Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Right on track...

Two hours after my last post we received the start of what ended up being a 5.2" rain over the course of two days. Surprisingly, not very much ran off and most was absorbed by the dry soil. Since then, the weather has continued to be warm along with another beneficial rain. Our crops are progressing nicely with all this warm and abundant sunshine.

The picture above is an ear from our first planted corn (April 12th). Based on current GDU (growing degree units) this field of corn should black layer (32-35% moisture) around August 19th. If the hot weather continues it's trend, then this corn will be at or below 20% moisture around Labor Day. That means an early harvest, which is a welcomed surprise compared to last fall's harvest that drug on into December.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Week ending July 17th...

Mowing around the soybeans at the Williamsville farm.

An aerial view of the west fields of our Chapin farm.

Drowned out spots on one of our fields around Ashland.

Looking south on the Williamsville soybeans.

Looking west at the Elkhart 160.

More mowing and grain hauling this week at the farm. It has now been three weeks since any significant rainfall on any of our farms and the crops are beginning to show it. To some it is funny how farmers can go from wanting the rain to stop to now asking for more. Since we received an abundance of rain early the roots of our corn and soybeans did not have to grow deep in the soil to access moisture. Now that the soils are quickly drying out, the roots are in dry soil and cannot grow down to the moisture; causing stress to the plants.
This past week we had the opportunity to go up in a plane and scout from above. The trip was very interesting. We saw plenty of drowned out spots in both corn and soybeans, a few acres or strips of greensnapped corn, and many acres of nitrogen deprived corn. A few of our fields have numerous drowned out spots. I posted pictures of these fields not so you would think we are poor farmers, but so that you understand what the crops in our general area look like. These are the most severe pictures, but for us this will not be a bumper crop. It seems as though the traders up in Chicago are starting to understand some of the troubles with the 2010 crops as the markets have jumped drastically this past week.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hot & humid....

Shucking sweet corn.

The next generation at Johnson Family Farms is ready for harvest to begin.

Sweet corn is ready.
Beautiful sunshine during corn pollination.

Not a whole lot to report this week. We continue to clean out our remaining grain bins and haul corn to the elevator. David and Bob also finished cleaning up the spring machinery and put it away in the sheds.
The majority of our corn has already pollinated and is taking advantage of this hot and humid weather. Our beans are getting bigger and most are shading the rows. The beans we planted last week are already up and taking off. Towards the end of this week we scouted every acre of corn looking for leaf diseases. We are seeing significant amounts of rust and a little Grey Leaf Spot. We have decided to spray fungicide on a few acres and continue to monitor the remainder. During our scouting we also discovered that the strong storms a few weeks ago green snapped a few of our hybrids with some having 50-70% damage. Those same hybrids planted just four days later had zero damage.
Just as our crops love this weather, so does our sweet corn. We have been enjoying this summer time treat for the majority of the week. Today we decided to freeze a bunch of this treat and save it for later. It is a lot of work to freeze 300-400 ears of sweet corn, but well worth it down the road.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Great week....and Happy 4th of July!

A few of the drowned out spots on our Williamsville Farm still have water in them.

Helping our neighbor finish planting soybeans.

A view of our 2010 corn plot.
Thank you to the participating companies; Wyffels Hybrids, AgriGold, Monsanto, & Pioneer.

Last week was very busy at the farm with numerous activities going on all at the same time. Dad and Bob finished spraying beans for the first time; hoping it will be our last trip across the beans until harvest. We also signed our seed corn plot and David and Bob got all the roadbanks mowed and looking good for the holiday weekend. On Friday we headed back up towards Williamsville and helped a neighbor get his remaining 160 acres of beans planted. Saturday we spent the day filling in wet holes on our Williamsville farm; there were more bare acres than I expected as we went through another 45 bags of soybeans. Weather providing, we plan to haul more corn from our bins to the terminals along the Illinois River at Beardstown as well as put away the last of the spring machinery this upcoming week.
Happy 4th of July!