seed germination.  Temperature drops after the first 48 hours can make for slower emergence; however, they shouldn’t result in the germinated seed and seedlings to die.  So what can you do?  Check the soil temperature of the field the day you want to plant (using a cheap meat thermometer or two), and then assess the forecast for the next 48 hours.  If there’s potential for cold rains and falling temps, consider waiting to plant.  If the morning soil temp is currently at or above 50F and is not likely to fall over the next 48 hours, consider planting.

Late spring freeze is also a potential risk.  A key point to remember is that spring freeze risk only applies to emerged seedlings exposed to the air (temperatures of 28F).  Seedlings exposed to air temperatures such as this can result in damaged tissue and even death if the growing point is affected, potentially resulting in a replant decision.  It is the number of hours below freezing (32F) plus the type of exposed tissue that determines the degree of crop freezing injury.  For example, just-emerged soybean seedlings in the cotyledon stage are less likely to be injured than seedlings that have unifoliolates or 1st trifoliolates exposed to the air. 

Soybean Inoculation:  This week’s CropWatch also has an article on soybean inoculation.  Based on our research, fields that have had soybeans grown in them in the past 3-5 years have a low probability of yield increase from adding inoculant.  You can view the full article at:  http://go.unl.edu/q6n5.

Corn Pollen Drift:  Last week I received several questions regarding corn pollen drift, particularly if there’s any updated research regarding traits such as enogen.  I searched and asked University researchers; ultimately, we’re not aware of University pollen drift research on this trait.  The concern for neighboring farmers is when their grain is going to elevators with a zero-tolerance for enogen contamination.  We would recommend that farmers with enogen contracts talk to and work with neighbors wherever possible and be wise in following the stewardship agreements and contracts.       

Regarding pollen drift in general, the following was published by Peter Thomison and Allen Geyer from Ohio State: “Many studies have been conducted to determine how far (corn) pollen will travel….

Once released from the anthers into the atmosphere, pollen grains can travel as far as ½ mile with a 15 mph wind in a couple of minutes (Nielsen, 2003). However, most of a corn field’s pollen is deposited within a short distance of the field. Past studies have shown that at a distance of 200 feet from a source of pollen, the concentration of pollen averaged only 1% compared with the pollen samples collected about 3 feet from the pollen source (Burris, 2002). The number of outcrosses is reduced in half at a distance of 12 feet from a pollen source, and at a distance of 40 to 50 feet, the number of outcrosses is reduced by 99%. Other research has indicated that cross-pollination between corn fields could be limited to 1% or less on a whole field basis by a separation distance of 660 ft., and limited to 0.5% or less on a whole field basis by a separation distance of 984 ft. However, cross-pollination could not be limited to 0.1% consistently even with isolation distances of 1640 ft.

Several studies have been performed evaluating the impact of pollen drift from GMO fields on neighboring non-GMO fields. A Colorado study (Byrne et al. 2003) tracked the drift of pollen from blue corn and GMO Roundup Ready corn into adjacent conventional corn. Corn with marker traits (blue kernels or Roundup herbicide tolerance) was planted adjacent to corn without those traits. Cross pollination was greatest at the closest sampling site—up to 46% outcrossing about 3 ft. from the edge of the test plots containing blue corn. Cross pollination dropped off rapidly with only 0.23% cross pollinated kernels near the blue corn plot at 150 ft. Only 0.75% of the corn showed cross-pollination with the Roundup Ready plot at 150 ft. The farthest distance any cross pollination was detected was 600 ft. These results suggest that 150 ft. may be a reasonable buffer between GMO and non-GMO corn to prevent significant cross pollination due to pollen drifting from one field to another.”

Household Hazardous Waste Collection:  Reminder of Household Hazardous Waste Collection April 22 from 8-11 a.m. at the City of Seward Wastewater Plant Parking Lot and from 1-4 p.m. at the York County Landfill in York.  You can view the flyers at:  http://jenreesources.com.

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