As spring arrives, here’s a quick look back at the major educational meetings we attended this winter:
CPM Short Course – Dec 9-10, 2016
Master Marketer – Jan, Feb, Mar 2016 – Dennis only
Kevin Kimberly – February 3, 2016
Nutrient Management Conference – February 9, 2016
MVTL – February 18, 2016
MNICCA – February 19, 2016 – Lance only
Nitrogen Smart – March 7, 2016
A big thank you to all the U of M staff for putting on a fantastic field day at Morris, MN today! Jodi DeJong-Hughes led this multi-station field day. Five different stations were set up to focus on Tillage and Technology:
- New tillage technology
- Planter set–up for moderate residue levels
- Residue management of corn–soybean rotations
- Tillage influence on soil properties
- Building soil health with improved soil structure
These sessions were followed by equipment field demonstrations showing chisel plow tillage with various points, vertical tillage and strip tillage.
The weather couldn’t have been nicer for a field day. Upper 60s, slight breeze and partly cloudy. It was a great chance to meet old friends and make new connections as well.
Here’s the U of M’s description of the day:
Crop producers and other agricultural professionals can see the latest in variable depth tillage equipment, watch side–by–side field demonstrations by national and regional manufacturers, and learn how to build soil structure for maximum soil productivity. Other highlights include the following:
- Discover how strip tillage can fit into your rotation and individual soil situations.
- Check out proper planter set–up for improved crop emergence and residue management.
- Discuss how to save time and money while building soil productivity.
- Visit with equipment reps about their new products and services.
A lot of meetings dot my calendar for the month of February. It started on February 4th with Winter Crops & Soils Day at the SWROC in Lamberton, MN. We learned about reducing pest management inputs, how phosphorous moves to surface waters, what works and doesn’t work for soybean yield enhancers and protectors and had an overview of crop production profitability.
MNICCA Winter Meeting
Not slowing down much, the next day I attended the MNICCA (MN Independent Crop Consultants Association’s) Winter Educational Meeting. As their Executive Director, I help with membership and organizing of events such as this. Guest speakers were Dan Kaiser and Ken Ostlie from the U of M as well as Bayer representatives addressing the bee issue in regards to neonicotinoid insecticides. They had panel discussions regarding UAVs as well as addressing independent crop consultants relationships to industry, especially in regard to local coops.
No missing a beat, the next Monday, February 9th found us in Mankato, MN at the 6th Annual Minnesota Crop Nutrient Management Conference. Another informative day. Subjects included fertilizer use efficiency, fertilizer pricing, rate of change in soil test values for P & K, dealing with $3 corn. There were also breakout sessions in the afternoon with various fertilizer related topics.
Our final stop on this journey of meetings was at the Redwood County Corn and Soybean Growers annual meeting in Wabasso, MN. After a morning of ice covered roads, plans went forward to hold the meeting that evening despite the weather. Dinner was served, an annual meeting was held with new, ambitious members being elected to the board. The night was topped off with Trent Loos speaking about agriculture and how farmers need to be their own advocates for what and how they farm.
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.
Rain Clouds Looming on the Horizon
I started the month of February with a trip to Atlanta for the MapShots conference. Timing couldn’t have been better. The conference dates were sandwiched between the two Atlanta snow events that shut down the city.
Otto Farms has been using MapShots software for many years to do field mapping as well as data collection and analysis. MapShots has spent the past 3+ years transitioning to a new cloud based platform with many new features for our farming operation. We will be able to access most of our data from any computer connected to the interned including iPads in the field. This is very exciting for us! I have been looking forward to this happening for a few years already. MapShots has done a fantastic job of modularizing the software so customers can purchase what they need for their operation. I’m really looking forward to transitioning to the new software through the summer and using it exclusively in 2015.
Had a great meeting on Friday, February hosted by the Nicollet and Sibley Counties U of M Extension. Jody DeJong-Hughes put presented on many soil related topics. It was an intensive 8 hour class designed to provide a basic understanding of soil science principles.
Links to some of Jodi’s publications: Soil Compaction, The Soil is Alive!, Tires, Traction & Compaction
A big thank you to all involved.
Attended the Winter Crops and Soils Day put on by the University of MN, SWROC. Great topics and excellent speakers.