NEWS

2023 National Wheat Yield contest is now open for entries

Ned Birkey

Ned Birkey

The Tri-State Fertilizer Bulletin recommends 120 pounds of nitrogen for yield goals of 100 bushels per acre for the entire growing season. This would be similar to 107 pounds of nitrogen for 90 bu/A or 80 pounds for 70 bushels and are recommendations for total nitrogen per acre for fall and spring. The nitrogen rate formula is (1.33 x yield potential) – 13. A split application of nitrogen should be used to spread the risk of nitrogen loss and to improve nitrogen use efficiency. Or a smaller application should be applied with the first application since little is needed by the crop at that time and a larger rate applied closer to Feekes growth stage six.The 2023 National Wheat Yield contest is now open for entries, costing $100, though some partner companies will pay the fee. Farmers can enter just a wheat yield contest with no regard for USDA county averages, or a contest that compares the entry yield to the five-year Olympic County average yield (Monroe County is 78.4 bushels per acre).The MSU weed science diagnostician Dr. Erin Burns evaluates a number of plant identification smartphone apps every year. This is particularly useful for identification of early spring weeds of winter annual, biennial and perennial weeds. Identification of these species can help in planning for spring burndown herbicide programs. These apps all use photo recognition software to identify plants and most are free or have a free version. When using apps or internet searches, it is always advised to check the identification with a reputable source such a government or university-affiliated site. The USDA plants database is a good place to double check the known distribution of your identified plant. Searching by the scientific name (i.e. Latin genus and species) will yield the most accurate results as common names can vary by region, environment, etc.Cleaning up the yard of leaves and debris is step one for lawn care. Layers of leaves invites mold, disease and decay. Leaves and thatch can be saved for a compost pile or to amend the garden. Weeds can be dealt with or without using herbicides. Some non-pesticide tips include not to mow too short which means the grass has to recover before it can regrow. This allows weeds to get a head start. Mow at three inches or as high you can stand it or the same as the neighborhood. A taller lawn allows grass to thicken up and crowd out weeds. Put grass clipping back into the lawn or if too much, put untreated clippings into the garden. If reseeding bare patches, be sure to keep the lawnmower out of this area for four to six weeks so the blade doesn’t tear out the new grass seedlings. Do not fertilize too early, wait until the soil temperature rises and the risk of cold weather has passed. The rule of thumb is one pound of actual nitrogen per one thousand square feet. Do not use a fertilizer with phosphorus unless a soil test indicates a need. Stores sell all kinds of fertilizer, including those with phosphorus, but those can be used in flower beds, gardens, shrubs and other areas.