Delay continues

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

It’s chilly out there this morning.  It’s a gray, overcast kind of day.  When the temperatures only get into the low 60s and the skies are cloudy, the soil surfaces don’t dry out very quickly.  And we’ve had some sprinkles of rain yesterday and last night.   We are still waiting for conditions that will allow a return to soybean planting, and a start to corn planting.  During this period, though, John has pushed the envelope a bit to apply burndown herbicides to some corn acres.  He finds an occasional soft spot in most fields, but with the relatively calm winds, he feels the need to push on and get some corn acres covered.  Last week, it was just too windy most days to use the sprayer, so when the wind is not a limiting factor, he utilizes this opportunity to lay down some corn field herbicides.  It’s always a juggling act, to try to balance your hope for ideal soil conditions with the urgency to get the acres covered.

The new JD R4044 sprayer has been performing well.  The ExactApply system is great example of precision application.  It is neat to watch the section control and the turn compensation in action.

This is an image of how the section control works. It performs as if each of the 97 nozzles is an individual section of the boom.

This is how turn compensation works. When making a turn or curve in the field, the outer nozzles increase and the inner ones decrease according to the radius of the curve. In that way, a much more uniform rate is applied across the field.

I checked on the soybeans that were planted last Friday.  The little seeds are just beginning to shoot out a little root.  Most are about an inch to an inch-and-a-quarter down into the soil.  It will still take several warm days for the cotyledons to push up through the soil.  Soybeans seem to take the cool, moist soils better than corn.

This soybean seed has been in the ground for 5 days now. See the pink fungicide seed protectant has cracked open to allow a small root to develop. This is occurring even though the soil is cooler and wetter than ideal. Soon, this seed will push out of the ground as the cotyledons of the new soybean plant!

Back on Monday, we met with our wheat consultants, Greg Anthis and Landon Taylor.  We discovered some skips in the 2nd nitrogen application, and Greg will do some corrective work to fix that.  We found the wheat is in very good condition, and we are still hopeful for improved yields.  The herbicide/fungicide application went on at a good time.  There will be one more fungicide treatment, just as the wheat heads emerge from the top of the stalks.  We would prefer to apply that with our own R4044, but if the conditions require, we may have to utilize an aerial application.  The timing of that fungicide treatment is very critical, with a very small window of opportunity.

Landon Taylor inspects the root system, and he declares it “healthy”.

Cutting into the base of a stalk of wheat, Greg exposed the early-developing head, hidden deep within the plant. That tiny structure will push out the top in May as the crowning achievement of this wheat stalk!

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All in all, #plant21 is going pretty well so far.  We know warmer days are ahead.  We are ready to get those planters rolling.

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