The Langdon Research and Extension Center (LREC) held its annual Field Day on Thursday, July 20, with a great turnout of area producers.
By Melissa Anderson
Recent rains and a brief morning rain shower didn’t stop the presentations from taking place outside as experts explained the research being conducted at the center as well as giving some tips for the future.
LREC Director Randy Mehlhoff gave a brief overview of the growing season thus far for Cavalier County and how the area is holding up following the fast spring thaw and subsequent dry weather.
“We had a dry spring which gave us a good planting season and ideal planting at the center as we had crops in before Memorial Day,” Mehlhoff stated. “The scattered showers have helped maintain the crops, and the concern now is disease as pressure is quite high.”
Presenters gave tips and shared research data on what producers can do to help increase their crop yields as well as improve their soil health. Canola was a major topic of discussion with Dr. Jan Knodel, an NDSU Extension Entomologist, informing producers of insects to watch for this canola growing season, LREC Agronomist Bryan Hanson giving updates on his canola research projects, Dr. Venkat Chapara, LREC Plant Pathologist, giving updates on his disease research with canola and finally, the NDSU Canola Breeding Program was discussed by Dr. Mukhlesur Rahman, the lead NDSU canola breeder.
Lesley Lubenow, who is an extension area specialist in agronomy at the LREC, updated producers in attendance of an exciting new soybean variety that is glyphosate herbicide tolerant and competitive with some of the preferred varieties marketed from private companies.
“The soybean variety ND17009GT was bred at NDSU and has been undergoing testing across the state. So far, results show that the NDSU variety is highly competitive with a good private sector variety, AG00932,” Lubenow said.
ND17009GT is resistant to glyphosate herbicide. It also is resistant to Race 4 of phytophthora root rot and tolerant to iron-deficiency chlorosis. ND17009GT has a white flower color, tawny pubescence, brown pod with black hila and shiny seed coat luster.
This variety is a 00.9 maturity group experimental line with high yield and reaches maturity two days sooner than AG00932 but still has similar yields of 37.2 and a plant height of 34 with yield of 58.2 bushels per acre. Protein and oil were reported on a 13 percent grain moisture basis and averaged at 38.3 for protein and 20.7 for oil.
The negatives for this new variety is that it is somewhat susceptible to lodging in extreme conditions with data results showing a 3.3 for lodging. ND17009GT is also sensitive to the herbicide metribuzin.
“Some seed will be available this fall to purchase, and because this is a public variety, producers can keep their seed,” Lubenow said.
Because soybeans fall in at fourth for top 10 cash crops in North Dakota, a soybean producer survey has been implemented as a means of collecting information from producers across the state on ways to improve the yield average.
“For soybeans, it’s been really hard to get big increases in yields over the years. Crops like corn and wheat inch up every year with yield while we have had trouble moving averages up statewide,” Lubenow explained.
This survey has the goal of pooling information provided by producers on how they raise their soybeans to see if there are things that producers can do in their fields to increase yield.
“Farmers like to hear from other farmers on what is working so this is like a statewide coffee roundtable to accomplish that,” Lubenow said.
The survey has been in place for three years now and is funded by the ND Soybean Council and executed through the extension service.
The preliminary report shows that planting in early May will help increase yield, and on average, those who did not use starter fertilizer saw a slight increase of about two bushels per acre in yield than those who did apply. The seeding rate was also examined, and producers reported that a seeding rate of 165,000 to 170,000 was beneficial to increasing soybean yield in bushel per acre.
Dr. Jay Goos, professor of soil science at NDSU, informed producers of a study he conducted on nitrogen fixation issues on fields with little to no history of soybean production, when it’s best to inoculate soybeans.
Dr. Goos explained that nitrogen flows from soybean roots to the tops, almost entirely in two forms: either as nitrate from the soil solution or as “ureides” from the nodules at the root of the plant. The objective of his study was to use the ureide test to help understand soybean response to inoculation and to relate the response of soybean to inoculation to the numbers of symbiotic bacteria in the soil .
Dr. Goos found that the ureide test worked to determine the response of soybean inoculation. The study found that seed inoculation, alone, is not quite good enough the first time soybeans are grown in a field.
“Maybe use seed and granular inoculants the first time,” Dr. Goos suggested.
Another recommendation by Dr. Goos for planting soybeans in a new field previously unused for soybeans is if wheat is planted the year before, the necessary bacteria can be pre-established by inoculating that wheat crop.
Dr. Goos also found that fields that have been planted several times with soybeans retain the bacteria in the thousands up to four years after the most recent soybean planting, making inoculation unnecessary.
Naeem Kalwar, LREC Soil Health Extension Specialist, gave advice and tips on how producers could better manage saline soil areas to increase their productivity. The dry weather this year has not helped alleviate the problem many producers faced with sodic and salt soil in their fields.
“Planting crops is not the answer to using up excess water,” Kalwar stated. “A good fit is perennial salt tolerant grasses.”
The LREC has a native grass mix for highly salt tolerant fields that is planted in buffer strips and then hayed. So far, this has shown to be a good remedy to the excess moisture and high water tables that are bringing up the salts.
“The mix costs $30 to $35 per acre and takes about two years to suppress weeds fully,” Kalwar said.
Kalwar had other recommendations as well to protect soil from wind erosion, especially in soybean fields, by planting a cheap cover crop that will fix nitrogen and provide cover.
Cavalier County Extension Agent Anitha Chirumamilla informed area producers that while there are insect pests that they need to be on the look out for, they also need to understand the threshold of when they should spray insecticide as this will also eliminate the good bugs that are predators to the bad. Beneficial insects feed on aphids such as ladybugs, which are a major predator of aphids.
“Soybean aphids population can double within 2 to 3 days. The threshold is 250 aphids per plant than you can spray,” Chirumamilla stated. “Once the threshold is reached, it is okay to spray because at that point predators can no longer keep up.”
For more information on any of the presentations given at the LREC Field Day, please contact either Anitha Chirumamilla at 701-256-2560 or Randy Mehlhoff at the LREC 701-256-2582.