Friday, April 18, 2014

Oklahoma Wheat Tour - Day 2 (and 3)

So I can't believe it has been a week since the blog of Day 1 of my Oklahoma wheat tour.  And I said that there would be a quick follow-up to Day 2.  Well there were a couple of excellent blog posts about Michigan activity in the mean time.  And this past week was crazy busy getting ready for field work. So anyway, I was in OK on Monday, April 7 which was Day 1 in a previous blog post, and now here is a report on Day 2, or April 8.  I met Area Manager Parker at a contract research farm in Central OK where we have some winter wheat plots.  That's him on the left with the researchers.  We are looking at some winter wheat plots there.  You can tell it's a research farm by the flags in the background.  We use lots of flags at the NCRS.
 This wheat was planted late, on November 21.  It was a cold and wet fall last year.  It didn't have much growth in the fall but has come on good now.  Here is a plot that had a drill application of Pro-Germinator + High NRG-N + Micro 500, and was topdressed on February 19 with a blend of High NRG-N and 28-0-0-5/eNhance.  We were not able to see much treatment differences there.  However, I was talking to them on the phone yesterday and they had some really cold weather over the weekend. Like down to around 20 degrees.  That can be lethal to the developing heads which are down in the stalks.  So if it's not drought it's freeze out.  I'm not sure right now if there is any damage to our plot wheat, but will need to check soon.  Give these poor farmers a break!
 So after that Parker and I took a look around the country.  You could tell the fields that had Pro-Germinator + Micro 500 + High NRG-N at planting and topdressed with 28-0-0-5/eNhance.  They had the best color and uniformity compared to other fields.  Still not sure why there isn't a line of farmers outside the AgroLiquid dealers all the time to get their hands on the best wheat fertilizer around.
 Parker showed me this wheat field which had received an Exactrix application last fall, which is a co-injection of anhydrous ammonia (gas) and 10-34-0 (a liquid).  Not sure how that exactly went, but you can sure see streaks now.  I have not ever been around this type of fertilizer application, and I guess it does give good results sometimes.  But this is peculiar.  Note the windmills in the background.
Because just up the road a very short distance was a field that received the common Parker wheat fertilizer recommendation of Pro-Germinator, Micro 500 and High NRG-N through the drill, and then topdressed with 28-0-0-5/eNhance.  Look at the dark color, and the uniformity of wheat growth. Definately no streaking.  And there are those same windmills in the background for reference.
Actually this picture below would be on Day 3.  Remember Jacob?  We had lot's of fertilizer adventures over the years, some of which were reported right here in this blog.  Well he is a full time farmer now and I stopped by to see him on Wednesday before heading back to Michigan.  Here we are in a field of his recently planted corn.  It has sprouted and there is decent soil moisture for now.  (He is East of Oklahoma City, which has had more moisture than the previous days which are West of Oklahoma City.)  It received Pro-Germinator + Micro 500 at planting.  But this in that same field where we did some great research plots on winter wheat several years ago that I still use as reference in meetings.  We had our own plot drill and sprayer and everything.  Those were some fun times that produced some very useful results.  We also looked at some of his good looking wheat, that I hope wasn't messed up by cold weather.
 Now here is something that you don't see every day.  How about a pet feral hog?  These creatures in the wild cause millions of dollars in crop damage every year in Oklahoma and Texas.  And they are hunted to reduce the populations, but it is a losing battle.  Well it seems that someone got hold a baby last fall and gave it to Jacob's Dad, who often takes care of wayward animals. Like the injured fawn that lost one of it's front legs in a combine accident several years ago. But he had a vet patch it up and took care of it, as a 3-legged deer they named Peggy.  (As in peg legs. You had to be there.)  I can't remember if this one has a name, but it lives in this old cotton trailer. Now I have seen feral hogs on TV, but never as a pet.  It actually was friendly and liked to be petted.  The hairs are really tough.  Jake said that his Dad lets it out some, but they don't leave it out because they don't want it to get pregnant. Taking care of a bunch of feral piglets, now that's just plain goofy.  But one sow, that's ok.  I guess.
So I would call this trip an adventure and successful fertilizer mission.  Hope you learned something too.