University of Missouri Extension
Story sources: William J. Wiebold, 573-673-4128 (cell); 573-882-0621; Greg Luce, 573-473-7079
COLUMBIA, Mo. – In a year of uneven crop emergence, University of Missouri Extension agronomists say not to count out runts that emerge late. “A late-emerging corn plant is better than no corn plant,” says MU Extension agronomist Bill Wiebold.
In a weekly teleconference of MU Extension agronomists on May 7, reports varied from “no corn in the ground at all” to 40% planted. Regional agronomists expressed concern about uneven emergence of corn in fields already planted.
Yield loss can happen when smaller plants compete for nutrients and sunlight with larger, earlier-emerging plants. Smaller plants likely produce barren or small ears.
Seeds that emerge 10 days behind their row mates lessen in-row yield potential. Studies vary, but agronomists in Wisconsin and Illinois estimated losses at 8-10% in older research, says MU Extension corn specialist Greg Luce.
The numbers remain relevant, Luce says, even though improved precision-planting equipment reduces irregularities. Skips and smaller plants are still likely. “Skips are what you don’t want,” he says. “Doubles are a planter issue and certainly not desired, but they don’t have the negative impact on yield like a skip.”
Luce says uneven emergence happens for several reasons: soil crusting, compaction, inconsistent and especially shallow seeding depth, and differences in soil temperature. Seed-to-soil contact matters as well. This year, cool weather provided fewer growing degree units, which are needed for corn to develop strong root systems and emerge uniformly.
“In a perfect world, we would have a picket fence and the world would look beautiful,” Wiebold says. That’s not the case in 2019, when flooding and excessive rain delayed planting and prompted early concerns of replanting.
But most uneven stands do not warrant replanting. “A ragged stand is better than no stand,” Wiebold says.
Luce agrees that replanting is not justified when only due to uneven stands. “Although uniformity is the goal, the most important factor is the total plant population,” he says. “Too many skips and a low plant count is what calls for replanting.”
The MU Extension guide “Corn and Soybean Replant Decisions” is available for free download at extension2.missouri.edu/g4091, where you can also download MU Extension economist Ray Massey’s updated replant decision-making tool.
University of Missouri Extension
Story source: Erin Larimore, 573-243-3581
FRUITLAND, Mo. – Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifers averaged $1,891 at Fruitland on May 3. It was the second of four spring sales.
This price topped last year by $100, said Erin Larimore, sale coordinator and University of Missouri Extension regional specialist, Jackson.
The 117 heifers came from 16 herd owners in the MU program that improves beef herd replacements.
The heifers, sold guaranteed pregnant, carry calves with genetics from proven sires. In addition, heifer management improves calving ease and cuts death loss.
Top individual price was $3,900 for an Angus heifer from Turner Farms, Belgrade. It was one of five registered heifers, all sale toppers, averaging $3,230. Highest price for other consignors was $2,750 for one of 11 heifers from Glen Birk, Jackson.
Both heifers sold to Harold Bilek, Millersville. It was his 41st sale. “I hope it’s not my last,” he said.
The auction at SEMO Livestock Sales, Fruitland, was moved from Saturday afternoon to Friday night. “We had a tremendous crowd,” Larimore said. “Of 86 registered bidders, 34 took heifers home.”
At the first sale of the season, at Farmington, the average price hit $1,737. That new sale is still building reputations while Fruitland started more than 20 years ago.
“Repeat buyers make a sale,” said Dave Patterson, MU Extension specialist. “When they come back, they know what they are buying.” He developed the management protocols for the sales.
A catalog printed day of sale tells genetic data on the proven sires used.
Long-term consignors provide stacked genetics. Also, more consignors use fixed-time artificial insemination. All heifers can be bred in one morning. That gives more precise calving dates to buyers. Timed breeding also gives shorter calving seasons. Dates are shown in the catalog.
Benefits now include more than calving ease. Carcass quality genes improve in offspring. Many long-term consignors retain ownership of steermates to feed out. Most reach more than 70 percent USDA prime grade carcasses. Those sell for premium prices.
Heifer buyers pay more for better genetics. Tier Two heifers bred AI sold for $220 over Tier One bull-bred.
Sex of fetal calves is listed for buyers. They learn on most lots whether they get a bull, heifer or a surprise. Ultrasound preg checks don’t always tell sex.
The sale drew bidders from Illinois and Indiana. They took 50 head out of state, Larimore said. Anyone can buy at the sales, but only Missouri farmers join Show-Me-Select. Herd owners enroll through MU Extension regional livestock specialists. It’s a yearlong program.
Only enrolled heifers wear the black-and-gold trademarked ear tag.
Future sales are May 17, Joplin Regional Stockyards, and June 1, F&T Livestock Market, Palmyra.
Heifers are checked on arrival at sales for confirmation by Missouri Department of Agriculture graders.
AI breeding research and heifer management plans come from MU Thompson Farm, Spickard. Research on sexed semen continues there. That's part of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
SMS details are at agebb.missouri.edu/select.
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