May 26, 2016
Nu-Trax P+ Gives Oklahoma Farm a Head Start Grazing Cattle on Winter Wheat
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Crop and Cattle Farm Adapts to Weather and New Practices
Brothers Devin and Shane Weeder farm in northwest Oklahoma, where the soils are light and challenging weather can impact a crop. That’s why they say they keep changing, adapting, doing new things and trying to make the farm better.
“We’ve been no-till for the last 10 years,” Devin says. The past few years, they’ve been working with cover crops to help build the soil and be a feed source for their stocker cattle.
“We will run 3,500 head of steers throughout the year,” Devin explains, “mainly on wheat and grass and our cover crops.” They also raise wheat to harvest and milo.
“We base all of our crop rotation off of rainfall and how cool or how hot it is,” Devin continues. “Sometimes cover crops aren’t gonna work. And it’s not your fault or the cover crop’s fault. It’s just the weather.”
Grazing Cattle on Winter Wheat Earlier with Nu-Trax P+
Because their crops had shown good responses to zinc fertilizer in the past, Devin and Shane decided to try Nu-Trax P+ with CropStart Technology (25% P2O5, 20% Zn, 5% Mn, 4% N). Coated onto the MAP fertilizer they applied through an air seeder, Nu-Trax P+ provided additional phosphorus, zinc and other nutrients early to their wheat.
The benefits of the early season nutrition became apparent quickly in a 490-acre field where they applied Nu-Trax P+ in strips and left about a third of the field untreated with straight MAP.
“We had a 17-day head start with cattle on the wheat treated with Nu-Trax P+,” Shane says. They estimate that at an average of 2 pounds of gain per day, adding Nu-Trax P+ to their fertilizer meant they were able to add 34 more pounds per animal grazing on the same winter wheat field.
“There’s a gigantic payout, especially last year with the price of cattle,” Devin adds.
Fertilizing Winter Wheat with Nu-Trax P+ Makes Hardier Crop
They also report that the treated wheat was greener and bigger, choked out more weeds, and looked healthier. “The root mass was a lot fuller,” Shane says. “You could tell the roots had actually went down further.”
Later in the season, when they hit a 3-month dry streak, the better early season growth helped the treated wheat hang on longer. “We still cut a crop off of it,” Devin explains.
This year, they are adding Nu-Trax P+ to their broadcast fertilizer blend applied ahead of the milo planter. “Any little bit of starter or Nu-Trax P+ will help give the crop a chance,” says Shane.
If you’re interested in fertilizing winter wheat with Nu-Trax P+, tweet us at @NuTraxP or comment on this blog.