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Paul Ralston

Paul Ralston, Hardin County, Nov. 11

“I have 25 acres left to go. I had more water damage than I thought we had. We still have pretty good yields, and it may still average out to be the best year ever, but not as far above as what I thought it could have been. I think we’ll average in the 160- or 170- range, which would not be the best year we’ve ever had, but it is still not bad corn. We had a lot of rain there early on and in the low holes there is just not much corn there.

“The yield monitor would go from below 100 to 250. There has been a wide range this year. The well-drained fields were more consistent, but even they had some lower spots for yield. We will be on the border with whether we will capture anything from insurance due to the lower prices.

“We had one variety that was goose-necked something awful and it was a challenge.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin County, Oct. 28

“We got all of the beans cut in six days. We just got in the cab and didn’t slow down. We don’t have a big range in maturity and they were all pretty much the same. There was a lot of water damage and most of the beans were only knee high. As much water damage as there was, I thought we did pretty well. We ended up somewhere over that 50-bushel per acre mark. We used high management on them and tried to get the right stuff on them when they needed it.  We had no weed pressure either. There were a lot of troubles with controlling weeds in many areas this year. I am glad my chemical program is working.

“We’ve gotten about 350 acres of corn done. There are good spots and bad spots. The first corn we shelled was 200 plus bushels. The corn in the good black ground was not as good as I was hoping it would be.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin County, Oct. 7

“We’re not floating away, but we don’t need any more rain. We’ve gotten 2.5 inches and it is pretty wet. There may be more at the end of the week depending on where the hurricane goes. We should have beans ready by the time it does dry up.

“I still have the combine set for corn. We ran around 90 acres. The moisture was anything from 21% to 26%. We haven’t cut any beans. There are too many green streaks in them. We are going to put them in the bin and I don’t want any problems with them. Probably 80% of them are ready and 20% are still green. I’d hate to have any problems storing them. We still had some yellow leaves on beans last week.

“The corn is up to expectations and beyond. The corn was over 200 dry and not even in the best ground. It was some of the best corn I have ever shelled and we are just getting started.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin County, Sept. 23

“We flew on some cereal rye last week and it was nice to get a couple of inches of rain Friday night that really helped it.  We’re probably still a couple of weeks away from cutting beans. I have been thinking about trying some corn to make sure the dryer is working right.

“The neighbor to the south of me has shelled around 300 acres that was at just under 25% moisture. It was an earlier variety and they had some contracts to fill.

The rain was not going to help any of the crops up here, other than the cover crops.

“Weeds are not a problem for me. There are ways to control them, but it costs a little more money. We have to work on controlling some of these hard to control weeds. “Fall spraying is a really good way of controlling that. The cereal rye really helps a lot, in my opinion.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin County, Sept. 9

“I am just cleaning up at the Hardin County Fair. The weather was great and the kids got paid pretty well, so I think it went alright.

“Two weeks ago we got an inch of rain or so, but we haven’t really gotten much rain since. If we got a rain, some of these later beans could use it, but I think now we’re in the last stretch and things are finishing up.

“There were people at the fair saying their beans were changing. I am wondering if that is some SDS showing up, because I haven’t seen any of my fields changing much yet. I think we’ll shell corn before we cut beans, but a lot of that depends on the weather.

“It will be a big harvest and a lot will depend on how we can get rid of the crop too. I hope it is not a late harvest.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin County, Aug. 26

“We got a little over an inch of rain last week. We were getting a little dry, but I am not happy I have to mow grass again, though I was glad to get the rain. I am driving around this morning looking at corn fields and I am pretty excited. Things look pretty good. It looks like it is going to be a good year.

“I think the beans are going to be closer to average than what I was thinking they would be. They have greened back up and they are still putting pods on. I hope we have a late frost so they can die naturally. I don’t think we will be cutting any beans in September. I don’t see them getting ready before then.

I think the cool weather has pushed the corn back a little and has lengthened the growing season. We will get enough heat to make a crop.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin County, Aug. 12

“I have some corn I wish I would have sold a month ago that we’re going to get cleaned out of the bin. I found a few aphids in the beans and we’re right on the edge of whether we need to spray or not. We aren’t sure if we should put more money into these beans. They got hurt by too much water and they are short and yellow. They seem to have stopped growing. We tried spraying a little 28% on some beans. They put on some additional growth, but it may have been a waste of money too.

“I have quite a bit of hope for the corn. It is 10 feet tall and solid green. There are some wet holes with a little nitrogen deficiency, but in general it doesn’t hardly seem like it has had a bad day. There are ears that are 16 and 18 kernels around and I planted 36,000 population.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin County , July 22

“Between yesterday and this morning we’ve had an inch and eight tenths of rain and it has come really nice and easy. I couldn’t be happier. Two weeks ago I was ready for it to shut off and it did. The fields dried up, though, and it was time for another shot of rain.

“I think the beans are hurt from all the water we had, but I don’t know how bad. There are a couple of holes here and there where the plants died. It was not a large area and every year you have some of that, so I am not really concerned. The corn, though, just looks phenomenal and I am excited about that. Most of the corn is going to pollinate this week. It is supposed to be a little cooler this week and we have good moisture. In the good black ground the corn is 10 feet tall and solid green and even.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin County, July 8

“Two weeks ago I said I wanted rain, but now I am ready to shut her down a little. We got another 1.5 inches last night and in the last two weeks we are almost at 8 inches of rain. Most of the rains have been .7 or .5 at a time. It has been nice and steady, but the ground is pretty well saturated now. I need to save some for August.

We need to get some beans sprayed. The beans don’t like wet feet really well and they are starting to turn yellow. It is time to get some other things done instead of standing here dumping out the rain gauge.

“The beans may have some manganese deficiency. By now we have usually had two applications of manganese on soybeans and a lot of the yellowing could be from manganese deficiency, but some of that is from wet weather too.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin County, June 24

“In the southern part of the county they have been getting nice rains and the northern part of Hardin County they have had plenty of rain, but there is an area right in the middle that has not been getting some of these showers. We have been getting rain here, but just not as much as other parts of the county.

“We got 1.2 inches of rain yesterday and we needed it. We got an inch there two weeks ago, but it was getting dry again. I feel like we don’t have a lot of reserve moisture left in the soil. We’ve been getting tenths and we need to get more soakers so we have enough moisture if we go for a couple of weeks without rain.

“We walked some fields and sprayed some RyzUp SmartGrass last week on the corn. It is a Valent product that is a growth stimulator.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin County, June 10

“We got two or three tenths last night and this morning. We need some rain and tenths aren’t going to do it. We need a couple of inches.

 

“We have the best stands I have probably ever had. We had a few emergence issues with corn, but nothing bad enough to go in and replant. We planted everything at 36,000 and we had some stands down around 28,000. It was not terrible, though, and I think we only had one field like that. Other than that, I couldn’t ask for anything better with our stands. We planted beans at 160,000 and all of the stand counts we have done have been in the high 150,000s.

 

“I haven’t seen pests. I am sure there is something out there but we haven’t seen it yet. We put urea down ahead of time so we don’t have to sidedress anything. We have been catching up with spraying.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin Co., May 24

“I didn’t look at the rain gauge, but we couldn’t have gotten much more than a couple of tenths of rain and we need some moisture. It was hit or miss with the rains, but we couldn’t ask for any better crops. We finished Monday. We planted 550 acres of beans in two and a half days. I am tickled to get that done, but now it would be nice to get some rain.

“If we do get some rain, we have a good start to the season. Once we got rolling we kept right on going. We had a delay there of a week because of the rain, but once we got going we got it done. We finished planting corn a week ago on Thursday. We had 350 acres of corn planted in about four days and six days later it was up out of the ground. I couldn’t believe how fast it came out of the ground, but we had the moisture and we got the heat.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, May 13

“We’re right at 50% on corn and we haven’t planted any beans. We got the burndown all sprayed. By Friday, we ought to be able to start planting some beans. We have right at 400 acres of corn planted. We got .8-inch of rain this weekend. I am hoping we can get back into the field tomorrow evening or first thing Wednesday if the weather cooperates. I think we got a little frost, but not much. The trees and flowers got nipped a little bit.

“I think the weed situation is in hand. Wherever I had a good, thick rye cover crop we didn’t have any weeds. The only places there were a few weeds were the thin spots in the rye. There really was not much marestail out there. Hopefully, our 2,4-D will carry us through and we won’t have to worry about marestail this year.

“We put a full rate of 2,4-D down, with a half rate of Valor and some Sencor.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston

“I am a fifth generation farmer on one side and sixth on the other side. I started farming after my dad passed away in 2003. My mom and I farm together. It works out really well. It is just us with one employee. Mom is the combine operator and the gopher and she does whatever else she needs to do. I am 30 years old and this will be my eighth year farming.

“We’re right on the edge of the Scioto marsh at the home farm so we have some really good muck dirt. We also farm some clay knobs in the central part of the county, but over half of the operation is on the edge of the marsh. Everything we farm is pretty flat. What I consider a hill and what everybody else considers a hill are often two different things.

“Our soybeans are primarily no-till. For four years we have been flying cereal rye on top of the standing corn.… Continue reading

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