Assessing Winter Wheat Stands Challenging Growers

A late fall and continued weather issues may test decision-making processes.

At a time of year when most growers would rather be out on the land or at prepping their planters or drills, conditions in the early spring have limited most people to bide their time and manage what they can.

In Eastern Canada, the weather last fall not only made harvesting corn difficult, it also complicated matters for most wheat growers as well, with cool, damp and wet conditions that left wheat stands heading into winter under less-than ideal shape. A slow transition from winter to spring combined with continued cool and rainy weather have many growers considering switching some of their wheat fields to corn or in fewer instances, to soybeans.

The most important thing in assessing wheat fields at this point in the season is for a farmer to get out of the truck and walk the field. Monitoring or making decisions [...]

When it comes to soil sampling, there are many approaches, opinions and recommendations. Review the above video on procedures, then consider the following:
  • How consistent are the samples that are being taken? The gentleman in the video is talking about consistency, but it’s very important that the samples are taken at a consistent depth.
  • He is also talking about sampling on worked ground, which is an important distinction.
  • The woman in the video is using her phone for GPS locating, and is a good starting point.
  • Are you concerned about the sample depth? The gentleman is talking about it but is the advice being taken?
  • The Wintex system has an ejector finger in the automatic sampler and makes it possible to sample in tough conditions. Too much moisture can also impact sampling and the use of lubrication (like WD-40) from time to time can help.
  • Some Frozen ground is almost always easier to sample [...]

Keeping an eye in the sky during all stages of spring can help with your decision-making processes.

Using a drone, you can inspect your winter crops as well as pre-annual vegetation, and check for plant densities. Such digital and high-resolution imaging provides in-depth information throughout the growing season, from early nitrogen applications that promote tillering in winter wheat to later-season use that helps protect the crop from weed pressure or diseases.

Wintex Soil Samplers

Putting the Wintex system to work for you is another sign of spring, and it’s worth checking all aspects of your unit before heading out to the fields.

  • Check the oil and start the engine (determine if servicing is needed on its Honda motor)
  • Check for any leaks.
  • Test samplers for any loose wiring or other visual damage
  • Check the range of movement
  • The vehicle battery should be charged and in good working condition
  • Test the sampler itself
  • Order [...]

We remind customers about proper storage procedures and the management of batteries.

Under transport regulations, batteries delivered by senseFly are charged to just 30 per cent, so it is crucial that once you receive these batteries, you charge them to the optimal storage level of 70 per cent.

The box on every battery has a sticker that highlights the urgency behind this recommendation. It’s important to know that the longer a lithium polymer – or LiPo – battery stays charged at only 30 per cent, the faster its lifetime is shortened. The sticker is a reminder to all users.

senseFly battery sticker

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