Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Sunny and 33ºF. The wind is calm, so it is a pretty nice day out there this afternoon. The sunshine is bringing some melting to the snow, and a bit of a thaw…unless there is some shade.
We traveled to the Huey farm late this morning in order to retrieve the soybean drill and the ammonia toolbar from their storage location there in the quonset building. It’s the only place we have that we can place the those machines under roof. It has been okay as a storage site there for several years now, and although the building is quite old, it serves its purpose for keeping those two implements out of the sun and rain. It is sort of a rite of passage when we travel the 7 miles there at the end of winter. Once those get brought home, the annual maintenance can occur. It was very nice to get them brought back here to the main farm while the ground was still frozen and the county roads were clean and dry.
The toolbar is now in the shop, and it is due for a replacement of the scrapers or “boots” on each row unit. Last time we did that was in 2017, and 2014 before that. To understand what we are now doing, check this website post that describes this work.
We had some single-digit temps for a couple nights this week, but the weekend forecast is for temps in the 50s, and rain. The soil will thaw out thoroughly, and the little bit of snow we received will be gone. During this cold snap, we had the opportunity to apply the nitrogen “top-dress” fertilizer to our wheat crop. The guys from the local Nutrien plant were out on those very cold days of Monday and Tuesday to make that application of a 50/50 blend of urea and ESN. The thaw that is coming will ‘grab’ the granules of N, and pull them into the soil. Our preferred timing for this application would be February 15, but we have only just this week had the proper window of conditions to allow this operation to be done. We have applied top-dress anytime from New Year’s day to early March, as conditions permit. If this were delayed into late March or early April, we would need to use another, more expensive form of N. To see this spreading in action, check out this 2.5 minute video on our YouTube site.
Early this week, we spent some time performing software updates in the 9520R tractor. John Deere sent an update directly to the tractor, and then we loaded our spring operating profile and nitrogen prescriptions. Today, there was another update, released just this month, for the tractor, satellite receiver, and GS2 rate controller on the 2510H, and those took about a half hour to download and install. The only remaining information to build and install are the planting prescriptions for soybeans, which are yet to be created. Once those are loaded, the system should be ‘good to go’ for spring 2019.
These steps make it feel like #plant19 is not too far off!