Posts By: Johnna Warden

COVID-19 UPDATE 4/1/2020

Due to the confirmed cases in Kingfisher and Canadian Counties, we will be taking additional precautions for our customers and employees.

Effective immediately, the precautions include:
– Further limiting any and all non-transactional business traffic
– Customer coffee gatherings will be closed until further notice
– No solicitations or sales calls from outside vendors

Please allow us to conduct business as much as possible via phone, email, or text. Please contact your local office for more questions or concerns. We are definitely here to serve and support you during this time!

Okarche – 405-263-7240
Kingfisher – 405-375-5900
KGF Agronomy – 405-384-6078
Hennessey – 405-853-7104
Omega – 405-729-4250
Hinton – 405-542-3212
Frederick – 580-335-2107

CHS Wheat Disease Update

Springtime is upon us, and spring 2020 has brought an abundance of moisture. Typically, 2 things come out of a wet spring, positive yield potentials and foliar diseases. When we have encouraging yield potentials, effort should be made to protect that potential. Outside of some late season applications of nitrogen or some micronutrient packages, insect and disease control is the primary yield saving practice remaining.

             CHS’s agronomy team has been out and about and are finding several different issues in area fields. Tan spot, septoria leaf blotch, leaf rust, stagonospora nodorum blotch and stripe rust have all been spotted. No-till fields or fields with residue should be closely monitored as majority of the cases found thus far have been in fields with residue on the soil surface. This is common as residue serves as a host to the fungi. While clean tilled fields can be infected, what we have found is that most of these are only showing the normal signs of natural senescence (sloughing tillers/leaves). A mottling appearance will often be present due to the saprophytic organisms including fungi that colonize on old dying leaves. These fungi are not harmful or known for creating leaf spotting diseases, but they do make the leaves appear to be infected.

Areas from Hinton north across CHS’s footprint are mostly only showing signs of leaf spotting diseases. However, stripe rust has been found further south in CHS’s recently acquired Fredrick area. Heath Sanders, Sales Agronomist recently alerted me to a field of Gallagher wheat in Tillman county where he identified a stripe rust infection. Knowing that the spores are floating around, and the weather is conducive for stripe rust, our agronomy team will be busy in an effort to stay in front of it and keep our customers informed.

            Even in a low and unstable market like we are faced with, fungicides are essential to maintaining our current yield goal. Fungicide applications do not gain you bushels. They help hold together the bushels already present. In the case of a severe outbreak, which is always a possibility, you could hold together 5 to 10 bushels in most varieties.

            Leaf spotting diseases often are severe enough to warrant an early fungicide application. A second application could be necessary as we move closer to heading and up to flowering as this will be a critical time to protect our grain fill from stripe rust, powdery mildew and leaf rust. Managing these applications and deciding what products will give you the residual control you need for the price that fits your operation is a tough task. We have curative and preventative fungicide options in house that range in price. Contact your CHS agronomist to help you through the process of deciding the best application timing and the most effective products for your situation.

Nitrogen Application in Wheat

By: Zack Meyer
Agronomist, CCA
CHS - Okarche

Wheat production is a gamble year in and year out. It is not up to a producer to decide on when the next weather event will take place. The next rain or freeze is right around the corner, but how far ahead is that corner? Growers are mostly in the dark in terms of knowing when our next market rally comes around. One thing that you can control as producers are crop management inputs and other decisions that allow you to give your crop the best chance at succeeding. One of the most important of these decisions revolve around nitrogen.

Step one when dealing with nitrogen or overall soil fertility is knowing what you are working with. The CHS agronomy team offers soil sampling services and evaluations based on analytical results from your field. These results will allow you to implement a strategy that will put your inputs on the acre that needs it and at the necessary amount. Why apply nitrogen at $0.40 per lb. if you don’t know whether you even need it, or how much you actually need? Oftentimes, we all fall into the habit of repeating what we did last year, even though that may not always be our best management decision.

There are a number of factors to consider when making nitrogen applications to wheat. Requirements for nitrogen fluctuate throughout the growing season. At preplant, wheat only requires a small portion of the total requirement. Therefore, you should always consider spreading your applications throughout the year. I like to see 3 applications (preplant, late fall, and spring) of nitrogen throughout the season on an ideal year. In a grazing situation, more nitrogen applied in the fall will boost early forage growth providing more tonnage and quality forage through the dormant period. Environmental conditions play a role in when we can and cannot make nitrogen applications. For example, this year’s crop to date is behind in growth. Therefore, some fields are just not exhibiting enough growth to make that late fall application of UAN. In this case, you may be limited to just a preplant and spring application. Our current crop’s situation may also allow us to explore other sources of nitrogen to help lessen the possible crop injury. This should still allow you to reach your total nitrogen needs. 

Another advantage to splitting your nitrogen applications is to minimize the loss of excess nitrogen. The plant can only utilize a portion of the applied nitrogen at one time, leaving the excess susceptible to volatilization and leaching. While CHS carries products to minimize the amount of loss stemming from leaching and volatilization, the best practice is to split applications.

Crop investment is a scary thing when our commodity prices are struggling. We must always keep an eye on our “break even” but understand that with a little TLC, our current wheat varieties are capable of big things on any given year. It’s imperative to collect all the possible information that will help you feel confident your investments will net a return. Your CHS agronomist can work through this process with you. We will discuss agronomic advantages or disadvantages of our products, develop strategic crop budgets that keep an eye on the “break even”, or assist in all other cropping needs on your farm.

© 2020 CHS Inc.

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