Wednesday, August 9, 2017

IRF Plots in CO

So last week I was on a fertilizer mission to Colorado.  I have reported from here in the past: the Irrigation Research Foundation (IRF) in Yuma (not Arizona, Colorado has one too).  It is in NE Colorado out in dry country.  But they are over the Ogallala aquifer that provides ample irrigation water and high-yielding crops.  The IRF is a non-profit research facility whose mission is to preserve and protect the aquifer with new technology.  They do all sorts of test plots for ag companies and the fees support the IRF.  
AgroLiquid has plots in irrigated corn and pinto beans.   They are preparing for their field day.  Unfortunately it is the same days as the AgroExpo, so I will be absent. But I wanted to put up signs for our plots for the visitors to see what we are doing.  We had nine plots.  This corn is looking really good now.
 Here is a close-up of one of the plot signs.  Strip till is very prevalent out here. The tests had Primagro P and N or High NRG-N and Pro-Germinator and accesS + Micro 500 or 600 in the strip till and Primagro P or Pro-Germinator + Micro 500 or 600 in-furrow.  C-Tech was also an additive with Pro-Germ in-furrow in another treatment. We have had good results here in the past, so hoping for more of the same this year with a variety of treatments.  (Yes, I know there are no rates listed, but that would clutter up the sign and if the visitors are interested they can read the Research Report or call the 800 number on the other side of the sign. But they should get the idea of what's up with the plots.) 
There were also Pinto bean plots.  I've never had Pinto bean plots here or anywhere, but they are an important crop here in Colorado and parts of Wyoming, and probably elsewhere.  And who doesn't like a serving of Pinto Beans?  But here is a view of two adjacent plots..  Both had High NRG-N + Pro-Germinator + accesS applied with strip till.  The plot on the left had 2.5 gal of Pro-Germinator in-furrow and the plot on the right had Pro-Germinator + 2 qt of Micro 600.   The wide guess row is the split.  But the right plot with Micro 600 was taller and darker green.  It was more obvious in person, but you should see it here.  Yield will tell the rest of the story.  But Micro 600 has shown good performance especially out West in high pH soils.  There was also a plot with Manganese, but did not show a difference like Micro 600 did.  You can also see something that concerned me here: the lack of weed control.  They said it was sprayed several times, and these are all pigweeds which are tougher to control now.  Weed control options are few in Pinto Beans. Hopefully the effect on yield will not mask the fertilizer effects. The plots are really long too which should help.
Well I was a little nervous out in the field as there was often thunder rumbling and lightning.  And there I was holding on to plot sign stakes.  I had on rubber-soled shoes. That's good, isn't it?  Well I'm still here. That's good, isn't it?  But I have seen corn  plots reduced to toothpicks from hail here in the past.  So hopefully the hail will stay away till after harvest. But I stayed safe and dry there.
But the skies did open up on me as I continued North on my next fertilizer mission stop.  I will say that there is no place to get out of the heavy rain out here.  No trees or overpasses.  So just crank the wipers and keep going.  Although a little slower.