Tuesday, October 25, 2016

OK Wheat Pasture Update

So I recently reported on a wheat pasture test being run in cooperation with the Noble Foundation in Southern Oklahoma.  (The Noble Foundation is a large foundation-supported research institution with the purpose of improving farming and ranching practices.)  A 140 acre field was selected for a simple comparison of wheat pasture practices: AgroLiquid and Noble conventional on either half.  This field had been in grass pasture for at least ten years.  It was sprayed down with Roundup and planted on September 23, which was 28 days before my visit last Friday morning.  Here is how it looked from the gated entrance in the SE corner.  After the Roundup killed the perennial grass, there was a flush of annual grass that came in, which is a lot of the green seen here.
 I was joined by Retail Partner Dennis Sweat of Marlow, OK and Noble Foundation researcher Dr. Evan Whitley.  It was a nice fall morning with lots of dew to get your feet wet.
Well the East side had the conventional practice, which at this time was no fertilizer.  The plan is to apply some 325 pounds per acre of urea or 150 pounds of N.  There was a thatch layer from the pasture grass and the wheat was a little hard to see through the emerged annual grass that came in.
 The field had been in grass for ten years and the soil test was low in everything.  Based on this, the AgroLiquid plan was for a drill application of 6 gal/A High NRG-N + 3 gal/A of Pro-Germinator + 2 gal/A Kalibrate + 1 qt/A Micro 500 + 1 qt/A MicroLink Manganese.  Well wouldn't you know it but there was a pump issue and only half that was applied through the drill at seeding.  So the rest was streamed on a few days later.*  But even so, look at low much growth there was already.  Especially impressive when compared to the conventional.
Here are some AgroLiquid plants.
 And some conventional plants.  (Note to self: put the roots in the palm for both shots.)
Here is what happens if there is a skip during the Roundup application.  The grass was thick.
The plan was to have some cattle in here by late October, with the two halves being separated by a fence.  That way we could monitor the two fertilizer programs for effect on weight gain.  There is a pond on the North end of the field and they wanted a new pond on the South end.  One pond for each program.  Well I hope this new pond is for the conventional side.  Just kidding.  Obviously it's not filling as fast as they thought. And with the lack of stand on the conventional side....well we will have to see what happens on the animal end.
But this is intended to run for several years, and it was put together late.  So I am happy to have a project with the Noble Foundation as they are watched by farmers and ranchers from all over.  Dr. Whitley was impressed with the stand of wheat on the AgroLiquid side.  So I hope to give updates from time to time, but so far so good.

* - So the commercial applicator that was lined up to apply the rest of the fertilizer that didn't go through the drill, had also used some AgroLiquid on his own corn for the first time this season.  We didn't know that at the time.  This is through a connection he had to Retail Partner Maysville Grain and Fertilizer.  He was very pleased and just ordered a semi-load of AgroLiquid fertilizer for his own wheat.  He will also be applying topdress applications coming up on our test here.  So he has additional opportunity to follow the comparisons.  So that error turned out to be a good thing after all. And events like that are why always have a pleasant and optimistic attitude.  (Although those who know me think otherwise. Hmmm.)