Friday, October 27, 2017
Rain is coming today, but yesterday was a good, sunny day…even if it only got up to 65ºF (18C). It was a busy day at Carnahan & Sons: Lime and fertilizer going down. Shop work. And a long meeting with seed suppliers. A typical post-harvest fall day.
It took us about 3 hours to study, hear recommendations, and finalize our seed choices yesterday afternoon. There are many options, and each variety or hybrid has characteristics that make the planting location important. We settled on 3 corn hybrids, balancing cost per unit against traits and performance. We settled on 3 soybean varieties: two for early planting, one for DCB (double-crop soybeans after wheat).
Before (and after) the seed meeting, John and Brandon had one of the trailers in the shop, doing some painting on the frame and undercarriage. There had been some welding done on this particular trailer during the harvest rush, and now they are adding the paint protection it needs.
Brandon and John (in red) paint the trailer suspension. Sure looks nice after, and will protect the trailer for several years.
After the paint work, the sprayer came inside to be ‘winterized’.
Also occurring yesterday was lime and fertilizer applications. I caught up with the lime spreaders at the Huey farm. It was a beehive of activity there, for there was one loader at the spot where the delivery trucks had piled the lime, and two spreaders operating in the fields.
Here is a paper version of this field’s digital lime application map. You can see the various application rates, from zero to 6000 pounds per acre in this 215 acre field. What do you think of the shape of this field? A good candidate for point rows, no doubt.
Here is Dakota from CPS, in one of the lime spreader rigs. You can see his guidance/control device on the cab post.
The lime was stockpiled by the delivery trucks near the quonset building at Huey. From there, they load the spreader trucks.
There goes the GPS-controlled application.
CPS was also spreading next year’s corn fertilizer here at the home farm. They had three tender trucks shuttling between here and the plant (2.5 miles away), a double-hopper loader on site, and two spreader trucks applying the blend. The fertilizer is applied according to the results of soil samples taken in a grid pattern across the fields, with a map developed showing location-specific application rates. (similar to the lime map above). The application trucks are GPS-enabled, and adjust on-the-fly to apply the specific amount required on the map! It’s often called ‘precision agriculture’.
Applying the food for next year’s corn.
This is the outfit that loads the spreader trucks in the field. Tender trucks bring fertilizer blends to this rig from the CPS plant.
After the long seed meeting, I fired up the lawn mower to get the yard mowed on the not-quite-warm evening, and before the cold rain predicted for today. It was nearly dark when I finished! It’s weird to have to wear a heavy sweatshirt to mow the yard!
Will this be the last time to mow the yard for 2017?
It’s good to see most of our cover crops up and growing. We think this will do a good job protecting the soil from erosion over winter. As an experiment this year, we planted oats that will ‘winter-kill’, allowing more flexibility for the spring herbicide application.
Here on the steep hillside at the Huey farm, the cover crop oats are looking good.
The application of next year’s corn fertilizer will continue through today until they get done or the rain stops them.
Have a good weekend. Girls HS basketball begins next week! How did that get here so fast?