Warm temperatures! Some sun! Showers and rain! Some “green” visible! Spring must be here! Seriously, this next weekend (Sunday, March 20) is the Spring Equinox … “Spring” will be official!
Of course, with spring comes the possibility of severe weather. Severe Weather Awareness Week begins next Sunday and runs through the week: March 20-26, 2016. Being prepared is important! http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/spring_safety.html has some great educational materials, videos, and other spring weather resources to help you develop that plan for “just in case.”
And, yes, with (nice) spring weather here, there’s that “antsy-ness” to get in the fields. Of course, it’s really too soon (and probably too wet), so What to Do? Now might be a good time to Calibrate Your Sprayer! ( … along with all the other equipment you’re getting ready!)
The only way you can achieve maximum accuracy from a sprayer is by calibrating it once before the spraying season starts, and recalibrating it frequently throughout the spraying season. Erdal Ozkan from “FABulous Engineering” has a good article in last week’s CORN newsletter that outlines a simple way to do that. First of all, he says to check all the components of the sprayer to make sure they are in working order. Once that’s done, it’s time to calibrate!
But, why calibrate? What’s the point? Erdal explains that “While applying too little pesticide may result in ineffective pest control, too much pesticide wastes money, may damage the crop and increases the potential risk of contaminating ground water and environment. The primary goal with calibration is to determine the actual rate of application in gallons per acre, then to make adjustments if the difference between the actual rate and the intended rate is greater or less than 5% of the intended rate. This is a recommended guideline by USEPA and USDA.”
So, the “How To”?? You can find Erdal’s nine-step approach in the CORN Newsletter at http://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2016-05/full.
Also in last week’s newsletter was an article dealing with When to Apply Nitrogen to Wheat. Yeah, it’s probably a bit wet right now, but there will be that urge to “git ‘er done.” According to Ed Lentz and Laura Lindsey, you need to ask, “When does the crop need Nitrogen?” The truth of the matter is that wheat does not require large amounts of N until stem elongation/ jointing (Feekes Growth Stage 6), which will occur toward the middle or the end of April. Applying earlier can result in loss of that nitrogen applied. You can use the link above to access this and other articles in the newsletter.
Each summer, OSU Extension in cooperation with the OEFFA and others organize a statewide Sustainable Agriculture Tour Series. These tours are short, low-input events that allow the host sites to display and explain their operations to the public. The choice of date, time, location, etc., is up to those that host, scheduled between June 1 and October 30, 2016. If you would be interested in hosting a tour of your facility, or for more information, please give me a call.
Things are pretty solid on the home front … not that I’ve been there much! Missy and the two calves are still growing. We did get some more hay that should see us through ‘til pasture green-up. The chickens have been laying eggs … on nice days, anyway! I’m missing a couple of ducks (I think the wild Mallard, Mr. Drake, lured them away), but the White Chinese Geese are still there and as noisy as ever! Beautiful, too!! Aren’t critters great!?
The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.