Monday, March 20, 2017
In our informal meeting in the farm office today, we are discussing initial field operations. The sprayer needs to run on some of the soybean fields that will be suitable for early planting. Plus, we are discussing the application of our corn’s nitrogen. We use anhydrous ammonia for our nitrogen source, and we apply that pre-plant. As we monitor the weather forecast, we think we will begin that operation on Monday the 27th– weather and soil conditions permitting. The burndown herbicide application is a little more complicated, because it must be applied 10-14 days ahead of the soybean planter. Any burndown applied today means the earliest the soybean planter could run is April 3–which sounds a little early for bean planting–but it depends on the soil and weather conditions after burndown application. In any event, John has taken the sprayer support truck over to CPS to fill it with water and a couple day’s supply of herbicides. Ross and Brandon are out to visit some of the fields that will be planted in corn to evaluate the conditions for nitrogen application. So, it is beginning to feel like the busy season around here!
I am updating the Ag Leader SMS program in the office computer, and preparing to perform a ‘setup’ of the Pro700 system in the CIH MX290 tractor. That tractor is utilized for part of the N application and for corn planting. It must have this setup information in it to know the farms and fields for corn. Then, the Pro700 screen will take control of the NH3 application and the corn planter, and record the as-applied information.
Our John Deere Greenstar systems are updated, planting and nitrogen prescriptions written, and are sent wirelessly to the 2630 screens in the tractors and sprayer. The JD 9330 tractor used for the soybean planter is a bit older and does not have the wireless data transfer (WDT), so it must be updated using a USB thumb drive. Initial work with the soybean planter this year must be coordinated with a Greenstar consultant from Alliance Tractor, as we learn how this new machine operates ‘Section Control’.
When planting corn, we will also link up to our Climate.com FieldView to bring a very precise record of what is planted in each field, row-by-row. This system is similar to the FieldView system used with the soybean air cart and drill (no longer a Beta version this year). It records precisely the variety and population of the soybeans planted, and keeps an accurate record of that information.
We use this FieldView platform to seamlessly combine the information generated in our CIH AFS system and the JD Greenstar systems. At harvest, the FieldView automatically recognizes the as-planted information, and allocates the harvest information accordingly as the combine runs through each field. Those FieldView iPads are busy during planting and harvest, and can be used during the growing season to communicate with our agronomic advisers as we analyze crop progress.
Mr. Olan Worland has notified me he will arrive tomorrow to begin some springtime conservation repairs. Some of our fields need his attention, and we have developed a list of tasks for him to improve in 12 locations. None of the jobs are big ones, but need his bulldozer, track hoe, and experience to make them right.
Here’s to Springtime in Indiana! Let the fun begin!