Friday, April 30, 2010

planting progress ?

So we have 70 acres worked and ready to plant to milo, 100 acres ready to plant to corn, and 110 acres going to beans that just need some herbicide applied and hit with a Til-oll.  SO why did we spend the day doing something besides planting? Well, the corn ground is to wet. And because it is still April and the weather forecast says 90% chance of rain possibly heavy at times.  Oh, and we have 100 acres planted struggling to come up now. No reason to stick our neck out any further.

No photos this time.  But I posted several over at .  After looking at the radar I think I'll go unplug the computers.  Later Ya'll

Saturday, April 24, 2010

So which closing system do you like?

If you scroll down a ways you'll find some information on an experiment we were conducting with various closing wheels.  It isn't too scientific, more observation than anything.  We're not going to do yield checks or anything like that.    The one thing we have observed at this point is the JS Ag Innovations "IH knock-offs" have a clear advantage when it comes to what gets out of the ground first.  We tried to make sure everything was planted the same depth. We put 2 of the JS units on the planter, one on row 5 and one on row 10.  That would be where the male rows go in seed production.  Row 5 had Posi-Close on each side

Row 10 had a Dawn Curvetine and JD rubber wheel on each side
Oh, and No, these photos were not taken in the same field as the next photo.

Driving past the field you can pick put the JS system at 30MPH.  Here is an example

The Schlagel Posi-Close might have an advantage in some situations.  I'm hearing from folks who say the Posi's don't crust as badly as some other combinations.  And in a reduced tillage situation we can see the Dawn and Posi's possibly having an advantage.  And I need to go back and look more closely at how the JD Tru-Vee compared to the others.

Will it make an economic difference?  We probably can't answer that.  But so far it makes an appearance difference. And in seed production it will be a lot easier to plant a split planting if the planter is using the JS Ag wide press wheel. 

I've long advocated getting off the tractor every hour or two and walking around it and what you are pulling.  A bit of a leg stretch, plus it gives you a chance to eyeball everything.  I was doing that Thursday when I spotted this
If that pin had come out because the clip was missing it could have been a very bad day

Be careful out there!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How thick ?

Been planting irrigated seed production.  When they told me the population they wanted I paused and asked they repeat it.
Yes, that says 39,900.  That's just a bit higher than usual.  Dad thought I was planting corn pretty thick at 29,000.  For those unfamiliar with what those numbers mean, that is the number of seeds planted per acre (an acre is an area 66 feet wide by 660 feet long)

We have 2 seed fields planted, should have 2 more tomorrow.  Well ... not finished, just first planting done.  We will wait 40 heat units and plants the pollinator.

The fertilizer guys have been fighting equipment malfunctions.  One sprayer broke so they borrowed one from another plant ... which was full of crud. 

The dry spreader was not working as well as it should either.  For some reason I did not feel this was a good enough application job
I know, I'm just a grouchy old guy.

The jury is still out on our closing wheel experimentation. We should have some corn up in a few days to give us an idea of how they perform.  I really like the appearance of the Posi-Close wheels (the ones on the right)

The seed production field guy was reasonably impressed with them.  Once he found the row it left a nice mellow surface.  Sure did make it difficult finding seed, though.
I like the Dawn Curvetines as well, but I really like the way the Posi-Close leaves the surface.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

So why am I setting at the computer instead of planting corn?

I know, it's 5:40 AM April 17th. I should be on a tractor someplace. We've already caught they dry ground. Thursday I planted 1 field ... 'course it was a 115 acre field and included a 16 variety test plot.   Yesterday I finished the end rows on the big field (hard to line up next to the neighbor's in the dark) and planted 3 more fields ... maybe 20 acres all together.

But back to today. We have 40 acres ready to plant, but it needs to air out a little  We have another 20 that just needs a Till-oll drug through it and another 15 that was on the fertilizer application list.  Then we are waiting on dry ground or the seed production folks. They didn't want to plant this early.  So next week the other ground will dry out about the time Syngenta says "plant seed corn" .  Part of it I guess.

I keep telling myself "It's only the 17th.  Remember, Ivan wouldn't let you plant corn on him until May 10th".  But we're making progress.

edit added later:

I hate breaking in new spreader operators.  I mentioned we were on the list.  It is for dry and liquid on the 20 by the creek.  Plant manager knows the field. He used be a driver.  He's been stuck in it before.  They'd have it by dark. Fine, works out well.  Come past the field this morning ... not nearly enough tracks.  OK, go on down the road ... and the next field has a bunch of tracks in it.

No ... he wouldn't have ...

So I go back and look closer at the 20.  No dry fertilizer laying around.

I call the son in law (he lives next door to the fertilizer plant.  "You left town yet?"

"Yep, I'm at the fertilizer plant. The 20 doesn't have any dry on it, but Don's does."

"I noticed that..."

The other new driver out the second app of nitrogen and Harmony on some wheat earlier this week.  Field is 1/4 mile long, as a driveway back to the irrigation pump, then another 1/8 of a mile to the south end.  New operator thought the drive was too rough to cross (we cross it with every field operation) so he was turning on each side of it.

I hate breaking in new spreader operators.

Oh, here's the plot layout by the way

EX 1007    HX1 with RR
5435XR    HX Xtra with RR
5779V3    VT3
6179V3    VT3
Comp D    DKC62-54VT3
5716A3    AgriSure 3000GT
5676XR    HX Xtra with RR
Comp P    P1395XR
EX 1010    HX1 with RR
6903HR    HX1 with RR
6733XR    HX Xtra with RR
EX 1006    HX1 with RR
6288A3    AgriSure 3000GT(Triple+RR/LL)
EX 0005    AgriSure GT(RR)
6464HR    HX1 with RR
6363XR    HX Xtra with RR

Plot listed from South to North
Borders are 5676XR+5676RR Last 3 rows North of 6363 are 5676RR (9XR-3RR)

Planted 4-16-10   28,500 pop

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's almost that time of year

I had to keep looking at the calendar last week. At 7 AM Tuesday I stuck a thermometer in the ground.
60 degrees means plan corn ... but April 6th is still early even for me.  I'm watching the weather on TV as I type and Kevin is talking about frost.  But next week I may get all excited about planting corn.  We're still trying to get bins cleaned out!
 But we're working diligently to get it done.
Between snow and posted roads and soft driveways and yards, it's been a real challenge this year.  The guy who mows the yard at Gramp's is not going to be real proud of us. After getting a semi stuck loading out corn and a week later getting our truck stuck, well, it isn't a lawn.  Jumping back and forth between sweep auger and tractor driving is not something we are used to doing
But I guess we're not alone.  I see several neighbors doing the same thing.  It's going to be a long spring. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It's April ...

It's April and I'm just getting a good run on my December to-do list. Oh well, what else is new? Ralph is hoping to get the bed on the KW next week. "Course he said that last week too.

Aman and I moved the paintball course this week. Perhaps that requires an explanation. I bought some farm ground last year. The owners had a private paint ball course onit. Terra Tires, tractor tires, old doors, etc. if doesn't show up very well here but you get the idea

View Larger Map

They were to remove everything. Well, that was almost a year ago and my patience ran out. We started to work on it a week ago. We moved one load of tires and were told they had help coming this weekend to do it. So we left it. Yesterday I decided it was time. Aman borrowed a bolt on pallet fork from his dad to put on out loader. Worked great. Stick it through the middle of a tire, pick it up, set it on a trailer, haul trailer to the house and do again unloading it. My original plan was to use a small chain and handle them like dad did round bales. This was a lot easier. And there wasn't too much worry of damaging one.

We moved ... I lost count. Probably 50 or so tires. Plus other assorted stuff. I spent an hour with the loader pushing brush around. This morning I dug through it with the Soil Saver. Probably should have gotten out the moldboard, but it was hooked on already. We're going to need to take the backhoe down and do some sprout removal.

This afternoon I chiseled the milo stubble just north of town we had not touched last fall. The blasted GPS (that's no how Pioneer Karla referred to it but close enough) messed up to the point I turned it off and drove the old fashioned way. it seemed to work OK going north, but come south and it was consistently 2-3 ft off. One area I was playing, using the straight line mode and skipping a pass each time. Sometimes it was spot on, others it was consistently off. I was going south one pas when it just led me to he next pass. Ahhh technology