Friday, June 7, 2013

Starting, And Ending with: VA

So I will end the Delmarva trilogy with an account of the visit to VA, Virginia.  Actually I started the week in Virginia, but I just got my pictures back from the photomart.  Anyway, I arrived in Roanoke on Monday and was picked up by Benjy.  We drove over to nearby Blacksburg, the home of Virginia Tech University.  You may recall that I was there in early March to set up the research plots, and showed this view on the March 7 blog post, saying: "I hope to show a pic from this same point later in the summer and be able to give more information then."  Well what do you know?  Now it's "then."  Actually we have a fertilizer test on corn in this field where the yellow arrow is pointing.  That arrow is a handy guide for finding the plots down there. 
Our cooperator for this experiment is Dr. Wade Thomason, below on the left in discussion with Benjy.  I know this will be a good experiment because he is a fellow Okie, from Mangum. I have been to Mangum many times, and it is a good place to be from, if you know what I mean.  Anyway, it was a warm day, and Wade and Benjy are dressed for the climate. 
I, on the other hand, was obviously over dressed.  This was even more apparent as I was taking some soil probes from the plot area. But I always try to make a good impression.
One thing that was new to me is the plague of slugs.  Slugs are a problem in no-till corn in this part of the world.  They regularly have to treat them with Deadline slug bait.  Here is a leaf that is showing the effects of slugs prior to control.  Glad we don'thave that problem in Michigan.  Ewww...slugs are gross.
This poor corn plant was too slugged up prior to control and probably will be yet another vicitm to the slug menace.
Now for the reason we were here: corn fertilizer plots.  This program called for a fertilizer application of 160-80-80 (for N-P2O5-K2O).  The plot below had not received any P or K fertilizer, and only around 40 lb/A of N.  It will get 120 lb/A more N at sidedress.  But this is to measure the effects of P and K fertilizers.
This plot below would have received the Virginia Tech standard recommendation.  It has received 80 lb/A each of phosphate and K2O potash, plus around 60 lb/A of N.  It will get another 100 lb/A of N at sidedress.  But the effects of the extra fertility on this plot are visible.  Unfortunately there are a few skips in all of the plots, which measure 4 rows by 25 feet in length.
Now what if you took the VT recommendation and added some Pro-Germinator, Micro 500 and eNhance in the seed furrow?  We will see if this is a good option when plots are harvested.  But it looks good so far.
Below is the total AgroLiquid recommendation that should match or exceed the conventional recommendation in yield.  Part of the reason for this program is to address a fertility recommendation using only in-furrow P and K, and broadcast and sidedress N.  Plus we felt that there was a need for S, so it included eNhance which is an excellent in-furrow sulfur option.  But no high 2x2 rates.  More growers are going with planters today that only have in-furrow application, and forgoing the expensive 2x2 attachments.  Some of the N was applied preplant broadcast, like with weed and feed, so as to avoid situations like we saw in MAR.  I think it looks good so far with good uniformity.  There were a few other treatments, and N variations, so we will see how those contribute to yield in the end.  It was a good visit.  Plus, don't forget I learned about slugs.
After that we left Blacksburg and headed east for Charlottesville for the night.  But en route we saw signs for the National D-Day Memorial.  Now since it was almost the June 6 anniversary, I wanted to stop.  So we did.  It was outside of Bedford, VA.  Sadly, it was past closing time when we arrived, so we didn't get to go in.  This is the sign by the entrance.  It opened on June 6, 2001.

And that is where the memorial is, up on that hill.  This year marks the 69th anniversary of the 1944 invasion of allied forces on the coast of Normandy France.  There were 150,000 allied troops that came ashore that day, and 9000 were killed or wounded.  So why do think this memorial is located in Bedford, VA?  Well it seems that Bedford suffered the highest per capital D Day fatalities of any town in the nation.  Beford lost 19 citizen soldiers on the day of the invasion and several succumbed days later.  So it is good to bring attention to that.  I do hope to be back someday when the place is open as I saw their website and it is worth the stop.
So it was a good visit to VA, both for the plots and the history lesson.  As I've said before, I am very fortunate to be able to see not only the fertilizer research around the country, but also some of the Americana that is seemingly at every turn in our great country.  I really think that if more people today can see where this country has been and the events that have taken place, then they would be more inspired to work together for the future.  And with that editorial, I will wish you a happy weekend.