Wednesday, May 13, 2020

It is a gray, drizzly day out there today.  The temperature is hovering around 48ºF (9C).  We had only a 50-50 chance of rain this morning, but we got the wet 50%.  This wet morning is a preview, they say, of a very wet weekend.  Time will tell.

This wet morning makes me pleased that we finished #plant20 last night.  We had a really good Monday-Tuesday and got across the remainder of the soybean acres.  It felt good to wrap it up last night.  By comparison, in 2019, we started planting on May 16, and finished on July 11!  Of course, we plan to plant double-crop soybeans after the wheat is cut, so there is technically more to do.  But spring planting is complete.  Yes, there may be some parts of fields where it will be necessary to replant, but that is yet to be determined.  The weekend heavy rain may damage bean emergence in some of the flat fields.   Today, it looks like no replant will be needed.

The JD9520R and the 1890-1910 air drill worked very well after a rocky first day of planting. The soybean crop went in the ground as dad would say, “pretty slick”.

This big yellow thing followed me around for all the days of soybean planting.

Working in the last field of #plant20 soybeans Tuesday evening.

On that front, we are very relieved to report that the frost of last Friday night does not seem to have harmed the sprouted soybeans.  We had nearly 1100 acres of beans that were emerged, so a killing frost would be a big deal!  We were praying for a warmer-than-predicted low temperature that night, and it seems to have occurred that way.  The weather forecast was for 31ºF, but the weather station in the farm office reports that it only got down to 34ºF, and that for only 2 hours in the wee hours of Saturday morning.  Yes, there was frost, but we have found no evidence of it killing the little emerging soybeans.  We will make a more thorough evaluation over the next two days, but today it appears we were spared that problem.  Who says prayers don’t get answered?

These little soybeans emerge with the thick cotyledons. When those fold back, it reveals that first, very tender, unifoliate leaf.  Frost is not your friend at (or after) this stage of growth.

Also, the wheat crop survived the frosty night.  It does not look very robust, but it has survived.  John sprayed the final fungicide treatment on it yesterday.    He says it appears ‘thin’ as he drove through it.  The cold and wet spring weather has been pretty hard on it.

On the corn crop, Ross was able to replant in areas of two fields Monday, for a total of 51 acres of replant corn.  Those areas were in low-lying parts of two fields, where the cold and wet had just been too much to allow the corn to thrive.  He had those areas worked up with the field cultivator, and the replant went in smoothly.  The corn planter is unhooked from the tractor… for now.  Clean-up will come later, when we’re certain that replanting is over.

Ross raises a little dust as he plants this field to corn.

So, it is a good feeling to have the crop in the ground.  PTL!

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