We had a pretty good run up until the night before last where we got some more rain. Unfortunately the area we are working got more rain than the home farm. We may be out for a couple of days and we were hoping to get done this week. We are probably going to plant a couple more fields of corn and then we’ll have to flip a few acres to beans.
Some areas are wetter than others and we have to go out ahead to look at fields to determine where it is dry enough to run. We thought with those few hot and windy days everything would dry off, but there still seems to be a lot of moisture in the ground.
The biggest issues we are having are in the fields that were prevent plant last year. The weed pressure is huge there. We are having to work ground an extra time or so and that is slowing down the process. We did spray in late summer last year and then chiseled those fields. There were not as many passes, though, as there would have been had there been a crop growing. In that area in Hardin County we are not alone. There are a lot of guys with the same issues.
Here in Auglaize County there is not too much left unplanted. However, if you go north or east, there are more acres. For whoever wasn’t done, this last rain is definitely going to slow things up again.
We have seen some replanting around Auglaize County, especially around the Buckland area. After a lot was planted, there were two 2-inch rains that left some drowned out spots that need to be redone.
We are glad to see basis improving in our area finally. June is the market month for corn. If corn prices are going to do anything, this is the month.
We didn’t do anything over the long Memorial Day weekend. It got dry enough to start planting corn again on Tuesday, May 26. At that point we had only planted about a quarter of our bean acres and about half of our corn. From then until the 29th we got a lot planted. We had 4 tenths of rain on the home farm but where we had corn to plant we didn’t get rain. We got lucky and we are able to keep planting corn and get it finished. We finished our beans on Tuesday, June 2 and then helped a neighbor get his beans planted. We do have a few acres of beans left to plant that we waited on.
The first corn we planted around May 9 took about 10 days to emerge, some a little longer. The last corn we planted was up in 7 days. The quicker it gets up, the more potential.
We mowed hay on May 26. It was about 90 degrees and the wind was blowing. We were able to get the hay baled the next day. It was unbelievable how fast the hay dried. We mowed more hay on Saturday the 30th and it took until Tuesday to dry. After we baled, we no-tilled corn right into the existing hay stand and sprayed the hay. I call that my double-crop corn.
The hay was really good quality. We make 4X6 round bales and we took 120 off of 40 acres and we were really happy with that compared to last year. This was straight orchardgrass and we had topdressed it with 15 gallons of 28%.
The wheat is short, but is starting to look pretty good. On May 22, we had all of our wheat sprayed with fungicide and insecticide from an airplane. I don’t think it will be quite as good as in the past due to the frost we had, but we found even with lower yielding wheat we still want to spray it. The last thing you want is low quality wheat and low yields.
We have a lot of corn and beans in the ground. We’re probably 90% planted on corn and 80% on beans around here. We have been getting into the fields that were wet. They dried out, but yesterday’s rains sort of soaked things up. If the forecast is decent, we should be able to get a lot done next week. We got some 80-degree days and the corn is looking great. I have not seen any corn or soybeans that need re-planted. The big thing was if we could get the corn and soybeans out of the ground and looking good. It does. I’m impressed.
I hope everyone got fungicide on their wheat. With this kind of moisture, it should be able to utilize it. The wheat that was sprayed looks really good around here. We put Tilt on it and then Prosaro on it this last week.
The alfalfa is starting to come into bloom. We’ve had some wrapping around here and we had some dry hay that was in really good shape. We are not getting the tonnage, though. The guys who didn’t fertilize these grass fields are really hurting for volume. The ones who did are wondering if it did any good, but it did, there’s no doubt about it.
The frost really set the alfalfa back even more than the grasses. That last frost we had wasn’t a frost. At 22 degrees, it was a freeze. The alfalfa just about turned around and went back to hibernation. I’ll be interested to see how this hay tests for protein.
The grass is out in full head and it is time to get the rest of this hay mowed down. When it dries off we’ll mow everything we have standing, if our machinery holds up. That always makes life exciting.
Overall things are shaping up pretty well for us. The fields do have their blemishes here and there, but our replants are a pretty low as a percentage of our fields. In the very last field we planted we had problems. It was planted fairly deep to get it into moisture because it had been so dry. It was at a poor stage when we got that big 3.5-inch rain that came through. That field really took it on the chin. We had to admit defeat, tear it up and we are actually replanting it this morning. But, out of all of our corn acres we only had 50 acres to tear up and replant, so it is not terrible. There are other farms around here with more acres to replant and I know seed companies have been getting quite a few calls about replant acres.
For everything else, the cold seemed to be a non-issue. We had beautiful stands everywhere, even where we started to plant early into the colder soils. The earliest stuff we planted on April 17 had to endure quite a few cold events. It was slower emerging but it came up evenly and looks great.
We don’t do a lot of sidedressing since we are mostly pre-plant. We are done sidedressing. I finished that up yesterday. We have all of the corn sprayed. I am ready to start post- spraying beans. It feels like we are a month ahead of where we were last year. I remember sidedressing so late and thinking I was glad we didn’t have wheat last year.
This year, our wheat looks great. We did a fungicide application a couple of weeks ago. Now it is 100% starting to head out and looks like we have some really good potential with the wheat crop.