By Extension

The Marion County Extension Council will conduct a tour of its wheat variety demonstration plots on Monday, May 21.

The tour begins at 6 p.m. at the Ervin Ediger plot located two miles west of Hillsboro on 190th.

The second tour stop will be at the John Hajek plot located five miles east and one half mile south of Tampa on Quail Creek Road.

Varieties in the plot are a blend, dominator, enhancer, G1878, heyne, hondo, jagger, kalvesta, onaga, verango, 2137, and 174.

Jim Shroyer will discuss the different wheat varieties and offer recommendations for varieties for 2002 and Bob Bowden, will visit with producers about the impact of wheat diseases. The public is invited to attend.

n Disposing of crop protection chemical containers. Today’s farmer is 15 times more productive than his grandfather. Ag chemicals have become an important production input that has helped producers be more productive and provide an inexpensive and safe food product for consumers.

Accordingly, they also are more aware of the importance of protecting the environment. This includes the proper and safe disposal of crop chemical containers.

Simple rinsing of plastic or steel containers can minimize health and environmental risks, make disposal easier and even save money by ensuring that no crop protection chemicals are wasted.

As with everything, however, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about rinsing crop protection chemical containers.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

(1) Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and applicable federal, state and local regulations.

(2) Rinse containers as soon as they are empty. Residue can be difficult to remove after it dries.

(3) Empty all water used to rinse empty containers into your spray tank and apply to your fields at the rate specified on the label. That will eliminate the need to dispose of the water and make sure you are getting the full benefit of your crop protection dollar. As much as two to four ounces of product can remain in an non rinsed container.

(4) Unless you are equipped to pressure rinse empty containers, make sure that each container is triple rinsed. Start by draining the container into your spray tank, holding it vertically for at least 30 seconds. Then add enough water or other recommended dilutant, to fill the container about a quarter of the way. Shake or roll the container to rinse all interior areas and drain the container again in the spray tank. Repeat the rinsing procedures two more times, and then puncture and crush the container so that it cannot be reused.

(5) Pressure rinsers are easy to use and can be conveniently attached to the pump on your nurse tank. Place the empty container in a vertical position so that it will drain into your spray tank. Thrust the nozzle of the pressure rinsers through the bottom of the container and rinse for 30 seconds. It is not normally necessary to repeat the procedure.

(6) Whether you triple rinse or pressure rinse, be careful not to spill any of the rinsate on yourself or the ground.

(7) Crush all empty and punctured containers to reduce the volume as an additional precaution. Never abandon empty crop protection chemical containers or allow them to accumulate and become a public eyesore or a health hazard.

(8) Properly rinsed and crushed containers should be disposed of in accordance with label instructions and state requirements.

n Have bulls ready for spring breeding. A pre-breeding evaluation of bulls, especially semen evaluation, is an important management practice prior to bull turnout this spring.

Cold weather may affect a bull’s fertility. A thorough physical examination of a bull prior to breeding is always a wise practice.

In addition to determining if feet and legs are sound, check to see that the bull is free of diseases such as seminal vesiculitis or epididymitis, or both which involve inflamation of reproductive organs. Adhesions or scabs in the scrotum area also signal possibility of frost damage to the reproductive tract. Consult your veterinarian for their diagnosis and treatment.

If you intend to run young bulls during the May and June breeding season and it’s a first time examination, have the bull measured for testicular size. There’s a direct correlation between testicular size and reproductive ability. Your veterinarian can advise you on this.

All bulls especially young bulls, should be closely supervised the first several days of breeding to see that they are physically able to settle a cow. Old bulls should be observed to insure that no injury or other problem has developed since last breeding season that may impair performance.

You are misusing a bull if you run one with high libido with 45 or 60 cows in a 45 day breeding season. Stick with one mature bull serving 30-35 cows. The ratio should be somewhat smaller for young bulls.

Also keep young bulls separate from mature bulls, so both can concentrate on breeding instead of fighting with each other.

n Seed treatments advised for poor quality soybean seed. Producers planning to plant soybean seed with a lower germination percentage are advised to use a planting time fungicide seed treatment.

The current K-State recommendation is that all soybeans planted before May 15 have a high probability of responding to a fungicide seed treatment.

Soybeans planted no-till or into high levels of residue before May 15 should be routinely treated. Acreage planted no-till or with very high levels of residue through Memorial Day will benefit enough to warrant the use of a seed treatment as a routine practice.

What is the effect of these fungicide seed treatments on the inoculants used to stimulate nodule formation on soybean roots?

The answer is tricky since it can vary from product to product. The best recommendation is to minimize the time these materials are in contact with each other before the seed is placed in the ground. It is best if seed treatments can be applied ahead of time so that they are dry when the inoculant is applied.

Growers should not mix the fungicide and inoculant together before application.

If seed is treated with both a fungicide and an inoculant remains in the planter or drill at the end of the day, it should be reinoculated immediately before planting resumes.

This problem can be avoided if the inoculant can be dribbled into the seed furrow at planting.

This technique works well but higher rates of inoculant are needed, this increasing planting costs.

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