Hello ReaderThe warmth has returned and the water is starting to run with snow melting at a quick pace. We’re still a few weeks away from seeding and I wonder if we’ll be skirting around the odd snow bank in the beginning.
This week I’ll provide a downloadable list of pre-seed herbicide options to help you make wise choices this spring. Next, we’ll discuss the use of in-furrow liquid fungicides to improve disease control and plant health. Last, we’ll review nitrogen use efficiency using ESN with an update on the N release curves based on soil temperature. We’ll finish with technical grain market news.
Photo: The snow is melting and the water is running. Spring is really here! S. Larocque
Pre-seed herbicide options for 2014With planting just around the corner, I thought we’d run through a list of the most common products and tank mix combinations. Of course we won’t highlight all the combinations or all the weeds on the labels, but rather focus on the more common resolutions. With all the combinations listed below, almost each one can be topped up to 1.0 REL of glyphosate for enhanced performance.
Prices are at or near SRP, therefore approximate relative cost/ac.
Click on the downloadable list below:
Pre-Seed Herbicide options 2014
In-furrow fungicidesUsing liquid fungicides in-furrow is becoming popular in row crops like corn, sugar beets and potatoes. Liquid streams or spray band applications of fungicides in-furrow are used to control diseases like soil born fusarium, rhizoctonia and pythium.
The Aussie’s have been using in-furrow fungicide on wheat, barley, oats and triticale for years to control root diseases. See list of actives and rates for wheat here. See here for a list of actives and rates for barley, oats and triticale.
They have also seen impressive yield gains in cereals from lengthy control of stripe rust, take all and septoria tritici. They’ve seen improved control of blackleg and rhizoctonia in canola with in-furrow fungicides like Impact (flutiafol).
Representatives from Bayer and BASF in the US have seen improvements in seedling vigour, emergence, root growth and seedling growth, especially under cold soil conditions (as in this article). In some cases just 88 ml/ac of Headline EC (pyraclostrobin) in furrow with 2.5 gal/ac of water gave a 4:1 ROI in corn.
Really, there are many possibilities for improved disease control and emergence benefits from in-furrow fungicide applications. This year, Mitch and I plan on trialing a number of products in wheat, canola, peas and faba beans. Here’s the plan:
Peas: 100 ml/ac Headline with 10 L/ac water carrier
Check: Trialex seed treatment
Wheat: 200 ml/ac Prosaro with 10 L/ac water carrier
Check: Vibrance XL, 180 ml/100 kg seed
Faba beans: 100 ml/ac Headline with 10 L/ac water carrier
Check: Prosper EverGol seed treatment
Canola: 100 ml/ac Headline with 10 L/ac water carrier
Check: Prosper EverGol
Don’t let the equipment add-ons hold you back. We used Pattison for a quick and simple set up. (Pattison liquid kit set ups and prices here). Setting up a liquid kit on a drill is relatively inexpensive with many kits costing $4,000 to $6,000 complete, even for 70-foot drills. Yes, it’s another tank to manage during fill time but if the benefits outweigh the costs we should take a serious look at testing fungicides in-furrow. If we can improve control of rhizoctonia or blackleg in canola or create 12 to 16 weeks of control with stripe rust and septoria in wheat, we may be on to something. I’m hoping to find that out this year. SL
Photo: Liquid stream coming out behind a 2" sideband GEN opener on our Concord air drill.
Update: ESN strategy to improve N use efficiencyIn a recent article I outlined the limitations of using ESN as a nitrogen-timing tool to match nitrogen release with crop demand. Since soil temperature is the main driver of nitrogen release, I knew in our zero-till, high residue system, our cool soil temperatures would hinder ESN’s capacity to deliver nitrogen in a timely fashion. I sent Agrium my soil temperature data from the top 5cm of our soil from May 1 to Sept 1, 2013. It was 54 days before my soil temperature reached 15C, which is the temperature where ESN really starts to release.
As you can see in the graph, the red line shows my ESN nitrogen release curve with percentage on the left (y) and dates (x) on the bottom. By June 20th, which is the start of our peak nitrogen demand period, Agrium’s model revealed that only 30% of my nitrogen would be available with ESN. Based on this data, I would have to apply twice the amount of ESN to provide my crop with the right amount of nitrogen during peak demand. At $110 a tonne over and above urea, this N-use efficiency strategy using ESN is not economic.
If you want to improve N-use efficiency, I would spend the money on split applying nitrogen to match the peak demand periods. For example, apply nitrogen at GS30 in wheat and just prior to bolting in canola. Barley performs best when all of the nitrogen needs are applied before or at seeding. You can either use a side dress toolbar like this or stream on liquid nitrogen like this. I do recommend liquid UAN as a fertilizer source because 50% of the N is immediately available and the other 50% is urea, may take 7-10 days to convert to plant available form. In our fast growing season, N availability is key to generate consistent yield responses.
I see many producers looking at N-use efficiency strategies and you really have to think through all the N-use efficiency products that are being sold today. In the case of ESN, as I’ve said before, it really is a seed safety product first and an N-use efficiency product second. ESN would fit best in areas with high rainfall after seeding, to protect the nitrogen from leaching or denitrification. SL
Chart source: Agrium
Update on AgVenture Group Kenya
It’s easy to underestimate the power of continually re-investing in your shared business. As time goes by, the investment begins to pay off in the following forms:
The obvious monetary one leading to re-investment. For instance a crop margin can eventually lead to an investment in value added somewhere else.
The power of gaining momentum. We have gone, within four years, from being a disparate group of farmers, to an entity, which is now known by all our customers and suppliers with access to senior staff in those organizations. We have had personal visits from top executives from Bayer, Syngenta, Unilever, Diageo amongst many others. This simply would not have happened without us getting together. The end result is better access to information, and linkages into businesses much more powerful than any farm could be, resulting in long term relationships building up and benefits beyond discounts or price premiums.
Don White, Managing Director, AgVenture Group
I think collaboration is the way of the future in agriculture. I can't believe it hasn't caught on more in agriculture's steep ascension towards scale of economy. The conglomeration of assets and management mitigates some of the more onerous challenges, debt and diversity of management. I don't think you can necessarily pull this off with neighbours, you need like minded business people, and there lies one of the main challenges.
I think agricultural management continues to stay in a very un-innovative silo that has accumulated a dangerous level of debt to achieve scale of economy. We're trying to finance a scale of economy while not adjusting our management enough to mitigate the risks of that dilemma. It is a lot easier to borrow money than to forge alliances. Farmers are learning slowly from other corporate structures, I consider this shift way more important than just borrowing your way up. Borrowed money has lucked out in the last 10 years in agriculture, we better wake up to the fact that structure of our businesses is more important to weather the more normal prices we are seeing.
Leigh Christensen, CW Farms, AB
Canola Nov 14: The long term trend is down and the short term trend is up.
HRS Wheat: Dec 14: The short term trend is up and the long term trend is down.
Corn Dec 13: The short term trend is up and the long term trend is down.
Soybeans: Nov 14: The short term trend is up and the long term trend is down.
Canadian $: Jun 14: The short term trend is up and the long term trend is down.
USD: Jun 14: The short term trend is up and the long term trend is down.