Due to the health concerns surrounding COVID-19, we had to cancel our annual field day that typically occurs in May at UC Davis, as well as some field-based extension activities we had planned in other parts of California this season. While we will miss the opportunity to communicate about our research and extension activities and connect with people at live extension events, we are excited to be able to share some resources with you digitally. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be posting new content and resources related to N fertilizer management in small grains and small grain variety evaluation and development.
The first of these is a blog post that introduces a suite of tools demonstrating and explaining how to conduct and interpret a soil nitrate quick test, which is a simple and inexpensive test that can help to inform about the nitrogen (N) status of a field prior to fertilization events.
Subsequent blog posts in the coming weeks will explore other topics related to optimizing N fertilizer use efficiency in small grains. This will include a post explaining what an N-enriched reference zone is and how it can be used to assess the in-season nitrogen status of a crop. In addition, there will be a post introducing and explaining how to use two relatively inexpensive leaf and canopy meters to measure the N status of a crop.
In addition to posts related to improving N fertilizer management, we posted a virtual field tour of our small grain variety evaluation plots, highlighting some of the variety selection resources we have available on the UC Small Grains Agronomy Research and Information Center website, and providing updates on variety development and other small grain research at the University of California.
So, stay tuned to the UC Small Grains Blog over the next few weeks, and, if you are not already a subscriber, now is a great time to join!
(Article by Mark Lundy, UC Cooperative Extension Specialist, Grain cropping systems)