Overall the area received very little rainfall since last meeting two weeks ago. The most that was reported was 2/10 of an inch in parts of Huron county. Most of the corn in the area is now planted except for some acres intended to go in after ryelage. Although it is still a little premature to evaluate seeding rate vs emergence, the conditions have been good and most of the corn is coming out of the ground nice and even. There were a few hiccups in planting through the coldest part of May and late April but overall, very little damage has been reported so far.
Growers are reporting seeing more insects than usual in some fields. With the warm temperatures in April, insect staging may have been pushed further along compared to other years. However, most seed treatments cover corn insects and there was little concern at this time. Some growers are experiencing bird damage creating some gaps in stands that will need to be monitored.
There was discussion around things to watch out for when planting corn after ryelage or a hay crop. The key is to ensure you get good control of the alfalfa, plant into moisture and monitor for insects. There was more concern with planting soybeans into rye or hay due to moisture levels. For anyone considering no tilling corn into hay or rye there will be a fair amount of challenge with less-than-ideal outcomes. It is suggested that you consider some tillage or strip till to get good seed to soil contact. If you plow or disk, then it soils are more likely to dry out.
Soybeans are just starting to emerge. Many commented that soil and weather conditions this year have been the best in recent history for getting the crop off to a good start. Moisture has been ok for the most part where they were planted. However, those looking to plant into rye have delayed as they wait for moisture.
This brought up the question, how deep can you plant now if looking for moisture? You can be successful with planting 2 – 2 ¼” deep into moisture. However, once you get past 2 ½” deep you are starting to get into a place that a lot of things can go wrong. Do you need to worry about crusting? Can the variety itself push out of the ground from that deep? Sometimes you can be successful at 2 ½” deep, but the better strategy is to plant at 1 ½” deep and wait for the rain. Horst promised everyone it would rain! Lots of soybeans have also been going in after ryelage with some growers having some challenges getting through root balls.
It was highlighted that the key to getting good soybeans yields is a good P and K test. For those wanting to know if you can still apply broadcast after they come up and expect a response, the answer is it depends. It all comes down to soil test value. If you have a poor test and get a rain the soybeans can still take up that nutrient and are you likely to see a response. If you have a good soil test you are not going to see a response. Avoid spreading around rivers and lakes and use all best management strategies to avoid loss or run-off.
Pre-emergence herbicide timing closed quickly. With the warm weather soybeans emerged quickly and caught some folks off guard. Growers who applied a pre-emerge should take the time to walk their fields 10, 14 and 21 days after application to review control especially with this lack of moisture.
Rye coming of for forage was hit and miss with yields being average to below average. Fields that were well fertilized yielded well while those that were not yields poorly. The lack of rainfall also likely impacted yield.
The alfalfa crop is short, but yield is not as low as growers feared. Moisture is going to be needed for a successful second cut. Growers are exploring forage options in their systems, and some are transitioning from traditional forages such as legumes to rye.
The best yields occur when fields are planted in the first two weeks of June. Some edible bean planting has begun but a lot of growers are just getting ready this week and waiting for some rain to even out the moisture in fields. Moisture in edible beans is just as critical as in soybeans with many growers holding back on aggressive tillage to avoid drying out the soil too much. If you are scared to plant your edible beans too deep to get into moisture, then wait until it rains. You can’t afford dry beans to come up uneven. If you have good moisture, then it is time to get started.
Growers are reminded that 2,4-D is not labelled for use on edible beans. If you are interested in this research or have questions more information can be found here.
Wheat is really picking up our efforts in the field. Compaction, driving patterns, application misses or overlaps are all showing up in fields. There have been several reports and questions about wheat stands showing signs of viruses or physiological flecking. The cause of these leaf symptoms is being investigated.
T3 fungicide timing is around the corner with wheat fields are starting to head out in the area. There was good discussion on whether there is still value to the T3 fungicide with the dry conditions. If there is rain in the forecast and high humidity when wheat is heading out a fungicide application is warranted especially if growing a susceptible variety to fusarium head blight. If it remains dry a fungicide may not be necessary. There was very little benefit to a T3 fungicide in 2020 due to the persistent dry conditions. The fungicide does help keep the plant green longer and every day you can keep it green through grain fill, you can get another 3 bu/ac/day. Everyone is reminded to ensure proper tank clean out before applying any T3 fungicides to wheat.
Magnesium deficiency has been showing up in several tissue tests and labs are reporting similar trends. Dry weather will exacerbate any nutrient deficiency, regardless of the nutrient. Due to the dry conditions, there may be a nutrient transport issue. Forecasted rainfall at the end of the week could help.
Spring cereals are coming along nicely with uniform emergence and growth. Very little weed emergence to date. Growers should keep an eye out for aphids as they migrate from winter wheat fields.
Weed control and pre-emergence herbicides:
Although there has been limited moisture with residual products going down, there is still activity even without rainfall. It is recommended to not wait for rain, if you are planning to put that residual down you should get it down now and then come back and clean things up later. It would be better to start with a bit of control versus no control at all. Many of these products are still active and are not degrading on top of the soil. When it does rain, they will activate and control the weeds that emerge.
Most annuals have not yet emerged in corn or soybeans. It will be critical to control weeds at the early stages of growth especially before going into crops of IP beans or edible beans; therefore, it is important to stay on top of weed staging.