This is a good time of year to catch up on issues by attending field days. Last week I took some time with several graduate students to take in a field day in eastern Ohio sponsored by Ohio State University Extension. The field day was located at the Myron Wehr Farms near New Waterford.
The first session was a review of basic soil fertility as part of farmers to become Certified Agricultural Fertilizer Applicators. A new Ohio law requires that if you apply fertilizer to more than 50 acres of agricultural production grown primarily for sale. Limestone, manure and other farm residual products are exempt from the law unless they are mixed with fertilizers. The program generally requires a three hour Ohio Department of Ag training and then two hours of training every three years to remain certified. The program is similar to our Pesticide Applicator license. Tom Puch from Agland Cooperative gave a good review of soil testing, soil fertility recommendations, nitrogen management and even some on their variable rate fertilizer application program.
In the second presentation, we learned about the Ohio State interseeding program by Ryan Haden from Ohio State ATI. They have been conducting research for two years and found some interesting results. In one trial, Ryan reported some trends for higher yields in the year of the interseeding with interseeded crops. (We have observed this trend as well in some trials.) In the year following interseeding clover, he measured a yield increase of 18 bu/a over a continuous corn control. Ryan also reported some establishment issues in the dry summer of 2016 and is looking for alternative management strategies that can minimize this.
In the third phase of the field day following lunch, our group was offered a short farm tour on this 2000 acre corn/soybean/wheat operation. The farm has used grid sampling to better target variable rate P and K applications on some fields, uses a split N applications, with 20 gal UAN and planting and 20-30 gal at sidedressing. He harvests wheat early, dries it and then plants double crop beans as soon as possible; this year on July 7 in their area. They use Liberty Link soybeans and have a one-pass program for controlling mare's tail and other weeds about 20 days after planting with Liberty and Select herbicides.
Our investment in a day away from the office proved worthwhile and I'd suggest you consider taking in some field days here in August if you get chance. It's always good to get new ideas that may prove profitable on your operation.