Thursday, February 26, 2015

Grower Question - Seeding Winter Wheat in the Spring

When the field conditions are less than ideal for seeding of winter wheat in the fall, some Idaho growers consider delaying the winter wheat seeding until early spring.
Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum)

Cold acclimation and vernalization

Winter wheat undergoes two important physiological changes in the fall when the plants are exposed to cooler growing conditions, namely cold acclimation and vernalization. Cold acclimation is needed to induce the winter hardiness that allows the plant to survive the freezing temperatures during the winter months. Vernalization enables reproductive growth and allows winter wheat to reach flowering earlier the next summer. Both vernalization and cold acclimation require a period of growth when temperatures are between 30° and 60°F, with near 40°F being optimum. If the vernalization requirement is only partially met in the fall because of late planting, it will result in a delay in maturity the next summer, as reproductive growth will eventually be triggered by day length. The period needed for vernalization differs among winter wheat varieties. Likewise, the winter hardiness differs among winter wheat varieties. The most winter hardy varieties can withstand crown temperatures as low as -15°F for a short period of time (table below)
Temperature (F°)Maximum Length (days)

(Winter Wheat Production in North Dakota NDSU Extension Service)
Robertson, Guy, and Brown's publication -
Southern Idaho Dryland Winter Wheat Production Guide.

• Winter wheat production can be improved and input costs reduced with good knowledge of growth and development. Learn to recognize the various growth stages and the impact of various management inputs.
• Make an annual production management and marketing plan prior to beginning the crop season.
• Minimize the number and intensity of tillage operations before and after winter wheat crops to control soil erosion, reduce water loss and soil compaction, and improve soil productivity.
• Use rotations and cultural practices to minimize weed, disease, and insect problems, and reduce chemical
• Choose varieties carefully with appropriate disease resistance, maturity, and quality characteristics for the intended use.
• Prepare seedbeds carefully to conserve adequate moisture for germination and emergence, and to ensure good seed-soil contact. Seed at the proper time, depth, and rate for the chosen variety.
• Use only high quality seed. Plant certified seed to ensure seed purity and viability.
• Soil test to determine nutrient needs. Apply only the amounts of nutrients needed and at the proper time to avoid nutrient loss, wasted inputs, and environmental contamination.
• Control weeds, insects, and diseases through variety choice, timely scouting, and application of the correct pesticides at the correct time and rate.
• Plan ahead for storage and marketing needs. Become familiar with alternative marketing options.
• Adjust combine properly to reduce kernel damage and dockage.
• Store the crop in clean, insect-free bins, and check frequently for developing trouble spots.
• Manage residues properly to avoid problem chaff rows and to conserve soil and moisture.
• Use a systems approach to combine the best management options into an integrated crop production and marketing system. Use enterprise budgets to evaluate options and track progress.
If early spring seeding of winter wheat is considered, cultivars with shorter (weaker) vernalization requirements should be chosen to ensure optimum heading (Table 1). Expected temperatures after planting also must be considered (see Planting Date section).

Advice from Bob Fanning, SDSU Extension Specialist:
If winter wheat planting gets delayed past November 1, producers should consider waiting until spring to plant spring wheat, or consider dormant planting spring wheat. Late planted winter wheat often matures later and yields less than dormant or early planted spring wheat. True dormant planting occurs when the seed is planted just before the ground freezes. Spring wheat that is properly dormant planted will lie in the soil as hard seed until the soil warms enough in the spring to begin germination, approximately 34-37° F. - See more at:

The benefits of winter wheat include:                           
  • A higher yield potential than spring wheat
  • Greater profitability as it often requires less inputs than spring wheat
  • More efficient use of labor and machinery as it is planted and harvested during periods with few competing field activities
  • Establishment of a cover to reduce wind and water erosion
  • Establishment of a cover for wildlife in fall and early spring (Jochum J. Wiersma, Small Grains Specialist, University of Minnesota Extension).

Idaho Wheat Commission features S. Idaho Direct Seed Workshop, Idaho Falls, March 11
Southern Idaho Direct Seed Workshop Slated for March 11 in Idaho Falls

The Southern Idaho Direct Seed Workshop will be hosted by the Idaho Wheat Commission (IWC), on Wednesday, March 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Shiloh Inn Conference Center in Idaho Falls (780 Lindsay Blvd).
The Workshop will include up to date information on variety and fertility considerations, equipment information and grower experiences in local direct seed systems.

2015 Workshop Highlights
• Direct Seed 101—Grower Panel
Clark Hamilton-Bonneville County, Ken Campbell- Power County, “Genesee” Joe Anderson-Latah County
• High Residue Farming In Irrigated Cropping Systems
Guest Speaker: Dr. Andy McGuire, Washington State University Extension
• Alfalfa to No-Till Corn: A Cropping Rotation We Can Learn From & Glyphosate Usage
Guest Speaker: Dr. Earl Creech, Utah State University Extension
• Soil Moisture, Nutrients, and Weeds in No-Till Cropping Systems Guest Speaker: Dr. Olga Walsh, University of Idaho Extension
• Why Understand Wireworms at a Fundamental Level?
Guest Speaker: Dr. Arash Rashed, University of Idaho Extension

There is a $10.00 registration fee to help cover refreshment and lunch expenses.
To register: Call the IWC at (208) 334.2353 or contact Tereasa Waterman

Sensor Based Nitrogen Management - A Top Crop manager West article - Feb 2015.

 Click on the image to read the full article on
Sensor Based Nitrogen Management
by Carolyn King, Top Crop manager

Last month Olga Walsh, University of Idaho Cropping Systems Agronomist, was interviewed by Carolyn for the purpose on including her thoughts on remote sensing and utilization of precision nutrient management.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Precision Ag Seminar, Boise, Feb 24, 2015 is gaining publicity!

Precision Agriculture Seminar is gaining publicity in the media.
Go to to listen to the Dr. David Sparks' report on the Program: Idaho Agribusiness Today 

Also, we are expecting a reporter from the Capital Press to attend the seminar and to cover the event.


We would like to express our gratitude to the J.R. Simplot Company for their support of the Cropping Systems Research and Extension Program at Parma Research & Extension Center, Parma, ID. We also thank the J.R. Simplot Company for sponsoring  the lunch for the seminar attendees.

The free precision ag seminar for growers will take place on Tuesday, February 24, at the Boise Public Library (715 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702) from noon to 5:30 pm.


UI Extension Offers Precision Ag Seminar at Boise Library Feb. 24

University of Idaho press release, by William Loftus. 

Thursday, February 19

BOISE, Idaho – Feb. 19, 2015 – A free seminar focused on precision agriculture and technologies to help farmers use water and fertilizer more efficiently is planned Feb. 24 at the Boise Public Library.
Sponsored by University of Idaho Extension, the seminar is free and open to the public. It will run from noon to 5:40 p.m. in the library’s William F. Hayes Memorial Auditorium.

UI Extension cropping systems agronomist Olga Walsh organized the seminar to give growers updates on new ways to improve water and nutrient use efficiency to save money and make their operations more sustainable.

Walsh is based at the Parma Research and Extension Center operated by the UI College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. She began work there last September as part of the college’s statewide investment in positions focused on agronomy, the science of crop production.

Farmers have been quick to embrace some precision agricultural technologies like adding GPS and automatic-steering technology to their equipment, Walsh said. The next steps will be a more widespread use of technologies to improve water and fertilizer use efficiency.

“As the cost of food production and the pressure to produce food sustainably increases – so does the interest and involvement of crop producers in precision agriculture and sustainable crop production practices,” Walsh said.

Some mint growers, for example, report that they have successfully cut water usage by half while maintaining or even improving yields, Walsh said. Similarly, farmers growing hops, seed crops and grapes have been among those who have explored or adopted precision ag.

Seminar speakers from Idaho, Montana and Oklahoma will explore topics ranging from an overview of ways precision agricultural technologies can improve water use efficiency to uses of unmanned aerial systems, which are better known as drones.

Other speakers will focus on precision irrigation in wine grapes, sensors and reference strips to promote efficiency, remote sensing methods for nutrient management and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service precision ag programs.

Walsh manages the Idaho Crops and Soils blog dedicated to sustainable and efficient crop production practices. The blog answers common grower questions and provides research updates and information about educational events. It is online at

More information about precision agriculture and the seminar is available by contacting Walsh at the Parma Research and Extension Center at 722-6701, ext. 218, or

Climate and Water Conservation Seminar, Hailey, ID, March 6

2015 Climate and Water Conservation Seminar, Hailey, ID,
March 6, 2015
           Performing Arts Theatre
Community Campus
1050 Fox Acre Road
Date/Time Information:
           Friday, March 6
8:30am - 2:00pm
Contact Information:
           Early Registration - $15.00
At the Door - $20.00
includes lunch

2014 Small Grains Report
Prepared by
 Juliet Marshall, Chad Jackson, Tod Shelman, Linda Jones, Katherine O'Brien



Thursday, February 19, 2015

March DC Precision Agriculture Event To Engage Legislators, Regulators

by Paul Schimpf
Schrimpf is the Group Editor for the CropLife Media Group at Meister Media Worldwide, with full editorial responsibility for CropLife, CropLife IRON, Cotton Grower and PrecisionAg Special Reports.

Grower Question: How to Become Certified Crop Advisor?

The Certified Crop Adviser (CCA)  program of the American Society of Agronomy is the benchmarks of professionalism.  The CCA certification was established in 1992 to provide a benchmark for practicing agronomy professionals in the United States and Canada.

CCA Certified Crop Adviser-Pride & Professionalism  - WATCH VIDEO!

Who should be certified?
Any adviser/consultant that spends the majority of their time advising growers or farm managers/operators on agronomic practices and can meet the standards of the program.

Why growers/crop producers become the CCAs? See information here on the CCA - the advantage to growers!

 Please review the Credential Information Workbook to learn about the program. Step-by-step GUDE to becoming a Certified Crop Adviser:

1.  Pass two exams (International and Local Board)
      *Average passing percentage over all testing opportunities is 60%

2.  Meet the experience requirements
  • Have at least two years of experience with at least a Bachelor of Science Degree in an agronomy related field(Please keep in mind that University degrees and transcripts must be in English and based on the United States educational standard. If you need assistance in the translation process, you may use Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. or World Education Services)
    *The number of CCAs with at least a Bachelor of Science Degree is greater than 70%

      Have at least 3 years of experience with an Associates Degree in an agronomy related field
    Have at least four years of experience with no degree

3.  Apply for CCA Credential

Once Certified:
Earn 40 hours of continuing education
(CEU) every two years and pay an annual renewal fee (fees are subject to change).

Monday, February 16, 2015

Women in Ag Conference!



University of Idaho
Caldwell Research & Extension Center
1904 E. Chicago Street, Suite A-B
Caldwell, ID 83605
Mountain Time:
Start time is 9:30 a.m.
Rikki  Ruiz
University of Idaho, Gem County Extension
208-365-6363  |

Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls R & E Center
1776 Science Center Drive, Suite 205
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
Mountain Time:
Start time is 9:30 a.m.
Juliet Marshall
Idaho Falls R & E Center
208-529-8376 or 208-390-4859 – cell


University of Idaho
Bannock County Extension
10560 N Fairgrounds Rd. Building A
Pocatello, ID 83202
Mountain Time:
Start time is 9:30 a.m.
Reed Findlay, University of Idaho Extension
208-236-7354 or 208-785-8060
Carol Gunter, Gunter Suffolks
208-221-5770  |


Salmon Valley Business & Innovation Center
803 Monroe Street. Salmon, ID 83467
Mountain Time:
Start time is 9:30 a.m.
Shannon Williams
University of Idaho Extension
208-756-2815 ext. 283
Jessica McAleese
Swift River Farm
208-221-8390  |


University of Idaho Extension
4205 North Boyer Ave
Sandpoint, ID 83864
Jennifer Jensen
University of Idaho Extension
208-263-8511  |

Twin Falls

College of Southern Idaho campus
Taylor Building Room 276
315 Falls Avenue, Twin Falls, ID 83301
Mountain Time:
Start time is 9:30 a.m.
Kelly L Olson
Idaho Barley Commission
208-334-2090  |


***Erika Mills***

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Direct Seed Workshop, Idaho Falls, March 11, 2015

Everyone involved in (or interested in) direct-seed/no-till practices and benefits and challenges associated with it are encouraged to attend this workshop next month.