Manager Update June 5, 2014

Precision Planting equipped planter. 5/24/2014.

Precision Planting equipped planter. 5/24/2014.

Greetings,

Here we are in June, with frost still in the ground. What a spring. There are still beans being planted in the area, at least there was last evening. We had about a ¼ inch of rain last night, and that’s all it takes to make it wet again for the day anyway. At CCSP we have everything planted. It was a struggle, and like everyone else things did not go the way we had wished, but you do what you have too.

The best looking crop right now is the winter wheat. It came through the winter and even with the late cold weather it did not get hurt. Our dormant seeded winter wheat is not the same story. It came up later then the spring seeded spring wheat and looked pretty tough. It is shaping up a little, but weeds are a major problem as there was no competition. A fall applied product would have been a smart choice. The regular winter wheat is looking pretty clean disease wise as well. The spring wheat is slow, but coming on nicely. The corn has a very good stand, in spite of being mudded in. The extended wetness has been helpful is helping it to come up easily. The warm weather has been helpful also.

The above picture is of the rig that planted a plot in the east alley that will (hopefully) barring hail, be one of our focus spots for field day. We are working with Precision Planting to have a demo and discussion of the state of the art planting and monitoring equipment available for today’s planter. The technology is nothing short of fascinating and offers the ability to plant through variable field conditions and maintain seed depth and spacing accuracy. This year has been tough, and I think this will be a very timely subject.

We all are aware that erosion is alive and well, and although much less than it was in the past it is still a major concern to long term productivity. With the technology to plant in high trash and uneven conditions we have the ability to make erosion a thing of the past. It won’t be easy, but when our topsoil is gone, for the purposes of mortal humans, it is gone. The second part of our field day will focus on erosion and soil health. More on the field day will come latter.

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Spring Wheat and Winter wheat 5/30/2014

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Corn emerging in Alfalfa 5/30/2014

Peas in Switchgrass. 5/30/14

Peas in Switchgrass. 5/30/14

 

This is an experiment to see if we can grow a crop of peas in existing switch grass. This goal would be to show the possibility of having a perennial cover crop. This could be quite useful to a livestock producer or someone who is fighting wetness and salinity. The idea would be that if you can’t get a crop in, you still have a crop growing to mop up moisture and salts from collecting on the soil surface. I’m thinking it will require a tricky herbicide combo.

 

Planting into live rye cover crop. Note plot is next to slough. 5/29/2014.

Planting into live rye cover crop. Note plot is next to slough. 5/29/2014.

 

Another experiment. We are planting soybeans into live standing rye in wet ground. It turned out to be way latter than I had hoped.

Good seed placement in very wet soil when planting on live root. Photo 5/20/2014.

Good seed placement in very wet soil when planting on live root. Photo 5/20/2014.

We also planted corn is live winter wheat that was sprayed out shortly after planting. It was amazing the tractor and planter stayed above ground. You can see in the photo the soil is glistening wet, but the planter did not mud up and the tractor did not get stuck.

 

 

 

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