Feekes 5 growth stage (leaf sheaths strongly erect) is a good time to evaluate winter wheat stand. Over the past two years, with funding from the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program, we evaluated the relationship between wheat stems (main stem + tillers) and yield.
Keep in Mind:
In our research, we counted the number of wheat stems which included both the main stem (main plant) and tillers. For example, in Figure 1, there are two stems.
Make sure to count the number of stems in several areas of the field.
Wheat has already reached green-up across the state so spring N may be applied anytime fields are fit. Keep in mind that research has shown no yield reduction for N applications before Feekes GS 7 (two visible nodes). However, wheat is growing slow because of the cool temperatures. Nitrogen applied early has the potential to be lost since wheat will use little N until after jointing. Urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) or 28% has the greatest potential for loss and ammonium sulfate the least. Urea will have little potential for loss as long as it does not volatize.
In the quest for high corn yields, considerable attention has been given to increasing various inputs, including seeding rates and fertilizers, narrowing row spacing, and making preventative applications of foliar fungicides, growth regulators and biological stimulants. However, the significant drop in crop net returns that’s occurred in recent years warrants developing strategies to lower input costs. An input that might have paid for itself with $5.50/bu corn may not at $3.75/bu corn.
Late this month (depending on the weather) and on into April provides one of the two preferred times to seed perennial cool-season forages. The other preferred timing for cool-season grasses and legumes is in late summer, primarily the month of August here in Ohio. The relative success of spring vs. summer seeding of forages is greatly affected by the prevailing weather conditions, and so growers have success and failures with each option.
A large and increasing number of agronomic, forage, and specialty (horticultural) crop producers use or are interested in microbe-containing crop biostimulants advertised to enhance crop growth, perhaps especially under sub-optimal conditions. These inoculants are applied as a seed treatment, soil amendment (e.g., during transplanting and irrigation), or, less often, foliar spray. Inoculating crops with potentially beneficial microbes is a very long-standing practice but much has changed in recent years.