Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend...

Another hot and dry week here in Central Illinois.  Last week we top-dressed a couple fields of corn with urea to put the finishing touches on our nitrogen program.  Hopefully, it will rain soon and the urea will be able to be moved into the soil profile and near the corn's roots.  Otherwise, it is a wasted investment.  As you can see from one of the pictures below, the urea can sometimes burn the leaf margins of the corn.  This is generally caused by the nitrogen "dust" that comes with using urea.

We also finsihed spraying our corn with the last of the two-pass herbicide program.  As the weather has warmed up the weeds are becoming harder to kill as they focus on conserving moisture and growing through the heat.  We use additives in our herbicides to breakdown the weed's cuticle (leaf's outside waxy coating) which help to get the weeds to absorb the chemicals faster; even through hot weather. 

It needs to rain here soon...

 Top-dressing Urea nitrogen on corn near Ashland last weekend

Urea prills spread on the ground waiting on a rain 

Leaf burn from the Urea applications 

Loading the sprayer 

Spraying corn in Williamsville

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Week ending May 19th...

The weather dried the soils enough in Greene County that we were able to head south and wrap up our 2012 soybean planting this week.  Due to all the recent rainfall and warm temperatures the weeds were very thick and good size, but thanks to Brendan and Lincoln Land FS they were dead in 48 hours and ready for our tillage equipment.  The planter soon followed and two days later we were done. 

Our home area of Ashland is getting very dry as corn on the end rows is now starting to roll from heat stress with only 90 degree temperatures in May...  Hopefully, the forecasted 60% chance of rain on Sunday evening will result in a good soaking rainfall across all our farms. 

We have a few more acres of corn remaining to spray, but otherwise we are in good shape.  We have been applying our finishing touches to our four National Corn Growers Yield contest entries with the sprayer and soon will be applying another round of nitrogen to them as well. 

 Planting soybeans in Greenfield

 Sprayed Saturday morning equals dead weeds by Monday morning

Working ground on the Mears Land Trust

 Corn leaves rolling due to heat and lack of sufficient moisture

Spraying our National Corn Growers Yield Contest entry

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day...

A week with no rain and already, some are begging for more.  We have finished planting all the soybeans around the Ashland/New Berlin area and have our farms in Greene County remaining.  It has been very wet down there, but we hope with the abundant sunshine and warmer temps over the weekend we can start planting tomorrow.  When we were not planting beans this week we hauled corn and sprayed weeds in roadsides.  We like to spray our roadsides to keep the weeds out and give the grass a chance to choke out the smaller weeds.  Then we let most road banks go to seed before we mow them down which helps the grass re-establish itself and again, keep the weeds out.  We have a few fields of corn yet to be sprayed with the last pass of herbicides, but for now those fields are clean and can wait another week or two before the last application. 

Happy Mother's Day to all!  The boys and I tried to spoil Elizabeth today as well as take a little time out to remember Grandma Maralee who passed away in late March.  Be thankful for the time you have with all your loved ones.

 Making the turn on the University of Illinois farm

The field cultivator and Quadtrac wait patiently on the next field to dry

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wet week...

We were once very dry and have now switched to very wet.  Last weekend's rains totaled 2.5-4.5 inches of rain.  And we received more rainfall this week with the forecast calling for much of the same.  The hot and humid temperatures are helping our crops grow extremely fast.  We have all but 150 acres of corn sprayed and ~70% of our soybeans planted.  This week's activities included mowing around the shop and keeping up with every one's yard mowing as well as returning seed pallets and hard-side boxes to our dealers.  We plan to haul corn from bins this week, keep up with the mowing, and hopefully get back in the fields to finish planting soybeans. 

Have a great week everyone!

 Bob & David changing out the brushes on the meters on the Kinze soybean planter

 A view looking East at the corn on the Robinson 80

 A wet corner that we had to dig out to drain the water off

Our first planted corn on the Leahy farm outside of Ashland

The first three fields of soybeans we planted are now up!!!