Rain, rain, and more rain was the theme of the week. It has rained "inches" this week since Monday evening. We were able to sneak in one day of planting on Monday west of Jacksonville on our Chapin farms where they apparently missed the majority of last weekend's rains. We planted with both planters until the rains rolled in late in the evening and wrapped up field work for the week. Thanks to Mark Staake for allowing us to park our equipment at his farm while we are on this rain delay. With Monday's contribution, we are now ~45% planted. The first three days of our 2011 corn planting have accumulated enough Growing Degree Units (GDU's) to emerge despite the rain and recent cold weather. Our corn planted a week ago has a nice 1/4" sprout. We normally do not like to plant corn ahead of a cold rain, but with the forecast calling for weeks worth of rains we went ahead and planted every hour we could. It appears that the next time we will be able to get back in the fields to plant will be May...
Happy Easter from all of us at Johnson Family Farms!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Planting corn on highly erodible soils using the conservation practice of strip-till where the only tillage for this year's corn crop is from last fall's strip-till bar.
A sporadic week of corn planting. We dodged of lot of the heavier rains in the beginning of the week which allowed us to get back in the fields on Wednesday afternoon and plant through Thursday. Thursday evening a light shower kept us out until Friday afternoon. We were only able to get in 45 minutes of planting on Friday before the really strong thunderstorms rolled in and pounded us with rain. Most farms received anywhere from six tenths of an inch to right around an inch. These storms also brought with them cooler temperatures which will imped our soils ability to dry out so we can get back in the fields. Earlier in the week it was dry enough to begin spraying herbicides on a few of our fields. We originally intended to wait and spray the corn with a one-pass herbicide program, but the warmer temperatures of last week brought the weeds out; specifically henbit and chick-weed which if ignored will choke out any corn seedlings robbing them of water and nutrients. We also played around with our new ditcher. We have never owned one of these before, but because of last year's wet fields we decided to purchase one. Our goal was to create ditches on a few of our traditionally wet fields before the rains fell in hopes of getting the water off the field and into the nearby road ditch. It was quite a sight to see us throwing dirt 40-50' in the air while we ditched - I will have to get pictures of this as I forgot to bring along the camera that day.
We are not quite 45% completed with our 2011 corn planting and with the wetter and cooler forecast ahead I hope we don't have to go back and replant any of that which we already planted...
Saturday, April 9, 2011
On Wednesday morning we begin planting our 2011 corn crop. With the warmer temperatures and forecasted wet weather ahead we decided to get some corn in the ground. We were able to plant Wednesday through Friday and with two planters it did not take long to cover a lot of acres. While day one of our planting season did not set any acreage records, it did allow us to work the bugs out of the planters. Right or wrong, we focused our initial efforts on planting the fields that tend to be wet and can stay wet for extended periods of time. Recent tillage on those particular farms gave us some of the best seed bed conditions to plant into in recent years, so we decided to plant those wetter fields now versus gambling on whether they would stay dry and allow for timely planting later in the spring.
An unexpected 30% chance of rain halted all planters this morning as we received anywhere from 0.25 to 0.70" of precipitation. However, the sun reappeared this afternoon and 80 degree temperatures will allow planters to start again on Sunday before the next 60% chance of rain.