Tuesday, October 22, 2013
There was a sugar-coating on the ground this morning… our first frost of the fall. The low temperature was 32-34ºF, depending on who was reporting. That should knock the remaining leaves off the ripening soybeans, and accelerate their maturity.
We met this morning with Greg Anthis, our CPS consultant, and went over the fertility program for the 2014 corn. Finding it a bit less expensive than we originally projected, we approved his plan, and he will begin tomorrow to apply the P & K plus micronutrients. Currently, there are 3 locations that are ready for his application trucks, the others still have some (replanted) soybeans to cut. It will take several more days for the remaining replant soybeans and DCB to get fully ripe. Once those are cut, Greg can get going with the rest of the fall-applied fertilizers. He is also preparing a fertility recommendation for 3 of next year’s soybean fields. He will soon have the grid-based soil sample results for those.
John is now occupied with the application of fall herbicides. This application helps keep the fields clean of weeds in early spring. Some species are becoming more difficult to control, and must be stopped before they emerge. This application aids that need.
Some clean-up has been occurring. Brandon has worked on the corn heads, which are now cleaned, washed, lubricated, repaired, and stored. The grain cart needs a repair to the lights on the big auger, and Ben is working on that. Two trucks will be washed today, for they are going out tomorrow to deliver corn to GPC at Washington, Indiana.
On the Lett and Watjen farms, the cover crop of rye and radishes is coming up nicely, and looking like it should. This is our first experience with cover crops, and we hope it shows great benefit to the soils there. Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) technicians are working at Lett and Watjen today, designing new conservation structures.
Refinements to the 2014 cash flow and crop budgets are now being done in the office. Since we discovered that we have a little clearer picture of the costs of fertilizers for next year, those documents can be made more accurate.
A contractor has been working on the home farm for many days, repairing terraces and strips that were badly eroded in the heavy rains of spring and summer 2013. Those repaired areas will also have some wheat planted on them next week to protect from erosion over winter. He also installed 3 new WASCoBs (Water and Sediment Control Basins). He has also built 3 rock chutes that conduct water from a terrace’s outlet down into a stream–without the severe erosion to the soil.
It seems like the work to improve and protect our soil never stops. We invest heavily in the care and protection of this precious resource.