Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So What Happened Today????

So today started out raining again. But the hardworking concrete guys were already at the new equipment barn to pour the floor at 6 am. Or so I heard. I was there several hours later to take these pictures. It was a cement truck parade to get the concrete unloaded into the building. The trucks went in two at a time and poured direct onto the floor. No pump today. These guys really work fast to keep up with all of the concrete coming out of the trucks. I did notice that all of these guys were pretty young. Definitely No Country For Old Men. I do want to acknowledge the expertise of the Custom Concrete crew from Holland, MI and the High Grade Materials concrete trucks. They made quick work of this whole project. It will be great when we can move some equipment out of our very crowded equipment barn now.
This afternoon I took a look at one of our winter wheat experiments. This test is similar to one conducted last year where we evaluated the effects of late applications of ferti-Rain and N Response (formerly High NRG-NR) on yield. The results were positive. But another aspect of the test was the application of fertilizer through the drill at planting. Half of the plots received an application of 4 gal/A of Pro-Germinator + 2 qt/A Micro 500, and the other half received no drill fertilizer. There were 20 plots that received drill fertilizer and 20 that did not, and all received the same N treatments. After harvest, we found that the plots that recieved the drill fertilizer averaged 8 bu/A more wheat than the no-drill fertilizer plots. That is substantial with the price of wheat today. And so many growers say they don't want to mess with drill fertilizer, they just want to get it planted. But 8 more bushels is a great return. And these same growers wouldn't dare plant corn without planter fertilizer of some sort.

So anyway I wanted to see if I could see the effects of the same drill fertilizer treatment, as this test was close to that of 2010. You could definately see that the plots that received the Pro-Germinator + Micro 500 had bigger and darker green wheat than those that did not, and all had been topdressed the week before last. In the picture below, I shouldn't have to tell you that the plot on the left got fall fertilizer and the plot on the right did not. We use tram lines for wheel traffic, and the skinny section is the border rows.

The picture below is a close up. There are 3 border rows on the left that received fall fertilizer, and the 3 on the right had none. (This is also an endorsement for autosteer as the spacing of the guess rows is dead on.) You can also see the main plots on the edge of the picture.

So we just do all of this to help the grower make choices. Fertilize wheat and get more yield.....or not. Hmmm.