The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
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Here's a sampling of what some folks are saying:
Weed pressure is also a concern. Fields were scouted and treated earlier in the season for weeds as needed. One problem weed in our area that comes up late is Buckwheat. Generally a good stand of wheat will keep it shaded out until harvest, but many fields where the wheat is thin have Buckwheat growing in them now. Time will tell, but there may have to be some herbicides used more toward harvest. Feral rye has had a good year. I have started swathing some areas of wheat for hay that has a lot of rye in it.
Mostly just boundaries and other small areas, trying to keep it from spreading throughout the fields. I have a couple of fields that I planted Clearfield wheat on and sprayed with Beyond herbicide. 4 oz. in the fall, and 4 oz. in the spring. BASF offers a 2 oz. rebate on this program, but it still costs $40 per acre. Too expensive for wheat country in my opinion.
The dry weather has allowed us to get corn and milo planted, and will start on soybeans soon. We also have a couple fields of winter Canola that look good so far. This is sort of a new crop for our area, and I am anxious to see how it turns out. We have also been able to repair and complete some conservation work lately. The last couple of years have been hard on terraces and waterways due to a lot of rain fall.
Hopefully the wind lies down, we get some rain, and I can get back to applying fungicide and feel better about the money it is costing! (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
Thunderstorms brought hail and high winds to Southwest Texas, but the storms missed many vegetable fields, such as these onions, which are vulnerable this time of year. (Texas AgriLife Extension photo by Dr. Larry Stein)
(Have any photos of the crops on your farm? Send them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)
A very few beans planted. A week ago I’m sure it seemed like the thing to do with favorable soil conditions and warm temps. However we have had 3-4 days of mostly cloudy, cool and wet which isn’t the perfect recipe for stand establishment. The majority of the folks finished with corn were pretty content to let the calendar progress a bit before planting beans.
4/27 - Sherman, Texas; South Haven, Kan.; Coleharbor, N.D.; Ririe, Idaho: The Syngenta cereals Voices Across the Plains campaign will follow the production practices of several wheat growers throughout the 2010 season. This sponsored series, which will be posted on here as part of the Virtual Wheat Tour, will feature updates from Bruce and Chad Wetzel, Sherman, Texas; Tim Turek, South Haven, Kan.; Paul Anderson, Coleharbor, N.D.; and Clyde and Brigham Cook, Ririe, Idaho, as they report about their winter wheat crop, preparations for spring wheat planting, production management strategies and other farming insights. Visit www.VoicesAcrossthePlains.com to follow videos and posts from these and other Voices Across the Plains growers as the season progresses.
-- Darrell Smith,
Farm Journal Conservation & Machinery Editor
-- Pam Smith, Farm Journal Seeds & Production Editor
GS 6-7 looks great coming out of winter. Some frost might impact some tips. We are experiencing some cool conditions ideal for wheat growth and development. Conditions are on the dry side this week. The most notable issue in wheat is the presence of ALS resistant chickweed. Some commercial applications of Harmony Extra have failed where they should not have. Penn State Extension is collecting samples to grow out and confirm in the lab.
Some growers elected to plant beans last week and some beans are beginning to swell. It is on the early side for beans in our area. Growers are nervous with the forecast of below normal temperatures in the coming weeks. The enclosed picture shows beans on top of the wheel track where the planter unit should have been set deeper in the wheels to ensure soil coverage. Units running out of the wheel track look fine.
A lot of corn was planted in the last week. For the most part field conditions were ideal to avoid sidewall compaction and ensure soil coverage. The dry conditions has offered a window to get a lot of field activities out of the way.
Rye – Cover crop rye will need to be harvested shortly as the heads are rapidly pushing. This is early for our area. We are ahead in total heat units since the beginning of the year. We had some 80 degree weather that really pushed our crops ahead.
I just turned out my cattle on new grass to begin flash grazing . Rapid growth of the grass will be tough to keep ahead of.
-- Del Voight, Lebanon, Pa.
Mike Pitts, left; Delmar Graham, middle; and Dale Graham, back, dig to check seed depth.
-- Lindsey Benne, Beef Today, Dairy Today and
Implement & Tractor Art Director
For the Martins, like many other farmers, 2010 started off differently from former years. “For the first time in 20 years, we weren’t able to get strips built in the fall,” Jeff explains. “So we’re trying several things.”
Although the photo shows the Martins’ planter in a field of soybean residue that was worked last fall with a Salford tool, they grow mostly continuous corn. In some stalk fields, they are applying anhydrous ammonia with a John Deere 2510S Strip-Till Residue Master applicator, at an angle to the old rows. They will level with a Salford tool, wait awhile and then plant.
On some fields, the Martins were able to apply ammonium sulfate last fall. “In some of those fields, we’re thinking about running the strip-till bar, without ammonia, between the old rows, to make a seedbed,” says Jeff. “We’ll let the ground dry for a day or two, and then plant [using RTK auto-guidance].”
Texas groundsel is a winter weed common to much of Texas. Because of a wet winter and spring, and reduced fertility on pastures, weeds are a big problem this year, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Robert Burns)
-- Margy Fischer, Farm Journal Machinery Editor
The shortened strawberry harvest has not affected the quality of the berries. Growers report that they are harvesting berries of excellent quality. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
The little bit of wheat in southern Ohio looks from poor to excellent, such a range of conditions. The winter was hard on it, the planting date was late enough and there was some heaving.
I think most of the wheat and barley has been topdressed. It should really come on now. We all wish the price would. Record low acreage since 1913 but a world oversupply of wheat.
Wheat jointed as early as two weeks ago in some parts of Texas. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Dr. Todd Baughman)
Throughout most of the state, wheat responded to warmer weather, more than adequate soil moisture, and low disease-and-insect pressure. This picture of Panhandle wheat was taken in late March. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Dr. Brent Bean)
-- Photo by Rebekah Ray,
Delta Research and Extension Center
-- Vernon, Texas
The wheat fields are just starting to break boot, starting to flower. There is a touch of yellow stripe leaf rust.
Overall the wheat looks excellent.
-- Modesto, Calif.
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