Planting the plot. Ranger follows to help change varieties on the other end.
Not everyone likes having their picture taken.
Every year, Otto Farms puts in a test plot for corn varieties. Our limit is 24 and we made it to 21 this year. That’s a lot of seed boxes to empty and refill every 500 feet of planting! We plant 3 varieties on each pass. 4 rows/variety. We couldn’t have picked a better day. Beautiful weather with light winds and short sleeve temperatures.
Below is the lineup of varieties that made it into our plot this year. These are varieties we are planting in our field as well as varieties we would consider planting in future years. Most of the varieties are double stacks meaning that they are roundup and corn borer resistant. We have a couple that add in root worm resistance as well. When the double stack varieties are planted in the field we add an insecticide in the seed furrow to control corn root worm as well as other in-ground insects. Continue reading
Planting as well as applying fertilizer and insecticide.
After the slow/cold start to April, we were pleasantly surprised but the fast warmup of both the air and the soil.
An array of monitors.
April 15, 2016 was our official start date this year for planting corn and by April 23 (due to a rain delay) we had all our corn in except 80 acres. We thought we’d squeeze it the last field before the weather turned against us but to no avail. Now we wait through a week of forecast rains.
Soils were fit for planting and had plenty of moisture available for good germination. We still need to get our pre-emerge herbicide on the fields but that time will come soon enough.
The current rain delay allows us to catch up on other things that get ignored when planting is the priority.
Content steers in the pasture.
Stopping to pose for a picture.
One of the signs that the worst of the wet spring weather is over, is the opening of the pasture for grazing by our small herd of steers. The grass has grown tall enough and the ground has firmed up so their hooves don’t sink in and hurt the turf. This moment has come early this year, just like corn planting.
Just a few days ago, we added 4 more calves to the mix. They haven’t quite integrated yet but soon will find their place in the pecking order and feel right at home. We raise our own cattle in order to provide meat for our own table as well as many friends and relatives. A few quarters of beef even find their way to Colorado every year! Many compliments are receive about the quality of the finished product.
Daniel Kaiser and Fabian Fernandez
University of Minnesota Soil Fertility Specialists
Over the winter we have done intensive data compilation and analysis and have a few updates to the corn guidelines publication. The primary update is on nitrogen application rates for corn following corn and corn following soybean. The updated publication is not finished yet, so this article will serve as the current rate guidelines starting spring of 2016.
Source: Updates to Corn Fertilizer guidelines for 2016 : Minnesota Crop News : University of Minnesota Extension