So the week before last I made a trip to Oklahoma to check on some research plots and of course found plenty of other things to see. I’m not really a morning person, but Sales Account Manager Jay and I had to get up early to drive to a breakfast meeting. The only nice thing about getting up before the sun comes up is watching the sun come up. Here are some cattle North of Lawton already having breakfast. (I was happy with this picture considering it was taken at 65 miles an hour. Don’t worry. Jay was driving.)
A little further North is the small town of Carnegie which has a cotton gin. Cotton is a big crop in this part of Southwestern OK. A recent innovation in cotton harvesting is the round bale. They are produced within the cotton picker (harvester) and are put out on the end of the fields like a chicken laying an egg. These bales are big, being nearly 7 feet high and weighing 4 to 5 thousand pounds. They each have approximately 3.8-500 pound bales of lint. So it appears that these have pretty much replaced the much larger and harder to move cotton modules. There were hundreds of bales waiting outside the gin.
Parker Christian is a Retail Partner in Cordell who has enabled outstanding production of cotton. Over the past seasons I have shown pictures of fields with AgroLiquid that are superior to those with other fertilizers. His growers had great success with PrimAgro P fertilizer last year. So what is going on here? Well most of Oklahoma is experiencing terrible drought. In fact it has not rained in 180 days in some places. So not a good environment for growing winter wheat as we see here. In fact we saw no wheat in the area that looked like it would be able to be harvested. The plan now is to spray down this wheat and hope for some rain and plant cotton. Hopefully that happens and it won’t be a total loss. Oklahoma has been blessed with three straight years of good cotton. But this is dry country and folks are nervous about the streak continuing.
Remember former SAM Jacob? He farms over near McLoud, about 30 miles East of Oklahoma City. Well they have had some rain and the wheat looks decent. But drought isn’t the main concern in growing corn this spring. How about frost? There were several nights of temperatures in the teens recently which froze off the emerged leaves. But the below-ground growing point enabled re-growth. But in one field the re-growth was frozen again. I had not seen that in Michigan, much less Oklahoma. But corn is strong and pushes on. Ever the agronomist, Jacob likes to leave off the fertilizer pump for a bit to check fertilizer performance. Jay digs some samples.
No fertilizer on the left and Pro-Germinator + Micro 500 on the right show that in-furrow fertilization will help the corn grow out of the frost damage quicker and make a better crop. Well it still has a ways to go, but look at the bigger roots and taller plant with AgroLiquid.
By the following weekend the whole state got at least 1.5 inches of rain, and an all day rain at that. So that should help in a lot of ways. It wasn’t a drought buster, but it helped. We will see.
Look for additional news from this trip in the future, as there is always more to tell.