Soybeans on ridges.

ridges ahead of planterOur soybeans are planted on ridges formed with a row crop cultivator in corn the previous year. The seedbed is not worked until the planter passes through the field planting soybeans. In the first image, you can see the corn stalk still firmly in the center of the ridge. Our planter is set off about 3 inches from the center of the ridge and places the soybeans beside the old corn row.planting soybeans on ridges This has proven to provide a much better seedbed than trying to plant down the center of the ridge, as we did for many years. The RTK GPS guidance makes this possible.

This year proved to be more challenging due to the extremely dry conditions. With 1 1/2 inches of dry dirt on the surface, we had to sweep away a significant amount of dirt with our Dawn brand row cleaners. This worked well to get us down to moisture but proved tricky when soil types varied from a clay loam to more peat like soils. The whole planter unit just sank through the ridge and caused way too much soil to move. We ended up using a field roller on a number of acres to press down the exposed corn root balls that could have caused problems at harvest.

Test Plot 2015

test plot varietiestest plotApril 28th was test plot day. We have 22 varieties in our plot this year from 6 different companies. About 1/2 the varieties are Roundup/corn borer traited. The other varieties also include at least one root worm trait. No insecticide was put on the corn with root worm traits. Wensman 7320 VT3P was place in the plot 3 times to look for variation from one side to the other.

Company Variety Maturity Traits
1 Dekalb DKC44-15 95 VT2P
2 Gold Country 95-33R2P 95 VT2P
3 Dekalb DKC46-37 96 VT2P
4 Wensman W7320 VT3P 101 VT3P No Insect
5 Wensman W7268 95 VT3P No Insect
6 Dekalb DKC46-20 96 VT3 No Insect
7 Wensman W8285 97 VT2P
8 Croplan C3899VT2P 98 VT2P
9 Latham LH9955R2P 99 VT2P
10 Wensman W70975 97 VT3P No Insect
11 Gold Country 99-04R3 99 VT3 No Insect
12 Pioneer P9929AMXT 99 AMXT No Insect
13 Wensman W7320 VT3P 101 VT3P No Insect
14 Gold Country 101-56RSS 101 SS No Insect
15 Golden Harvest G01P52-3011A 101 VT3P No Insect
16 Dekalb DKC50-84 VT2P 100 VT2P
17 Golden Harvest G01P52-GTA 101 RR
18 Dekalb DKC52-85 VT2P 102 VT2P
19 Gold Country GC102-88 R2P 102 VT2P
20 Gold Country GC103-09R2P 102 VT2P
21 Latham LH5215 VT2P 102 VT2P
22 Pioneer P0339AMXT 103 AMXT No Insect
23 Pioneer P0533AM1 105 VT3 No Insect
24 Wensman W7320 VT3P 101 VT3P No Insect

Ready, set, go! Planting 2015

working corn groundWe had our earliest start ever in a planting season. April 15, 2015 was the day it all began. Some tillage was done the day ahead so we could get off to a fast start in the morning. We spent until 2pm on April 15th troubleshooting GPS issues. So much for the jump start. Man can make all the plans he wants, but God is in control.

planting corn first dayA few days of warmer and dryer than average weather gave us ideal planting conditions. Looking ahead though told us that our window of opportunity would quickly come to a close. The following week was going to be quite cold with many nights below freezing. Four days of planting and then a break. The next week saw a neighbor here and there putting some corn in the ground, but we did not want to take the chance.

sunset plantingMonday, April 27th we were off to the races again and completed corn planting on April 29th.