Field day will look at crop production

Grain crop producers face exceptionally tight margins. This creates the constant need for increasing efficiency and return on input investment, while still maintaining healthy soil.

A field day in the Town of Chase in southern Oconto County on Sept. 21 will showcase three different producer decision points: soybean planting population variation, cover crops, and winter wheat options.

The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Reference materials and light lunch will be on hand for all attendees. The event is at the trial site at the junction of Blaser Lane and Oconto County Road C. Parking will be on Blaser Lane.

The field day is sponsored by Marinette and Oconto County UW-Extension, with support from the UW Nutrient & Pest Management Program and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The focus of the day will be the soybean plant population trial found at the site, with planted populations ranging from 60,000 to 180,000 seeds per acre. Plant population affects many different aspects of yield potential, as well as pest management. Finding the right rate for optimum white mold management and production potential on different soils is part of why producer host Greg Blaser was interested in being involved in this trial.

The field next to the soybean plot has been planted into a broadleaf species cover crop mix following winter wheat harvest. Attendees will be able to see how cover crops can work after wheat or similar crops, and can also discuss winter wheat management.

The site is enrolled in NRCS programs, with district conservationist Jeff Maroszek on hand to discuss producer opportunities for those programs and how NRCS can help them maximize soil health and productivity.

UW-Extension crops agent Scott Reuss and NPM outreach specialist Jamie Patton will lead the discussion and in-field activities, with plenty of question/discussion time for producers.

Topics will include trial tour to showcase growth patterns at the different planting rates; planting rate changes and when to consider them; soy nutrient needs; cover crop options and realities; and winter wheat opportunities and management.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Anyone with questions about this event or needing any type of accommodation to attend should contact Reuss at the UW-Extension office, 715-732-7510 or by e-mail to scott.reuss@ces.uwex.edu. More information is also available at the Marinette County UW-Extension website and in the most recent agriculture newsletter.