Wow, what a difference one year can be. Corn and soybeans got planted by early May of this year compared to just finishing in early June of last year. Plenty of moisture and heat lately compared to cool and somewhat dry at this time last year.
Crops are off and running so field work that needs to be done is a race to finish. I guess that the changes we have to make to confront those challenges tests our patience and knowledge.
Right now, I still have 300 acres of corn to sidedress and have not even started to spray my post application of Roundup. Fortunately, I applied 80 pounds of nitrogen with the planter and we have a residual herbicide on our soybeans.
Last year, we purchased a Blu-Jet 4010 28% applicator because we felt that our sidedress nitrogen was not as efficient as we would like it to be with anhydrous. We are getting a great deal of release of nitrogen from our soil with the biology sources working now since we have been no-tilling for a long period of time. The sidedress application of nitrogen is now more evenly distributed and we don’t have the compaction of the anhydrous tank that we use to pull.
Also, since the corn is growing so fast, the concern of breaking off the corn with the low profile NH3 tank is less of a concern than we would have had to contend with in the past. I have always been able to get the sidedressing done without laying any corn down since I have been
farming. This year may be a challenge, though, because of the constant heavy rains we have been receiving lately. One neighbor who sidedresses with NH3 has already thrown the towel in on 200 acres because of the tallness of the corn. Time and Mother Nature will tell me in the next 2 weeks.
I also wanted to update you on the Dawn trashwheels and Curvetine closing wheels I put on my soybean planter this year. We had so much residue to deal with this spring, so we added the single residue managers on our JD 1790 15-inch soybean planter. The residue managers did a good job in not hairpinning the trash in the seed trench. The ease of adjustment made it nice because field conditions would change if the residue was somewhat damp.
The closing wheels really shined where we had our annual ryegrass. The wheels would crush the sidewalls in without compacting the trench. I have had issues with my spaders in my cover crops in not closing the seed trench. The perfect stand that I constantly strive for have been challenging with the spaders especially with annual ryegrass.
If I was going to put a cover crop on all of our corn acres, I would probably switch my Martin Spaders over to the Dawn Curvetines on the corn planter, but for now I am sticking with the Martin’s with the drag chain. The time may come in the future where I would change if I trade planters for a new one.
Lastly, I wanted to mention that we put the Precision Air Force system on our soybean planter like we have on our corn planter. This is an option that I highly recommend for any planter. The depth placement of the seed is so critical for that even stand and, with the help of this system, it makes planting that much more precise.
Got to get ready for the Indiana Crop Management Field Day that is happening at our farm on the 24th. With the rain delaying our field work, I am thankful that we have long days at this time to get things done. The last I checked was that we now have 186 RSVPs for lunch. If any of you are interested in coming, here’s a Web site you can visit.
Hope to see you then. I would like to hear if any of you have cocktail mixes or ideas for keeping our soybeans from not shutting down for a period of time after spraying glyphosate. It is information from other innovative farmers like you that make farming more enjoyable.
Have a fantastic growing season. 2010 is off to a great start!