Home / 2018 Between the Rows / A.J. Baltes, March 26

A.J. Baltes, March 26

I’m a fourth generation farmer. We farm about 1,000 acres in a corn-bean-wheat rotation with a little bit of hay. We used to have dairy cows but we sold those about six years ago.

The wheat doesn’t look too bad around here. The last few freezes we’ve had were a little rough, but winter wasn’t too bad. There have been a few guys out topdressing and here in the next couple of weeks guys will hit it pretty hard.

South of us they don’t get as much lake effect but if you go north about 20 minutes north and you get into that. I sell seed and a half hour south I have guys planting 115-day corn for silage and if I go a half hour north I have guys who won’t go over 100 days.

We are a little worried about price but we had some opportunities to get some forward contracting done with this last rally we had. There are still quite a few farm auctions up this way, but ground doesn’t sit around too long. When guys quit someone picks it up and farms it.

We probably do about 50 acres of hay in a grass mix.  We have a pretty local hay market. We have a lot of horses up this way. Hollywood Casino is about 15 minutes from us so there are quite a few horses here and there are race tracks down in West Virginia. There are few beef guys and dairy around here too.

We baled quite a few round bales this year, but there is a market for small square bales so we do those when we can get them made.

We try to cover crop 100% of our acres every year. We use a mix with a two- to three-way blend on everything. We have gone up to a 15-way blend after wheat before.

In the spring we plant everything into green cover crops unless it gets really dry. We plant and then burn it down shortly after planting.

We might be a little dry this spring if we don’t get some rain. We were really dry last fall. We got a decent amount of snow and a couple rains but I still think we’re a little short on moisture.

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