Sunday, June 7, 2015

NCRS Observations

So I apologize to my faithful blog followers for my absence.  But I've been busy, as you will see in the days to come as I try to get caught up.  So let's step into the time machine and re-visit the past...all the way back to Friday May 29.  On that sunny day, Galynn, Dale and myself were given a look-around at the NCRS by Stephanie.  We looked around at some of the field crop experiments. Stephanie spoke slow and clear so that Galynn could follow along.  Dale is wrapped up in who knows what.  
One topic of interest is a re-visit of fertilizer application equipment, namely the Totally Tubular and Rebounder in-furrow liquid systems for planters.  For those not up to speed, the Totally Tubular applies the stream of fertilizer at the bottom of the seed furrow before the seed drops.  It is supposed to place it such that a small amount of soil is between the seed and the band, but it's often right in the band.  The Rebounder applies the fertilizer from the top of a seed firmer through a Y tube such that the fertilizer is above and on either side of the seed.  There is greater safety with the Rebounder, but the Tube enables quicker fertilizer contact.  What to use?  Hmmm.  Well several years of previous research at the NCRS has shown slightly higher corn yields with the Tube, using AgroLiquid of course.  But questions still arise, mainly about fertilizer safety.  So here is an early look at some plots where different rates of Pro-Germinator were applied with both types of applicators.  I usually like to wait till experiment completion before showing results, but I think there's a point here.  This was on Farm 3 which has light soil, with a CEC of only 5.  Injury potential is greater in light textured soils.

Plots were planted on May 6, around 3 weeks before the pictures. The cold after planting delayed emergence, but look good now. All plots had some Kalibrate, Micro 500 and High NRG-N applied 2x2.  This plot had no in-furrow fertilizer.
 This plot had 5 gal/A of Pro-Germinator with the Totally Tubular.  It is obviously better than the no fertilizer plot above.  Plots are 6 rows wide, and the stake is in the middle.  So you can count over and see the previous plot on the left.
 This plot had 5 gal/A of Pro-Germinator with the Rebounder.  It is not as big as the above plot, due to faster fertilizer access from Totally Tubular placement.
 This plot had 10 gal/A with the Totally Tubular.
 This plot had 10 gal/A with the Rebounder.  Now it might be a little taller than the above as the rate is getting higher.  But both have good emergence and stand.
 This plot had 20 gal/A through the Totally Tubular.  The stand seems to be there, but it is definitely behind.  Early and later stand counts are taken on all plots.  You can see the stakes further down the way where stand counts are taken.
 This plot had 20 gal/A with the Rebounders.  It's pretty remarkable how good it looks from such a high rate.  But the fertilizer is not applied in contact with the seed.  And also this rate would also have 20 lb/A of Nitrogen which would help with the green up.  So applicators can have differences and it is something to consider, particularly in stress conditions.  You can see the previous treatment to the left. All of these treatments were replicated five times in this experiment and will be harvested for effects on yield.
 And look who we saw getting started with the side-dress applications.  None other than Field Agronomy Research Manager Tim.
 Here he goes on another corn experiment.  We sure like the Hagie and the Nitrogen Tool Bar.
We are also testing a new side-dress nitrogen application system: the Y-Drop from 360 Yield Center.  This makes surface applications of liquid nitrogen, but places it next to the row.  It is supposed to have better root access than in the middle of the row where most surface hose applications are made.  We have shown that soil injection of side-dressed N is better than surface apps, but we will see how this does.  We received quite a few questions about this, so made arrangements to test it.  That's why we are here, after all.  Stephanie sent me these pics from their application last Wednesday.  You can see how the hoses place the fertilizer on both sides of the row.  Pretty cool.
You can see the nitrogen fertilizer bands.  Still needs a rain to carry it in, but the majority of the roots are right there.
So I was gone most of last week and was driving up to the NCRS on Friday, and saw blotches like this on all of the corn fields I drove by.  We did have some frost several weeks ago, and I thought this might have been left over from that.  But no, Stephanie said that it got below freezing on the morning of Tuesday, June 2.  So that is what caused this.  Interestingly, there is a popular daily agricultural radio show where a guy from Iowa (I think) was describing these symptoms on corn there, and found out it too was from the cold.  So it was pretty wide-spread.
So this should kind of bring you up to date.  Surely there is stay tuned.