Since the first of the the month we have had 1.7″ of precipitation. The fields are saturated and if the weather would cooperate with some warmth and sunshine we are still, at least, a week from field work. We’ve stayed busy cleaning up trees, burning some CRP, and finishing up some prep work on equipment. The cover crop we sprayed three weeks ago is slowly dying and hasn’t grown. We are glad we took the opportunity to get out there and get it sprayed it when we did, as other rye cover crops in the neighborhood are starting to get some serious growth on them. With the wet soils, the cover crops around here will get at least another week of growth before an attempted termination. We wait patiently for the weather to turn, but our delays are shared by our peers and things could always be worse! Hopefully by the next update we can share some field work pictures and news.
This last week we finally have had some warm temperatures. The month of March brought us over 5 inches of rain. The rye cover crop has greened up and it was dry enough mid-week to get out there and spray it. Hopefully we get a few more warm days and the herbicide does its job. Work in the shop is getting caught up, both planters are nearly field ready. The tender trailers and trucks have been gone through and we have our first load of soybean seed on the trailer. Sadly, but as expected, results from our seed tests are showing poor germination percentages. Cold and saturated cold germination scores in the corn variety we had intended to plant first are much too low. We’ll have to wait for warmer and dryer soils to plant it. We took samples of the rest of our corn hybrids to the lab in Champaign and are hoping for better results with those. Payton and Preston were down to the farm for a few days. We were able to squeeze some work out of them when they weren’t too busy honing their marksmanship on the barnyard shooting range.
It’s been too long since our last update, but we’ve been busy around the farm! In January we hauled all the grain we had in storage, roughly 84,000 bushels in 9.5 days! We were blessed with good weather to get that done, even though there was snow on the ground. It was a little tougher to schedule than usual, as there had been an explosion in Decatur at ADM. The damage it caused required us to have times and appointments for each load delivered there. We were able to alternate loads delivered to our appointments at ADM Decatur with other delivery locations. We also delivered to ADM Farmer City, Tate and Lyle Decatur, and Cargill in Bloomington. We’ve also been attending several grower meetings and educational events. The Farm Economic Summit by the University of Illinois was held in Peoria. It was a one day seminar focused on crop insurance, marketing, and the farm economic conditions in the state. The Farm Futures Business Summit was a two day conference held in Iowa City. The content focused on improved marketing, farm business management, financing in production agriculture, and environmental stewardship. The Farm Credit College was a one day event held […]
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!!