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2011 Between The Rows

Between the Rows-October 10, 2011

“We got behind on GDDs in September when it was so cool, but we have caught up with the 30-year average with the warm weather and it has really moved the crop along. We just started chopping silage about an hour ago. That is the first we’ve chopped silage because the fields were wet. We should’ve been chopping silage three or four days ago, but the corn is not pulling the moisture out and the fields are staying wet. We’re a good month late on the silage.

“The rest of the corn maturity is moving along fast. There are a lot of ear molds on the tips and there are some leaf blights from all of this rain we had in the last month, but the silage looks good so far.

“The last week really moved the soybeans along, and we’re going to start harvest today. There has been quite a bit of progress over the weekend on beans in the area.

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Between the Rows-August 22nd

“That June corn looks respectable considering the conditions. I checked some of the pollination and it looks decent. There are no zipper ears that I could find, and I moved around through the field quite a bit.

“We got those showers, not any big rains, and we got cooler weather, which really helped. It is not going to be too far off of nor- mal, I think. The May corn, though, is probably only 50% of normal yield. It is extremely short, uneven and hurting.“The worst parts of the county are on our west end where we are and the southeast part. Last week around Sherwood, about 5 miles from us, got 2 to 4 inches. We could see it from our house. We just didn’t get it. Then, in the southeast around Ayersville, it is terrible and the beans are really short.

“Our beans are short and we have sprayed at least 80% of our beans for either aphids or spider mites.

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Between the Rows-August 8, 2011

There has finally been some rain. “We got a tenth and half to six-tenths last night. Things have turned around some, but our subsoil is still extremely dry. We’ve been getting the quarter-inch, three-tenth, half-inch rains that are keeping the crops alive. An inch and nine-tenths is the least we’ve gotten on any of our farms now since planting and some of them have gotten up to 2.5 inches.

“The corn is just coming into tassel and pollination, which is great because we got these showers and cooler temperatures. Things are turning around, but we have farms that, up to this weekend, did not get more than an inch and three-tenths since planting. It somehow keeps hanging on. The recent rains will certainly be a plus for pollination.

“Last week we sprayed 280 acres for spider mites in our soybeans. We also added a little Lorsban with that for the aphids that we are seeing coming in.

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Between the Rows – July 18

“We got four-tenths last Monday and we’re sure not complaining about it, but we could’ve used  2 inches and four-tenths and it wouldn’t have hurt a thing. The clay soil holds the moisture but does crack in the summer. The tile was running after that four-tenths because the rain went right through those cracks and out through the tile. It gave us a little more time, but boy we are really dry.

“The corn that was planted in May is firing and getting really uneven. Luckily we only have 100 acres of that. The corn that was planted in June is waist to chest high and is uniform and is green, but it sure looks tough in the afternoon though. It sounds like we’re going to be in the 90s clear through Sunday. There is always a chance of a pop-up shower when we get conditions like this.

“The beans seem to be holding on pretty well.

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Between the Rows-June 27,2011

“We finished planting on June 8 with corn and beans both. We’re off to a very good start. We have near perfect stands in every field. They look beautiful, really, but they should since they were planted in June. The only kicker is that if it was three or four weeks earlier, we’d be sitting on top of the world right now. But for going in late, I guess we can’t complain. We’re close to that 8-inch mark on the corn that is at about the five-leaf stage. We should be close to knee high by the fourth of July.

“Wheat is kind of a sore subject around here. It looks pretty tough as a general rule. There is head scab and other disease in it. In May, we were wet and had a couple of big rains that killed wheat in the low areas. Wheat is not going to be very good around here.

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Between the Rows-May 23, 2011

“The big talk around here now is not planting, it’s crop insurance. We’ve got 5% of our corn and 2% of our beans planted. We’ve been able to spray for a burndown and that is about all we’ve been able to get done in terms of fieldwork. We’re mowing roadsides today. We’re just waiting to do something.

“We have to plant about 800 acres of corn for silage for the dairy, probably even up until June 15. We’re obligated to provide that silage. We will probably go to June 5 for the commercial corn. I am 100% sold on corn and beans, but that is not really driving any of my planting decisions. I was an optimist evidently. I can move some things around with the futures, and anything I’ve done with the elevator can be rolled out to the following year.

“Feeding the world is a concern and I’m not sure how this will work out.

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Between the Rows-May 9th

“I was wondering if we could use profanity in this or not. We would have been planting today if it hadn’t rained on Friday. It is encouraging to see that, while there is a chance of a shower every day, it is pretty low. We’re hoping to start spraying tomorrow, but there is no fieldwork going on around here, per se. If the weather holds like they say it might, we could be in the field planting by Thursday. They are talking about 70- or 80-degree temperatures. Maybe we are going to be jumping right into that summer weather we’ve been waiting for.

“It seems like the farther south you are, the wetter it is. North of us in Williams County, I was told that there was some planting going on. Until the tile lines get to where they almost aren’t running any more, you know you’re still saturated. They are still running, but it is less every day.

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Between the Rows-April 25th

“To be honest, I quit checking the rain gauge. It really doesn’t matter because there is another rain coming behind it the next day it seems. It looks like it is going to rain all week. It is just wet.

“I’m not concerned yet. In ‘98 our best crops were planted between the 10th and the 17th of May and that was the best year we ever had. Every year is different. By looking at the trees around here, you’d think it was the first of April instead of almost the first of May.

I had one neighbor who drilled several fields of soybeans 10 days ago. Otherwise, nobody has done anything.

“Fortunately, we have a lot of tiled ground. I think that when it quits raining and if it is warm and windy (those days are coming) we could be in the fields in five or six days easy enough.

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Between the Rows-April 11, 2011

“We had about an inch of rain on Friday. Yesterday I could start to see tile lines showing up and we got another two-tenths last night. Almost no fieldwork has been done in our neighborhood. We did chisel 60 acres of our good sandy loam a week ago that we had tiled last fall. If we had days like yesterday the way the wind blew, we’d be planting by Friday or Saturday for sure. But with the 60-degree days we have coming with lows of 40 at night, you just don’t gain much. It is pretty slow going and there is more rain in the forecast.
“We already tilled up the only wheat field we had, which was 70 acres, which goes to corn. We also switched 100 acres of beans to corn. We have a lot of manure available to us, so the economics really favor corn, as long as my son can reach the field with his 2 miles of dragline.

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Between the Rows-March 25, 2011

“We installed about 40 acres of tile last fall and we bladed down those tile lines this morning when there was a little frost. The ground is in pretty good shape. It isn’t fit to work or anything like that, but it worked very well on top of those tile lines. We think that a week form now we could be chiseling some other ground that we tiled. All of our soybeans are no-tilled and we no-till about half of our corn. We have very heavy clay soils and we’re big on installing some tile every year.

“The earliest I ever planted corn was April 6 and it was the best corn we had that year. The second earliest was April 10 and it was our worst corn that year. Every year is different. We had a late spring in 1998 and we had some of the best crops we ever had.

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