With technology surrounding today’s culture, data and marketing information has become a key part of life. The best way to determine if a product or practice is effective is to ask for the data and research backing a company’s claims. However, before a producer makes a decision, understanding the data and statistics is key.
All Wheat Content
Utilizing sound research results to help make decisions on the farm is a wise business practice. It can be confusing, however, when you see two numbers that are clearly not the same labeled as “not significantly different.”
Increasingly, farmers are generating on-farm research data that encompasses a wide-range of practical topics. However, setting up those experiments so that the data is statistically valid is not necessarily common knowledge.
How should a basic study be set up or laid out in the field? One very common approach is to divide a field in half and compare the halves or possibly compare two fields in close proximity and see which variety or practice yields highest. This approach can end with very misleading results because of the variability that exists across a field or fields due to many factors.
Agriculture is going through some difficult times not only in the United States, but globally as well. Aside from some short-lived price hikes for different products, the overall trend has been to higher costs of production and lower output prices.
Grain storage is a key component in getting your crop to market. Aside from watching bins for spoilage, moisture, and temperature changes, make sure you are looking for signs of pest infestation.
The SD Mesonet Spray Tool provides real-time weather data for pesticide applicators. This dedicated website for pesticide applicators uses the SD Mesonet weather data, which is updated every five minutes.
The precipitation outlook for May does not show much promise of relief from moisture, as wetter than average conditions are slightly more favored than drier conditions. In addition, cooler than average temperatures are more likely for the first half of May and could continue for much of the month.
Eventually, South Dakota will warm up. The warmer temperatures will increase insect activity, including pests. For wheat, a couple of early season pests that may already be active are the army cutworm and the pale western cutworm.
Given the widespread wet conditions present this spring, there are many areas in winter wheat fields with both ponding and saturated (or waterlogged) soils. Producers may want to consider soil conditions and evaluate extended weather forecasts when deciding whether or not to retain a winter wheat this spring.