Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti

(Jim) Good morning folks, Welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer your host. And it’s cold outside, but we’re in a greenhouse on the K-State campus and it’s corn planting time, or at least it will be in a month or so. And we’re in luck because we have Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti with us, our corn specialist. And he’s gonna be talking to us about things that producers should be thinking about prior to planting time. So, folks stay with us. We’ll be right back, after these words.Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm folks. I’m Jim Shroyer, your host. And we’re in luck today because we’re inside for one reason. But the other is that we have Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti with us and he is our crop extension specialist and some of the predecessors you may remember folks, would be Dale Pfeil and Kraig Roozeboom his predecessors. And Ignacio has been here for a couple years now and he is working hard on corn, grain sorghum and soybeans, but today we’re gonna talk about corn. So, Ignacio tell me some of the things that farmers need to be thinking about prior to planting because we’re getting close to planting time but it’s still cold outside. Enlighten us a little bit on what you see farmers should be thinking about. (Ignacio) Jim, thanks for inviting me here. I think one of the main points, the farmers are looking right now is, I mean the planting dates. And we have some information about planting time in corn. One of the main things that we probably need to be looking is into the soil temperatures. (Jim) Right, right. (Ignacio) Right, right. And I was seeing farmers trying to get corn right now, as early as possible. (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) And it depends on what section of the state you are. I mean if you are in northeast we are seeing guys that are trying to get corn, first week of April. (Jim) It could be good, but the soil temperatures historically are not the right temperature at that point. (Ignacio) And if you take a look to the previous year, and the projection for this year, they are looking to a very cold spring. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) So, we need to be very careful, trying to get something planted first week of April. And what I’m always trying to emphasize to farmers is uniformity in corn is one of the main issues. (Jim) Exactly. (Ignacio) Any time that a plant is left behind, we are seeing impacting yield. Even from the beginning, OK? (Ignacio) So, if you are planting too early in the season, first week of April, that plant will emerge at the end of the month. (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) But if you are planting maybe second week or third week of April, it will take less time. (Jim) Exactly. (Ignacio) So, the temperature is one of the main factors that we need to be… (Jim) So, when you have a constant temperature through the field, all the corn emerges at the same time and that’s very important. (Ignacio) Exactly. right. We want to make sure that all the corn is emerging within five days, or within a week. We don’t want to see plants that are coming two or three weeks after. (Jim) Right, right. (Ignacio) Because that is really impacting yields and there are plants that will be being overshadowed by the second plants and there will be a competition there. So, we don’t want to see that. (Jim) OK. Yea, I know that there are a few farmers in the county that will always get out their planter and drive around the second line and get all their neighbors all upset. (Ignacio) And they do that just to upset the neighbors most of the time. (Jim) I think so. So, let’s talk a little bit more about the temperatures that minimum germination and then what’s more optimal. (Ignacio) Well, usually we say that corn kind of emerges at 50 degrees. When you are looking at 50 degrees at a four inch soil depth it’s a good temperature. My recommendation, or the recommendations coming from corn specialists is always trying to get the corn more 55-60. OK? (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) Because we want to make sure that the corn again, is coming everything at the same time. So, what would be the challenge if you go with 50 degrees is that that corn probably will stay in the soil there for two or three weeks. (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) And we don’t want to see that. In that case, seed protection. Our seed treatments will not probably last for two or three weeks. (Jim) Right. Because if you are in the low temperatures, now you have more problem with diseases, damping off and those seeding diseases like that. (Ignacio) Any fungal disease that you have in the soil, will be affecting that seed. And the seed treatments will just probably last for a couple weeks. We cannot expect any seed treatment to last more than two or three weeks. (Jim) Let’s hold that thought, we’ve got to take a break here. So, folks, stay with us. We’ll be right back after thee words from our sponsors.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer your host and with us we have Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti, our Crop Extension Specialist. and we’re in a greenhouse on the campus of K-State because it’s too cold outside right now. But corn planting is upon us before too long and we talked a little bit about soil temperatures. Ignacio, let’s talk a little bit more about planting dates, it’s associated with that and then let’s move into seeding rates. (Ignacio) One of the points that I’ve always liked to emphasize to farmers about planting dates is trying to see more in the situations that we are thinking about central Kansas. When we are thinking always planting corn or sorghum. I mean those environments that we know that they are very
fragile. Trying to see if we can match planting time with a really good flowering. (Jim) Exactly. (Ignacio) On corn we can do that because corn responds to temperature. So, if we know planting time,we can match and know exactly what will be the flowering time. (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) In most situations sometimes I mean it doesn’t make any sense to plant as early as possible because we may expose the crop to a really bad conditions of flowering. (Jim) Right, right. (Ignacio) In some situations we are seeing information delaying even planting time for two or three weeks, going inside of probably late April, first week of May is getting some benefits. (Jim) Ok, so let’s talk about seeding rates a little bit. I mean, those can be all over the board. I know producers out there on the Colorado border that are planting eight, ten thousand plants and doing great. (Ignacio) And what is very beauty about the state that we are, is you can see how amazing it is like. Seeding rates can from northeast, very high, western, very high because we are basically most of the seeding rates are very tied to the yield potential. (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) So in environments that we are looking to 250 bushels… (Jim) We’re pushing seeding rates. (Ignacio) We are pushing seeding rates. And we are looking at just the farmers are working 32, 34 thousand. We are talking about plants per acre. (Jim) Now, you’re talking dropped or final stand? (Ignacio) Final stand. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) So if you’re looking to dropped, I mean I am always asking the farmers think about 10 to 15 percent extra. (Jim) Exactly. (Ignacio) So, every time that we are talking 32, that’s 10-15 percent extra. So we can talk about seed spread. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) When you are looking at different environments like central Kansas, I mean yield potential might be more close to 150 bushels or less. So in those environments we are always recommending dropping less. We are probably talking about maybe 26,000 seeds per acre. (Jim) Dropping. And hoping 22-24 final stand. (Ignacio) Dropping. Exactly. That’s what we are seeing working with farmers last year, we are seeing that 22-24 seems to be a very good number of plants in those scenarios. Again, good point that you mentioned at the beginning when you were in western Kansas in that situation in dryland, we are seeing guys that they are just dropping 8,000- 12,000 plants. We are looking low populations. And all of the low populations is trying to see if you can produce some yield, close to 80 or 90 or 100 bushels. But really low population with really not much stress. (Jim) Alright. And when you look at irrigation that’s gonna depend on not only if you’re in northwest or southwest but also capacity of the well. (Ignacio) Exactly right. Yea, and some of the strategies farmers are implementing today, they are trying to keep maximum capacity wells for irrigating corn. (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) And then they do half of the people with corn and the other half with sorghum. And that way they have the chance to irrigate sorghum maybe twice in the season, pre-planting and at boot stage and then try to maximize corn irrigation in those environments when they do that, they can push for really high populations. They can push for 36,000. (Jim) OK. Let’s stop right there and we’ll take a break. Folks, now’s the time to go get a cup of coffee and be right back.

(Jim) Welcome back folks to That’s My Farm. I hope you got a hot cup of coffee there, sitting back down with us. We have Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti our Crops Extension Specialist. And Ignacio we were talking just before the break there about irrigation and plant populations and I immediately started thinking water or the lack thereof. So, all the hubbub as of the last year or two has been the drought tolerant trait in some of the hybrids that are available. So talk to us a little bit about that trait and you know, how do they do it and if it’s worth it. (Ignacio) That’s an excellent point. We have in the last three or four years, we have research information that we are producing around the state, just specifically focused on the drought to land trait. (Jim) You’ve got a lot of research plots out on that. (Ignacio) We have… every year we have at least five or six locations that we are summarizing. We are working right now on putting a nice publication, extension publication on this. First thing that we need to realize is that we have two different types of drought tolerant hybrids. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) We have ones that we call, I call the conventional drought tolerant hybrids and they’re the ones we call the transgenics. (Jim) OK. The conventional would be more avoidance, or what do you mean? (Ignacio) The conventional is the people that are improving the crop, they just are selecting without modifying anything in the crop. (Jim) OK. Just tougher from selection process. (Ignacio) From selection process they are just selecting corn that can yield more with less water. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) Just simple as that. And we have two or three companies that have that product and they market that product. We have another company that has transgenic. So, that means that it is a modification in the genome. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) So, it is this one gene that is being modified. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) And that is also producing the same effect, increasing yield with less water. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) So, that is the main point of these two strategies. When we are looking at the field and we have these different hybrids in the field, we are seeing some benefits, OK? (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) And the mechanics, I mean how is the way these hybrids react under drought is just they avoid the stress. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) The way that they can avoid the stress is they have to produce more yield with less transpiration. (Jim) OK. Transpiring less? (Ignacio) Transpiring less. (Jim) Cause we know that the water that a plant takes up, 99 percent of it goes out the leaves. (Ignacio) Exactly right. I mean that’s a good point. (Jim) In transpiration. (Ignacio) They can hold… when they are sensing stress, they can hold immediately and then as soon as the stress is released they can just keep it moving. (Jim) So they have a strategy that is more avoiding the stress, so there is a stress avoidance. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) And that’s a main point. When we are looking at the information that we collected in the last five years, we put a very nice set of information and we are looking at in some situations, in the very low yield environments of less than 100 bushels, we are seeing benefits on using the technology. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) We are seeing benefits that can go from five bushels and to sometimes 20 bushels. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) It’s very diverse. (Jim) So, we’re talking about in that 100 bushel range. (Ignacio) In that less than 100 bushel range, we are seeing benefits. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) And this is like I am explaining to farmers, it’s like paying an extra insurance policy. So, you are paying some extra money on these new hybrids to see if you can get some extra yields. When you are moving to the 100 and 150 bushels, the advantage tends to be fair or neutral, so we are not seeing such a big benefit. And more than 150 bushels, I mean the benefits are probably not really quite clear. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) One of the good points that we need to emphasize is seeing a really high yielding situation, when guys are working on irrigation or in really good environments 200-250 bushels, these hybrids perform really well. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) But the question is- are you willing to pay more? (Jim) Right, OK. (Ignacio) What I’m always recommending to my farmers is take a look to your historical yields. (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) Just take a look to the last five, ten years. And see, you are in a 150 or maybe around 150, so that will give you a good feeling of saying- should I invest in the technology, yes or no? (Jim) Ok, we’ve gotta take a break here. Folks, come back. We’ll be right back after these words.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. We’re in Manhattan, Kansas, in the greenhouse because it’s too darn cold outside. And we have Ignacio Ciampitti with us and Ignacio we just talked about the drought tolerant traits and the various hybrids and companies. Let’s talk a little bit more about timing of droughts, I mean what we want to try to avoid. (Ignacio) And it’s a good point that you bring Jim, about timing. Most of the time we need to be thinking about timing as one of the main factors. I mean we can have drought early in the season. But very late and the impact on yields might be only like five or ten percent. Very minimal. (Jim) Minimal. (Ignacio) But what happens if you have some like saying four days and we have some recent studies that show four days when the crop is all the way leaf rolling. OK? That means that the crop is not really fixing any carbon, it’s not moving there. OK? (Jim) Right. It’s shutting down. (Ignacio) It’s shutting down. So if you have those sure four days around pollination you can lose 40-50 percent of the yields. (Jim) How much? (Ignacio) Forty to 50 percent. (Jim) Forty to 50 percent. (Ignacio) And why is that? And I am saying, one week before flowering, what happened there you are producing the florets. So you are producing the florets that will be producing the grain. So what happened at pollination, you are just making those grains. And after pollination or the week after, what happened with that? I mean we are just… (Jim) You are putting photosynthates into that kernel. (Ignacio) And we are trying to fix the kernels and make sure that we have that number of grain. So that week of two weeks, one week before and one week after and our pollination time are critical. So any heat, any drought imparting that moment is critical. And the heat might be imparting pollen, so if you have heat of more than 105 degrees as a main temperature, the pollen is just viable for only less than an hour. OK? (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) Water is imparting different things and water might be impacting the seeds. When all the seed are coming out, if they don’t have water they will be desiccating right away. (Jim) They’ll dry out. (Ignacio) They will dry out and they will lasting just for a few minutes. (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) So this pollen of pollination and then before and after is really impacting the crop. (Jim) Well, I know years ago, we talked about nicking. We still talk about nicking- the time of silk emergence to pollen shed. But I’ve noticed lately that some of the hybrids any more, sometimes you’ll see silks come out even before the pollen is shed. (Ignacio) Yep. (Jim) So, that’s a good thing, but we still can have some nicking problems with pollen shed and silk emergence. (Ignacio) I mean the best time…we talk with farmers is saying… I mean the best is to synchronize those two. (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) I don’t want to see any seed coming before, too early. I don’t want to see any pollen coming too late. I want to make sure that I have two things, I mean and heat and drought are imparting that process. That’s why we are seeing that if you have that stress you can reduce yields by 50 percent. (Jim) Now, we also talk about heat and drought stress during that two weeks. What about hail damage during that time frame? (Ignacio) It’s very, very similar. What happened with the hail if we have more than 50 percent of the leaf rolling is being affected, immediately what happens is an imbalance. (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) So, whatever is coming from the leaf that needs to go to the grain is not coming. So, everything that is affecting the leaf is affecting grain. And the foliation at that specific point will create some imbalance and then yield reactions that can be from 20 to 30 percent. (Jim) Right. Well if you lose 100 percent at that point leaf loss at that point… (Ignacio) You’re done. (Jim) Yea. (Ignacio) I mean you probably should be… (Jim) Call the banker, call the banker. (Ignacio) That’s right, that’s right. (Jim) Exactly. Well folks, we’ve gotta take a break here and stay with us we have one more section. You folks at home stay with us we’ll be right back.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer. Ignacio Ciampitti is with us and Ignacio in this last section here let’s talk a little bit about crop rotation, that’s obviously important. And then some work you have been doing on row spacing. (Ignacio) OK. Well, one of the things about crop rotations that I am always trying to emphasize to our farmers- a corn, soybean system is more sustainable. And it’s more sustainable in the sense that we are seeing much better weed control. We are seeing much better seed preparation. We are seeing better plant uniformity. And why is that? Well in a continuous corn system, we are seeing the residue staying in the soil is really affecting micro environments. So we have some plants that are coming late. And we have some plants that are not succeeding coming. So, we are seeing issues on that effect. And then when you are looking at the combination of a rotation with tillage… (Jim) OK. (Ignacio) …so what happened there. Most of our studies are showing that in no till and continuous corn you have a yield penalty, which is the amount of residue that you are keeping… (Jim) This builds up year after year after year. (Ignacio) Year after year and you have… (Jim) Being able to penetrate the planter. (Ignacio) And the composition is not really in the high rate in some winters. (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) So, we are seeing that problem. So, in no till with corn, soybean systems we are not seeing that issue. (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) Because when you are getting into corn most of the soybean residue is not there. OK? (Jim) Right. (Ignacio) So, I mean rotation and tillage, we need to pay some attention. If you are doing continuous corn, no till seems to be, not a really good option. I mean, for really treating the residue. (Jim) Maybe tillage every now and then. Not too much. (Ignacio) We call it occasional tillage. (Jim) Occasional tillage. (Ignacio) Occasional tillage, so maybe… (Jim) As opposed to recreational yea, OK. (Ignacio) Exactly right. (Jim) So, let’s talk a little bit more about row spacing stuff that you’ve done. (Ignacio) We are doing some row spacing studies just because farmers are approaching us, they are asking what happened in 15 inches versus 30 inches. OK? It’s very interesting. We have some studies that we did 10 years ago Dr. Scott Stagenbull was one of the main persons that was doing those studies. He’d see a very clear separation and yield benefits of row spacing, narrowing rows. Only in situations that corn yields are about 200 bushels. (Jim) OK, OK. So, above two hundred narrowing it down to 15? (Ignacio) Exactly. But what happens if you are below, we are not seeing any effects. Not really yield separation. So when you are thinking about narrow rows, I’d rather just stay with 30 inch in my environments and not play with narrow rows if I need more for high yielding environments. (Jim) You may not realize it or not, but years ago I had a graduate student who worked on drilled corn. (Ignacio) Drilled corn. (Jim) Drilled corn. And yields were actually pretty good, but getting it into the header was a little bit tricky. (Ignacio) Yea. (Jim) So, row spacings probably stay with 30 inch, rotate? (Ignacio) Yep. I would say 30 inch, rotate. That’s probably one of the best options. (Jim) OK. Ignacio thanks a bunch for being with us this morning. (Ignacio) Thanks Jim. (Jim) Folks, thanks for being with us and don’t forget next Friday at the same time there’s gonna be more of That’s My Farm. We’ll see you then.

Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.

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