Forage & Grain Report 1997
ABOUT THE COLLECTION
The Forage and Grain Report is one of several commodity-based agricultural research reports published by the University of Arizona.
This report, along with the Cotton Report, was established by Hank Brubaker, Extension Agronomist, after seeing a similar report published by Texas A&M University in the mid-1970’s.
The purpose of the report is to provide an annual research update to farmers, researchers, and those in the agricultural industry. The research is conducted by University of Arizona and USDA-ARS scientists.
Both historical and current Forage and Grain Reports have been made available in the UA Campus Repository as part of a collaboration between the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the University Libraries.
Contents for Forage & Grain Report 1997
- Overview of Alfalfa Production and Market Trends in La Paz County
- Influence of Folocron Nitrogen Fertilizer Applied in Summer on Alfalfa Yield During Summer Slump
- Comparisons of Lorsban 4E and Spinosad 4SC for Control of Summer Insects in Alfalfa
- Alfalfa Variety Performance at Maricopa, 1995-97
- Alfalfa Variety Trial in Graham County, Arizona, 1996
- Alfalfa Variety Trial in Cochise County, Arizona, 1996
- Alfalfa Hay Yields for Two Years of Eight Varieties Planted in February 1995 on the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation
- 1995-1997 Alfalfa Yields of Five Varieties Planted October 1994 on the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation
- Bermudagrass Control in Alfalfa Using Clethodim (Prism) and Two Formulations of Sethoxydim (Past Plus, Ultima)
- Efficacy of Norflurazon for Nutsedge Control in Parker Valley Alfalfa
- Efficacy of Imazameth (Cadre) for Nutsedge Control in Parker Valley Alfalfa
- Feed Quality of Common Summer Grass and Broadleaf Weeds in Alfalfa Hay
- Effects of Dry Seed+ Applied at Planting on Alfalfa Yield and Quality
- Effect of Soil Sunburst on Yield and Quality of First Year Alfalfa
- Irrigation Timing Effects of Soil Trigger Applications of Alfalfa Hay Yield
- Small Grains Variety Evaluation at Marana, Maricopa, Paloma, and Yuma, 1997
- Barley Variety Trial on the Safford Agricultural Center, 1997
- Intensive Cereal Management for Durum Production, Buckeye and Yuma, 1996-97
- Barley and Durum Response to Seeding Rate at Maricopa and Yuma, 1996-97
- Use of Agrotain to Prevent Urea Volotilization in Irrigated Wheat Production, Casa Grande 1996
- Late Season Water and Nitrogen Effects on Durum Quality, 1996
- Late Season Nitrogen Fertilizer for Durum at Buckey, Casa Grande, and Vicksburg, 1996-97
- Quick Tests for Sap Nitrate in Small Grains, Maricopa, 1997
- Barley and Durum Response to Phosphorus at Buckey, Maricopa, and Yuma, 1997
- Irrigation Scheduling on Barley at the Safford Ag Center, 1997
- The Last Irrigation in Durum at Buckey, Casa Grande, and Marana, 1996-97
- Hay Yield and Quality of Sudangrass and Sorghum-Sudangrass Hybrid Varieties Grown for Export from Western Arizona
- Evaluation of Jojoba Clones at Two Locations in Arizona
- National Dry Bean Nursery Summary, 1992-95
- Kenaf Varietal Evaluation in the High Desert of Southeastern Arizona
Kenaf Varietal Evaluation in the High Desert of Southeastern ArizonaSeveral Kenaf varieties have been grown at the Safford Agricultural Center over a period of 5 years. Plants harvested green have produced yields in excess of 40 tons per acre. Air dried stems that would be useful for commercial products have yielded as high as 9.5 tons per acre and two varieties, Tainung 2 and Everglades 71, have averaged nearly 7 tons per acre. In addition to yields and other agronomic values of the varieties tested, an economical discussion is made on the feasibility of Kenaf production on southeastern Arizona.
National Dry Bean Nursery Summary, 1992-95A yield summary of selected varieties from the National Dry Bean Nursery from 1992 to 1995 are contained in this paper. Average and individual yields vary from year to year depending on the planting dates and the weather of the given year. Looking at a four year average for a variety gives a better estimate of its yield potential than any single year study.
Evaluation of Jojoba Clones at Two Locations in ArizonaLittle information is available to the jojoba industry on the performance of clones selected from superior female plants. Nineteen jojoba clones from the U.S., Chile and Australia were planted in the spring of 1995 in replicated tests at the University of Arizona Maricopa and Citrus Agricultural Centers. The Maricopa location is being used to evaluate clones for cold hardiness and the Citrus Farm location will provide growth and production comparable to commercial growing areas in Arizona. The planting at Maricopa was evaluated for frost damage following the 1995-96 and 1996-97 winters which had temperatures low enough to injure foliage and kill flower buds. The Citrus Farm had milder winter temperatures and seeds were produced in 1996 and 1997. In order to determine seed yield potential of jojoba clones it is necessary to measure yields for at least five years after planting.
Hay Yield and Quality of Sudangrass and Sorghum-Sudangrass Hybrid Varieties Grown for Export from Western ArizonaTwo common sudangrass varieties (Piper and Sweet Sudan), four sudangrass hybrids (NK Trudan 8, Cargill HS 35, NC+ 200, and Germaine 's G 555), and three sorghum - sudangrass hybrids (DK SX 17, TE Haygrazer II, and Pioneer 877F) were evaluated for hay yield and quality at four cuttings in large field plots located at Quail Mesa Farms in southwest La Paz County. Results from four hay cuttings at one location are presented showing that of the nine sudangrass varieties examined in this study, Piper, NC+ 200, and Germaine 's G 555 sudangrass varieties had superior hay tonnage and quality.
The Last Irrigation in Durum at Buckey, Casa Grande, and Marana, 1996-97Based on consumptive use, the last irrigation in wheat may be applied by the soft dough stage on the average sandy loam soil without loss of yield or shriveled grain. In two of the three locations reported here, this was the case although one of the soils was a clay loam. At the Buckeye location, applying the last irrigation at the soft dough stage resulted in a yield loss of 406 lbs /acre, but this yield loss was not statistically significant at conventional probability levels. Nevertheless, terminating irrigation at the soft dough stage is somewhat risky, and a less risky time to terminate irrigations may be between soft dough and hard dough for a sandy loam soil. The problem with this generalized recommendation is that neither soft dough nor hard dough are well -defined crop growth stages and sandy loam soils may vary greatly in their water -holding capacity. Also, it may be profitable to apply a final irrigation to carry late, green tillers to maturity. Assuming a water cost of $15 per irrigation and a grain value of $8 /cwt, a yield increase of 190 lbs /acre would pay for a final irrigation. Therefore, if water is inexpensive, terminating wheat irrigations unnecessarily early is not worth the risk of decreased revenue. Once the heads have turned color from green to brown, the crop has reached maturity and additional irrigations at this time will not affect yield even if other parts of the plant are green.
Irrigation Scheduling on Barley at the Safford Ag Center, 1997An irrigation study on barley was made to determine the economical consequences of irrigating the crop when an irrigation scheduling program called for an irrigation compared to waiting 3 to 6 days for a water turn, from the ditch. The plots irrigated when the soil moisture depletion level reached 40% produced the highest yield. Yields were decreased 700 and 1000 pounds respectively for waiting 3-4 days and 6-7 days, respectively. The economics of using the pump are discussed and a chart is given to help determine a break - even point.
Barley and Durum Response to Phosphorus at Buckey, Maricopa, and Yuma, 1997Soil tests were developed in the 1930's as a guideline for phosphorus fertilizer application. The phosphorus soil test for the calcareous soils in the Western U.S. is based on bicarbonate extraction and is often called the Olsen P method. Phosphorus fertilizer recommendations for small grains based on this test are remarkably similar across the Western states. Despite the availability of this test, its proven accuracy (93% in California), and its low cost ($1 /acre), most farmers in Arizona apply phosphorus fertilizer to their small grains crops without the benefit of a preplant soil test. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the soil test in predicting a response to phosphorus fertilizer. At Maricopa, the soil test P was 8.1 ppm, a variable response to P fertilizer was expected, and a variable response to P fertilizer was obtained. We were able to detect a response to P fertilizer at this site with only 1 out of 4 varieties, and the response averaged across varieties was 336 lbs /acre or a 6% increase. No response to P fertilizer was obtained on a commercial farm in Buckeye where the soil test P was 22 ppm and a response was not expected. At the Yuma-Mesa site, the preplant P level was also 22 ppm, and a yield increase of29% (1442 lbs /acre) was measured on barley even though a response was not expected. The soil on the Yuma -Mesa is 95% sand and perhaps the soil test for P needs to be adjusted for this soil type, but at the other sites tested, the current soil test recommendations for P seem to be accurate.
Quick Tests for Sap Nitrate in Small Grains, Maricopa, 1997Nitrate content of the lower stem tissue of small grains is used as a guideline for nitrogen fertilization. The turnaround time for nitrate analysis in a commercial lab is usually 1 to 3 days. Nitrate quick tests have been suggested as a means of obtaining results on a more timely basis. The quick tests analyze nitrate in the sap or juice squeezed out of the tissue. A nitrate test conducted by a commercial lab is performed on the dried and ground tissue. In this study, I found that the quick tests on plant sap are not as accurate as conventional tests on dried tissue since the moisture content of the fresh plant tissue varies depending on its nitrate content and the growth stage of the plant. We compared the following quick test methods: nitrate test strips, a colorimetric procedure, and a hand held nitrate electrode. Nitrate test strips were not sensitive enough to be useful and were difficult to compare to the color charts. An electronic strip reader could alleviate this difficulty and make the strips a viable option. Colorimetric procedures, or those that rely on nitrate producing a colored solution with certain chemicals added, are not adapted to analyzing plant sap since the green color and organics in the sap interfer with the color produced by the nitrate. The hand held nitrate electrode, or Cardi meter, was the simplest and most accurate method we experimented tested. Quick tests for nitrate in the sap have the following disadvantages: 1) It is not easy to squeeze the sap out of the plant tissue, 2) The sap needs to be diluted to fit into the analytical range of the test, and 3) The moisture content of the tissue needs to be accounted for somehow for the results to be most accurate.
Late Season Nitrogen Fertilizer for Durum at Buckey, Casa Grande, and Vicksburg, 1996-97Research conducted recently suggested that application of nitrogen fertilizer from flowering until the dough stage could increase grain protein concentration in durum even if nitrogen applications earlier in the season were adequate for optimum yield. We tested the ability of late season nitrogen application to increase protein at commercial farms in Buckeye, Casa Grande, and Vicksburg. Late season nitrogen increased protein by nearly two percentage points in two out of the three locations. No response was measured at the third location possibly due to high rates or nitrogen earlier in the season. The cost of the late season fertilizer at 35 to 50 lbs N /acre was about $15 /acre. The fertilizer was paid for at the two location where a response was obtained by 1) the slight yield increase of 310 lbs /acre which was worth about $23 /acre and 2) the difference in dockage or premiums paid for protein which was worth about $38 /acre. It is possible that lower stem nitrate levels could be used to determine whether or late applications of nitrogen will increase protein, but we currently do not have a method to determine if protein will be over the critical level of 13% or if HVAC will be over the critical level of 90 %.
Late Season Water and Nitrogen Effects on Durum Quality, 1996Durum grain quality is affected by many factors, but water and nitrogen are factors that the grower can control. The purpose of this research was to determine 1) the nitrogen application rate required at pollen shed to maintain adequate grain protein levels if irrigation is excessive or deficient during grain fill and 2) if nitrogen applications during grain fill can elevate grain protein. Field research was conducted at the Maricopa Agricultural Center using the durum varieties Duraking, Minos, and Turbo. The field was treated uniformly until pollen shed when nitrogen was applied at rates of 0, 30, and 60 lbs /acre. During grain fill, the plots were irrigated based on 30, 50, or 70% moisture depletion. In a separate experiment, nitrogen fertilizer was applied at a rate of 30 lbs N /acre at pollen shed only, pollen shed and the first irrigation after pollen shed, and pollen shed and the first and second irrigation after pollen shed. Increased irrigation frequency during grain fill decreased HVAC from 93 to 81%. Increasing nitrogen rate at pollen shed from 0 to 30 and 30 to 60 lbs N /acre increased protein from 11.6 to 12.5% and 12.5 to 13.3% and increased HVAC from 79 to 89% and 89 to 94 %. Nitrogen fertilizer application at the first irrigation after pollen shed increased grain protein content from 12.9 to 13.6% and application at the first and second irrigation after pollen shed increased grain protein content further to 14.1% averaged over varieties. Nitrogen fertilizer application during grain fill may not be too late to increase grain protein content.
Barley and Durum Response to Seeding Rate at Maricopa and Yuma, 1996-97A poor stand as a result of a low seeding rate can cost the grower due to decreased yield potential. A seeding rate higher than optimum can also cost the grower not only due to increased seed cost but also due to increased susceptibility to water and nitrogen stress and frost damage. Seeding rates in small grains are usually expressed on a pound per acre basis, but since varieties differ in seed size, different amounts of seed can be planted at equivalent seeding rates. Defining optimum seeding rates are also complicated by the fact that the number of seeds that actually emerge can vary depending on planting conditions. In our studies, emergence varied from 50 to 100% emergence. At the Maricopa location, the optimum seeding rate was obtained with 12 seedlings per square foot, which corresponded to a seeding rate of 75 lbs /A for the small seeded Brooks wheat and 125 lbs seed /A for the large seeded Kronos durum. No differences in yield were detected at the Yuma Mesa location for barley seeding rates ranging from 75 to 150 lbs seed/A or at the Yuma - Valley location for durum seeding rates from 200 to 250 lbs seed/A. Growers generally seed at rates higher than the optimum suggested by this and other studies, but current commercial seeding rates are seen as cheap insurance against stand establishment problems and may or may not be warranted depending on seedbed conditions and percent emergence.
Intensive Cereal Management for Durum Production, Buckeye and Yuma, 1996-97The highest wheat yields in the world are obtained using a growing system called intensive cereal management (ICM). High yielding varieties are planted at high seeding rates, treated with foliar fungicides, plant growth regulators are applied to control lodging, and high nitrogen fertilizer rates are used to obtain high yields. The ICM system adapted to Arizona does not include fungicide treatments due to our lack of leaf diseases. We tested the effect of ICM on yield, grain protein, and other characteristics at three commercial farms in Arizona. ICM resulted in higher protein in one case due to increased nitrogen application and reduced height in another case due to the plant growth regulator. However, in most cases, we were not able to detect an affect of ICM on the crop, and the increased input cost was not paid for by increased crop performance. Intensive cereal management does not appear to hold much promise under our conditions except perhaps in cases where lodging is predictable or yields do not reach their potential.
Barley Variety Trial on the Safford Agricultural Center, 1997Sixteen varieties of barley were tested at the Safford Agricultural Center in 1997. Nebula, a new variety from Western Plant Breeders, was the highest yielding variety in the trial with a yield over 5100 pounds per acre. Nebula also had the highest bushel weight of the varieties tested.
Small Grains Variety Evaluation at Marana, Maricopa, Paloma, and Yuma, 1997Small grain varieties are evaluated each year by University of Arizona personnel at one or more locations. The purpose of these tests is to characterize varieties in terms in terms of yield and other attributes. Variety performance varies greatly from year to year and several site years are necessary to adequate characterize the yield potential of a variety. The results contained in this report will be combined with results from previous years in a summary available from Arizona Cooperative Extension.
Irrigation Timing Effects of Soil Trigger Applications of Alfalfa Hay YieldThe plant growth regulator Soil Trigger was applied in basin flood irrigation water to the first (following previous cutting) and last irrigations of a third year stand of CUF 101 alfalfa before a late June 1995 harvest. Effect of product on yield may have been limited by pH as irrigation water pH was approximately 7.9. An increase in yield was noted with product usage, with a greater yield increase noted when applied earlier in crop cycle (first irrigation = 136 lbs hay /acre) rather than later in crop development cycle (last irrigation = 34 lbs hay /acre) when compared with the untreated check Yield from the next (July) harvest was not obtained Yield differences were not statistically different or economic for a single harvest in this experiment. Alfalfa quality was not obtained.
Effect of Soil Sunburst on Yield and Quality of First Year AlfalfaSoil Sunburst was applied at the rate of one quart per acre at two treatment levels (single vs. two applications, applied once per cutting) in irrigation water to a first year stand of CUF 101 alfalfa. Treatments were applied in the first irrigation after the previous cutting in May and June 1996. Treatments applied in May increased relative feed value by over 10% compared to the untreated check in the first cutting (June) after application. This increased alfalfa quality rating from fair to good which increased value of hay by approximately $14 /acre. Mean yields between the treatments and untreated plots were similar, although average yields in untreated plots were 50-90 lbs /acre greater than in treated plots. Yields and quality data were not able to be obtained the second harvest (July), not allowing differences, if any, between one and two applications to be determined immediately after the second application. Yields and hay quality values for treatments in the August harvest were almost identical, indicating that treatment effects noted from the May application (and possibly those of the June application) were short term effects, as they did not continue through the August cutting.
Effects of Dry Seed+ Applied at Planting on Alfalfa Yield and QualityThis experiment tested the effects of a cytokinin containing product (Dry Seed +) on CUF 101 alfalfa when applied with the seed at planting on October 24, 1996, at the rate of 1 /lb product to 100 lb of alfalfa seed. Data indicated a non - statistical yield response averaging 200 lbs an acrefrom treated fields the first cutting, valued at $11 /acre, but yields were identical the second harvest. Alfalfa quality means were very similar for both harvests. A positive net return of $9.76 /acre was noted by using Dry Seed +. More testing is suggested to confirm these findings.
Feed Quality of Common Summer Grass and Broadleaf Weeds in Alfalfa HayLate summer grassy weed control is a questionable practice since it reduces alfalfa hay tonnage during summer slump, and the reduction in hay feed quality caused by these weeds in horse hay is questionable. A field experiment was conducted at the September alfalfa cutting to examine the feed quality of grassy and broadleaf weeds found in western Arizona hay fields at this time which corresponds with annual summer slump. These weeds included bermudagrass, junglerice (watergrass), Mexican sprangletop, Johnsongrass, purple nutsedge, and common purslane. Since hay cut during this period is used primarily for dry dairy cow and horse hay this study examined the suitability of alfalfa hay infested with these summer weeds as a feed for these animals. Based on this study, horse owners could benefit financially if they waited until late summer when hay prices slump, and purchase off-grade alfalfa hay containing less than one half grassy summer weeds for an economical, nutritious feed source.
Efficacy of Imazameth (Cadre) for Nutsedge Control in Parker Valley AlfalfaSummer weeds including purple nutsedge are of economic concern to alfalfa growers in western Arizona. Application rates of Cadre 2 ASU, a new sulfonylurea herbicide chemistry currently registered for experimental use in peanuts, for purple nutsedge control in a roadway bordering established alfalfa were examined in a two year duration, replicated field study. Fair to good (35- 65%) purple nutsedge control was obtained when Cadre was applied at the 3 oz/acre rate to a severe initial nutsedge infestation (80- 100%). Control was most effective when Cadre was applied in late summer compared to early spring, and repeat split applications were necessary under the high weed pressure observed in this study.