Saturday, July 17, 2010

Spraying Away and Being A Good Neighbor

So here it is again, the Hagie plot sprayer...spraying away on yet another crop. Remember I asked you what field crop hasn't been mentioned for recieving any foliar applications? Well the answer is: edible beans, or in this case Navy and Black Beans. Also remember that these types of bean are planted later than soybeans, in mid June. We have a good looking crop of each. Now we have not yet developed a consistant foliar recommendation for edible beans like for soybeans. I think one of the reasons is that edible beans are usually fertilized at or before planting, and additional foliar fertilizers are often not utilized. Compare that to soybeans that frequently receive no fertilizer in the year of growth, and will often show a response to added foliar nutrition. But we have some new treatments this year and are optomistic that a response will be seen at harvest. I sprayed the Navy Bean treatments on Farm 3 yesterday, but it was still muddy from Thursdays thunderstorm on the Black Beans on Farm 5, which has heavier ground. So poor me had to come in on Saturday to spray them. But who wouldn't treasure a chance to spray again in our good old plot Hagie? Now I assure you that all the plots have been sprayed with the planned foliar treatments. Well, except for application following alfalfa you could see the Hagie again. So don't despair. (Man that's a good looking machine!) Here we see Brian on Friday picking broccoli from plots. He has been cutting broccoli several times a week for several weeks now. I know because even I am getting tired of eating it by now, and I love broccoli, steamed with melted cheese on it. But if it keeps regrowing, we, that is, he will pick it. In the background, the rest of the crew is finishing up the extra pickles outside the plots picked yesterday.

So what becomes of all of the vegetables that are picked from the plots? Some of you are aware that it is given away. Most of it goes to the Lansing Food Bank. Last year, nearly 30,000 pounds of vegetables were donated. Below Stephanie provides quality control while Brian does some last minute pickle sorting prior to the Food Bank pick up.

Below we see the vegetables, including pickles, broccoli, and cabbage being loaded onto the Food Bank truck. The truck is new for them, and it is much better. In the past they had a small van and it was quite a chore cramming all of the boxes into it. It is interesting to hear the Food
Bank workers who have not ever been to the NCRS comment. They can't believe all of this fresh produce is being donated. Fresh vegetable donations like this are rare, and it is greatly appreciated. And it makes us feel good, and congrats to Brian, Tim and crew for all of the hard work that will feed so many in need. The truck will be back many times in the coming weeks.

And how could it be any better to eat since it was mostly fertilized with LIQUID crop nutrition???