Saturday, April 30, 2016

Spring Scouting Seeks to Stave Off Stripe Rust

Perhaps the only perk of the dry weather around Southwestern Kansas is the limited wheat disease issues we have seen thus far. With the recent moisture (3 to 6 inches around the area) and hopefully more rain on the way over the next few weeks, our chief concern has shifted from praying for rain to protecting all that we have invested in our wheat crop.
Farmers in the area are going to do a lot of scouting in their wheat fields in the next few weeks and the number one thing they will be looking for is Stripe Rust. Stripe Rust is certainly not the only disease we deal with, and it is probably not even the most destructive. (I’m looking at you, Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus.) What sets Stripe Rust apart is the amount of damage it can do in a very short amount of time. Fortunately there are a couple good tools at our disposal to deal with the problem.
The first tool is planting good genetics. This year we are growing two new AgriPro varieties, SY Monument and SY Sunrise, both of which have very good disease packages, including proven resistance to Stripe Rust. But wait! Just because SY Monument and SY Sunrise are great at fighting off Stripe Rust now, doesn’t mean they will be forever, or even next year. Stripe Rust can--and will--and has--and will again--undergo a “race change” and then it’s like we have a brand new disease to deal with all over again.
Tool number two is timely fungicide applications. Syngenta has a nice line of fungicides that we use which really allows us to tailor our applications to the variety and conditions field to field. Single mode of action products like Quadris and Tilt are a great choice this year, where the primary goal will be disease prevention. Quilt Xcel is the gold standard, both for quick for knockdown of diseases and good residual protection through grain fill. We are also excited to try new Trivapro, which adds a brand new mode of action to maximize protection for our seed production.
We know that Stripe Rust is already present in Texas, Oklahoma, and other parts of Kansas, so we are going to be on the lookout for outbreaks in our area. We will also looking for other diseases like Stem Rust, Leaf Rust and Powdery Mildew. Our strategy with fungicides is to keep the flag leaf healthy. In years with early disease outbreaks, we will try to spray when the flag leaf is about half-emerged. This year, with fields in our area staying remarkably clean, we will delay our applications until the wheat begins to head out in order to maximize our protection from any late season disease outbreaks. I spray fungicide on my Certified Seed fields every year because I find that it helps to improve test weight and reduce the amount of cleanout I have to do to produce high quality seed. I tell my customers that in years when Stripe Rust is present early, they are better off spraying all of their fields because even a resistant variety will see some yield drag due to the disease. At the very least it is imperative that vulnerable wheat varieties get protected in years when Stripe Rust is present or nearby. I have seen yields reduced by more than 60% by untreated Stripe Rust. It can do a lot of damage in a very short amount of time!


[This post was originally published on the Syngenta Voices 4 Wheat page.]



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I like my trucks muddy and my rain gauges full. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1TbRyWH

Thursday, April 28, 2016

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Dryland corn prep. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1rmgTHi

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Babysitting. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1WtWXh5

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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Late planted=Late canopy= #kochiapocalypse #Voices4Wheat via Instagram http://ift.tt/1pDnsDH

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Spreadin' it on and workin' it in. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1MXI7hi

Monday, April 25, 2016

Rain and Why It Matters.

It rained. Such a lovely phrase! In Western Kansas, the most limiting factor for the production of any crop is moisture. Period. This is true whether or not one has access to irrigation. So when it rained last week for the first time in 71 days, you could feel the collective sigh of relief across the region. It rained. Dryland wheat is a two year crop in our area with only the final 9 months of that actually devoted to growing the wheat. Before we plant wheat, we have left the ground fallow for anywhere from 10 to 16 months, attempting to store as much moisture in the soil as possible before we make the big push to make grain.
With a wet year in 2015, and ample (if very late) fall rains, we felt pretty good about the wheat coming out of winter dormancy, despite the lack of snow. But spring came early and hot (we hit 89 degrees on 18 February,) and the wheat started growing rapidly, using up that precious soil moisture. Add in quite a bit of early aphid and mite activity, and we started to lose a little bit of that good feeling we’d had for most of 2015. Blessings really do come in disguise, though, and ours came in the form of a vicious cold snap. We bottomed out at 10 degrees on March 20, and there were not a few worried folks, as all of our wheat had jointed. The wheat wasn’t so worried however and came out of the cold spell if anything looking somewhat improved, having shed so many pesky aphids and mites who weren’t quite so ready for the cold.
Which brings me back to rain. Or lack of it. I don’t recall so much as a dewy morning in March which was great for avoiding the Stripe Rust infections plaguing much of the state, but not so great for our soil moisture profiles. Irrigation systems started firing up the last week of March, and around the first of April we began to see the signs that our dryland wheat was rapidly approaching the turning point from good crop to no crop.
And then it rained. Yes, it was only thirty-two hundredths of an inch. And yes irrigation motors in the area stayed running. But thirty-two hundredths at the right time on dryland wheat can mean the difference between sending truckloads of wheat to the elevator and filling out paperwork at the crop insurance office. Thirty-two hundredths of rain is equal to one million gallons of water per irrigated circle that won’t be mined from the Ogallala aquifer. And thirty-two hundredths was exactly what we needed to make it through to tonight. Tonight I am writing this to the sound of falling rain—well over an inch by now. It rained. And in the morning, we will have the peculiar silence that comes to this area when all the irrigation motors are off. And everyone I meet in and around Garden City Kansas will have a smile on their face. It rained!


[This post was originally published on the Syngenta Voices 4 Wheat Page.]

Friday, April 22, 2016

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I will never understand why Grandpa built his farm on top of an ancient Indian nail factory. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1Sp8qti

Thursday, April 21, 2016

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Kids. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1SnxjFU

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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via Instagram http://ift.tt/1MJiBvV

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via Instagram http://ift.tt/242fiV7

Monday, April 18, 2016

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#farm300ish via Instagram http://ift.tt/1QhucNl

Friday, April 15, 2016

March Overload.

So much March! So little time!

First there was sprayer clean-out/prep.

Cracked nozzle... $22 loss.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

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First tillage this field has had in 12 years. 😕 via Instagram http://ift.tt/1V4WFhx

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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My top notch goat shed constructoring crew. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1T4fy0x

Monday, April 11, 2016

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When it rains for the first time in 71 days... #Voices4Wheat via Instagram http://ift.tt/1S1uJoQ

Saturday, April 09, 2016

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Saturday night tillage. via Instagram http://ift.tt/23t3yL4

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Ain't no happy like pig happy. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1Soc7yF

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If you look at a LOT of leaves of an irrigated, susceptible variety (like TAM 111) and squint your eyes just right it is possible to find a spot of stripe rust on the Finney/Haskell county line. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1RKFC1y

Thursday, April 07, 2016

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I would refer to this picture as a metaphor for the destruction of youthful idealism by the cold steel blades of financial pragmatism if it weren't so literally true. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1PXoKPK

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Oakley CL wheat showing patches of severe drought stress. Plants are starting to abort tillers in drier areas. Heads from the main stems of a healthy and a drought stressed plant. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1Min1K4

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

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Project Goat Shangri-La 2.0 has begun! via Instagram http://ift.tt/1qtHJgy

Friday, April 01, 2016

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April Explorering. via Instagram http://ift.tt/21Xk3fN