Delaware Agronomy Blog

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension

Winter Wheat Seeding Rates

Jarrod Miller, Extension Agronomist

Six different seeding rates for winter wheat were tested at the Carvel Research Center (Georgetown) over the past two seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19). Seeds were drilled at 0.9, 1.2, 1.5, 1.8, 2.0, and 2.2 million seeds per acre each fall and harvested the following summer.. Averaged over the two seasons, yields ranged from 77-89 bu/acre, with some differences between seeding rates (Table 1).

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November 19 – 21, 2019

Princess Royale in Ocean City, MD

The Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School will be held at the Princess Royale in Ocean City, MD from November 19 – 21, 2019. The school offers a 2 ½ day format with a variety of breakout sessions. Individuals needing training in soil and water, nutrient management, crop management and pest management can create their own schedule by choosing from 5 program options offered each hour. Emphasis is placed on new and advanced information with group discussion and interaction encouraged. Online registration will close at 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, November 11, 2019. Registration Fees are $285 by Sunday, September 15, $295 from September 16 through October 31, and $335 from November 1 through November 11. We look forward to seeing you there.

Registration and program details are online at:

Considering Fall Cover Crops

Jamie Taraila, UD Graduate Research Assistant, Agronomy

As fall approaches, it is time to start thinking about your cover crop choices. There are three main categories of cover crops: legumes, grasses, and brassicas. Making the decision on which one is right for your operation should be based your current field conditions, management, and expected outcomes. Each category of cover crop has varying benefits that could help to increase yields, improve soil health, and decrease input costs the following planting season.

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Growing Degree Days through August 20th

We have observed a few ears of corn at black layer, while fields planted in late April have kernels with moisture contents around 30%. As of this week we have even observed a few fields across the state being harvested. Blacklayer needs around 2700 growing degree days, which most corn planted mid to late April has passed in Sussex County, and about to reach in New Castle County (Table 1). Most fields after that are probably a week or less behind with the heat we have seen.

While it has been cooler than July, day time temperatures have cycled between the upper 80s and low 90s, which may have caused a few grain fill issues in dryland fields. The steady rainfall observed north of Dover in July has tapered off, leading to some droughty dryland corn and soybean fields. Still, the region north of Harrington is still leading the state in total rainfall, as many storms continue to pass through the center or just south of Delaware this month.

Table 1: Accumulated growing degree-days based on planting dates through July 31st

If you planted-> April 14 April 21 Apr 28 May 5 May 12 May 19 May 26
Sussex 2930 2839 2758 2657 2557 2486 2347
Kent 2866 2773 2698 2617 2519 2454 2318
New Castle 2769 2683 2602 2531 2440 2380 2246

R1 = 1400 GDD, R5 (Dent) = 2190-2450, R6 (Blacklayer) = 2700



Research Report: Mn, Zn and B Starter for Corn Production

Micronutrient deficiencies are commonly exhibited in agronomic crops grown on Delaware’s sandy, low organic matter soils. In 2018, University of Delaware researchers conducted a study at the Carvel Research and Education Center (Georgetown, DE) to examine corn response to manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), and boron (B) in starter fertilizer. Two rates of Mn (0.25 and 0.5 lb/ac), Zn (0.5 and 1.0 lb/ac), and B (0.15 and 0.30 lb/ac) were applied as a liquid starter with the planter.

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