Cyst Nematode Counts Crash in 2013

Our soybean cyst nematode counts from the fall of 2013 sampling brought us some surprise results. Cyst counts have dropped dramatically from the direction we had seen in the pas years’ samples. This was not just a one field phenomenon but across all fields sampled.

I would like someone to take a shot of explaining this to me. Is it weather related? We have been using PI88788 soybeans for many years on these fields in a corn soybean rotation.

Cold Sunrise Loading Beans

Filling a truck with soybeansWhen you grow seed beans for seed companies, you have little choice of when they decide to pick them up from the farm. The morning of December 7th started out a -11F and warmed all the way up to a high of zero. Bundling up and sitting in an idling pickup occasionally to stay warm is how we handle this situation. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the coffee. Filing beans sunrise

Fall into Winter

This blog has been rather quiet through the winter. You would think that there’s lots of time to post once in a while but it just seems to fall to the bottom of my list.

Winter started with a bang. All was going well but we still had one more job to do, pull soil samples in the corn ground to test for soybean cyst nematodes. Sounds simple enough but not when you have an impending snow breathing down your neck. November 5, 2013 was the beginning of the end of our nice fall weather. Samples were pulled on three fields and as snow began to fall we scrambled to get the most critical areas sampled of the last field. soil probe for cyst

By the time the fourth and final sample was pulled, we already had 1″ of snow on the ground and it was coming down heavy and wet. One of the soil probes gave up working in these conditions. We woke up the next morning to this. Fall was officially over.snow nov 6 2013

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

Forklift Purchase

To declare more independence from seed dealers, as well as add another “tool” to the business, Otto Farms has purchased their own forklift. After a couple months of scouting we settled on a 2000 Daewoo 5000# capacity lift truck. Very nice machine with records back to new. Purchased from Forklifts of MN. I’m sure that over time we will find many uses for this machine. A fork mounted scaffolding is next on our list. Daewoo Forklift

Earlier this summer we added pallet racking to part of an end wall of our machine shed in anticipation of acquiring a forklift that would reach the 10 foot level. This shelving was intended to not only clear some floor space in the shed but to allow us to possibly store our rotary sickle on the top of the rack. After fitting our JD8310T with new tracks late summer, we were left with two very hefty pallets that the tracks were delivered on. With the addition of some scrap piping and angle irons we built a pallet to set the mower on and thus were able to lift it to the top of our rack.

Mower Pallet Mower on Pallet Mower on Rack

Post emerge weed control in soybeans

The time has come to do our post-emerge application of Roundup on our soybeans. This spring we used a pre-emerge herbicide on our our fields. The soybean fields looked so clean we delayed longer than usual with our post emerge application. When we started spraying we realized the mistake we had made. The remaining weeds were 1 foot or taller. Too large for Roundup to do significant damage to. Many will burn down and then come back. Scouting the field one week later we already saw signs of new growth on waterhemp that looked dead from a distance. We also found 1 1/2 foot tall waterhemp than had little or no damage to the plant from our Roundup application of 38oz/acre.

Spraying Roundup on beans 2 Spraying Roundup on beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On two fields we chose to take more drastic measure and hired migrant workers to hoe out our resistant weeds. They showed up two weeks after spraying and spent a few days walking the fields.

Bean walkingBean walking 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also dug our old bean rider out of the shed and did some field border spraying from that.

Bean rider

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not to leave any weed patches untouched, we finally brought out our own hoes and went after some stray weeds with them.

Hoeing beans