We had been at it for exactly three weeks when Thursday night’s rains came in. Harvest has been going well. Breakdowns have been few and the weather has cooperated. The only hiccups in harvest so far have been elevator and storage problems. We have the corn crop out and are nearly half done with soybeans. The corn crop, much to our surprise, has set new records. We have had record high yield the last three years now, with this year’s yield surpassing the last by more than 20 bushels per acre! Soybeans so far have been as good and better than we expected. With more than 800 acres harvested now, we haven’t had a farm under 70 bushels per acre and have several in the mid 80s. Most of the lime has been spread and our cover crop has been seeded. It was perfect timing for the cover crop as we broadcast the seed in the morning, harrowed it in during the afternoon, and received 0.3” of rain that evening. It looks like a lawn, the rye and rapeseed both germinated well. The rain out has given us a chance to catch up on maintenance and paperwork. […]
The harvest officially got started here at JAMF on Friday. The early 109 day corn we planted had dried down to under 20% moisture. Yields are near our 5 year average, as expected, to slightly above. The later corn that we got into yesterday was already under 20% as well. This dry heat that’s been forecast for the next several days should get the corn dried down at record pace. We hope to have soybeans that will be ready by the end of the week. There are over 800 acres of 3.4 maturity beans that will be ready first. The first couple days have gone by smoothly and the weather is in our favor. We hope to continue on this pace and to have a safe, successful harvest!
Yesterday was our annual field visit day with Ken Ferrie of Crop Tech Consulting. We looked at several farms in both corn and soybeans. Things are looking very good. We are well ahead of a normal year, as far ahead as any of us have ever seen when it comes to the progress the crop is making. Corn started flowering the last week of June and is now fully pollinated. Yield estimates at this point are impressive, but it will take some more rain and favorable weather over the next six weeks for the corn to reach its full potential. We have decided to hire an airplane to spray fungicide on all the corn. Disease pressures are not as high as we’ve seen in the past, but are just beginning to reach the economic threshold for treatment. With the height of the corn (11 feet tall yesterday) and its yield potential, disease management becomes more important. The cost of the fungicide treatment by plane is down this year, which makes it an easier decision. The soybeans are already waist tall and still flowering. Ken expects most of our beans to be 5 feet tall before vegetative growth stops. Tall beans […]
Things are looking good after the recent rains. We have had nearly five inches here at the shop since the beginning of the month. The soybeans are fully flowered and the corn will be tasseling by week’s end. Plant health looks great, but we will continue to scout for disease as the warm damp conditions look to continue. Insects have yet to cause any concern in either crop. We took some time today to do some filming for Great Plains Manufacturing. They sent a film company to visit the farm and document our experiences testing their soybean planter the last two seasons. They conducted interviews, filmed around the farmstead, filmed in the fields, and captured some footage from the sky via drone. Last week Reid stayed at the farm. He had his first experience driving a tractor on his own! Other activities included fishing the pond, fishing the lake, slip-n-slides, and the pool. So far the crop looks as good as ever. We were happily heavily sold on soybeans before the trade war entered high gear. I’m sure we will get more chances to make profitable sales before harvest. In our neighborhood it looks like we have a high potential […]
A lot has happened since the last update. We post sprayed all the corn in three days, but it was during a period of high temperatures and both the weeds and corn were under drought stress. The control was fair at best and we ended up re-spraying corn herbicide using drop nozzles on nearly 300 acres. The soil nitrate samples we pulled were high this year due to the dry weather and we added very little additional nitrogen above our normal side dress program. As soon as the side dressing was completed we started in post spraying soybeans. This year we went to an Xtend/Dicamba post herbicide program due to the trouble we have had controlling waterhemp on some farms. The herbicide has worked great but has been a struggle to apply safely and to the EPA label requirements. We got it done and worked with the neighbors to manage the drift issues. The powerline project on the TPH Farm is well underway. The dry weather has been a blessing to that project as it has kept damage to a minimum. Their progress has slowed for some reason but it looks like they will be pouring concrete and setting towers […]
The crop is making progress but there have been a few bumps in the road. We had to rotary hoe a few fields of corn to get them up and out of the ground. Cutworms have also shown up in some of the emerging corn and we have sprayed 145 acres so far. The soybean stands look great and show a lot of promise, especially with the early and quick planting. Next week we will begin post spraying corn herbicide and will start pulling soil nitrate samples to determine how much additional nitrogen will need to be applied to the corn at sidedress time. We could still use some rain. About half of the farms received some rain this past week, 0.3-0.7 inches. In town I received 2.9″ in my gauge in about a 25 minute downpour!
We finished up the 2018 planting season with beans on Sunday evening. The corn was finished the day before in the morning. It was the fastest planting season we’ve ever had. From the first day we went to the field to spray, until we finished planting, was 17 days. The first planted corn and beans are emerging. We’d like to see a rain to get the rest of it up in good shape. So far we’ve had a great year!!
It seemed like it was going to be a late spring just a couple weeks ago. Things changed fast as it quickly dried and then warmed up. We started in the field on Friday the 20th putting on our spring corn nitrogen and herbicide. It went well and we had covered all the ground by Sunday at noon. The sprayer and tender got rinsed, nozzles changed, and we were spraying bean burndown by the evening. Besides a short rain delay on Tuesday, we worked at that steady and finished all the pre-plant spraying on Saturday the 28th. The bean planter we are testing for Great Plains arrived on Tuesday the 24th. They sent an engineering team to help get it it hooked up and running. By Wednesday evening it was ready and dry enough to plant. Rod ran that planter from last Wednesday till the rain Thursday night. He is only 300 acres short of being done. Because of the cooler temperatures, we decided to wait to plant corn until Sunday. I started planting corn Sunday morning and now only lack 39 acres from being done. It was a good four day run! Overall the planting conditions for corn and […]
While the weather was still cool and wet we took the opportunity to do some aerial scouting. Rod and I took off at Lincoln at 7:30 Tuesday morning and headed for Frasca Field in Champaign to pick up Lawson. We then toured the farms by air and checked out the lake and Clinton. Visibility was less than desirable but the air was SMOOTH! We are much dryer here than to both the east and west. After returning Lawson to Frasca, Rod got a chance to man the helm and flew us back to Lincoln! Deb has already declared there will be no flying lessons or airplanes in his future though. I guess he’ll be sticking with golf and fishing. If anyone else would like to go for a ride and check things out from a bird’s view just let me know, I’m always looking for an excuse to go!
We are well prepared to get to the field but the weather has yet to cooperate. All the equipment, besides the soybean planter is ready to go. The soybean planter is scheduled to arrive early this week. We are again working with Great Plains and doing further testing for them on a dedicated soybean planter as we did last year. All the corn seed and much of the soybean seed is already on the farm. It is our plan to once again plant soybeans early, starting as soon as the weather and crop insurance allows. Last year’s soybean yields showed a large advantage to early planting. With our rotation, once again adjusted to 2/3 soybeans and 1/3 corn, focusing on the management of the beans will be important. Everyone has probably seen the uncertainty in the market with all the recent politics and trade talk. We have once again been very aggressive in our soybean marketing and also have some corn sales made. Hopefully the weather will dry up and we’ll get rolling soon. The rain has been appreciated and it is nice to know that the season will start with a full supply of groundwater!