Winter meeting update
By David G. Hallauer
The first meeting is coming up on Feb. 5. It will be a Soil Fertility Coffee at the Bern Café on Main Street in Bern. We'll take an hour or little more starting at 8:30 a.m., to discuss current issues and research relating to soil fertility. The meeting will be held in the east room of the Café with coffee and rolls courtesy of Lortscher Agri Service-Bern Seed Company.
The second meeting is an In Depth Weed Management School on Feb. 20. This is an all day program covering weed control products and research, as well as some application technology. It will be held at the Seneca Valentino's in the south room.
Watch for more details closer to these meeting dates in this column or online at www.meadowlark.ksu.edu. Contact your District Office for further information as well.
If seed price increases, local market premiums, or a desire to replant your own seed are causing you to explore conventional soybean varieties, start getting them lined up now. Conventional varieties are available from some sources, but may take some effort to locate. K-State, for example has three conventional varieties in its lineup, but availability is the big question. Other commercial seed companies and public breeding programs are in the same boat.
One risk you take when planting these varieties is the lack of testing of some of them over the past few years. Their performance data is limited due to their lack of popularity and entry in to performance testing programs as well as their comparison to similar glyphosate tolerant varieties. If waiting another season is an option, KSU Soybean Breeder Bill Schapaugh indicates that the K-State soybean breeding program has been phasing out its development of Roundup Ready varieties over the past two years, and is now actively developing new conventional varieties in maturity groups III, IV, and V, with two or three of these experimental conventional soybean lines in the K-State Soybean Performance Test in 2009. The K-State breeding program is also working with Monsanto to obtain a license to produce new Roundup Ready 2 Yield varieties, but does not yet have an agreement.
Winter watering of landscape plants
Give consideration to winter watering of landscape plants, as in some areas, extended dry periods and an occasional warm weather spell may have stressed landscape plantings.
Give attention to newly planted trees (five or fewer years old) and evergreens, first, watering all of the area from the trunk to the edge of the outermost branches (called the dripline) and not just near the trunk to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. Check first to be sure the soil isn't frozen below the surface that would inhibit penetration of water.
New lawns (those planted last fall) may also deserve some attention.
Water landscape plants any time the air temperature is above freezing and the soil isn't so frozen that moisture can't soak in. Deep soaking that may take several hours is best. If temperatures drop below freezing after that, no plants should be harmed.