What a spring! Planting for all crops is running about 3 weeks ahead of schedule -- 96% of corn and 77% of soybeans are in the ground. As for oats, 91% of the crop is already emerged and 80% is rated good to excellent. If your oats were emerged over May 8-11, it's worth a trip to the field to check for frost damage from the freezing temperatures we had those days in Iowa and across the upper Midwest.

The details for our 2020 virtual field days are now published on our website. There are several that will explore small grain production, check out the events section for some dates to mark down on your calendar.

Scouting for Frost Damage in Small Grains
Small-grain crops are well adapted to bounce back from cold weather -- winter wheat and rye are planted in the fall after all! However, a late frost after an early small grain planting can pose a threat to the crop if the growing point had moved above ground (jointing stage). And that is precisely the situation many farmers were in in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin earlier this month. This blog provides some helpful resources on scouting for frost damage in small grains and companion legumes, if you have sown clover or alfalfa with that small grain crop.
Scout for Disease and Consider Fungicide
There are three key windows for disease management and fungicide application in small-grain crops:

  1. Tillering
  2. Flag leaf (Top ROI for fungicide)
  3. Flowering

Depending on where you are you may already be through the tillering stage and headed quickly for flag leaf. Since corn and beans are mostly planted, there is no excuse for not getting out in the field to scout for disease pressure and take an active approach to disease management in your small grains. For a refresh on small grain pathology and management options, check out this blog with information from Dr. Emmanuel Byamukama at SDSU.
*** No Shared Learning Call in June ***

June 24, 2020 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. | Byron, MN Farmer Martin Larsen

June 30, 2020 10 - 11 a.m. | Huxley, IA Farmer Noah Wendt

July 1, 2020 1 - 2 pm | Maynard, IA Farmers Scott and Catherine Wedemeier

Small Grains Shared Learning Call: Topic TBD
July 3, 2020 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. | (605) 313-5784 passcode 239000

Small Grains Shared Learning Call: Topic TBD
August 7, 2020 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. | (605) 313-5784 passcode 239000

August 11, 2020 1 - 2 p.m. | Dayton, IA Farmer AJ Blair

August 13, 2020 4 - 5:30 pm | Clarks Hill, IN Farmer Jim Moseley

August 28, 2020 | Williamsport, IN
Be Ready to Fertilize
The optimal time to apply fertilizer to small grains to avoid lodging is before planting or shortly after. Make sure you're ready to apply fertilizer at the right time.
  1. The fertilizing small grains short from our rotationally raised video series.
  2. The blog from March 2017's shared learning call with agronomists on optimal fertilizer strategies.
  3. The blog from June 2017's shared learning call on Mark Ditlevson's fertilizer timing and rates.
  4. University of Minnesota's oat fertilizer recommendations.
  5. The blog on Small Grain Fertility from Dr. Dave Franzen's February 2020 call
Scouting and Disease Management
Maintaining yields and achieving market specifications like test weight or germination depend upon successful management of small grains diseases:

  1. Scouting and Disease Management Blog from April 2019 shared learning call.
  2. The disease management episode of our rotationally raised video series.
Looking for more? Contact us today!
Alisha Bower
Strategic Initiatives Manager
(515) 232-5661
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661