Soybean and Wheat Management Considerations for 2021
February 16, 2021
Welcome to our field crops program tract for the Michigan AG Ideas to Grow with Conference. We are putting this on as a kind of a replacement for 3 main programs that we do across the Southwest region each winter, which is AG Action Day, which is in Kalamazoo, Branch County Farmers Day which is over in Coldwater and then Southwest Michigan Hortdays. And so we're very fortunate, especially on this snowy, snowy Tuesday to be able to have have you folks have it here virtually and have more folks hopefully be able to participate with us today. I do want to thank our sponsors. We've asked for some sponsorships, not because this program was particularly expensive to put together necessarily, but because we are offering scholarships for high-school seniors and those who are currently college students taking classes are taking courses in the area of agriculture. So we're very happy that our sponsors have been able to help us do that and will, will offer a few scholarships that will hopefully help some of these young students studying agriculture, Which we were very excited about. So thank you very much for all of those folks that were listed there and sponsors for this program. Excuse me. Again, there's a list of our sponsors for the program. We do want to talk a little bit about RUP credits and CCA credits today. And we know that we've we've had some questions about that and there's an opportunity to be able to pull together credits for those who have expired and both 2019 and 2020. And so you want to make sure that you participate in the full session. You want to complete the evaluation at the conclusion of each session and then watch for a confirmation e-mail after completing the eligible sessions and the attendance is being monitored. And part of the reason we're opening and closing these sessions is so that we can have a record to share with MDARD for the program participation. So we appreciate you helping us to work with them and offer credits here for this program today. And we do have, let me stop sharing here, we do have a several groups of folks from AABI that are are working with various programs. And so we wanted to focus today on kind of our farm stress and program today. And we're lucky enough to have a small video from Eric Karbowski, who is an educator that works with folks dealing with farm stress. So I'm going to turn it to Eric to play that video. Hi, my name's Eric, Karbowski. I'm a behavioral health educator with MSU Extension that focuses on farm stress. With your farm stress tip. We know that farming is a stressful occupation and there are a number of uncontrollable risk factors that go into running a successful business. Recognizing some of these different signs of stress, the MSU Extension program is very happy to share that we are the recent recipient of two different grants that we're calling the Legacy of the Land. Could your farm benefit from some additional supports? Some of the key offerings that are provided in this grant or the farm financial analysis and business management strategies. Through this, farmers and participants will have the opportunity to connect with MSU Extension farm management educators to go through and look at your farm, look at your books, look at different things in your operation. And maybe the which could include tax preparation, maybe recordkeeping analysis. And as well, farmers will have the opportunity to access the Tel- farm Program. So in addition to that of other key offering that is provided within the grant is the teletherapy program and Mental Health First Aid. Through these different programs and opportunities, farmers will have the ability to connect with the master's level clinician to help support them and controlling some of their stress and different things that happen in different factors that happen in life. Through online counseling with a therapist that has an agricultural background, and through Mental Health First Aid. This is an evidence-based practice that supports the continued knowledge and resource development for those that might be struggling. And so if you are a person that could benefit from some of this, there are a number of different ways that you can connect with this. If you go to the MSU Extension Farm Stress Website, there are a number of resources there. You can also fill out an anonymous survey to help connect you with the tele-therapy program. In addition to that, you can go to the MSU Extension Farm Management website and fill out a survey there where there are five questions and that will help get you enrolled in the program. And so with that, I would just like to say thank you very much for all the work that you do. Know that there are a number of people that are working very hard behind the scenes to support you as you support us. Have a great day. Well thanks Eric for playing that message from Eric Karbowski. We appreciate him, he does a good job up there and central part of Michigan. And we have always valued that and the work of our farm management colleagues across the state too so. Well, Mike we are about to embark on a soybean discussion. We've talked about corn this morning in corn tar spot, but let's, let's hear a little bit about soybeans. Thank you, Bruce. I really appreciate the invitation and being able to be here today to have the opportunity to share some soybean information. Probably one of the most important pieces of information that I have. The questions I've been getting a lot and the data that's the hottest is early soybean planting, especially ultra early soybean planting. When I say ultra early, I'm thinking before the 15th of April. Anything in that last ten days of April, I think Mani Singh would agree is fair game. I mean, that's just considered almost anymore just a normal recommendation as long as soil conditions are fit. So, but I want to talk about this because there are some benefits and some risks early planting. Before I do that, I want to tell you about my position a little bit. I am jointly funded by your Michigan Soybean Check-off and MSU Extension. And because of that, I get to focus 100% of my time on soybean issues. We're going to focus on this one because I think right behind pest management and variety selection, timely planting, it'll put more money in your pocket than almost anything else year in and year out. Before I do that, I want to talk about this slide. This is an important slide. All of these words combined basically convey one message. And that's everything that MSU and MSU Extension do is available to everyone. So let's start with the good news, some of the benefits of early soybean planting. First of the things that the biggest reason it works. So one of the biggest reasons that works as we get more nodes on that main stem per plant by planting earlier. Node production is kind of a fixed commodity, a fixed event. It is temperature or a temperature independent. After we reach that V1 growth stage, we typically get two new nodes every week after we reach V1. So the race is really getting to V1. That's how we get our extra nodes. It's the sooner we can get to that V1 growth stage, the first trifoliate, the sooner we're going to start putting on those additional nodes. So one week, you can tell makes a big difference. We can have two extra nodes per plant just by reaching that V1 stage a week earlier than later planted field. We get better use of soil moisture and solar radiation. And I'll show you a little bit more about that, but that's incredibly important. Soy plants take in carbon dioxide through the leaves. They have to do that through their stomates. And what keeps those stomates open is moisture transpiration. So we want to drive as much moisture through those plants and through those leaves as we can and not off the soil surface. And so we want to have a longer planting window and this will allow us to do that. We'll able to extend our planting window. And it also avoids those planting delays that we've seen in, May some years. It does maximize yield potential. Phil Kaatz, one of my colleagues was one of the first people in the state of Michigan to document the advantages of early planting or virtually the penalty for late planting. Phil showed two years in a row. He showed that we lose three-tenths of a bushel per acre per day, that planting is delayed. And other people have shown as high as six tenths of a bushel. So it's really good data. Iowa State has some good information that shows we get a bigger benefit from early planting on our higher productive fields. This is a slide I wanted to show. It comes from Dr. Jim Speck out at University of Nebraska. Jim has since retired, very active in his Emeritus status. But we have two pictures here. We have a picture here in 2003, a picture here in 2004. Both pictures show four different planting dates across the earliest planted to latest planted, and they're relatively the same dates, not exact, but relatively pictures are taken and about the summer solstice a few days after that, the longest day of the year. And you can see what we're trying to achieve with this early planting is this bigger crop canopy. We're harvesting more sunlight and, and and conducting more photosynthesis and producing more sugars, more food for the plant, we can get a bigger factory during this time of the year. The other thing that it does though, is look at this bare soil in these other pictures. What happens is when that intense sunlight strikes that bare soil, it's evaporating that moisture right off the surface of the soil. It's wasting and essentially it's wasting valuable soil moisture instead of driving it through the plant through transpiration, it's evaporating it off the soil surface. That's we do not want that. I'll jump right into some of our data we looked at early planting for two years now. And I want to thank Dr. Mani Singh for this because Mani wrote a proposal to the North-Central Soybean Research Project, obtain some funds that helped with this project. So we ended up with three trials in 2019 and the yellow stars you can see where they're at. And then eight trials in 2020 and you can see where they're at. What this chart shows is some of the background information that we try to collect from all of our sites. So here's the locations across this left-hand column. And then over here you will see the early planting dates and here's the normal planting date. So what we did with our trials as we compared an early planting date to a normal planting date and some of these early planting dates are what I would consider as ultra early, you can see down and actually all three of the Branch County sites were ultra early. They're bolded there for your easy recognition. April 4th, April 11th, and March 29th. The rest of them are kind of what we would consider is as normal to early planting dates. How does tillage effect those? How does texture effect those planting dates, the performance of those planting dates, planting equipment, rotation, seed treatment, and the final column that you can't see is basically just row width. So we try to capture all of that information from all of our sites. Here's what really counts, here's the yield data. And so the way to look at this, yield data is this line right across here this horizontal line, is going to be our normal planting date. So that's our baseline. The height of the bar and the number that's at the top of the bar is the number of bushels different by planting earlier. So at this Branch 19-1 site, you can see we gained 6.5 bushels. It's phenomenal yield increase. And this producer did say that the reason he got such a big increase in 2019 is these were the best planting conditions he had seen all year or the rest of the year and they just deteriorated from there. So that's why it was such a big kick. But up in St. Clair, we still had 6.3 bushels in 2020, and then almost four bushels here in Cass County in 2020. The rest of these, because they're not designated with an asterisk, are just noise. So this negative 1.2 bushels, there's not a yield loss, that's just normal piano graph type noise that you're going to get. But these ones with the asterisk were statistically significant. So what does this tell us? It tells us that there's upside potential. We see the upside potential. We don't see, really see any yield loss, no real downside potential in the trials that we conducted. And then when we average them all together, you can't see this last column, but when we average all of these together, we end up with two bushels per acre net increase. So the take-home message I think is that you can't always count on this yield increase. You know, it happened the minority of the times, but it is real and it is there. So I think that's an important message. So what are some of the risk we talked about the good side, the downside is there is potential for low temperature or freeze damage to those emerged soybean plants. Now I will tell you in 32 years of doing this, I've only seen it three times. In two of those times were in no till conditions. And wherever there was more residue, the plants were more severely damaged by the freeze injury. And I think the reason for that is we're not getting that radiational heat from the soil surface that can shelters and warms those plants throughout the night time or throughout those, early morning hours. And I think that's part of the reason that that happens. So it is a real occurrence, but it's very rare. I asked my colleagues across the country, agronomists across the country how big of an occurrence that was. And even Jim who's retired Emeritus status at Nebraska said he's very rarely seen it. So the other one though, is going to be, another one is poor germination and emergence. It is a real issue. We do see that happening. And, and it can be due to insects that are in the soil. Basically, the problem is the seed lays there for a much longer time in those cool soils, so it's more likely to be damaged by insects or diseases. Third one is this imbibitional chilling injury. It's, I first learned this from some work that was done in Ontario and by my colleague Horst Bonner. Horst and I've since talked about it and he is not as concerned about imbibitional chilling injury in soybeans as he once was about in the early 2000s. They did some greenhouse studies that showed some pretty serious impacts, but he's doesn't feel it's as big an issue as what we originally thought. Crusting is a bigger issue, I think on some of our marginal soils. If we're planting too early on these poorly drained, maybe poor, poorly structured soils, crusting can be a really big issue. Bean leaf beetles are a potential issue. They do like to emerge in those fields where the soybeans plants at first emerged. Sudden Death Syndrome while yes, early planting does aggravate that disease. You never want to postpone planting because of Sudden Death Syndrome. I want to be clear. Never postpone planting because of Sudden Death Syndrome. What you do instead is you choose tolerant varieties and you use a good seed treatment. Crop insurance coverage. You do forego crop insurance coverage and also your slide if you plant too early. But all you're giving up, and all you've given up now is just your replant coverage. Nothing else. I want to put this slide up because they talked about freeze injury and this is one of the fields that I did visit, one of those three fields. And this was this year, unfortunately, in about first week of May there in 2020. This is a field north of Grand Rapids that was planted on April third. And you can see this plant is dead. It's absolutely dead. The reason we know it's dead is not because it just the discolored cotyledons It's this hypocotyl death. This is what really signifies death. All the meristematic tissue is above that. And so we've killed the plant below that. There is absolutely no, no new nodes, no chance for new growth. He's done. What about this one, though? I'm a little more optimistic about this one. Yes, the unifoliates got crispy fried. The growing point does not look good, but look at how bright the cotyledons look and the hypocotyl is not damaged below the cotyledons. So I'm optimistic about this plant, but how do I know if it's going to make it? Well, the only way I'm going to know is by going back out in seven, maybe 10 days at the most. And, and look at these plants again and look for signs of new growth. That's exactly what I did. And this is from that exact same field as those other two plants. And what I want to show you is this main growing point was may be not killed outright, but it was damaged to the point, it was stressed to the point. Now the plant is putting out two new shoots. Two for one is one way to think of it, but to new shoots out of this cotyledons node, out of the axillary buds that are located at, at every node, you'll have those axillary buds, the potential to do this. And this plant is producing new growth. It is going to be a viable plant and definitely a keeper. This is that chart I wanted to show you the crop insurance chart. And so in the black area, if you're down in here, if you're planting before April 24th, you do technically give up your replant coverage under crop insurance. So you would still have it with your seed company if you used a baseline seed treatment, at least most seed companies. But that's the way that works. But again, that's the only thing you're giving up. Some management recommendations if you're going to plant early and these would pertain to all anytime your plant in the month of April, it pertained to the ultra early planting or just that last week of April. So variety selection, the biggest thing to take home there is if you're shooting for yield, which most of us are, you want to plant a full season variety early. That's going to take advantage of the longer growing season. You want to select disease resistant or tolerant varieties. They talked about that Sudden Death Syndrome is really important. If it was me, it would be White Mold. You look at that bigger canopy from that picture of Jim Specks and that has more potential for White Mold. Then what the the later planting dates did you just have a bigger canopy there. It's kind of close the rows. It's going to encourage the apathesia to form. So I would pick one with White Mold and I'd also pick one that's got Phytophthora Root Rot tolerance. So those would be what I'd be looking for if I was planting early. Seed quality, I would consider running a vigor test, some type of vigor test, either accelerated aging or cold germination if I was planting the 15th or earlier for sure. But maybe even in all of April, intact seed coats. Inspect your seed, make sure that you don't have a lot of wrinkled or checked seed coats, that the seed coat is intact. The seed coat kinda it controls the speed at which that cold water is imbibed by the, by the soybean seed. So that's important to have an intact seed coat. Moisture content is another one. If you have overly dry seed, like maybe 10 percent moisture seed, it's going to take in that cold water a lot faster than what seed at 12 to 13 percent would have. So kind of you, you will not find that on your seed tag. You would have to ask your supplier for the moisture content. Or you could send it up to Michigan Crop Improvement and they can do that as well. Or you can run it through your own, your own system and find out too as well. So seed treatment is incredibly important, as I mentioned for Sudden Death Syndrome, but I think also Pythium. Pythium is our number one root rot in the State of Michigan. And it's an early season disease. So choose something that's effective on Pythium, Sudden Death Syndrome and Phytophthora Root Rot. And that gives you that, that replant coverage. Soil temperature. Horst they talk to Horst and he is not that big proponent on paying attention to the 50 degree soil temperature. If you've got good dry conditions in that last week of April, you really do need to get some seed in the ground. We basically just can't let those good conditions in late April get away from us. We just absolutely cannot do that with the kind of springs that we've seen. And it's that first 12, maybe up to 24 hours, that's important. It can be cold after that, you could get a cold front move in after that first 12 hours and that seed, will be fine. So how do you know if you want to keep your stand? We've got numerous planting rate trials out there and we've got some stands commonly down to 65 thousand plants per acre that produce really high yields. They will produce within two or three bushels of what a stand twice as much as that would be. So very impressive what some of these lower stands can do. The big one is never plant when significant rain is imminent within 24 hours. That is probably the most important message. I know we try to beat the rain, but with soybeans, it can just really be devastating. If you've got a soil it's prone to crusting. It's going to set the stage for crusting. If you have if it's real early, it could be a cold rain and you could get the imbibitional chilling injury. It's just not a good thing to plant before heavy rain. Bean leaf beetles, we talked about that probably the most prudent way to manage that, you can use a seed treatment. But another way to manage it is just to check your fields and be ready to treat if the damage exceeds 50 percent. Tillage is one that people don't know. I have mixed feelings about should I till or shouldn't I? Well, I mentioned those freeze damage plants and yes, that was in a no till condition. But tillage can be a mixed bag too because it's going to promote more soil warming. It's going to promote more earlier germination. So you might get the seeds out of the ground when those freezing temperatures occur. So it's kind of a mixed bag. Planting rate, I think is just prudent. Throw a little extra seed out there, maybe 10 percent when planting in the month of April. No need to go crazy with it. Just a little bit extra, I think planting date. As I mentioned, MSU's recommendations Mani would agree with this is the last week of April is fair game. Most years, if the soil conditions are fed, but typically optimal is that first week of May, year in and year out. What you're going to get by going in that last week of April is not necessarily higher yields, but you're extending that window. Row width. This is kind of something It's interesting. All row widths are going to perform basically the same at this time of the year. You really get narrow row advantage the later in the year you plant. So you start planting in April and that advantage is diminished. Soil type. I think really those of you that are in the irrigated, coarse textured soils have a unique opportunity to do the early or even the ultra early planting because your soils aren't prone to crusting and because you can sock them in just a little bit deeper, don't go crazy. A little bit deeper. Never more than, I would say two and a quarter inches. At the most. There is one soil type I would not plant early on. And that would be soils having a history of poor drainage, crusting, poor emergence or thin or uneven stance. And the reason I say this is it's built on visits with producers that have those soil types. I always thought if I was farming, I would try to get those out of the way. If it was dry enough to plant one of those kinda fields, I would get that one out of the way first before it gets wet. Well, turns out that's not the right philosophy. With those kinds of soils. You do want the soils to warm up, get the seed out of the ground as fast as you can in those more marginal soils. So that's something that producers of cross the state have shared with me. Planting depth, there's some interesting information out of University of Nebraska that says that we should be actually planting a little bit deeper if we're planting earlier, I know it seems weird, but their data's pretty strong. And I could share that with, with others, Mani and I both have that. But they showed that inch and three-quarters is probably the optimum depth. And in soils that are not prone to crusting, I will qualify that in soils that are not prone to crusting. And so that's where we're at. Well, I don't know if there's any time for questions, but I will stick on after Dennis talks and answer questions then. Fantastic. Well, thanks, Mike. Thank you, Bruce. If you guys want to, there are there are a couple of questions in the chat that would have that we'll probably go over to the Q and A. So if you want to check that Mike, as we as we queue up Dennis, that'll be fine. That sounds good. I'll be here. Alright. Thank you. Alright. If we can. There we go. And Dennis, if you want to share your presentation, Does that look okay? Looks wonderful. All righty. Well, good afternoon everyone. My name is Dennis Pennington. I'm a Weed Extension Specialist at Michigan State University. And I believe a couple of years ago I was at AG Action Day and mentioned that we were starting this project on precision planting. And I didn't have a whole lot of data then. So we got this project pretty well wrap up, but we've got conclusions to share. So I thought I would do that with you here today. So this project started as a result of some discussions with some farmers that I had say, you know, I need to update my soybean planter to some of the new technology my drill that I plant wheat with us getting old and is, is there any chance that I can plant wheat with a soybean planter and if I go to 10 or 15 inch row spacing for soybeans, what does that going to do if I tried to plant wheat to my yield potential for wheat. So based on that discussion, we started to think about this a little bit. And you know, the concept of being able to cingulate seed, in corn and soybeans is really improved yield potential in the neighborhood of, you know, eight or 9%. And so we're wondering if we can cingulate seed first, can we cingulate seed with wheat? And then if we can, does that improve the yield potential? So that was kind of the, the reason for starting this project. And we added a few components besides that, just a test the two planters and I'll share some of the results with it. So ultimately the goal behind this project was to evaluate wheat seed placement. There's kind of two technologies out there. There's kind of the conventional rotating a gear where this gear spill seed out the bottom. It dropped down to drop tube. Same is true for air seeder, where you have the larger hoppers on a on a drill and you got a metering wheel that meters a seed out that it's pneumatically distributed to each of the row units and dropped down. But there's, but these drills don't have anything down below to actually cingulate the seed. So what we were testing is that this drill technology with this metering wheel system compared to a new planter that we actually kinda custom-built research plot planter. It's a motasem row unit. And it has these plates that use vacuum on the back to pick up seed and drop seed individually. So we're trying to compare how, how well can we actually pick up individual seeds and hit our target rates because we're planting wheat at much higher populations and what you do, corn and soybeans. So can we do that or not as a technology capable of doing it? And then are there any just a general yield differences between these two planting technologies? The goal with this uniform seed placement is we want to avoid the variable planting weed. We don't want skips, so we don't want doubles, we want uniform depth. Oops there. What we want is this kind of uniform spacing it, uniform planting depth. That's the overall objective. That's what we're trying to achieve. Now, we think that if we can do this, this is what our goals we're setting out. If we get more uniform spacing or placing of the plants within the role would have less gaps. We'd have end up with a more uniform number of tillers per plant. Our target is about four to five. That would lead to more, uniform head emergence, and then when we think better disease control as well. So I guess the question really is, are we there yet? I'll, hey this is a video here. I'll play this video. It's a slow-mo video and it'll show planting. You can see already that there's a hole right here missing a seed. So there's gotta be a skip rate here. And as this comes around, it does a pretty decent job of picking up individual seeds and dropping them. There are places where you have a missing one there where you have a skip it once in a while, you'll get a double as well. So I'll play this small-mo And you can see the way this thing spends around. There's another seed missing. But overall the technology was actually not too bad. You can see the seed dropping down the drop tube right here. And the nice thing about this planter that's different about the drill is it has the seed or the depth gauge wheels right here, right at the disk openers. And we're going to talk about the seed depth placement and the consistency in depth here in just a minute. But that is one of the things that is pretty important if you're looking at a different planter, looking at the depth control. So just to kinda give you a layout of the trial, how we did it, we had two locations that we planted these trials, and Michigan in the 18-19 wheat crop and then the 19-20 wheat crop. It was a split-plot design. The main plots we're comparing the 7.5 inch row spacing precision or the seed drill versus the seven and a half inch row spacing precision planter. But with the precision planter, we, we built it so that we could do different row spacing as well. So we did 5, 7 and a half, 10, and 15 inch. And then with that precision planter, we also looked at different populations as well, from a low and a 0.5 million seeds per acre, all the way up to 2 million seeds per acre So first thing that we noticed, we went and dug plants great after they started to emerge. And this is what the drill plant or plots look like. This was from plat 30 9, taken in the first year of the trial, and you could see a fair number of variability in and the length of the coleoptile. And then the emergence was, was variable, as you might imagine. Compared that to the precision planter where these plants when we dug and when we looked at them and we measured, and we actually measured the length of these at that time, and were much more uniform rate immediately at the get go right out of the gate. So the question is, does this consistency hold up? So one of the things that we did, we actually measured the distance between each of these plants. We had students go out and get on their hands and knees, measure the distance between these plants. And, ideally what you want is this distance between the plants to remain the same, exactly the same. And then your variability would be like, zero, you want 0 variability if you can't get it. But certainly that didn't happen. So what this first chart here is, this plant to plant spacing and this is a measure. It's called coefficient of variation. It's just a statistics term. It's the measure of the amount of variability. The higher the number, the more variable it is, the lower the number, the less variable. We've got our precision planter on the left, the drill on the right, you can see the numbers were very close to each other. They both have an a, they were not statistically different from each other. And this was really what our conclusion after trying to test the singulation of this planter, It really was not. We didn't feel like we're getting very accurate singulation just because we're trying to make that planter plant such high populations. However, what was different was how variable the planting depth was, and we were not expecting this. The drill actually had quite a lot higher coefficient of variation compared to the precision planter and it was statistically different. In fact, this number's about 30 percent higher. What about 30 percent higher variation in planting depth with the drill compared to the precision planter. So that at difference in, in planting depth is going to contribute to differences in uniformity of the stand, differences in the amount of tillering and the just the growth and development the crop throughout, throughout season. So here's kind of the long and short of the comparison between the precision planter, the drill. This top line is a precision planter. The yield overall was higher by about almost five bushels difference above the drill. It was statistically different. We got an A and a B here. The next thing to look at is the stand per acre. The, so we were able to achieve the higher yield with a lower stand with the precision planter compared to the drill. But what was interesting to me that I wasn't expecting, but this is the actual plants per acre from a stand count we did in the spring. So this was after it was planted, emerged and up. These numbers are quite a bit lower than what I thought we were going to have going into the tillering and then the summer. So these are plants per acre. The next part of this chart is, or the yield components. This is heads per square foot. This a seeds per head. And then how heavy are those seeds? How well did we fill out those kernels? A fallacy kernel weight. And that really, we've got A's on everything here. They're not statistically different. So we can't really say in terms of yield components that there was anything significant going on there between the precision planter, the drill. But one thing that we did do in 2019, we pulled samples from the Mason location and ran for DON analysis and we did get a significant difference between them of one part per million on Vomitoxin And we think that the reason that we got control here is because we think we had more uniform emergence, more uniform crop development, and more uniform flowering. So we got better efficacy of our fungicide, which reduced our, our DON levels. We pulled samples from the 2020 crop, but we don't have them back from the lab in Minneapolis yet. So I can't report that data as of yet. One of the other things that is important to note when we start talking about plant spacing and populations is managing tillers. With wheat, we want only first-order tillers, would want four to five of them. If you've never really identified tillers in a plant this is a good picture here, you've got your main shoot in the middle. Your first tiller coming off here, second tiller coming off there. And then the third tiller is just starting to emerge from the world of, of the plant. If this, this growth stage right here is what's ideal for going into the winter. Two to three tillers developed in the fall is perfect for, for over-wintering in Michigan. And then in the spring as it warms up, it comes out of dormancy, it'll produce a few more tillers. And then that, that's what we want. So we want to manage those tillers as best we can. We don't want any second-order tillers. So what happens is after these first five tillers come out, first one, this tiller will produce a tiller. Now what we don't want, we don't want a tiller producing a tiller that's called a second-order tiller because it gets its water and nutrients from the main stem. Notice these tillers here actually produce their own root system. So these first five are good and beneficial. But anything after that or like suckers. So we need to optimize our seed to seed spacing to make this happen. This is some individual plants that we pulled after heading probably right around the flowering of time-frame. In the plant on the left is from the high-seed rate. One the middles room at seed rate, and the one on the lower on the right is from the low seed rate. And notice the number of heads that we have on each of these different plants. So the question is, do we want to plant and have a higher number of plants with less heads on them? Or do we want to plant less seed and let the plant tiller out and produce more heads by itself. That's ultimately what we're looking at and what the data that we're trying to see. So the seeding rate as well as the row spacing has a significant effect on how many, how much tillering we have. But notice this plant, how many heads do you see on here? We've got more than our 4 to 5, what our target was. So we actually tracked that with the bean a beet farm at Sevrack in 2020. We went out and counted the tillers per plant that we started on May 8th went through harvest it on July 14th. The blue line is a precision planter. The orange line is the drill. Couple things to notice. The blue line is above, so we did produce more tillers per plant with the precision planter compared to the drill. But look at them, both of them on May 8, both of them had more than the five, which which we don't want. What we would want to see is this to be static rate here at five and hold those steady over the season. We don't want to lose and abort any tillers throughout the season. Instead, what happened was we produce more than we needed. And in both cases on both the blue line and the orange line, we lost tillers. So we had tiller mortality and we ended up almost at the exact same space, which was right about it, our target of five. Now when you look at the seeding rate, the impact on seeding rate has on this. We saw that in the picture here, but here's some numbers to, to go with that. The 0.5 million seeding rate produce 8.8 tillers per plant. One million four point seven, one and a half at 2.8 tillers per plant, then the high seeding rate produced only 2.3 tillers per plant. Our target was this 4.7. That's where we achieved about our target and that was it. A little bit lower seeding rate that what I was expecting. So we may want to think a little bit about our seeding rates recommendations. In fact, we, because of this, we have another trial that we've started a year ago and we're in our second year this year. So one of the things that we're trying to do in our, our cropping systems are trying to develop a crop canopy that closes as quickly as possible and absorbed as much sunlight energy as possible. So this is a photo taken on May 8th with an app called Can Appeal. And what it does, it takes this photo, it converts all of these green pixels to white. In anything that's not green, it converts to black, and then it just does a ratio of white to black and it gives you a percentage of ground cover. So here with a 7.5 inch row spacing, on May 8th, we had about 76% ground cover. An by May 8th we need to have this close to a 100 percent so that we're absorbing as much sunlight energy as possible. This is what it look like if we went to the five inch row spacing. So we had 92% ground cover. And this is what happens when we went wider to the 10 inch row spacing, about the same as the 7 and half inch row spacing. But what do we went to the 15 inch row spacing is what happened. It really dropped off here significantly. So we've got a lot of area in-between the rows here that we're not capturing sunlight. And we really need to be doing that at this growth stage. So this is what these row spacings look like on May 8th, if you fast forward one month to June 8th. This is what they looked like. And you can see that all the row spacings get ninety seven percent ninety eight, ninety seven, except the 15 inch is still lagging behind is 77. And what you're going to see is that these 15 inch row spacing didn't have quite as much yield potential. Dennis? Yes. for this trial that you're referring to, what's the population? The population... Okay. So the populations are coming up. I got them on the slide right here. Okay sorry. Yeah, no that's fine. And help keep track of me on time. So I want to make sure I stay within the time limit. So data from this trial, we've got the different row spacings in this chart here and they're they're resulting yields. It'll 7.5 is what almost all the wheat is planted on in Michigan as far as row spacing. So that's kind of our control. That's our standard. Over the two years, over all four site years 102 bushel yield, it was not statistically different from the 10-inch row spacing. So if we go back to our question of can we plant wheat and soybeans with the same planter if we're planting on 10 inch row spacing, we really aren't losing about a four bushel yield penalty, but it wasn't statistically different. Now if we go to 15 inch row spacing, it was statistically different. In fact that 17 bushels lower or about 17% less yield potential by going to the wider row spacing. Now if you think about our standard and if you're going to invest in equipment, You might want to think about going the other direction, go to the five inch row spacing because we got a 10 bushel bump when we went narrow. Now, is that enough to pay for equipment to go narrow? That depends on how many acres of wheat you plant and the cost of the technology and some other things that you'd have to really factor that out for yourself. But we really found that going narrower really increases our yield potential. So when you think about the populations, Here's the data for our low. Then we got the middle and the high population, 2 million seeds per acre. Kind of a typical response that you would see. We kind of maxed out here at the 1.5 million seeds per acre at a 102 bushel. Now we do have statistically, these three here, between 1 and 2 million seeds per acre are not statistically different from each other. The 0.5 million population was statistically lower. Just wasn't enough to produce that high yield potential. But, you know, so I think maybe our optimum seeding density is probably somewhere in that one to 1.5 million seeds per acre. So that like I said, we have trials going on this year, last year and this year to really identify that. So to start kinda wrap things up here, we've looked at some of the different planting technologies. One of the things that we have not looked at is this in box D here, and this is Broadcasting Corporation. We have some high-speed disks that are very good at controlling the depth that they till. We, we've looked at different planting technologies to place the seed. But one of the issues that farmers have is in a wet season, getting soybeans often then getting wheat planted behind them in a timely fashion so that we can get that crop up and emerged, and growing well, so we can get those two to three tillers in the fall. There's been quite a bit of interest in this option D down here to broadcast a seed on then use these tillage tools to incorporate it. So one of the next things that we're doing and we're sort of scaling this up to farm scale research as well. Not just small plots. But what we're doing. We, in fact they planted fall of 20. We broadcast seed in front of this as a Degelman high-speed disk here we broadcast seed in front of this planter in front of this, this guy who's going to incorporate this seed. And then I'll go ahead and play this video. And then what you'll see right here in front of me is another tractor that's coming in and that's actually planting into the tilt ground. So we're comparing the two planting technologies. It kind of a farmer scale rather than on small plot scale. And in this particular location we're doing planting in till ground. And over here on the right you can see some un-till ground. We use that planter to plant no till, so it's compared no till versus conventional till using some of the different technology as well as broadcasting incorporation. We also tested some of these other drills as well. This is interesting. This is a European model. There's a farmer up and the thumb that has one of these, it's a pod injure, it's on five inch row spacing. So in our research we found the five inch row spacing had some benefit. And we're going to be able to test this out in more of a farmer scale. This is a, I believe this is a 30 foot planter here. I'm sorry, it's a 25 foot planter. So I guess the take-home messages certainly improve seed placement at planting can lead to better crop uniformity and it yield overall particularly seeding depth of narrow row spacing really can improve our, our production of lead to increased yield potential. And then I think there may be some potentially reducing our seeding rates because anything over 1.5 million seeds per acre really did not contribute to yield. In what we're trying to do with this. What we were trying to do with this research was to optimize our plantar configuration versus investing in new planting technology, perhaps to be used for multiple crops. And I, I think we can, if we go to a 10 inch row spacing, I think we could plant soybeans and wheat with the same planter. But the question is, in years where you have a narrow window for planting wheat can this broadcast incorporate technology where we can, we can cover ground, you know, you get a 30 or 40 foot disk, get seed broadcast in front of you. The number of acres per hour is much higher than that with the regular driller or planter for wheat. So if we can get acres planted more quickly, more timely, earlier in the season. You know, you know, the trade off of having it incorporated and just the seed all mixed with in that top inch and a half or two inches. You know, what, what are the trade-offs we need some data to to really determine if that's where we're at with that. I just wanted to put a shout out to you. We have these wheat wisdom webinar series. They start actually tomorrow morning. These are free, they're an hour and a half long. These are in lieu of our annual meeting that we normally would have. This is the collaboration with the Michigan Wheat Program. Tomorrow we have Angie Setzer from Citizens Elevator talking about wheat marketing. We've got Phil Needum from Kentucky going to talk to us about fall management and combine residue management. And then the week after that we have Romulo Armato Kansas State University. to us. We've got Dr. Pete Barry. He's the crop physiologist from United Kingdom, will speak the following week. And then we have Peter Johnson as our fifth speaker from Ontario. And then I'll wrap up and hand out some awards for our wheat yield contest on the last day. So this is free to anybody that wants to attend. We do have one RUP and one CCA credit for each one of these. And they last for an hour and a half in in the morning, saw starting every Wednesday, starting tomorrow. So with that, I would be happy to take any questions if you have them. If we have time. We do have time. That would be perfectly fine. We've got a few minutes in there, so if there are any questions for for Dennis, let's just go through there and I see there's one in here. And the question is, what is the cost of the equipment with broadcast incorporation? What's the podental 25 planter in the experiment, he wanted to know what the cost of that was, what, what was your optimization measure against? Okay, Yeah, I see the question here. I had to stop sharing my screen or to see questions of soil cost of the equipment of, you know, honestly. Any way that you can broadcast it. seed would be the cost of that technology would certainly be lower than investing in like that podingture planter that was on the five inch row spacing. There's quite a few people that are putting cover crops on with the tillage tool. They're putting on like a Valmire Seeder or something like that where they can fill the bend with seed. And they gotta just, it's just an air distribution system where the seed is metered out and spread out behind the tillage tool that they use that tillage tool to do some light incorporation. We're doing the same thing with wheat. So the cost of the technology, I don't have any specific numbers. It would depend on the size of the equipment, but it would be fairly low compared to investing in a planter. I don't have the exact cost on that that podingture planter that was 25 foot. I'm guessing it was in that 70 to 80 thousand if I remember right. He did tell me but I can't remember. And then I'm not sure what the optimization measure question is. So if I'm missing that, maybe maybe getting a little more explanation. Okay. Any other questions for Dennis? How about for Mike? I guess we'll we're going to get ready to wrap things up in here, but Mike what do you think on the five inches on the soybeans. I know that Dennis was talking a little bit about that. So Dennis's idea would be to plug up every other one and go 10s. Kind of ten on soybean as your planting soybean standard Well, what I was thinking is actually if you're going to try to plant wheat and soybeans with the same planter, get a 10 inch row spacing soybean planter and get wheat plates for it and plant your wheat with it. Now, yeah, like like we had in the data, the five-inch certainly has higher yield potential. Fact it was What, about 12 bushels higher or no? There's about 40 bushels higher, then the 10 inch row spacing. But you know, it, you're probably not going to plant soybeans on five each row spacing. It just doesn't seem feasible to do that. I would agree with that Dennis, I'll say there is a producer that's fooling around with it though, and I need to follow up with them. The season I don't think his planter was ready to go last year, but it will be ready to go this year. So I will follow up with him, Bruce and Dennis and see how that works. But know the trend actually in the state has been to go the other direction. Actually maybe a little bit wider because a white mold and because we can get a much wider planter we could get a 25 percent wider 30 intro planted than We if we were to put enter plants on same planter. So what's that 25 percent gonna do ya ? 25 percent faster and they can make a big deal. So there's a lot of things going on with planting equipment. One of the things I would agree with what Dennis said is actually we think that maybe soybeans might respond last two Precision Planting than we thought they would. Certainly nothing like what Corn will. So we might be able to broadcast that seed with something like the Salford cart and, and follow that with some type of a vertical tillage tool and and come out just the same as if we used a precision planter. So that's one of the trials we want to do this year is try to put those two systems head to head and see what we end up with. Yeah, That, that there has been a little bit of interest in seeing if we can broadcast soybeans, but I certainly wouldn't recommend that until we have data to indicate on small plots, we can do it. Yeah. But that's some interesting and exciting work between the two crops and they're trying to figure out how to mesh that. So that works best to get productivity of the weed up after the following soybeans So fantastic guys. I appreciate the presentations, Dennis, if you'll hang with us a little bit and check out the Q and A. There's a couple of the questions, but probably in there that we can't quite get to. I see there's four in that Q&A now, so okay. I will do that and we'll hold off for a second why you look at those so that you because when we shut this down, you won't be able to get to those. So maybe do a screen capture something and we'll get back to those folks. All right, so beyond that, I think we're ready to kinda wrap it up for this session. We do need to remind you that I think Eric probably shared in the chat screen the URL for the survey link. It's important to do the survey. It has the information that you will need to do to get to and finish up the information for the RUP credit. So be sure that you fill that survey out in and you've already stayed through the whole program, so we appreciate that. And Next up we will go to our alfalfa session with Phil Kaatz, who I see is on the line here. But we're going to close this session out so that we can can record that information for MDARD. So Eric, any last thoughts before we leave? Have no thoughts. I'll go ahead and close this out in ten seconds. So if you have not click that link or copied it to take the survey, please do that now.