Happy New Year! It is still January so I guess it is still appropriate. It is the middle of meeting season. Someone implied I must not have much to do in the winter. Not anymore. Abbey Wick had a great meeting at the Coteau Des Prairie lodge this week. Lots of good information and well attended. We need to do a better job of keeping soil erosion controlled, and limiting tillage is just not enough. Our no-till soybeans at the plots lost much of their residue in the dry fall and strong winds. Black soil erodes whether it has been tilled or not. The only answer is to have an inter-seeded cover crop as near as I can see. It is amazing how our variable weather can be so different every year. Our rainfall was very low this summer, and so far this winter we have not had much snow. We have not had temps much above freezing so do not expect as much issues with winter kill in the winter wheat this year as we did last year. I think the multiple warm events last year melted the small amount of snow effectively sealing the soil surface. Winter wheat does not like to be smothered.
It will be a new beginning for the CCSP farm in 2016. We will be going to large plots. Large as in 10-20 acre size. The downturn in the crop prices have dramatically lowered our funding, and going to large plots will require much less labor. It does however offer many new opportunities and will help with weed issues. We will keep several of the small plots next to the billboard giving us the opportunity to continue small scale plantings. We are still making plans, but hope to be much more aggressive with cover crop applications.
CCSP Farm Manager