As corn begins to mature and the kernels begin to dent, harvest season is approaching fast! Along with grain harvest comes silage harvest. Our team has been preparing for silage harvest and checking fields to determine the right time to collect silage samples. If the silage is too wet, the sample may ferment poorly. If you wait too long, the kernels will get harder and more difficult for the animals to digest.
Throughout the last couple weeks, we have visited multiple L.E.A.P. locations and are getting excited for silage harvest which will be here before we know it. There were multiple things that we saw at these plots, but two things really stood out: stink bugs and Goss’s wilt.
This past week we were able to visit the Lake Preston L.E.A.P. plot and Blunt L.E.A.P. plot. A recent storm event passed through Blunt, SD and we were very lucky to still have the Blunt L.E.A.P. plot as areas near this location had received baseball size hail and strong winds.
After recent storms passed through the Lake Preston area, we walked the Lake Preston L.E.A.P. plot checking for green snap and root lodging. Green snap happens when strong winds cause the stalk to break, typically at a node. Green snap typically occurs when the stalk is rapidly elongating, resulting in brittle cell walls.
It is that time of year where storms are starting to roll through our area and insects are out in our fields. The research team traveled to Fairfax, MN and noticed wind lodging, also known as “goose necking”, in the plants from a previous wind storm. The goose necking comes from wet soils and strong winds. Late season lodging can lead to a decrease in yields.
Because of the unique circumstances that we are in this year, Legend Seeds is working hard to provide cropping options to meet your needs. Cover crops can be a good way to take advantage of an otherwise unfortunate situation. Benefits accomplished with these cover crops will put farmers at an advantage for the following cash crop and for years to come. As the demand for traditional cover crop seed rises and becomes hard to find, there are other crops that may be classified as a cover crop and may be planted on your prevent plant acres.
Due to the excessive rain and saturated soils that many farmers are experiencing, our typical crops are not getting planted, leaving farmers to develop alternative planting plans. Many farmers are taking prevented planting designation on acres that they could not get planted. After taking prevent plant, what do you do with these fields?
Field staking and early season notes are in full swing in the L.E.A.P. plots. We are currently taking notes on populations, non-viable plants, vigor and emergence. The team kicked off notes at Neligh, Nebraska then moved on to Bloomer, Wisconsin and Galesville, Wisconsin. We then moved on to Fairfax, Minnesota and Claremont, Minnesota, finishing for now at Colfax, North Dakota.
When everything looks great from a distance, don’t forget to get out of the pickup and check your sunflower fields for cutworms this time of year. Sunflowers can have irreversible damage in the seedling stage from several species of cutworms. Damage is caused by cutting off the seedling, sometimes below the cotyledon or before they even emerge out of the ground. As the plant matures, damage moves to the leaves and the plant is typically able to recover (V4-V6 stage).
Warm and dry weather has finally arrived and will hopefully continue. Some growers will just be getting started, but for others, their sunflowers have been sitting in the cold, wet ground for 14-21 days. We hear about growing degree days (GDD) a lot with corn, but not as much as sunflowers. How many GDD are actually needed from planting to emergence for sunflowers? Are there any concerns for growers that have had their sunflowers sitting in the soil un-emerged?