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. Corn is king within the 2-mile radius of the 1,600-cow dairy we work with. We supply 800 acres of corn for silage each year. They chop that silage around the first of September. Then after that silage is chopped, we apply the liquid manure to that 800 acres. Then we use RTK the next spring and we move 8-inches to the right or the left of the previous row and plant corn.
“I never sold corn in my life for $7, but a while back I sold all the corn I had in the bin for $7.38, which I thought was a great price. But it is 40 cents higher now. It is going to be an interesting summer.”

“It is plenty soggy. It got pretty dry about a week ago, but we’ve gotten close to 4 inches of rain since then. There was some anhydrous put on a couple of weeks ago, but there is no news this week. Nothing has been done.”
The persistent cold, wet weather has prevented fieldwork but not weed growth. “We’ve got some weeds coming in the cornstalks, so when it gets dried up, we’ll get some spraying done. There has been no spraying yet. The weeds are not that bad so far, but there are nice little rosettes of marestail. It is time to go out and get them. We need four good drying days before we could even get out there to spray. I do not think the weather is going to give us that.”
Wheat is greening up in the cool conditions. “There is not much wheat in the area, but what is around is looking good.
“I don’t think too many people are getting too antsy yet. I think people are still pretty laid back this year. Next week looks a little warmer, though not ideal yet. I think everybody is pretty excited about this year. Everybody is looking for some good profits. We’ve got the spiked closing wheels on the planter, but other than that we’re pretty well ready to go.”

“We put in tile yesterday. This farm’s got more water than we’ve got money. We had a lot of wet spots we had to go through, but we got through them. I think it is supposed to clear up this afternoon. I was hoping to put anhydrous on today, but we got a little shower this morning.”

The warm winds of yesterday helped dry the wet fields. “Hopefully we’ll get at it this week on our better drained ground. It is getting pretty close. There were a few farmers just inside Licking County who have been out working the last couple of days. We’ve still got heavy spots. If it stays warm and we get more wind like yesterday, it won’t take too long to dry out. I think we just need a couple of days to get out on the fields. We’ve got spraying to do. We’ll see what happens today, but we may be at it tomorrow. We’ve got a little work to do on the planter yet, but it won’t take long. Once it gets fit, a lot of guys will be rolling pretty hard.”

The wheat has been topdressed and is greening up nicely.

“We’re just trying to work with the weather the best we can. We haven’t really done anything field work wise. We started to haul manure for two or three days and then on the third day, we got 2 or 3 inches of snow. We finished that 60-cow barn and we called it quits because we were tracking more than we’d like to be. We have three more barns to clean, and since then we haven’t been able to get back out. If we can get through today, we should have some sunshine the next couple of days.
“We’ll get the manure out and spread and then we’ll try to get some oats out and 30 to 40 acres of alfalfa seedings with the oats. It is supposed to be nice on Tuesday and Wednesday, then rain on Thursday and Friday, and rain and snow showers on Saturday, so it doesn’t look too appealing. Even the 10-day forecast doesn’t look too spectacular for getting things ready to plant.
“The wheat is looking fairly good, but we might have lost a half acre or so from the river that flooded. We still have some fertilizer to put on the wheat when the fields get dried enough. We actually topdressed some of the wheat with a spreader we pulled behind a four-wheeler because the fields were too wet to go over with a tractor.”

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