March 6, 2009 Paul Hay, Extension Educator in Gage County: Farm activities include spraying and fertilizing wheat and alfalfa. The lowered price of phosphorus has some farmers deciding to go ahead with dry broadcast applications. After a difficult season in 2008, conservation work and repairs on tile outlet systems are forging ahead.
Karen DeBoer, Extension Educator in Cheyenne County: The wheat is beginning to green up in our area and producers should be able to tell soon if winterkill is a problem. We had some very strong winds over the winter that damaged some wheat. The comment I hear most frequently from producers is that soil moisture is lacking and rain will be needed soon.
Jim Schneider, Extension Educator in Hamilton County: There is still plenty of indecision about cropping plans. The largest issue is the lag in fertilizer commitments. Many producers are thinking that fertilizer prices will settle prior to planting so they are holding off on commitments. There had been quite a bit of activity broadcasting phosphorous on frozen ground, mostly by variable rate based on grid sampling. Herbicide commitments to retailers also have been slower than normal. Corn seed sales appear normal which is a good indication that producers are sticking to their normal crop rotation plans. Soybean commitments are slow, but this may be due to good soybean seed supplies and little urgency to lock in a commitment.
Our soil profile is full so there is concern about measurable spring precipitation slowing field work and leaching nutrients through the profile. From October 1 to March 1, 8.17 inches of precipitation was measured at the Aurora Airport.