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.

2014 Corn Planting

We had a narrow window of opportunity on Saturday, April 26th to get some corn planted. On Tuesday we had worked up 40 acres in anticipation of getting started but last minute equipment issues stopped this from happening. After a rain delay, things dried out once again and we headed to the field Saturday afternoon. With rain in the forecast for most of the next week, we wanted to get something in the ground so any hidden problems could be dealt with during the break. 55 acres later we quit around 9pm and headed home to tuck things away before the rain fell.

planting corn

Rain Clouds Looming on the Horizon

Corn Test Plot Harvest Day 2013

As we work our way through harvest, one of the events we look forward to is harvesting our corn test plot. A lot of time and thought go into choosing hybrids for this plot. This plot is an extremely vital part of our operation’s decision making process for the next year’s corn varieties.

Because our operation focuses heavily on corn varieties that use hybrids with less insect traits than the companies are pushing, there is little plot data available to help us make decisions on these hybrids. This is a part of our broad plan to deal with corn insect resistance issues. Continue reading

2013 Harvest Has Begun

The 2013 harvest began this week. Not as unusual as it used to be, we started harvest with corn instead of soybeans. The corn stalks are quite weak this year from drought stress driving us to fire up the corn dryer and get moving taking the weakest corn first. Not all corn is created equal and some is falling before we can harvest it.

We tried harvesting the variety that was the worst but the kernels would not come off the cob so it waits longer and falls more.

We prefer to dry corn rather than let it naturally dry in the field. This saves us from phantom losses as well as over dry kernels shelling off in the corn head and dropping in the field.

harvest corn night dryer

Ridging Corn

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.

Ridging two tractors Ridging front low Ridging rear Ridge level view