Manager Update August 22, 2015.










Another summer seems to be slipping away. The NDAWN site near my home in Brampton recorded a low temp early this week of 39. It happens every year. The first football game of the season was held in Forman, a sign of fall!



It has been an interesting summer. It started out dry this spring, got to wet, and then really, really dry. See in the photo of the crack in the dry soil above. We did get 0.75 inches of rain in a beautiful all day event, but it did not even seal up the cracks in the ground! The late crops have been hurt. How bad is hard to tell at this point. Soybean aphids have shown up in a big way and spraying took place in the prior couple of weeks.


It was a good wheat year. It was also a good blackbird year as they consumed a lot of our winter wheat and even got into the spring wheat. They always take some but this was the worst year ever. The relatively small plot size and many plots make moving them out an impossible task. At least some of the winter plots were only lightly damaged, and there yields were good. We grew the variety “Emerson” winter wheat this year. It was generously donated by Meridian seeds out of Casselton. This wheat is rated R to scab. However, it was not a scab year. 2014 was and this wheat performed very well in the NDSU trials located on our farm. Spring wheat was good this year also. We had the variety “Prosper”, donated by Dave Kinzler of Monango. Where bird damage was minimal it made 79 bushel. The heavy rain in May did not allow me to get the second shot of Nitrogen applied. Protein was variable from as low as 10.9 to 14.6 on one of the alfalfa rotation plots. Peas were the fun crop so far. We planted some cover crop seed that was a few years old into the rotations where we had been putting flax. Yields were consistent from plot to plot and average just a fraction under 70 bushel. They are a very low input crop so probably the only thing that a guy could have made some money on this year at current prices. Water hemp is getting a lot of attention in the neighborhood this year. I used Ultra Blazer plus Round up in the last pass on soybeans. Yep, the beans looked a little toasty afterward but so far weed control looks good. This problem is not going to go away.

We are going to make some major changes in the plots for next year. Budget constraints are affecting us like everyone else in the industry.  At this point we are looking at larger plots, small fields if you will. This should be much more efficient labor wise and we hope to focus more on cover crops. We will probably keep some of the smaller plots, and I hope to keep working with compost as well.


Thanks for visiting our site!


Kelly Cooper

Farm Manager




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