And summer is here! The last couple of weeks have been hot, not exactly ideal for small grains that like cool spring temperature. As a result there has been some sunscald on small-grain crops in the last couple of weeks (most reports I've heard are coming from NW Iowa). If you're seeing leaf symptoms in your small grains be sure to google photos of sunscald and different diseases and/or check with an expert before spraying -- if it is sunscald a fungicide application won't help!

Remember that you need to spray fungicide at flowering to prevent fusarium head blight (FHB) or scab infections before any symptoms are visible. Most small grains are flowering or will soon. Penn State hosts a great predictive tool for FHB risk. It has recently been updated with weekly "expert commentary" notes from extension agents around the country including IL, MN, OH and IL for FHB and other small-grain diseases. Check out the disease management links in the "in the field" section of this newsletter for more resources.

July 10 Call will be on Summer Annual Silage
We talk a lot about clover and alfalfa after small grains, but for cattle producers there is another option for how to use the window after July-harvested small grains: making silage from a summer annual. Our next shared learning call will be on Friday July 10th 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. with guest speaker Daniel Olson. Daniel Olson, a 7th generation dairy farmer from Wisconsin who is also a researcher & forage specialist that works with progressive dairies across the United States. On the call Daniel will revisit some of the basics of summer annual silage from what species make the best quality forage to typical yields to avoiding prussic acid and more.

The call will be held from 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. on Friday, March 6.  To join dial 605-313-5784 and enter passcode 239000# when prompted.
Attend a Virtual Field Day on Small Grains and Extended Rotations
PFI has over 60 virtual field days planned for this summer! While we'll miss being out on the farm, we're excited that this will be an opportunity for folks from all over the U.S. and the world to tune in to learn more about agriculture in the Midwest. We have three small grain field days coming soon that you'll want to add to your calendar:

  1. June 24 No-Till Oat and Rye Production hosted by Martin Larsen, Byron, MN
  2. June 30 Flame Weeding and Crop Rotation for Weed Control hosted by Noah Wendt, Huxley, IA (pictured in yellow t-shirt above with farm-partner Caleb Akin)
  3. July 1 Approaching Oats as a Cash Crop hosted by Scott and Catherine Wedemeier, Maynard, IA

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

June 25, 2020 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. | Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership

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

July 2, 2020 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership

Small Grains Shared Learning Call: Summer Annual Silage
July 10, 2020 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. | (605) 313-5784 passcode 239000

Small Grains Shared Learning Call: Integrating Small Grains at a Dairy
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
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.
Adjust Side Dress Application for Corn Following Legume Cover Crop
It's not too late to take a late spring nitrate test or pre-sidedress nitrate test if you grew a legume cover crop like clover last year. Backing off of fertilizer inputs in the corn year is a key aspect to increasing profitability of extended rotations. Check out these research reports and other resources on how much nitrogen you can generate with a legume cover crop after small grains:

  1. Nitrogen Rate Comparison in Corn Following Green Manure Cover Crop Mixes
  2. Underseeded vs. Mid-Summer-Seeded Green Manures for Corn
  3. The Freedom from Inputs 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