OK. I know it’s now the end of January and I’m still not caught up on posting from last fall. I am finally feeling caught up, to a point, with my most important winter office work. Last year’s data has been pored over, crunched, edited, tweaked, post calibrated and used to make decisions for 2018 and forward. Time has been put into selecting seed, figuring out the best way to keep weeds at bay both chemically and physically, crunching numbers to make the current corn and soybean prices work, developing marketing plans and attending winter meetings put on by the U of M, Coop and other ag related entities. My calendar for February still has more meetings and training sessions on it.
Now where was I before going off on that tangent. Oh yeah, corn harvest. It really did happen and I have the pictures to prove it. Normally, we don’t start harvesting corn until after soybeans are done but this fall was not normal by any measure. After getting tired of the weather delay we kept having during soybean harvest, we gave in and harvested some corn. The moisture was at 22%, dry enough to get a start. The variety removed all of the headlands on a 300 acre field. Taking these off would make harvesting the remainder of that field much easier when the time came. After meticulously going through the electric motors that need to reliably get us through harvest, we still had a breakdown on day two of corn harvest. We hadn’t done the main motors that cool the large grain bin. The second one went out about 3/4 of the way through harvest as well. Oh, well. Maybe next year will be trouble free. Yes, I’m dreaming again.
Harvest never fails to offer many photo opportunities. This year, I caught the most spectacular sunset I have ever witnessed. I was able to quickly drive to the field, 1/2 mile west of the bin site, at the most opportune time to capture some fantastic photos. See this article for more information.
We had a long, drawn out harvest. Some freezing nights, some snow, burning more LP than planned and a bumper yield all led to some very tiring work hours.
Harvest was followed by some tillage. We used our Excelerator, vertical tillage tool, more this fall than we have in the past. A couple of experiments with it:
- Corn on corn – we’ve never done corn on corn but wanted to balance out our corn and soybean acres so that they’re fairly equal from one year to the next. Because we ridge till, we don’t have the heavy equipment that is usually used for this. We did two passes at a 30 degree angle difference. This will be followed by one more pass in the spring.
- Non-ridged corn going into soybeans – this is a field that we are adding into our farm for 2018. The corn was not ridged so we did one pass with the Excelerator and will do one more in spring.
Anhydrous was applied as the fields were getting close to freezing up. We had the coop do a couple of fields just to make sure that all of our nitrogen was applied this fall. Fall cleanup was done as we worked around freezing days.