Friday, July 27, 2012

WI Soybean Yield Contest Entry Deadline Extended to 8/31/12

Drought conditions across Southern WI had dampened grower enthusiasm to enter the WI Soybean Yield Contest. Recent rainfalls, promising forecasts and rapid soybean recovery has again piqued grower interest. To facilitate this interest we are extending the entry due date to August 31st to enter the contest.  Below please find links for entry forms and rules. Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Getting Additional Forage This Fall

Dan Undersander and Shawn Conley

Some farmers need additional forage and want to plant a second crop following wheat or corn taken early for silage due to drought.  As of July 15, the best option is to wait until after August 1, and then consider planting oats with or without peas.
While corn may yield as well as any other crop, it is more expensive to plant and will need a frost to dry down the forage sufficiently for ensiling.  Sorghum-sudangrass, sudangrass and millet require 80 degree or higher temperatures for significant growth.  Hot as it may seem now, those temperatures are not likely to occur on a daily basis after Sept 1.  So little fall growth will occur and yield will be low.
Oats, planted the first week of August can be expected to produce 2.5 to 3 t/a dry matter in an average year.  Other small grains will generally produce about half as much since they do not put out a stem.  Adding 20 lb/a peas to the oats will increase palatability but will not affect yield. 
Coblentz, USDA Dairy Forage Research Center, found that a late-maturing forage cultivar (ForagePlus) produced maximum annual yields ranging from 2 to 3.5 t DM/a.  Because the forage cultivar matured slowly it was better able to respond to sometimes erratic late-summer precipitation. These types mature later and produce more tonnage of quality forage.  If seed of a forage type is not available, plant a late maturing oat variety.  After the first week of August use of a forage type oat will provide less advantage and grain-type cultivars often may be better management choices.
The fall planted oat is higher in forage quality than spring planted oats.  Research at the University of Wisconsin by Albrecht found that maturation of summer-sown (August) oats was delayed, resulting in 10 to 15% less neutral detergent fiber (NDF), 18% greater digestibility, and 250% more water soluble carbohydrate than spring-sown oat.
The recommendation would be to plant 1.5 to 2 bu oats/acre (with or without peas).  Soil test to determine if sufficient residual nitrogen remains for the oat crop following the drought-reduced corn crop.  If not, fertilize with 60 to 70 lb nitrogen per acre at planting.  It is also important to check for any herbicide plant back restrictions prior to planting the oat or oat/pea mixture.  Planting should occur during the first week of August as earlier planting will result in earlier maturation and reduced yield. Selection of a forage-type cultivar likely will result in superior yield and nutritive value for planting dates as late as the first week of August.

Figure 1. Concentrations of total digestible nutrients (TDN) from oat forages planted on August 1 and harvested on five dates throughout the fall at Marshfield, WI (Coblentz et al., 2012).

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Deadline Approaching for Entering the 2012 Wisconsin Soybean Association Yield Contest

Drought conditions in the Southern part of WI coupled with record high temperatures statewide has dampened the excitement of last year’s yield contest where Joe Zenz from Lancaster topped the 2011 Non-Irrigated WI Soybean Yield contest at 92.8 bu a-1 planting Asgrow 2403. Jason Weigel from S+W Farms LLC, Platteville placed second at 89.7 bu a-1 with Dairyland DSR-2770/RR and last year’s winner Rick Devoe from RnK Devoe Farms, Monroe placed third at 87.4 bu per a-1 with Pioneer 92Y51.  
If we do get into a rainfall pattern there is still significant yield to be gained so as a friendly reminder:
  • The deadline to enter the 2012 WI Soybean Yield Contest is 8/1/12. 
  • The objective of this contest is to encourage the development of new and innovative management practices and to show the importance of using sound cultural practices in WI soybean production. 
  • The two major changes to the 2012 contest are that irrigated and dry-land entries are combined and two winners will be selected from each of four geographical districts in the state. 
  • Districts are based on long term county soybean yield averages (Image 1 below). 
  • For more information please see the contest brochure or review contest rules. Entry forms will be posted shortly on

For more information related to this contest please contact Shawn Conley at