Jed Bower

Jed Bower, 2014 wrap up

I was pretty pleased this year but we had yields all over the board.

There are always hybrids that stand out and there are always some that need some more tweaking. My biggest frustration has been with my own herbicide program and I am going with all Liberty beans in 2015 for that reason. As I talk to the seed reps and other farmers, it seems that in our area there is a slow switch going in that direction.

The past few years have been extremely exciting in agriculture and we might be going through some tougher times, but there are still many opportunities and new things coming on the technology side. I am sticking with Roundup corn next year. Then in 2016, I will be looking at the Duo with Dicamba and Roundup.

I have stayed loyal to spreading all the maturities out and this year we had 103-day corn clear to 115-day corn.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Nov. 24

It looks like harvest has wrapped up for most people in the area. You still see a few pockets of corn out, but things are dwindling down. There are some cover crops in the area that are coming on strong if they got them out early. The wheat is coming on nicely for the guys that got it in early.

Cover crops are not new, but they are for many people. There are still a lot of people who think they are a trend that will go away in a couple of years. In my opinion, the biggest problem with cover crops is the timing. It is so hard for us to get them out early enough to allow them to get proper growth before they get a freeze. I have looked into them and the cost of aerial application or specialized equipment is a little limiting right now. As new technology comes on, I think we may see an increase in cover crops in the next few years.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Nov 10

We finished everything up a couple of weeks ago for harvest. We’re cleaning stuff up and putting things away. We are spreading some lime and some fertilizer and looking at fall herbicide applications. We have some tile we want to put in and some fencerows to clean up.

We’re holding off on the herbicide application and waiting on this weather. My goal last year was to fall apply herbicide, but it got really wet and we didn’t get it on. This will be the first year we have done it. Around here, the guys that did get their herbicide on last year had pretty good results this year.

The corn number ended up being better than I expected for us. Overall it was really good. The soybeans might have been a touch lower than what I was hoping for, but still very good. Yield wise, that helped us out going into these lower prices.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Oct. 27

Earlier this morning we thought we would be done today, but now I don’t know that we’ll be done before the rain. We have 100 acres to go. We ran 20 feet and we are done for the day.

We fought beans for a couple days on moisture but yesterday they came down really nicely and were running much better than they had been. Yields have been average to good. Yields around here have been in the upper 50s and we have been seeing some pretty consistent 60s and some 70s, but when you hit the holes, yield drops off pretty quickly.

We finished corn a couple of weeks ago. It ended up doing very well. There were spots this year that did worse than last year but there were places that did better. There were some varieties that normally do really well that didn’t do well this year. Things will probably end up around 190 or 200 bushels around here and I think most everyone is pretty happy with the corn.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Oct. 6

I am backing the combine in the barn right now. It is raining. We had a little shower one day last week when we got a tenth or so, but that didn’t really stop progress.

The yields are pretty decent, but we are seeing yields from 0 to 300 on corn. There are holes out there and there are places where the yields are excellent. The beans are pretty good, probably averaging in the upper 50s. They are at 9% and 10% moisture and the stems are still green and they still have leaves on them. They have been that way for a couple of weeks. They are just terrible to run.

The corn moisture has really come down. For the better part of the week we have been shelling corn that is 18% moisture or less. Everything has been moving along pretty good in this part of the world. There might even be a few people who are done with corn.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Sept. 22

My neighbor is opening up field across the road and they said it is running 19% to 20% moisture. I have heard yields in the area all over the board from 250 bushels on down to 165 bushels.

We are finishing up a few things and hopefully this afternoon we’ll give it a shot with the corn. We have been hand-shelling ears and we have moisture anywhere from 38% to 22%. I might have a few acres of beans ready by the end of the week.

The first harvest around here was a couple of weeks ago but that was for high moisture corn for some dairies. Most of the people who are started got started last week. Some are doing corn and some are cutting beans.

We had some winds that made for a really nice drying day. It was a little overcast yesterday but fairly warm and 10 to 15 mile per hour winds.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Sept. 8

We are still a few weeks out from really getting into harvest, but I think we’ll probably see some guys in the next week or so trying some things. It is getting cooler and feeling more like fall so everybody is getting anxious. I personally haven’t seen any of my corn that is even black layered yet, so I know we are still a few weeks out yet. I have anywhere from 103-day to 115-day corn.

I don’t think I am going to plant any wheat this year, but that could change. The markets could go either way with the double-crop options. There has been a lot of success in this area with double-crop bean yields in the last few years. But, I will probably be shelling corn before I run the beans and that means I probably won’t have any beans off until a couple of weeks into October, which would push planting back to a little later than I would like.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Aug. 25

We had some pretty timely rains there the end of last week. We are actually getting some sprinkles this morning and that is hard to beat in August. Over a couple of days we got anywhere from and inch to 1.5 inches around here. From either end of that spectrum that is a pretty good rain for this time of year. Some of the later planted corn could still use some rains, but on our farm the corn is pretty well riding it out. We could definitely still use some showers for the soybeans, though.

The beans are a nice shade of green and podding nicely. I can’t ever judge soybeans but I think they look pretty good. The beans are really healthy in our area. We haven’t seen any SDS and I think soybean health has been tremendous this year. It does not seem like the disease issues progressed in the corn, which is good.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Aug. 11

It is raining. We were starting to get dry and the ground was cracking a little bit, but every time the crops start to stress a little bit we have been getting a rain. We have been fortunate. You never want a crop to stress, but a little stress can help. In the past few years we have gotten these high wind situations in the fall and I like to have a good root structure.

We’ve got some weeds out there. Everybody seems to have a few — some have a lot fewer than others. I talked to the old guys and maybe I sprayed on the wrong sign of the moon I don’t know. I have been over some of the bean fields four times and still am not having luck. I know there are some resistance issues out there and we are going to have to try something different.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Fayette County, July 21

We have been looking really good, but we are fighting some fungus in the corn. It has been perfect growing conditions for everything, including diseases. We have some issues with a good bit of gray leaf spot and some northern corn leaf blight. We are going to fly on some curative and preventative fungicides today. We are going to spray some — not all the fields — that we feel are at the economic threshold level.

We are getting mixed signals on when to spray and when not to spray, especially with what the markets are doing. When you are looking at close to 10 bushels of yield increase to pay for the application, it makes you a little nervous. We still have a large chance of weather issues between now and harvest.

Insect pressure doesn’t seem to be an issue. We have a few things feeding on soybeans, but those Japanese beetles have moved on.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Fayette County, July 7

The crops look pretty good around here. We were a little light on the moisture but we have been getting timely showers. We have corn tasseling and everything is looking pretty nice. The neighbor’s corn has been tasseling for a week.

As long as it is not a severe rain we’ll take it. There are a lot of guys trying double-crop beans if they had wheat, unless they are putting field tile in. Most of the wheat harvest finished up over the Fourth of July weekend. The yields I have heard about were in the mid-70 and 80s on up to over 100 bushels. Most everyone took if off a little wet to avoid some of the showers. I think most everyone was happy with how the wheat turned out. If we get this rain tomorrow, it will give the double-crops a good boost.

It got hot pretty early and we had corn that rolled up, but right when it was getting stressed, we’d get a nice rain.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Fayette County, June 23

It has been warm. We needed a little moisture and we got some. Where it was not drowned out, things are looking pretty good.

We actually had some corn rolling there the middle of last week, but then we got a shower that relieved the stress. We’ve gotten and inch to an inch and a half over the last couple of weeks. You don’t have to go too far and they got way too much rain. We haven’t really noticed any real insect pressure yet.

There are pockets of good areas with good color and it is nice and even. But then there are places where there is no corn at all. There are places where it looks really good and the poor spots are coming along. The corn looks beautiful color wise. The height doesn’t look as well with all of the water issues early on.

The beans are starting to get some height and bush out.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Fayette Co., June 9

It is still a little damp. We have come through our first round of planting, our second round of planting and, I guess for some people, the third round of planting. All of the spraying is caught up. We are at the point now that we are sitting back and waiting. I have talked to a few neighbors and everyone is in the same situation. What we’ve got now is just what we’ve got. Most everyone is caught up on spraying and sidedressing. We finished up planting completely two weeks ago tomorrow. I didn’t replant very much, just a few acres of corn. I didn’t spot in any soybeans. Most of the spots that we replanted in corn have washed out again. We had a couple rains that were an inch or inch and a half. The ground was already saturated so it didn’t take much rain to cause problems. The corn stands have some issues.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Fayette County, May 23

We are wet and we really haven’t gotten much done in the last couple of weeks. We tried to plant some beans but got rained out the other night. We didn’t fare as bad as a lot of places. We probably got an inch and a quarter, but you can go a mile up the road and they got three inches that night. So, again, we are waiting, as we have been most of the spring.

We went in and post sprayed all of our corn with herbicide. The corn has a yellowish tinge to it, but we have had a lot of moisture and the temperatures have not been really warm. We are getting some warmer days now and it is coming around.

The stands look pretty good except for the wet holes. There are quite a few and unfortunately a lot of mine are pretty small so I don’t think I am going to replant.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Fayette County, May 12

We were pretty fortunate because you don’t have to go very far to where they got a fair amount of damage last night. We have gotten a little over an inch for the month and we got three-quarters of that last night. About six miles north of me they got 3.5 inches and some golf ball sized hail. I didn’t need the rain, but in the big scope of things I am pretty fortunate.

I am finished with corn personally. I think most everyone in this area, if they are not done with corn, is extremely close. I think everyone has at least started soybeans. I finished up planting corn on Thursday.

We have been fighting some planter issues and literally figured out a few minutes ago what the problem was. We have been down for four days and that set us back. Looking at the forecast, it might be next week before we start planting again.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, April 21

We got started in the fields Friday or Saturday. There has not been much planting in the area but there are quite a few people out in the fields putting on anhydrous or getting some burndown done. It was beautiful over the weekend.

I hope to finish my burndown today. We should finish anhydrous in two or three days depending on the rain. We’ll have to see what happens with the weather. There is a chance of rain this evening.

I think we’re really close on planting. We are still working on tile and a few other things. After we get the next rain and it dries up from that, then we’ll see the planters rolling in our area. There are still some heavy spots in the fields out there. With another rain I think we’ll see the ground moisture even out.

The warm snap before the last snow really brought the weeds on strong.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Fayette County, April 7

We had a few guys in the 10-mile radius try a little anhydrous last week. You can’t imagine how antsy people are getting, but it is raining right now and there is a good chance of rain tomorrow. The end of last week we got an inch and three quarters.

We had water up over the road and all of the tiles were running full. The banks are full now and I am guessing this rain will put it back out of the banks. We’re still a ways out from even thinking about getting down there to clean up the flood plains.

Everybody is thinking about planting. There might have been a few guys that got out and tried a little but it was still pretty heavy.

As soon as we get a couple of dry days it will go crazy around here. We have some burndown we need to get done and some tillage to do.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower

We are a corn and soybean operation in western Fayette County. I have been farming on my own since 2004 when my father passed away. I was in the Army for 6 years. I had come home from deployment and was home for 4 months before he passed away from an accident.

I have had a lot of help from some really good neighbors over the years. Otherwise, my wife and I did it all ourselves. The first couple of years after losing Dad were tough. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t wish things were different. Now that my wife graduated from college, and has a career of her own, I usually bring on some part-time help in the spring and the fall.

There is still quite a bit of moisture out there. A lot of people in the area are still trying to sneak some tile in at last minute.… Continue reading

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