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ATWCentralIL
Veteran Reader

Crop Production Help

I am a college student working on a farm plan. I am suppose to create a 2 year managment plan for a field that is 95% sand, 3% silt, and 2% clay. The field is irrigated. Money is not an issue so any kind of seed or anything works.  one of the crops must be a specialty crop and seed corn or seed beans does not count.  The location is Monroe CO which is close to St Louis.  I must discuss seeding rates, depths, and dates along with tillage practices. I am not sure what do with 95% irrigated sand. Any suggestions?

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6 Replies
Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Crop Production Help

I don't have any specific help.  in your shoes, I'd ask the local extension agent.  I'd also ask the head agronomist at U/Ill.  I'd probably ask a good agronomist in a couple of the major seed companies.  I'd see if USDA ARS has any info on this situation.  In addition, I'd see if I could find the name of a successful grower in that area and ask him.

Sorry I can't be of better help. 

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Pupdaddy
Advisor

Re: Crop Production Help

Screw with your professor, and plant 2 specialty crops. Popcorn and Pumpkins. Popcorn has about the same input costs as field corn...plant maybe 5% thicker, and never over an inch and a quarter deep. Figure an application of Headline at V6-V7 growth stage..and then an application of Stratego immediately after tasseling (You did say money was no object didn't you?) Fertilizer, standard corn application rates-maybe cut nitrogen 5%. Herbicide (Figure on mulch tilling the field for popcorn) should be an application of Outlook, and a post of Buctril. Try not to use atrazine, the pumpkins won't like it.

Fall plow the cornstalks (Like I said, money is no object is it?) Sow a cover crop of winter rye...then let it grow to about 18 inches tall next spring, give it a shot of Glyphosate and Command...and then a shot of Sandea when the post emerge weeds start. Planting rate would be 4 seeds placed every 4.5 feet, on 60" rows (a standard finger pickup Deere planter with several tabs cut off the seed belts will accomplish the spacing. Plant to a depth of 3/4 inch in damp soil...you can either spray Glyphosate several days ahead...or wait till after planting to spray the rye (within 4 days of planting)  Fertilizer could be 150 units of nitrogen, 40 lbs of phosphorous..and 250 lbs. of potassium. You will need to spray fungicides on this crop 3-5 times...so figure a shot of Manzeb, Ridomil Gold...and maybe some Bravo (Chloranthalanil). Tanos and Presidio should be added to that list for downy mildew control.

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ATWCentralIL
Veteran Reader

Re: Crop Production Help

I never really thought of using popcorn, but that is a great idea. I was just reading about it and it grows in same areas as dent corn and they prefer irrigation anyways. Beans were planted there the year before so do you still think mulch tillage to prepare for popcorn?  I am going to go back to regular soybeans the next year. (He wont let us use pumpkins even though they are decent for those soils) Also i'm planning on planting about an 1.25" deep and a population of about 32,000 because seeds are much smaller.  Thanks for all the help and any more will be appreciated.

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Pupdaddy
Advisor

Re: Crop Production Help

Well doggone, if ya can't plant pumpkins..it's almost too easy, LOL. Yeah, mulch tillage (one pass with a disc chisel, one pass with a F/C or combination tool in the spring is pretty good for Popcorn. I no-till a lot of it..but like the heat that conventional tillage puts into the soil (because of the darker soil surface). If you're not worried about carryover in the pumpkins..then by all means add some Atrazine to the program. Buctril/Atrazine is a great post spray for most broadleaves...Laudis with a little atrazine is good...along with several other products. You just have to make sure "popcorn" or "corn" is what the label says on herbicides for it..because the processors get a little excited if they find out you've used an unregistered product. Inch and a quarter is as deep as I'd go. Popcorn doesn't like being planted really deep. And you've got irrigation to water it up out of the ground if it turns really dry. 32,000 is a good population...if you went to no-till, I've been planting 36,000 because it doesn't emerge quite as well.

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Blacksandfarmer
Senior Advisor

Re: Crop Production Help

Well being that the ground in this area is similar to this situation I will just give you some examples of what guys around me are doing. Does local markets have anything to do with a crop decision? Around here we have a Black Gold potato processor nearby so a lot of the guys with irrigation lease their ground out to an ag company that specializes in potato production. I know that doesn't help you much but just an idea. I do know of green bean growers in Missouri. Green beans are a nice crop because I believe you can get two crops out of them a year. We also have some growers in this area that have turned to waxy corn for an additional 30 to 50 cent a bushel premium. I don't know if you could use waxy corn as a specialty crop or not but that one would be easy, just follow your basic corn production practices for that area. Just remember when farming sandier soils that fertilizer management is a lot more challenging than ground with a higher organic matter content. Nitrogen and sulfur leach much easier so they will need side dressed.

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ATWCentralIL
Veteran Reader

Re: Crop Production Help

I think I might just no till that field because it is 95% sand and when you get to working it even though it is irrigated, sand starts blowing around.  I choose this varirty (Schlessman Hybrids SH 4862) because my field has a history of foiliar dieses and because it is the only variety I could find online. lol. I guess its just a grade, not like im gonna lose a profit.

 

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