Wednesday November 14, 2018

okw news logo

OKW News | South East Oklahoma Latest News

Wheat producers facing tough call on nitrogen application Featured

Written by  Monday, 12 March 2018 18:14
Rate this item
(0 votes)
 For Oklahoma wheat producers who use N-rich strips, if their fields currently need nitrogen, it should show up. Producers can use GreenSeeker technology to determine the nutrient needs of their crops.  All Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources content is available at www.dasnr.okstate.edu/news. For Oklahoma wheat producers who use N-rich strips, if their fields currently need nitrogen, it should show up. Producers can use GreenSeeker technology to determine the nutrient needs of their crops. All Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources content is available at www.dasnr.okstate.edu/news.

 

Leilana McKindra, Communications Specialist Agricultural Communications Services, Oklahoma State University

 

STILLWATER, Okla. (March 12, 2018) – Even after recent rains, Oklahoma wheat producers managing their crops for yield and grain quality are facing tough decisions about if, when and how much to fertilize at this critical juncture of the growing season.

 

The good news is producers still have time to act. However, in the wake of an extremely dry fall and winter and the window for fertilizing quickly closing, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension experts see three different scenarios taking shape.

 

In cases where there is good plant stand overall, producers should evaluate the crop’s current yield potential, which could still be decent, and apply enough nitrogen to achieve it.

 

“With the rain and some sunshine, these plants will start growing again. For producers who use N-rich strips, if your field needs nitrogen, it should show up,” said Brian Arnall, OSU Cooperative Extension precision nutrient management specialist.

 

Under a second scenario that could play out principally in southwest Oklahoma, some fields may be experiencing uneven growth, with a combination of already established wheat and wheat that has only started germinating and emerging with the most recent rains.

 

Producers may have a lot of questions about what to do under such circumstances, said David Marburger, OSU Cooperative Extension small grains specialist.

 

For example, if producers decide to keep the crop, will the newly emerging plants still have enough exposure to cooler temperatures to switch from vegetative growth to reproductive growth, and if so, what is the crop’s yield potential overall?

 

“This is where it gets complicated, when we bring it back to the question of nitrogen management,” Marburger said. “This is going to come down to producers closely assessing their stands and the yield potential of their crop. I think in most cases those newly emerging plants will switch to reproductive growth and put on a head. However, those plants will be delayed in their development, and the amount of grain produced by those heads will likely not be close to full potential.”

 

When assessing a field’s grain yield potential, a general rule of thumb is 60 to 70 tillers per square foot are needed to maximize yield. Dryland production in southwest Oklahoma and the Panhandle can lower that number to 50 to 60 tillers per square foot.

 

“If you have half or less, that’s not a positive sign for taking the crop to grain. If you’re a cattle producer just wanting to graze-out, that may be enough for you to keep the stand,” Marburger said. “It comes back to your objective. If you decide to keep the stand in this case and apply nitrogen, consider lowering the rate from your normal application.”

 

Meanwhile, a third scenario is emerging in far northwest Oklahoma into the Panhandle, where it has not rained and plants coming out of winter dormancy will begin growing.

 

“If there’s no water there for those plants, they’re going to quickly go backward and eventually die,” Arnall said. “Producers should have their N-rich strips down in case it does rain soon, but most are likely hesitant to spend money to apply nitrogen to their fields if there’s little to no yield potential.”

 

For more information on wheat crop management strategies, contact the nearest county Extension office, visit www.wheat.okstate.edu and download free OSU Fact Sheets on the topic, including PSS-2149, “Estimating Wheat Grain Yield Potential,” and AGEC-241, “Wheat Grazeout versus Harvest for Grain,” at facts.okstate.edu

 



Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; phone 405-744-5371; email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

 

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

Google +

Latest Events

15Nov
Miss CASC Pageant
Thu Nov 15 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM