Monday, October 19, 2020
As I look out the office window this morning, I see a rainy day. It has been a long time since the last significant rain event. We have received 1.8″ (46 mm) during the night, and it is quite welcome. The most noteworthy need was the newly-planted wheat crop. It was looking a bit thin and ‘scraggly’… not a good stand…yet. But we are hopeful that this will finally let the 2021 wheat crop get going. There is an old farmer saying for wheat: “Plant in the dust, your bins will bust!” Well, we certainly planted wheat in the dust this year. The extended period of dry weather had a plus side, though. It was a boost to soybean and corn harvest.
We finished up the corn harvest on Saturday evening. It is a good feeling to have that behind us. One caveat about being ‘finished’ with harvest is that we still have some double-crop soybeans (DCB) yet to cut… about 1.5 acres. When we were harvesting at our Harry farm, we had to cut around a few small patches of not-yet-ripe beans in the bottoms of the WASCoBs. And in one field, a neighbor has a dusk-to-dawn light on a pole. In the area around the pole, the illumination prevents the soybeans from getting ripe until they are frosted. It is a a phenomenon called “photoperiodism“. The light tricks the soybean plants, so that they are not aware the days are getting shorter. It is funny to note that in the shadow of the pole, a little triangle of soybeans did get ripe, but the semi-circle around the pole stayed green.
We had some beautiful scenes during the harvest.
Our finished harvest was good… 5 weeks from start to finish… with no rain-delay days. The machines held together pretty well, with few calls to bring in a technician. I had one service call to get a height sensor on the soybean header fixed, and Ross had to call for help on a DEF system alert.
Warm days are supposed to return the end of the week, with temps in the 80s again. I’ll bet on those warm days, you will be able to see the wheat grow!
The clean-up of the machines can begin soon. We hope the warm days stick around until that task is complete.
I’m preparing the harvest summaries for each farm location. We keep separate numbers for each crop: corn, soybeans, wheat and DCB. Those reports will be submitted to Lee, our crop insurance agent. We also use those results for analysis of agronomic performance. We will dig deeper into the yield reports soon on Climate Fieldview, and compare hybrid and variety performance in each of our fields. That analysis will be a factor in seed selection for 2021.
Selected fields are now undergoing grid soil sampling. The turn around for those results have been shortened to about 72 hours, rather than about 10 days. That allows us to make exacting plans for fertility for 2021’s corn and soybeans. Some lime and fertility for ’21 soybeans have already been applied. And all that information must be reconciled with the financial situation, as budgets for the next year have already begun to be created. It’s a good thing I enjoy office work, huh?
Have a good week.