Sunday, June 19, 2011

Week ending June 18th...

Not much to report this week other than the wet weather. We did manage to haul the last of our soybeans from the bins to Sunrise Ag at Havana. We also put away the planters and are now working on other shop projects.

We also took in the local Sangamon County Fair this week. Owen had a great time riding all the rides and playing in the local Farm Bureau's "Hayloft." Ok, I had fun playing in there too...

Featured below are also some pictures from Gary Martin who is friend of our's that farms about 10 miles south of us. For him, the real rains began Friday evening and did not stop until late Saturday afternoon. According to his rain gauge, he received 7.25" in total. The pictures speak a thousand words as to the damage and sheer power this much rain created. Thanks to Gary for allowing me to post these on our blog.

To all you dad's out there - Happy Father's Day!

Owen driving the combine simulator

Owen and I playing in the "cornbox"

The water washed the entire base of railroad out

A foot of oil and chip road completely washed away

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Week ending June 11th...

Early greensnap damage from winds that accompanied a recent rain storm. Estimated to be 3-4%. Corn was brittle from growing so fast due to recent high temp's and moist conditions.

Another application of nitrogen (Urea) on the corn at Ashland.

What the ground looks like after the urea has been spread. It will stay in this form until we get a rain to dissolve it into the soil.

Spraying post herbicides on soybeans near the Ashland reservoir.

Another great week of crop growing weather! The extreme hot temperatures were broke Friday evening with the welcome of a cold front and a few showers. Earlier in the week we noticed three to four percent greensnap in our Elkhart and Williamsville corn from last Saturday evening's storm. As I've mentioned the corn in our area is growing rapidly and any winds at all can cause damage, especially when it's brittle.

On Tuesday, we completed our last post herbicide applications on corn and later in the week we switched over to spraying soybeans. We are trying some "Warrant" herbicide on the beans this year which is supposed to give us residual control on waterhemp and small seeded broadleaves. We hope the Warrant combined with glyphosate will keep the fields clean until the beans can shade the row.

With all the rains and recent hot temperatures we have had recently, we decided to apply another 35# of nitrogen to certain fields. We are targeting poorly drained and corn on corn fields with this application. The form we are using is Urea (46-0-0). The urea is also treated with Agrotain which keeps it from breaking down for 10-14 days. Fortunately, after all applications we've had good rains to incorporate this additional nitrogen into the soil profile for the corn roots to access. Other areas we are targeting are our two National Corn Growers test plots, our 40,000 and 44,000 ppa population trials, and a few fields in areas that appear to have tremendous yield potential.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Week ending June 4th...

Looking down the row at one of our 44,000 ppa strips
Early April planted corn - photo taken Monday, corn has grown so fast this week that the rows have now shaded the ground
Owen helping scout the corn
Bob mowing across the road from the shop
More rain and hot weather was the theme of the week. The crops are growing quickly due to the weather as corn is adding a leaf collar a day. The recent warmer weather is helping the crops get "caught up" from April and May's cooler temperatures. However, it also makes the corn brittle and susceptible to greensnap from winds because it is growing so fast. Combine the temperatures with damp field conditions and it makes for small windows to wrap up spraying the final round of herbicides on our corn. We are now down to the last 325 acres and hope to get that checked off our list prior to Thursday's forecasted rains.
Featured above is a picture of one of our 44,000 plants per acre check strips. This year we have multiple replications in different fields of the following planting populations; 35,700, 40,000 and 44,000 ppa. We are trying to test to see if their is a ceiling on plant populations in 30" rows and if we can overcome that barrier by pushing populations even higher. We plan to apply additional nitrogen to these experiments to help compensate for the additional plants the soil will be required to feed in these strips.
On the docket for this week: spraying the last 325 acres of corn, washing and putting away planting machinery, hauling beans from the bins to the IL river, mowing roadbanks, and top-dressing a few fields with urea.