Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oklahoma Farmland: No-till and Liquid Shine

So while I was in OK last week, Reid and I also had the chance to see some Liquid in action on some grower's fields.  Here we are down near Cordell still in SW OK. This year the cotton crop looks outstanding thanks to some timely rainfall and lower temps (that is, not so oven-like) during the season, plus good nutrition.  Area Manager Parker holds a typical cotton plant just loaded with bolls.  This was not a selected giant, but a typical one in this field that received a planter application of 3 gal/A of Pro-Germinator + 1 qt/A of Micro 500 + 15 gal/A of High NRG-N. It was applied in a surface band about an inch over from the closed furrow.  Parker is also a custom applicator who made a foliar application of a ferti-Rain + eNhance + Iron blend at a volume of 3 qt/A. 
 Here they are in another field of the same grower.  It too looks good and full of bolls as Parker enthusiastically explains.
 However directly across the road is a field of another grower.  Obviously not as good as the other one.  In fact, Parker has nothing good to say here and keeps his arms folded.  There are two main factors working against this field.  One is that it didn't have Liquid fertilizer.  And two is that this was grown under conventional tillage, whereas the first field was under No-Till.  I really don't understand why growers would work ground in a state where soil moisture is so precious.
 Look at the good No-Till/Liquid field again where there is sizable growth and you can still see crumbling milo stalks from the previous crop.  This saves moisture, money and soil biology.
 We also looked at some recently planted No-Till wheat that was planted early for wheat pasture.  Pro-Germinator + Micro 500 + 3 to 4 gal/A of High NRG-N through the drill gets the wheat off to a fast growing start.  A little rain would sure be beneficial, but the Liquid and No-Till are keeping it at it's best.
 One day we went up to see Area Sales Manger Todd Woods near Perry, in NC OK.  This area usually gets more moisture than does the SW, and they will grow double crop soybeans here.  These beans are really looking good today, having received some Pro-Germinator and Micro 500 at planting. 
 I was impressed by the large number of pods present.  But a little rain would be nice to ensure maximum production.
 Here is some of Todd's own ground that is planted to wheat for pasture.  He used 4 gal/A of Pro-Germinator + 1 qt/A of Micro 500 + 3 gal/A of High NRG-N through the drill.  He will put on some more High NRG-N in December or January as a topdress.  But it is growing good and strong and will make great pasture soon.  Note the water tower in the background.
 Here is another field that received broadcast dry fertilizer, likely DAP and urea, and tillage to work it in before planting.  Won't people ever learn?  It was planted at the same time as the neighboring field above.  (See the water tower for reference.)  Cows will have to tighten their belts for awhile before being turned out in this pasture.
 While in Oklahoma, I had to venture over to McLoud, which is around 40 miles East of Oklahoma City, to see my old friend Jake.  Whatever happened to him, you ask?  Well is is completing his first year back on the farm.  And it was a good one for corn.  Although no one is happy about the low price, at least if the price is low you better have lots of bushels per acre.  And they certainly did.  I don't want to divulge numbers as it's not my place to do that.  But their farm average was right at the earlier estimates for the national average, which is outstanding for dry Oklahoma.  Planting a low population of under 20k plants per acre, he applied an in-furrow application of Pro-Germinator + Micro 500 to get a good start and a strong finish in the favorable conditions of the summer.  Here we see him unloading some corn from a bin to take to market.
Because this is going to a large dairy that sells their own milk and ice cream, an aflatoxin test is required.  Aflatoxin is a mold that can affect the corn, and a dairy has a zero tolerance for it.  Jake said it is an expensive test, and they bought their own test kit.  You have to bring the indicator strips with the load of corn.  It was negative.  I had not seen this test before, but Jake is a good chemist when it counts.
I rode over to Tuttle, OK with Jake and the corn.  It was a short trip so I didn't get to try out the sleeper.
 Jake makes sure that every Liquid-fed kernal goes into the pit.
And fortunately I was able to attend a Cowboy football game later in the week and watch the home team pummel the Red Raiders of Texas Tech 45-35.
Good crops, good people and a great game.  Sounds like a complete week to me.