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K-State Ag Research Center hosts spring field day

By Doug Rich

The Spring Crops Field Day at the K-State Southeast Agricultural Research Center concluded with a tour of the wheat variety test plots. Wet fields after planting last fall, cool spring weather, and now drought resulted in thin, short stands for all of the varieties. (Journal photo by Doug Rich.)

Researchers don’t like drought any more than producers do but drought conditions can present unique research opportunities. Dan Sweeney, soil and water management agronomist at the Kansas State University Southeast Ag Research Center, was presented with such an opportunity in 2012.

Speaking at the Spring Crops Field Day on May 29 in Parsons, Kansas, Sweeney presented the results of a study looking at the response of wheat to residual nitrogen applied to a failed corn crop. Sweeney said in 2012 the extreme dry weather reduced corn yields and likely resulted in low nitrogen uptake by the corn crop. This potentially left unused nitrogen in the soil for the following wheat crop.

The objective of the study was to determine the effect of residual nitrogen that had been applied to the drought failed corn on the following wheat crop.

The dynamics of nitrogen cycling was the wildcard in this experiment.

As part of this study Everest wheat was planted on Oct. 12, 2012, with no added fertilizer and no tillage. These plots were then harvested June 25, 2013. Soil samples were taken in April just as the plants were beginning to joint and a GreenSeeker handheld crop sensor was used to take NDVI readings.

The results of this research were mixed.

“We did not see much nitrogen in the soil profile but there was a yield response,” Sweeney said. “There was a lot of nitrogen not accounted for in the soil. Where did that nitrogen go? We don’t know.”

Sweeney said the potential for carryover of nitrogen when the corn crop fails because of drought does exist for the following wheat crop.

Curtis Thompson, weed scientist at K-State, presented a corn and soybean weed control update at the Spring Crops Field Day.

First on his list was Enlist corn, a new genetically modified variety that is resistant to 2,4 D and arylphenoxyproprionica acids. The new weed control product for use on this corn is Enlist Duo, a mixture of Durango and 2,4 D choline, a less volatile and reduced drift formulation.

“Being able to use 2,4 D will help us manage glyphosate-resistant weeds like waterhemp or palmer amaranth,” Thompson said.

Thompson added that using Assure II or Fusilade will not control volunteer corn if Enlist corn is planted. Approval of this product is still pending but is scheduled for release in 2015.

FMC has a new labeled product called Solstice, a pre-mix of Cadet and Callisto. This product is very effective for control of velvetleaf.

“What we are seeing are a lot of new combinations of the same old herbicides and not seeing a lot of brand new chemistry,” Thompson said.

However, a new product from Syngenta called Acuron is new chemistry. Acuron is Lumax plus bicyclopyrone and is used to control large seed broadleaf weeds like giant ragweed, common cocklebur, and morning glory. Thompson said this product is scheduled to be released in 2015.

Diflexx, a Bayer product, is on track for registration by 2015. This is a pre-mix of Clarity and corn safener. Thompson said this safener is specific to corn only and is different than the safener in Status.

Monsanto has a new tool for soybeans call Xtend, a dicamba resistant soybean. This gene is stacked with Genuity Roundup Ready 2. Completion of the Environmental Impact Assessment has delayed approval of this product.

Extent, a pre-mix of Glyphosate and dicamba, is the product that will be used on Xtend soybeans. Monsanto also has XtendiMax which is the new formulation of dicamba by itself and BASF has Engenia, which is dicamba by itself.

There is a 2,4-D (Enlist) soybean from Dow, also. This will be stacked with both Liberty Link and glyphosate resistant traits. Enlist Duo is the product that will be used on these soybeans. It is on track to be registered by 2015.

DeAnn Presley, K-State soil management specialist, began the Spring Crops Field Day with information about changes in crop insurance guidelines administered by the Risk Management Agency that relate to cover crops. The new rule deals with cover crop termination. According to the new rule dates for cover crop termination are now based on regional rainfall patterns for four zones across the U.S.

Basically the more rainfall a region receives, the closer to planting a producer can kill the cover crop.

“This is a huge change because instead of looking at the growth stage, now producers can look at a date on the calendar,” Presley said.

Presley noted that according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture more Kansas farmers are using cover crops. According to the census 19,345 Kansas farms used some cover crops in 2012 compared to 16,185 farms in 2007. That means 31 percent of the farms in Kansas are using cover crops.

The Spring Crops Field Day concluded with a tour of the wheat variety plots being evaluated at the Parsons research station.

Doug Rich can be reached by phone at 785-749-5304 or by email at

Date: 6/9/2014


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