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Old 12-08-2011, 09:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Growing 45 to 50 bushel wheat.

Kinda new to the fertilizing end of farming as I recently talked my father out of summer fallowing land and keeping it in production. (Good idea or bad I have not yet decided.) I still work away from the farm and can only work on the weekends and evenings if I get off of work at a decent time. We have used fertilizer the past 2 years but crops have been put in too late and then they were hailed on besides so the years have not been good ones to gauge by. We live in central ND with good heavy soil that does have the occasionaly gumbo etc. My question for you is what does it take to consistantly grow 40 to 50 bushel wheat. I have seen neighbors do it but can't always get the information I am looking for from them. I know one should soil sample but I haven't done it. I was planning on putting 50 lbs of 11-52-00 down with the seed at 2 bpa. I also was going to broadcast 120 lbs of urea before seeding and work it in with the cultivator. On paper with should equate out to 50.5 bpa of spring wheat under ideal conditions. My questions are #1 is this enough urea or do I need more. I don't know how much residual N is left from last year of course. #2 does a person need to top dress the plants with liquid nitrogen to get the bushels. I have heard of people in our area doing this and getting 70 to 90 bushel wheat but then I was also told they need the 70 bushel wheat to break even. (Yikes!!) I know this is a long post but I want to go back to the farm and I need to get some consitant yields to make it work for me. Thanks in advance for any help and information. It is greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i put 40lbs down at 1 1/2 bushels per acre and i got 55 bushels per acre in heavy land ( soil test said to put 70lbs per acre to get 50 bpa i guess i won there lol)

my uncle puts down 150lbs of liquid nitrogen and i don't know what for phos or anythng else and gets about 80-100 bushels per acre so when your putting that kinda fertilizer you need that to break even

i've never seen any one top dress crops for extra

when you put that kind fertilizer into the ground you hope to get somthing but it all depends on mother nature

Last edited by farmerboy3; 12-08-2011 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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750 guy, this is what I would recommend;

I see you are planning to broadcast urea and cultivate. I would suggest in long run it would be better to band your fertilizer in the soil, you could then switch to nh3 which would likley be a little cheaper than urea.

You state you will put down 120 lbs of urea and 50 lbs of 11-52. which would give you 65 lbs of n and about 25 lbs of phos. I would say you are a little shy for 50 bu of 14 protein milling wheat. Its hard to say without knowing your soil but I would say go with a blend of 90-30-10-5.

I wouldn't go over 1.5 bu seeding rate unless you get your fertility levels up otherwise you will be wasting your money IMO. I would even go as far as to say up your fertility and keep seeding rate at 1.5-1.7 if you want to save some money.

I would also take a serious look at using folicur or a similar fungicide at heading we normally see a 10-20% increase in our area
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i put 40lbs down at 1 1/2 bushels per acre and i got 55 bushels per acre in heavy land ( soil test said to put 70lbs per acre to get 50 bpa i guess i won there lol)

my uncle puts down 150lbs of liquid nitrogen and i don't know what for phos or anythng else and gets about 80-100 bushels per acre so when your putting that kinda fertilizer you need that to break even
you put down 40lbs of actual n? did you have a crop failure with N leftover in the soil, i can't believe 40lbs of N will give you 50bpa.
but anyway your uncle does not need 80-100 bushels to pay for 150lb/n per acre.

he prob uses a 100 lbs more of N compared to you
100 lbs would cost him with today's fert cost 64 dollars. ($0.64 a pound n)
wheat prices of ~$7,- a bushel = 64/7= 9.1 or roughly 10.
he actually gets 30-40 bushels more of wheat than you so he is 20 bushels at least at 20*7=$140 ahead of you.
Nitrogen even at high prices will pay to use a extra

topdressing works, but the window for us is usually small and conditions will have to be right for it too, do it if you are equiped for it to do so.

i would avoid cultivating heavy soils in the spring. it hard to get the land in nice shape after gumbo soil has been cultivated in spring.
I would try to put the fert down with seeder if no other way than i would get it floated on at use your seeder to cover the fertiliser under (this would only work if you have a bit of wider shovels used for seeding)
summerfallow is sure nice but i'd think land and crop prices are too high to afford these kind of practices. use fertiliser it will always pay to do so.
hope farming makes you good money so you can keep going with it and good luck to you.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I figure 2.8 lbs of N per bushel of expected yield goal minus any carry over N in the soil. Yes for a 50 bushel expected yield you will need a total of 140 lbs of N. This is where soil testing pays, if you have 30 pounds of carry over N available all you need to apply is 110 lbs of N. We use a combo of NH3 and AMS (21-0-0-24) midrow banded and also apply 100 lbs per acre of a blend of 11-52-0 and potash with the seed. Really with a good dose of fertilizer upfront at seeding time it should be no problem to get 50 bu yields in central ND. Plan on doing a fungicide application (Headline) when you spray your herbicides and also plan on doing a fungicide application at flowering. Also send a sample of your seed into the state grain inspection (Minot) to find out the germ, vigor and seeds/lb. Better yet buy certified seed and you will have all this info and some of the best seed possible. I like to have around 1.35 to 1.4 million live plants per acre, to figure this you have to know your seeds/lb and your germ. I also deduct for a 10% seedling loss due to insects, disease, cold soils. Treat your seed also.

What part of ND are you from?
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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you put down 40lbs of actual n? did you have a crop failure with N leftover in the soil, i can't believe 40lbs of N will give you 50bpa.
If it was seeded in to chemfallow it is possible. I have seem some very high N levels in chemfallow this fall. But I don't think there will be much N left over after that crop tho. IMO
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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cnd, that is the highest rate of N per bu of crop I've ever heard stated. Wow, I'm not at all implying I don't believe you, or any type of arguing, just wow, that's a lot.

My soil always needs Potash for wheat (and just about anything else). Soil test as soon as you can, but don't be afraid to experiment a little away from the recommendations 1 way or other.
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Best thing to do is to only due test strips, of higher then your comfort level of nitrogen. Otherwise you will have a big mess with lodging.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm only a few miles from you and you guys get way more hail then we do. I can only imagine what your hail insurance premiums are, mine are between $9 and $13 an acre for $100 worth of coverage. With your off-farm work schedule, be prepared to spend some on custom applications like fertilizer and spraying. Last year was tough for everybody to get in, but from what I've seen, everybody and his dog was putting N down last fall, so the workload this spring should be a little less for the custom guys. The benefits of getting applications done on time will more than pay for the expense of hiring it done if you are not around.

I'll throw my hat in the ring as far as inputs:

1. Soil Test. It's not too late and it pays everytime.

2. Seed Test. Send a sample of your clean seed to the state seed dept for seed count and germ. Cost is $26 for a sample and it will give you seeds per pound. I plant 1.4 million plants per acre.

3. Your soil test will show in central ND that you are high in residual P & K, but you still need to put some on. Most guys will go with 50lbs of 11-52 or if your buying from Harvest States, you will have to use their MicroEssentials product, I generally put on 65 to 90lbs in furrow.

4. Nitrogen. Apply in the spring, and I don't think you will have much residual in the soil from last year. With the unbelievable amount of rain, most of it leached. I figure on 2.5lbs of N for every bushel of yield goal. I would plan on applying 125lbs of actual N and that equates to about 250lbs of Urea/acre.

5. Weed control. IMHO your sprayer is your most important piece of equipment. You may make seven trips across the field with it in a season. At least one burndown app, then early post-emerge for wild oat and tan spot, then maybe a second app for tan spot and second flush of foxtail and broadleaf. Then a fourth app for late season fungicide and perhaps more N. Then a few weeks later another fungicide app for head disease. Then after harvest another burndown. Then before freezup, another app for perenial weed control. I hope you have a nice sprayer and time to use it.

It's expensive to get those yields, but if you have an understanding banker, they will give you the money to get it done. You may want to quit your day job though
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We farm north of Tuttle North Dakota. We are small farmers and only have press drills with seeder weeders in front of them. I was trying to stay away from nh3 if possible. Ideally I would only go over the ground once with the planter but the ground is normally too hard to get the seeder weeders in. I would like to get a different set of drills but there are so many things I would like to update. I have to pick and choose. Right now a tractor w/fwa is my main goal. I would like to be able to somehow have another set of boxes on the drills or in front of the seeder weeders where I could drop the urea and then work it or press it into the ground at planting time to avoid the extra pass of spreading but I have not come up with any ideas I am happy with. I have a feeling we are headed for a dry spring which is okay as long as it remembers how to rain mid May and early June. Thanks for the suggestions and keep them coming. I know with my current setup I am limited to some of the different ideas but if I can get the bushels where I want it equates to a better setup in the future and also me being able to go home for good. Thanks a bunch!
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