Building ridges in corn always seems to have a narrow window of opportunity. We had a couple false starts where we were burying too much corn. Waited 3 or 4 days and suddenly we were ridging like mad July 1 -3. A few areas in the field were already on the verge of being too large as my rock box occasionally snapped off a stalk because it is the lowest point on my tractor. That will be remedied before next year’s ridges are built.
One week later, the corn was significantly taller. No way we could have made it through it then. One mistimed rainfall and we may have missed our opportunity.
As I drove through the yard the morning of July 5 I took a deep breath and enjoyed the aroma of fresh cut hay. The round bales were lined up in the yard and ready to be tucked away in the shed. It’s one of those rare times when you remember back to your youth when putting up hay meant a whole different thing. A lot of man and kid power was needed to fill the hay loft with hundreds of small square bales. Thanks to modern technology we now handle hay by machine instead of by hand.
The corn is growing quickly in Southwest MN. With the recent rains, we are finally feeling like our drought is subsiding, at least for the moment. This crop has a long way to go but it is doing well. We drove to Spirit Lake, IA the June 22 weekend. Throughout most of the trip, from Sanborn, MN south there was ponding and crops being lost to excess water. These areas had rains earlier that we missed and received as much or more rain that the 4″ we were blessed with in the past week. We did receive some hail with one rain event but crop damage was minimal for us while others to the south east had nearly total losses in a small area.
We came close to cutting our ditch hay but held off. It’s a good thing that we did. There’s a lot of cut hay going to waste as rains continued and didn’t allow timely baling.
The next push for use is building ridges in our corn. Every year it seems we have a narrow window of opportunity between corn being too small and too big. Our B & H brand ridging cultivators are serviced and ready to hit the field. We cultivated some headlands already and found our that the GPS guidance on our 8295RT tractor was not serving us well. Today we upgraded to a newer GPS globe and are pleased with the stability of the tracking.
Every year we put in our own corn test plot. We enter everything we plant in our fields plus other varieties we’re interested in growing for next year. Our direction has turned from past years back toward Double Pro varieties and applying insecticide as well as Triple Pro corn. We are rejecting Smartstax and similar super varieties with multiple root worm modes of control. With root worm resistance showing up in MN fields, not real far from us it’s time to take control and not follow the seed company mantra of more in seed technology. Bugs are adaptive and will overcome these traits in time. We chose not to apply any insecticide in our test plot this year, even on the non RW corn.
That being said, here is our lineup for the 2013 test plot.
It’s been a crazy spring for 2013 planting. The weather is not in a normal pattern to say the least. We plant when we can, spray pre-emerge herbicides when we can and put in odd hours. More than usual seems to happen in the dark this year. We are down to our last 120 acres of soybeans then wait until about June 15 to plant Brad’s 40 acres of sweet corn.
Last year we had to push the sweet corn ahead a couple days in order to get our ridges built in the corn before it got too big to get through. That will definitely not be the case this year. The corn has emerged but has mostly been greeted by cold weather and damp, cloudy conditions. Not much height being added to it.
After a long, cold spring the weather has finally turned favorable for corn planting in Redwood County, MN. There were a few neighbors putting in corn last week but planting began in full force on Monday, May 6 from most area farmers. Everyone worked hard and fast with the impending rain in the forecast for Wednesday. The rain did come and now we wait again for the next window of opportunity.
The weather has finally warmed to the point where some neighbors are planting corn. Soil has warmed nicely to over 50 degrees but there’s a lot of cold weather on the horizon. We’re holding off so we don’t risk stand and yield loss. It costs too much to put the seed in the ground. With all the warnings for the Universities and the seed companies about seed being hurt by cold soils/water we have chosen to ride out this next stretch of weather.
We spent today finalizing field cultivator maintenance, calibrating the planter liquid fertilizer system and sorting our seed corn by field and order of planting. We will ready the pull behind sprayer tomorrow as well as tweak to GPS autotrac settings.
There were some great presentations and two-way dialogue between university researchers and attendees at the 2013 Soybean Symposium sponsored by the U of M and the MN Soybean Research & Promotion Council. This event has been held at the U of M Landscape Arboretum since it’s inception.
This year’s sessions focused on resistance management of soybean insects, diseases and weeds as well as corn root worm beetles. Attendees were crop consultants, farmers, agronomists as well as a number of ag media representatives. The seed company reps may have been uncomfortable with some of the topics discussed because, if the farmers followed the recommendations, especially on soybean seed treatments, it would go against what they’re pushing on the farmers. Continue reading →