A long and busy schedule of meetings in January is now over, thank goodness. I am worn out. I think I was on the road for meetings over half the month of January and into the first of February.
There were several good things I picked up that need attention in the near future. There is a lot of info that everyone might be interested in and I don’t want to forget something, but I will.
Bryan Young and Larry Steckel have put on some great presentations on Palmer Amaranth ( short article intro to Palmer ) if you are not up to speed on this weed you had better get ready…….. the chemical management of this weed species is very important. If you get a chance to see one of these speakers, go to the meeting and learn about Palmer before you get it. There is also a good mode of action chart for management of resistant weeds that Bryan has been handing out: click here to access it.
Soybean size is going to be very large this year. You need to be aware of what seed size your getting and get the appropriate plate size to insure proper planting populations. This is industry wide and some are reporting shortages of plates in some areas……..you may have to do some calling to find them.
I have been in contact with some of you who have expressed interest in refining your management zones for either soil sampling or variable rate applications. I have been talking to, and have an initial agreement with, another consulting company to have access to a Veris tool (http://www.veristech.com/index.aspx) . Veris tools are used for making more accurate soil maps, mapping OM or pH for VRT or soil sampling. I am encouraging anyone interested in VR seeding to do some Veris EC maps to help guide this process. Our soil maps in So IL are not the greatest, and in some cases have not been updated in 40+ years. We can also do elevation mapping at the same time. If you are interested in this, please contact me so that I can put together as many acres as possible to get the best utilization of the tool.
At the end of 2012 I began testing an Apple Ipad with GIS Roam for pulling soil samples. Initial testing indicated that this platform and software is every-bit as good for GPS directed soil sampling and mapping as Farm Works or SMS.
There are several things I really like about the Ipad for this application. Fist it is very small and light so it doesn’t bounce around on the ATV while sampling rough fields. Second it has a very readable screen in bright light conditions. But most important I can display the areal images as backgrounds while I am sampling. This isn’t new, but with the cellular turned on, I can zoom in and out on the areal photos as well as see road maps etc.
GIS Roam is a great little program for the soil sampling. It allows you to do most of the same field mapping features as the other ag specific programs do and you can import and export shape files. The ability to import and export files comes with the addition of a purchased module or add on program. However GIS Roam itself is FREE and the module is only $10.
I will try to post more info on testing this program as I get back in the fields here in the next month and follow up on some of the mapping will do with it and show some screen shots.
This was just an accident, apparently. The hose broke during application from what I have gathered. It also looks like the safety flow valve failed.
And to think some people try to steal this stuff and they put it in 5 gallon buckets, coolers and propane tanks. Foolish.
If this was to happen run, run, run, run into the wind as fast as you can. It seeks out water. Its boiling point is -28 deg F (minus 28 F) or something like that, and it will KILL YOU.
Well after two attempts in the middle of a drought, we got “rained out” of cutting wheat. We got a “shower” of 0.07 that made the wheat jump up two points in moisture and made it cut tough. So everything is back in the barn waiting on the next rain event and what we will do…………..
A quick review of the rain totals collected by my weather stations show that in the month of April I have had 2.04 inches of rain here at HQ. For May as of this morning, with a “significant rain event almost a guarantee” (statement by local weather guesser), we have had 0.21 inch of rain. YTD its 9.67.
The big April rain total came mostly out of three big rains on the 4th, 13 and 16th. Each rain was a total of 0.5 inch.
It will take a significant rain event to get the moisture to meet.
On news of my soybean crop, which is not planted, as in zero or none, I am still waiting for my seed production beans to get from South America to here. Like it matters now, no moisture is no reason to plant. I just about broke the blade on my pocket knife trying to dig for moisture yesterday. Plus the weeds are about to take the field for the third time. I am running out of options on what to spray to control the weeds……….
Lots of anhydrous going on this week around the area. Side dressing corn is my second favorite part of growing corn. Number 1 is shelling it! But I love side dressing corn almost as much as running the combine.
There is just something about how the corn reacts a few days after the tool bar opens up the soil and the plant grabs the nitrogen that makes me know we have a shot at a big crop. I say shot because it all comes down to rain and weather in the end, but I always feel that I gave it every chance when I side dress.
Anyway here is a picture that Randy Anderson posted on Facebook of him finishing up on Friday night. A very good picture. Randy is one of my soil testing clients and also a fellow Farm Bureau member and Crop Watcher for the ILFB Farm Week. You can follow his reports from Saline Co, IL here if you dont get the Farm Week.
Here is a few pictures I took. The first is my tractor and tank applying anhydrous behind the house when I got started on Tuesday night.
This last picture I took when down at Cornersville, IL pulling some soil samples on ground farmed by David Hale. It had just been side dressed and they have closers on the tool bar that made the little mole mound. I really like this picture also.
Came home tonight and got the rotary hoe out and started hoeing corn. 12 days in the ground and it still hasn’t come up, acts like it cant or wont or has run out of gas or something. We will see what happens in a day or so now………..
Ready for something to go right this spring.
Head over to Precision Crop Services website to see an scouting update on Bird Damage to corn.
Monday night we had an event at our church called Touch a Truck. Various church and community members brought different vehicles to the church parking lot for the public and kids to see and “touch”.
Since it rained I cleaned up ole green and drove her up to the church for the event. Thought I had better get a picture of her all clean as she may not be this clean again for a long time!
Nephew Jack liked the smaller tractor another farmer brought much better than his uncles big green one it appears by his smile.
Started planting corn today. Field I was in had been deep tilled in January when it was so dry and it also has tile. It was dry and worked like a lettuce bed! Best working ground we have had in years.
I ran the autosteer but for what ever reason it kept loosing GPS fix in one place in the field so I ran with the markers down and it was good to see that the competing technologies matched up!
One thing that always amazes me is that coyotes are not scared the least bit of farm equipment. And it always amazes me that I never have a firearm when these events happen………
I sprayed 45 acres of volunteer wheat, cheat and other weeds yesterday as it is still way to wet to work ground here. I feared if I didn’t get them killed it was going to be a mess when I finally did get to work the ground. Even my worked ground is staring to green up a bit. I had to drive around a few wet holes even with the ATV sprayer.
The fall applied chemicals are doing a great job holding the weeds back on the no till fields. Wish I had hit them all now but who would have ever thought that we would be so early this year with our warm up.
I also mowed the grass, for the second time this year yesterday. Yep mowing grass in March……and spinning across the yard due to the wetness.
Still waiting on one last part to finish up the planter.
Trying to enjoy the calm before the storm so to speak…..because when it breaks its going to break hard I think. This crop will go in the ground the fastest and earliest I can remember. Then again………….I could get fooled.
Got up this morning and went and fed cows. Nope, not mine but a friends who had to be away for a few days and didn’t have anyone who could fill in for him. Was kind of fun actually. Had to spear four bales of hay to be put out in the feed lots for the cows and then put out some ground feed for the steers.
It was a welcomed change of pace and interesting to watch the livestock go through their habits when they hear the tractor coming and hear the bulk bin auger run. Pavlov was right…….. !
Then if was off to sample for the second day at Ridgeway. Off the tile fields it is a bit wet down at 5 plus inches. Rain in the forecast the next few days has everyone sitting on go. Still lots of spraying and fertilizing going on but little or no field work.
The weather says go, but the calendar and field conditions have everyone standing by. Some farmsteads look like the flight deck of a aircraft carrier. Everything is lined up along the driveway ready for take off.
“The more complex the mind the greater the need for simplicity of play.” Capt James T Kirk
Its been a few days since I have had time to update my blog so I thought I would do so with a long post so “be warned those who enter here!” With the level of activity and constant variety of jobs to be done I feel the need for simple play but there is no time right now it would seem. Nor is there anyone who wants to play either. This rain would normally indicate a time to stop and rest, but rain isn’t welcome right now because of the list of things that must be done is not getting any shorter.
The new shed/warehouse/shop has a concrete floor now. The final pour happened yesterday and it looks truly beautiful. Concrete will be a welcome departure from rock and asphalt. The heat in the floor will be a welcome wonder for winter work that doesn’t seem to get done now because of the cold in the other shed. There is still a lot of work to be done on the shed but its getting closer.
I got in one good day of soil sampling on 2012 ground this past week before I had to pull out and head to a Pioneer meeting. The ground is sampling nice for the most part but is kind of funny in a way for March. With the lack of snow and shallow freeze/thaw that we get here in southern Illinois in a normal winter the ground is very “fluffy” in a lot of areas. That is dependent on if there was fall tillage done, but there is a good 3-4 inches of fluffy ground on most fields I have been on.
Everyone says they are ready to go to the field and plant corn, or so they say. Yet I can gather that most don’t have their seed corn yet and they keep forgetting that its March and not April. This very mild winter has got everyone mixed up and if it keeps this up till April I suspect we will see a lot of corn go in the ground sooner rather than later.
I did manage to slip in getting another field chisel plowed yesterday evening after I got back from my meeting. The ground is hard in these wheat fields and its no wonder why. The wet conditions last summer resulted in ruts from wheat harvest, double crop bean planting and from the bean harvest. Its ground is packed tight!
A side note is that while the big tractor is working in the field, out of no where come these seagulls. I have no clue where they came from. They are not hanging out around the farm anywhere, and the lake is several miles away. Yet they seem to show up within minutes of the tractor going to the field and disappear just a quickly when I shut it down. They don’t hang around. Strange birds for sure.
BTW in case I didn’t gripe enough its week 2 without any acetylene yet………….
If all that wasn’t enough, we have also been trying to get details on the new business finalized. That also isn’t getting done as fast as I want but it is going forward and we will be ready to go live soon, I hope. I guess if I wasn’t so busy with everything else I could get that done as well.
Speaking of simple play. What has happened to my “gun” shows on the outside channels? I mean even my favorites are not worth watching as of late on TV. It seems that every show is now doing the same topic week after week. I mean come on guys show me something new or original, not the same thing program after program with the same bad “experts” talking about and using the trendy words or latest fad in “tactical cool”. I have no interest in hanging an espresso maker off my AR’s rail.
Worse yet some have fallen into this “prepper” mentality as well. All I need is another show with the end of the word being preppers or bunker preppers or salt and preppers or what ever, with some gun play involved. First off your guys don’t have a clue, second you make gun owners look bad and three you can’t be for real. I mean anyone who is so scared of the EOTWAWKI would not be on national TV or even a gun show showing the world what you have laid in for an emergency.
Nothing on TV at all anymore.
Simple is what I need, simple play.