May 26, 2016 was the day to keep all the building and automobile doors shut. I don’t remember a day that so many Cottonwood tree seeds fell that hard and fast. We had to use a leaf blower to chase drifts of them out of the machine shed before closing the door to prevent more from entering.
Our soybeans are planted on ridges formed with a row crop cultivator in corn the previous year. The seedbed is not worked until the planter passes through the field planting soybeans. In the first image, you can see the corn stalk still firmly in the center of the ridge. Our planter is set off about 3 inches from the center of the ridge and places the soybeans beside the old corn row. This has proven to provide a much better seedbed than trying to plant down the center of the ridge, as we did for many years. The RTK GPS guidance makes this possible.
This year proved to be more challenging due to the extremely dry conditions. With 1 1/2 inches of dry dirt on the surface, we had to sweep away a significant amount of dirt with our Dawn brand row cleaners. This worked well to get us down to moisture but proved tricky when soil types varied from a clay loam to more peat like soils. The whole planter unit just sank through the ridge and caused way too much soil to move. We ended up using a field roller on a number of acres to press down the exposed corn root balls that could have caused problems at harvest.
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.