More #replant21

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

After a very lengthy ride in the Gator this morning, I discovered that there will be much more #replant21 than I thought last week.  Big areas of the Huey farm, as well as the Pond and Cox are just nearly bare of sprouting soybeans.  Fields planted on April 26 and 27 are the worst, along with a couple from April 17.  So, there will be hundreds of acres of replant, not just dozens.  I have contacted our seed dealer and our crop insurance agent.   They sprung into action to get us replant seed and the approval from the claims agent to move ahead with the replant.  Some of the acres I might be able to get across tomorrow or Friday, but most of the places still have some standing water!  That may be more than a week before I can return there.  Yes, it has just been too wet and too cold for too long.

I guess I need to remember the many acres that do not need me to return, where the stand of soybeans looks really nice.  It is not unusual for me to do some replant, and this spring is no exception.

After a very chilly overnight, we are now up to 58ºF with a bright blue, sunny sky!   I hear that some 70s are coming this weekend!  Warmer will be better.

John is out spraying fungicide on the wheat today.

 

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Quick crop check

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

It’s a sunny but cool morning.  We started the day out at 48ºF (9C).  The high today is only supposed to reach 63ºF (17C), which is about 10 degrees below average.  (I hesitate to use the word “normal” when referring to the weather) With that reduced temperature, the emerging seedling crops are moving rather slowly.  In a little trip around to some fields this morning, I discovered that the latest-planted soybeans are just now cracking through the soil.  It’s a good feeling to see them coming up.  Warmer weather would be better.  It has been a rainy week, and more is predicted for tomorrow and the weekend.  Because of this rain, it can be confirmed that there will be some #replant21.  Dozens of acres (at least so far) will need a touch up as soon as the fields dry out again.

These little soybeans were planted on April 27, nine days ago. It is a little surprising that they are coming up given the cool and wet days we’ve been having.

I checked on the wheat this morning, too, and discovered that it is beginning to ‘head out’.  It will soon need an application of fungicide.  We hope the weather will allow that to occur as planned.   Dad always told us we need “a cool, dry May” to make for a good wheat crop.  Well, we have been experiencing the “cool” part; the dry part?  –not so much yet.  The wheat continues to look pretty good.  It makes us hopeful for a good harvest next month.  But it’s a long way from ‘done’.

Our wheat has been treated with a growth regulator to keep it short. That makes it less likely to fall down or become ‘lodged’ ahead of harvest late next month.  Downed wheat is nearly impossible to harvest.  It is about “knee high” today.

Here is a typical head as it appears this morning. If we get it treated with a timely fungicide, it should develop very well to maturity with good quality soft red winter (SRW) wheat.

We will continue to monitor the progress of the emerging crops.  So far, so good!

 

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Rainy Monday

May 3, 2021

We had rain overnight and this morning, totaling .4″ (10mm).  That was just about perfect!  From the big rain last Wednesday (3.3″), some fields had created a crust that would have made it difficult for the little soybeans to emerge.  But this rain event will soften the soil surface, making it much easier for the sprouting soybeans.  Most of the soybeans are now out and growing, and also much of the corn.  At this stage, we are optimistic (is a better word ‘hopeful’?) about the 2021 crops.

Baby corn is spiking through!

Soybeans are emerging this week, as the soils warm up

In conferring with Greg Anthis at Nutrien, he estimates that the wheat crop will need its final fungicide treatment late this week.  It is our hope that by then, the soil will dry and firm up, making that trip possible.  It is preferred that we make that application with our new JD R4044 sprayer, rather than hire an aerial application.   But there is such a small window of opportunity (a mere 24-30 hours)  for this fungicide treatment, that we will have to hire a crop duster, if we cannot drive over the wheat fields.

Brandon is out delivering some corn to the market at ADM in Newburgh, Indiana.  The river bids have been very competitive in recent weeks, and it is to our advantage to deliver corn down there.

We may have a few acres of soybeans to replant, in small areas where water ponded after last week’s rain.  But it appears not to be hundreds of acres this spring, but a few dozen.  Time will tell.  We will know more in a week or two.

As the soils dry down again, I’ll be looking to hook up the new JD R15 cutter to the JD 6130R tractor and begin mowing some roadsides.  It’s early for that, but will improve the looks of the place.

This rainy Monday is helping our 2021 crops!

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Almost done…

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

#plant 21

We are not experiencing a drought in our part of Indiana, but in this region the fields are drier than we would expect for late April.  This has allowed us to move through our planting work without much delay or problem.  The machines performed well without much down-time.  Our work for #plant21 is almost done.  At least that’s the situation today.  Ross got done last Friday with his corn planting, when working at the Freddie farm.  That farm location is the exception right now.  In the middle of that 320 acre field in the White River ‘bottoms’  is a slough that is slow to dry out.  In a week or two, hopefully, Ross can return to complete the planting of that low ground, about 20 acres.

Yesterday evening, I was able to wrap up the soybean planting.  I had waited until the last  to put in the beans at Cox and Waldo.  In those fields are a couple low spots that are slow to dry out, and quick to flood.  But yesterday, they went in beautifully.  So, #plant21 is wrapped up for soybeans.

This afternoon, the weather services are predicting a potential ‘flash flood’ event.  If that really occurs, we will likely be moving into a bit of #replant21.  But as of this morning, all is looking pretty good at Carnahan & Sons.

We detached the air drill from the JD 9520R.  The tractor was washed.  It was pretty clean to have worked all through the spring soybean planting–not as much mud on it as we typically see.  The tractor can remain under roof until it is time to plant double-crop soybeans (DCB) in late June…or until a need for some replanting arises.  The last time we finished planting in April was 2012, the famous Midwest drought year.  We would prefer not to repeat that summer!  The corn planter tractor– CIH STX 420 Quadtrac–is unhitched, too, to get it under roof until the Freddie farm low ground is ready.

We are still waiting to see some corn and soybeans emerge from the soil.  The cold weather has slowed seedling development, but with the 83ºF (28C) yesterday, we are beginning to warm the soils.  Perhaps this afternoon’s rain event will help, too.

Some recent pictures from Carnahan & Sons.

With the cart and drill attached to the 4wd tractor, it makes for a long machine to turn around on the end-rows.

The view ahead as I plant soybeans

…and the view out back…

The music on K-LOVE plays most of the days…

The JD 1890-1910 air cart and NT drill wait patiently for their next turn in the field…

The 9520R is freshly washed this morning and placed back in the shed.

The CIH 420 Quadtrac and the CIH 2150 planter are stored under roof until we can return to finish off corn planting for 2021.

Weather permitting, we will hook up the new cutter (bush hog) next week and begin to make some roadsides look better.  That job will last all summer!   All in all, we are grateful for the timely planting of our corn and soybeans.

 

 

 

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Warming trend

Friday, April 23, 2021

After the cold nights of Tuesday (with snow!) and Wednesday, the weather is trending warmer.  Highs in the low 80s are predicted early next week.  I guess if you don’t like the weather, just wait a bit, and it’ll change for sure.

Monday’s sunrise…

Monday’s sunset.

We are returning slowly to the fields to  plant, as the soils dry out and are ready for us.  I need 2-3 days to finish the soybean planting.  Ross may finish corn today, but he will have to return in a week or two to plant some acres at the Freddie farm that he must drive around today.  Those are just too muddy today, but will dry soon.

I planted at the Crook farm yesterday, south of Wheatland.  The seed went into the ground pretty nicely.

We are making progress on #plant21, and we are grateful that the bulk of our planting looks like it could be accomplished in April.

I checked the earliest-planted soybeans, and they are just about to emerge from the soil!

Scrape away a thin layer of soil to find these soybeans are nearly out in the sunshine!

#plant21 is moving along.

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Another new experience

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

We have been a bit perplexed about this planting season.  The soil conditions are quite good, but the weather has been  unusually cool.  But we have chosen to forge ahead, placing seed in the ground, in hopes of warmer days ahead.

Yesterday provided us another new experience.  Ross was planting corn and I was planting soybeans in the fields southeast of Wheatland.  The day started very nice, but clouds moved in after lunch, and the wind picked up.  The forecast turned out to be fairly accurate, for light rain began about 630pm.  It turned to snow about 730 pm!!  Ross finished at the Holscher farm ahead of the rain, and he moved his tractor and planter back home.  I kept going at the Huey farm, and was able to finish that Flat Left field even though it was raining lightly for the last half-hour.  As I folded the drill, and turned up the Huey Farm grass road, the snow started!    We have never before planted on a day that we received snow!  When I arrived back at the main farm, the ground was nearly covered with a thin blanket of white.  We awoke today to the roofs and lawn areas of white, but by the afternoon, the snow was gone.

The drive home from the Huey farm was in the snow!

We will examine the wheat more closely in a couple days, to inspect for any damage from the cold overnight temperature of 32ºF (0ºC).  It was only that cold for about an hour.  We would expect the wheat to be okay, but we will examine it to be certain.

So… April Snow!  The subject for lots of stories today!

Remnants of last night’s snow remain late this morning.

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Corn #plant21

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Seems rather chilly out there today.  After an overnight temperature of 38ºF (3C), it has climbed up to 62ºF (16C).  The wind is blowing a bit too strong for John to be able to spray.  But Ross is having a good afternoon, starting out with the corn planter.  He is using our CIH STX 420 Rowtrac with a CIH 2150 24-row planter.  On this first day, it is typical to have a ‘slow start’, as you discover just how well the planter is working.   After a few rounds, he will make any needed adjustments, and then he can continue with greater confidence that all is working well.

Ross makes the first pass of #plant21 for corn.

I expect to return to #plant21 for soybeans tomorrow.  Last weekend’s rain has taken many days to allow the soil surface to dry down!

C’mon, warmer days!

 

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Delay continues

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

It’s chilly out there this morning.  It’s a gray, overcast kind of day.  When the temperatures only get into the low 60s and the skies are cloudy, the soil surfaces don’t dry out very quickly.  And we’ve had some sprinkles of rain yesterday and last night.   We are still waiting for conditions that will allow a return to soybean planting, and a start to corn planting.  During this period, though, John has pushed the envelope a bit to apply burndown herbicides to some corn acres.  He finds an occasional soft spot in most fields, but with the relatively calm winds, he feels the need to push on and get some corn acres covered.  Last week, it was just too windy most days to use the sprayer, so when the wind is not a limiting factor, he utilizes this opportunity to lay down some corn field herbicides.  It’s always a juggling act, to try to balance your hope for ideal soil conditions with the urgency to get the acres covered.

The new JD R4044 sprayer has been performing well.  The ExactApply system is great example of precision application.  It is neat to watch the section control and the turn compensation in action.

This is an image of how the section control works. It performs as if each of the 97 nozzles is an individual section of the boom.

This is how turn compensation works. When making a turn or curve in the field, the outer nozzles increase and the inner ones decrease according to the radius of the curve. In that way, a much more uniform rate is applied across the field.

I checked on the soybeans that were planted last Friday.  The little seeds are just beginning to shoot out a little root.  Most are about an inch to an inch-and-a-quarter down into the soil.  It will still take several warm days for the cotyledons to push up through the soil.  Soybeans seem to take the cool, moist soils better than corn.

This soybean seed has been in the ground for 5 days now. See the pink fungicide seed protectant has cracked open to allow a small root to develop. This is occurring even though the soil is cooler and wetter than ideal. Soon, this seed will push out of the ground as the cotyledons of the new soybean plant!

Back on Monday, we met with our wheat consultants, Greg Anthis and Landon Taylor.  We discovered some skips in the 2nd nitrogen application, and Greg will do some corrective work to fix that.  We found the wheat is in very good condition, and we are still hopeful for improved yields.  The herbicide/fungicide application went on at a good time.  There will be one more fungicide treatment, just as the wheat heads emerge from the top of the stalks.  We would prefer to apply that with our own R4044, but if the conditions require, we may have to utilize an aerial application.  The timing of that fungicide treatment is very critical, with a very small window of opportunity.

Landon Taylor inspects the root system, and he declares it “healthy”.

Cutting into the base of a stalk of wheat, Greg exposed the early-developing head, hidden deep within the plant. That tiny structure will push out the top in May as the crowning achievement of this wheat stalk!

____________

All in all, #plant21 is going pretty well so far.  We know warmer days are ahead.  We are ready to get those planters rolling.

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Good week, rainy weekend… #plant21 on pause

Monday morning, April 12, 2021

We had a good, productive week last week with progress made each day.  But Saturday and Sunday brought us some rain and now field work is paused.  Maybe by Wednesday, we can return to field work.

During last week, the anhydrous ammonia applications were completed for the 2021 corn crop.  The NH3 went on pretty well, finishing up on Wednesday morning.  Concurrently, we started the sprayer on applying the pre-plant burndown herbicide for soybeans.   Now, we have a few fields sprayed ahead of the soybean planter.  As soon as it dries down again, John will change over and start spraying ahead of the corn planter.  He may have to switch back and forth a couple times in order to keep both planters going.  This new JD R4044 sprayer is easier to clean out between types of chemicals.  Not easy, but easier than the previous JD 4730 sprayer.

Applying soybean burndown herbicides to corn stalk residue at the home farm.

After finishing up with the NH3 and storing the applicator, John took over the spraying duties.   On Friday, I was able to turn some attention to planting soybeans here at the home farm.  It went pretty well on Friday, but on Saturday, we had periods of light rain showers.  In between rainy spells, I was able to complete the planting here.

We have re-filled the seed tender trailer with a couple different varieties.  We have a plan to use a specific bean variety at the Lett, Watjen, and Nellie fields.   It will complicate the the fill process a bit, but with two seed tanks on the air cart, we can make it work.  It is a fun job for me to get to plant soybeans!

This is how we load the soybean planter from the Vision semi truck and trailer.

Here, you see soybeans being planted in the same home field as the above sprayer video.

In another video of the sprayer, I caught up to John one evening when he was working at the Lett farm.  The LED lights in each nozzle highlight the work of the ExactApply system.  You can even see the ‘pulses’ of the spray pattern!

We expect a soon return to field work.  We will be inspecting the progress of the wheat crop later today with our Nutrien and DynaGrow consultants.

The progress may be slowed a bit with the predicted weather of the week.  Days in the 60s and nights in the 40s will slow down soil drying and the sprouting of the planted soybeans.  But no rain is in the forecast.  That’s okay for now.

Saturday’s sunset was spectacular.

Taken from the seat of the planter tractor

So far, so good for 2021!!

 

 

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Getting going

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

We had a good running day yesterday.  The weather was beautiful.  76ºF (24C)  Ross and John were at the Huey farm, applying NH3.  I took the 9360R around to various fields to use a field cultivator to work in some erosion ruts.  In the afternoon, I worked on the new sprayer to change it over to apply burndown herbicide for soybean fields.  Because it’s new, it took me a while (and a few phone calls to John) to figure out how to set it up.  But once I got it set and filled, it worked beautifully.

They are making good progress with the ammonia application.  A couple good days of running, and that will be complete.  A rain after that will be welcome.  Rain is predicted for tomorrow night.  The timing could be just right.  I have been surprised by how dry and workable most fields have been.  We are far from having a drought in this part of Indiana, but the spots we would normally expect to be wet are in good condition.   The last time we had dry early conditions similar to this was 2012, the year of the great drought.  We certainly would prefer not to repeat that!

The wheat seemed to come through the recent two nights of below-freezing temperatures without damage.   It still has a very healthy appearance, and we were fortunate to get the herbicide/fungicide/growth regulator applied in a timely manner last Saturday.

We seem to be in a good place right now with the way the spring work has started.

We had a happy Easter, with the family together in the afternoon.  The weather was perfect, too.

Grateful.

 

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