Notes from the Field 5-15-23
May 15, 2023
- The previous week featured more up and down weather conditions. High temperatures ranged from 54 F on Monday to 80 F on Thursday. In between, temperatures hovered in the low to mid 70’s. Rainfall for the week averaged 0.75 inches in the Malone/St Cloud/Marytown areas. The wet soil conditions have slowed or prevented tillage, planting, and spraying operations. Fields with cover crops and significant amounts of residue are drying very slowly. Soil temperatures for the week averaged 51 F.
- Planting and tillage operations are occurring in less-than-ideal conditions. There are plenty of wet spots in fields. Growers are patiently waiting for improving conditions, but the slow drying progress is akin to watching paint dry in cool, cloudy weather.
- Alfalfa continues to look good to excellent in most fields. Fields with wet soils seem to be struggling a bit as they are growing much slower and have taken on a bit of a yellow color. Fields with excellent drainage have a great color and good height. Alfalfa height on the more advanced and productive fields are at 16 inches. Thinned alfalfa stands have plenty of dandelions and shepherd’s purse growing in them.
- Wheat continues to look good to excellent. Herbicide and nutrient applications started last week after the soil conditions allowed for application equipment to travel across the fields. Wheat fields are being sprayed with nutrient products such as 28%, Max-In Copper, Max-In Manganese Flexi, and Taurus Sulfur. They are also being sprayed with crop protection products such as Headline SC fungicide, Affinity herbicide, and Huskie FX herbicide.
- Wheat is currently jointing and is at the Feekes 6 stage of growth. It is rapidly moving to Feekes 7 stage of growth. At Feekes 6, the first node on the stem is swollen and is above the soil surface. Above this node is the head, which eventually will push out the stem in a couple of weeks. At Feekes 7, the second node appears above the soil surface. The node can be felt on the stem as a raised bump on the stem.
- A trial was established this week in wheat near Brothertown to determine the effectiveness of Taurus Sulfur in a crop protection pass. More info to follow with tissue samples and yield data.
- Corn planting progress has been slow to say the least. The first corn that was planted during the last days of April before the May snowfall has started to emerge in the Mt. Calvary area. Corn planted is 5% completed at best in the Malone area.
- Soybean planting has begun slowly as well with the wet planting conditions. There definitely seemed to be more of a focus to plant soybeans over corn early on. Now growers are just trying to plant whatever field is fit to plant.
- Two Trashbreaker 2 plots were established this week in soybean fields. Trashbreaker 2 was applied with the preemerge herbicide program on heavy corn residue. More info to follow with tissue sampling, soil sampling, pictures, and residue cutting pressure readings. The goal with the Trashbreaker application in the spring is to break residue down and provide nutrients locked in residue for the growing crop. Ideal conditions for applying this product on corn residue is when the residue is damp to wet. Microbes are able to get into the pith of the corn stalks better in moist conditions.
- Ryzup Smartgrass plot north of Malone on winter triticale continues to progress well. Ryzup treated triticale is 4 to 5 inches taller than the untreated check. There was yellowing noted on the Ryzup treated triticale earlier, but greening of the treated crop was noted the past week.
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Last week continued the stretch of dry weather with little to no precipitation falling since May 8th. It was sort of a roller coaster ride in the temperature department with highs near 80F most days, however, highs struggled to reach the mid 60’s during the midweek time frame thanks to a backdoor cold front.