Fall of 2018
In November of 2018, I received a text from a dealer expressing concern that the TriCal Flex 719 that he sold to a local dairy was quite tall. Would this be an issue heading into the winter? Will there be some opportunity for winterkill? The seed had been planted on August 28 with 15,000 gallons of liquid manure applied. The pictures below show the condition of the field pretty well. We had a great stand, but the top growth was very tall and beginning to lodge.
Fast forward to the Spring of 2019, when I received another text from the dealer with the pictures below attached. The concern was smothering and maybe some potential snow mold. Was is dead or did we just need some heat?
April 4, 2019
TriCal Superior Forage sent Bill Smith, Eastern U.S. Research Manager, to meet me at the farm. When we arrived, we could already tell there was some major improvement. His main concern was that some of the forage would be smothered out. Other than that, he was quite optimistic. He recommended to the farm manager to hit it with some nitrogen to give it a boost.
April 25, 2019 - North Field
The stand of triticale we were looking at was separated by an east/west road. The north field had been fertilized with ammonium thiosulfate (ATS). You can see the tracks in the field below. The fields were still very wet and we think after running through the north side they decided not to track up the south side. Overall the field looked very good, considering how it looked initially, although there were some smothered out spots.
April 25, 2019 - South Field
As noted above, the south field was not spring fertilized. There was a noticeable difference in color, height, and overall stand quality. The pictures below show that quite clearly.
May 5, 2019 - North Field
This field continues to shine. Plant heights as high as 32 inches. Good color and stand density.
May 5, 2019 - South Field
Although the stand is good, the color difference is an even bigger contrast now. The plant height in the field is roughly 3 inches shorter. We’re definitely giving away some yield, and probably quality, in this field.
May 13, 2019 - North Field
We’re well over 3 feet tall now. The TriCal Flex 719 is looking very good.
May 13, 2019 - South Field
The south field is not quite to 3 feet tall yet and plant color is not as dark. The stand density is good, however.
May 13 - side by side plant comparison. North field (fertilized) is on the left in both pictures.
May 20, 2019 - North Field
This is now really the ideal time to harvest, and maybe a little beyond. However, the wet weather will not allow it. Overall, I’m very encouraged by the way this field rebounded. I’m very excited to see the fertilizer response as well.
May 20, 2019 - South Field
May 20 - side by side plant comparison
As expected, everything about the spring fertilized field is bigger and better.
In the final analysis, the field was harvested 3 weeks later than the farmer manager had hoped for. The average tonnage on the whole project was 10 3/4 tons per acre dry matter.