Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday May 27 Ag News

Should you Apply UAN and Residual Herbicides in a Tank Mix?
Charles Shapiro, Extension Soils Specialist, Haskell Ag Lab


With the recent cold weather and varying degrees of injury growers are looking for ways to help their young corn recover. One potential concern is the application of urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) and residual herbicides in a tank mix.

UAN is a combination of urea and ammonium nitrate and has an N content of 28% to 32%. Under normal growing conditions, young corn can withstand some UAN without significant long-term damage. However, when corn is recovering from cold stress, it is probably better to find an alternative method of applying UAN.

The safest application method is to knife or band the UAN between the rows, but broadcast application is possible if the total nitrogen rate is kept to around 60 lb N per acre. An exact "safe" level of nitrogen is difficult to predict since environmental and corn plant conditions at application affect crop response. As described below, the amount of UAN needed to improve herbicide performance is much less than what is needed as a nitrogen source. Early leaf burn on corn usually is not a lasting problem since the growing point is still underground and a very small amount of total leaf area is exposed. 

Early season weed control is imperative to maximize corn yield. Due to wet soil conditions, many corn growers were not able to apply residual, pre-emergence herbicides after corn planting but before corn emerged; however, several residual herbicides labeled in corn can be applied after corn emergence (See this CropWatch article).

Two important factors to consider when addressing weed control with residual herbicides applied after corn emergence are:
    tank mix partner and
    carrier options.

Applying herbicides and UAN at the same time in a tank mix for corn may seem like a good way to save time and a trip across the field; however, this enhances the foliar activity of herbicides and may result in significant foliar damage to young corn plants.

Several residual herbicides such as Degree Extra, Harness Extra, Keystone, and TripleFlex are labeled for preemergence application in corn with 28% UAN as a carrier option. However, it is not recommended that UAN be used as a carrier when Keystone and TripleFlex are being applied postemergence due to the potential corn injury.

Several other residual herbicides (Balance Flexx, Bicep II Magnum, Keystone, Lexar, Lumax, and TripleFlex) are labeled for early postemergence application in corn where UAN is NOT recommended. Postemergence application of these herbicides with UAN as a carrier will result in corn injury.

Degree Xtra is one of the few residual herbicides labeled for postemergence applications with UAN as a carrier; however, you should be aware of these aspects:
    Temperature should not exceed 85°F within 24 hours of application.
    Some leaf burn may occur.
    Surfactants, crop oil, or other additives are not recommended unless specified.
    See label for specific tank mix restrictions.

Some fertilizer salts, including UAN, can be used as herbicide additives in a small quantity to increase herbicide efficacy; however, this use would not supply much nitrogen relative to the total nitrogen requirement of the crop. A few herbicides, such as Python and Resolve DF, allow mixing UAN as a carrier at 2 quarts UAN per acre when applied after corn emergence; however, they cannot be applied with UAN as the total carrier because excessive corn injury may occur.

For more information, see the 2014 Guide for Weed Management in Nebraska (EC 130) published by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.

Always check herbicide labels for restrictions on use of UAN as a carrier. If a field needs significant nitrogen application, it is best to apply the nitrogen in a separate application or if possible, through the pivot.

Early June No-till Expos on Soil Health

Two Whirlwind No-till Expos in early June will focus on the benefits of using continuous no-till cropping systems to improve soil health. The June 3 Expo near Paxton and the June 5 Expo near Hartington will feature talks by no-till experts and experienced producers. Attendees also will be able to view a soil pit showing the effects of continuous no-till on soil health and a rainfall simulator showing how no-till reduces soil erosion.


Paxton. The June 3 event will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Eldon Dyck farm at 1450 Road East 50, Paxton. The farm is 4 miles south of Paxton and 5.5 miles west on Road 50. Lunch will be at Ole's Big Game Steakhouse, followed by afternoon speakers there. For more information on the program and speakers see the event flyer.

Hartington. The June 5 event will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Matt Kathol farm at 88192 564 Ave., Hartington. Lunch will be at the VFW Hall, followed by afternoon speakers. For more information on the program and speakers see the event flyer.


No-till experts speaking at both events are:
    Paul Jasa, UNL Extension engineer, will discuss no-till systems and planter and seeder set-up.
    Dan Gillespie, NRCS no-till specialist, will use a rainfall simulator to demonstrate erosion and discuss the conservation benefits of no-till; and
    Ray Ward, president, Ward Laboratories, Kearney, will discuss soil quality, benefits of no-till on soil health, and the soil horizons visible in the soil pit.

Producers speaking at both events are:
    Rick Bieber, continuous no-till producer, Trail City, S.D. will discuss his experiences since he began using no-till in 1987;
    Keith and Ben Thompson, continuous no-till producers for more than 20 years, Osage, Kan., will discuss their systems approach, including how they integrated crop and livestock production.

In addition, Mark Watson, continuous no-till producer from Alliance will be speaking on water management at the June 3 event at Paxton, and soil health specialist Jerry Hatfield of the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Ames will be speaking at the June 5 Hartington event.


The No-till on the Plains Whirlwind  No-till Expos are funded through a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and PrairieLand RC&D. Additional sponsors include No-till on the Plains, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, and several agribusinesses.


Registration for either event is $30 by May 27 or $50 at the door and includes the meal. To register, go to www.notill.org or call 888-330-5142.

Time to Scout for Clover and Alfalfa Leaf Weevils

Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator in Dakota, Dixon, and Thurston Counties
Michael Rethwisch, Extension Educator in Butler County

Insect development has been slowed this spring due to below average temperatures. As temperatures warm up, expect to see alfalfa weevil larvae in southern Nebraska and slightly later, in northern Nebraska. Although there have been no reports of alfalfa weevil in Nebraska, there have been reports of feeding in Kansas.

It is time to begin scouting alfalfa for weevils and the accompanying feeding damage. Both the alfalfa and clover leaf weevils feed on first cutting alfalfa as larvae, and regrowth after the first cutting as adults (and sometimes larvae). While research in northeast Nebraska has shown that clover leaf weevil larva feeding does not cause yield reduction to first cutting alfalfa, alfalfa weevil feeding can cause severe losses to yield and quality of the first cutting. This is why it's important to correctly identify the type of weevil feeding causing damage.

Read more here...  http://cropwatch.unl.edu/archive/-/asset_publisher/VHeSpfv0Agju/content/scouting-for-clover-and-alfalfa-leaf-weevils?.  


Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

               Did you make any good quality hay yet?  To keep it valuable and in good shape, proper storage is needed.

               I've said it before and I'll say it again – your hay is only as good as it is the day you feed it or sell it.  No matter how good your hay is today, between now and feeding time, every windstorm, every rain is going to steal nutrients from every exposed bale and stack.

               So what are you going to do about it?  Hopefully, one of the things you do is store that hay, especially your best hay, in a location and in a manner that will minimize nutrient losses caused by weathering.

               Weathering tends to lower the yield and nutrients available from your hay by about one percent for each month of exposed storage.  High value, high quality hay that will be sold or fed to high value animals like dairy cows and horses should be stored under cover.  A hay shed, a partially used machine shed, or any other shelter with a roof will be better than exposing your hay to what Mother Nature dishes out this summer.  Plastic wraps can be very effective, too, when good quality plastic is wrapped around bales enough times.

               Next best may be tarps, especially heavy-duty ones that can be tied down without tearing in the wind.  Plastic also works, but it takes special care and a lot of luck to fasten down plastic well enough so it doesn't get ripped during storms.

               If uncovered storage is your only option, place bales and stacks on an elevated site with good drainage so moisture doesn't soak up from the bottom.  Don't stack round bales or line them up with the twine sides touching – rain will collect where they touch and soak into the bale.  Also, allow space for air to circulate and dry hay after rain.

               Good hay can stay that way. But it’s up to you to make it so.

Cleaning Up the EPA

Senator Mike Johanns

Our nation’s ag producers have a vested interest in caring for the environment.  For centuries, farmers and ranchers have depended on healthy and abundant natural resources for their livelihoods. So it would stand to reason that the ag community would find an ally in the Environmental Protection Agency.  Yet America’s farmers and ranchers continually find themselves on the receiving end of overly harsh, costly and often unnecessary EPA regulations.

It has become a common theme in discussions with Nebraska’s ag producers during my travels throughout our state.  EPA’s seemingly-relentless efforts to expand its regulatory reach on farm operations have generated a great deal of concern and uncertainty, and have left many producers wondering how much EPA really understands or even cares about how America gets its food. From attempts to regulate livestock methane emissions to proposals imposing waterway rules on often-dry pasture ponds, to the careless dissemination of personal information of thousands of ag producers, EPA has developed a sordid reputation of being out of touch with the ag community.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who took the helm at the federal agency last summer, recently expressed a willingness to work with farmers and ranchers on proposed regulations, and we intend to hold her to it. So last week, I joined my Republican colleagues on the Senate agriculture committee in requesting a meeting to express these concerns with Administrator McCarthy, and get a better understanding of EPA’s commitment to rebuilding its trust and credibility with America’s farmers and ranchers. Improving EPA’s rapport with ag producers must start with an open and honest dialogue about EPA’s agenda and its impact on ag production. But it can’t stop there.  If Administrator McCarthy is serious about working with the Ag community on our mutual desire to care for the environment, our concerns should be reflected in EPA’s actions.

Until we see results, I will continue to push back firmly against EPA’s onslaught of burdensome regulations, which extend beyond just agriculture. Many of EPA’s proposed regulations carry a hefty price tag in compliance costs and potential fines that could be passed along to consumers in the form of higher food and energy costs. Some proposals actually extend beyond the Agency’s authority granted by Congress.

I’ve sponsored numerous pieces of legislation aimed at addressing these concerns, including bills requiring EPA to report on the economic impacts of its proposed regulations, and measures promoting a competitive energy market to keep important manufacturing jobs in the United States.

These efforts are not intended to get rid of EPA or to score political points.  They are reasonable and measured in an attempt to put an end to EPA’s overly-burdensome rules, and protect hardworking Americans from skyrocketing energy prices and other harmful consequences that threaten our economic recovery.

A healthy and clean environment is certainly worth fighting for, and being responsible stewards of our natural resources should be a shared goal. Congress and EPA must work together to find solutions within the scope of federal law that balance important environmental protections with protecting the livelihoods of our farmers, ranchers and businesses owners. I will continue working to achieve these goals.

 CWT Assists with 659,000 Pounds of Cheese and Butter Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 4 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Association and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 328,489 pounds (149 metric tons) of Cheddar cheese and 330,693 pounds (150 metric tons) of 82% butter to customers in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and the South Pacific. The product will be delivered May through July 2014.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 53.414 million pounds of cheese, 46.284 million pounds of butter and 10.337 million pounds of whole milk powder to 39 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 1.610 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program, in the long-term, helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them in the rapidly growing world dairy markets. This, in turn, positively impacts U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

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