Poor Corn Emergence

It is frustrating to find that major seed companies don’t have a level of quality control that matches their seed prices. With the impending wet and cold planting season that was forecast this spring, we had our equipment ready to get a jump start planting corn if that window of opportunity presented itself. April 18 – April 24 was our window and it quickly closed again until May 5. Two of the five varieties we planted failed at their first task of creating a good stand (high percentage) that emerges evenly. Gold Country 104-37 had very uneven emergence and a thin stand. Dekalb 52-85 had even emergence but, once again, a thin stand. Why don’t these companies publish a cold germ test on their seed tags? Warm germ is quite deceiving.

In this photos, taken from the top of our grain leg, you can see the difference in stand. The one on the left is obviously thinner than the one on the right. Both are Dekalb varieties.

Hail field revisited!

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Morgan field gets too much rain again!

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Neighbor’s field. Weed nightmare!

Visiting the Morgan field in September didn’t revive any hope of harvesting a respectable crop after the spring hail damage. Once again, the bowls had a fair amount of water in them. Weed control was acceptable. Applying extra weed control herbicides and having migrants hand weed was definitely the right choice. The second photo here is the neighbor who chose to do nothing and eventually ran a stalk chopper through the field to take out the few corn plants he had left. He seems to have forgotten that weed control is ultimately most important.

A great view!

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East view from the 120′ grain leg.

It’s always worth the 120′ climb to the top of our grain leg. We needed to inspect and lubricate the grain system to be ready for corn harvest. Test firing the grain dryer is very critical. Without it working properly, the rest of the system sits idle and corn harvest can’t proceed. While at the top, I can’t resist taking some photos with my iPhone.

Looking to the west.

Looking to the west.

Getting ready to harvest.

combine-in-shopThe combine came out of the shed at the end of August. Using the list of repairs suggested by Kibble Equipment, from our annual inspection, we meticulously remedied each item step-by-step. We have found post season inspections to be invaluable in preventing in season down time with our equipment. combine-shop

WCROC Tillage and Technology Field Day

Morris Tillage and Tech Day 11A 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:Morris Tillage and Tech Day 24

  1. New tillage technology
  2. Planter set–up for moderate residue levels
  3. Residue management of corn–soybean rotations
  4. Tillage influence on soil properties
  5. 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.

Morris Tillage and Tech Day 08Here’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:Morris Tillage and Tech Day 15

  • 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.

Grain Leg Maintenance

grain cups 2Late summer means putting time into maintenance of harvest related equipment. The plastic cups on our grain leg, that handles the wet corn coming in from the fields, were getting brittle. We’ve found a couple of them stuck in various places in our grain system and succumbed to the fact that we needed to replace all 203 cups on the belt. Many of the bolts were rusted to the point where we had to either snap them off through the force of our 1/2″ DeWalt impact wrench or grind them off. After many hours the task was accomplished and we’re on to the next project!grain cups