Shortly after our last update our website was hacked. Why someone would take the time to hack a high-profile operation like ours we haven’t figured out?! Our web host provider was able to restore an old version of our website, get it updated to the version that was hacked, and set up new security measures to prevent future problems.
The 2020 planting season was spread out due to weather. We were warm and dry early followed by temperatures well below normal, including a freeze in May. Soybean planting started early as planned. The first beans went in the ground on the 4th of April and we finished them up on the 1st of June. We had 500 acres in the ground in the first half of April. The early beans took more than 40 days to emerge and survived the May frost event. We did replant about 50 acres of beans but it was more due to drown outs than cold weather. It was our goal to have beans flowering on or before the summer solstice. We had 830 acres of them flowered by that time.
Corn planting started on the 22nd of April. We planted a couple hundred acres of corn that first day and then didn’t plant anymore corn for three weeks as we waited for warmer temperatures. The last of the corn was planted on June 1st. Corn replanting was minimal but stands did suffer in some areas due to the cold weather and emergence issues.
As we got into June our corn and soybean spraying were needing to be done at the same time because of the spread-out planting windows. A wrench was thrown into the gears when a judicial ruling terminated the legal use of our planned soybean herbicide program. We reacted quickly and switched our early planted fields to a more conventional herbicide program. Two days later, an emergency ruling by the EPA allowed us to return to our planned program to use up existing purchased stocks of the banned products.
Side-dressing nitrogen to the corn went as planned after the spraying was completed. Soil nitrate samples were pulled on all the corn fields. Levels were at or near where we had predicted, meaning that our planned nitrogen rates rarely needed to be raised. It was at side-dress time that the temperatures began to rise and the moisture was starting to dry up. At the shop, we went through a 6-week period where we only received 0.7” of rain. DeWitt county has been labeled as abnormally dry by the U.S. Drought Monitor since the last week of June.
Recently we have received 2 or 3 rains across the county and the temperature have receded to the mid-80s. Our first planted corn is finishing up pollination. The cooler weather and precipitation couldn’t have come at a better time! Kernel counts on the corn are very encouraging. We are still in the need of more rain but currently things look like we could have an average to above average crop.
Currently we are working on cleaning up machinery, spraying field edges, mowing, and office work. The fall and harvest are right around the corner. Fall prep and planning are next on the agenda.
Appreciation Dinner: Due to uncertainty and risks of the on going Covid-19 situation, we have decided to postpone our annual appreciation dinner and gathering that was scheduled for August. We will continue to monitor the situation and if circumstances allow, will reschedule for a later date. It is a decision that we are disappointed to make but we are choosing to be cautious.
Hope you all are well and making the best of the unique challenges currently facing us. If any of you need anything don’t hesitate to give us a call!