Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dual Harvest

So it was another busy day of plot harvest at the NCRS. The morning started with another corn experiment on Farm 7. Phil is at the helm of the combine. Notice we have a gps globe on board so that we are always sure we are in the right plot. We don't rely on plot stakes anymore in this modern age of agriculture. At the end of the plot the corn is dumped into the grain cart.

Then the grain weight is recorded. Recall that we save a sample for moisture and test weight measurement.

When the cart is full, it is unloaded into the grain trailer for transport to the corn store.

In the afternoon we switched to harvesting soybean plots. We like to mix it up so that we don't get stale harvesting only one crop. With corn you get lots of the so-called "bees wings", and with soybeans you get lots of dust out the back of the combine and the unloading auger. The grain-cart data recorder person (myself or Stephanie before she got too pregnant) needs to take care not to breath all of this, so dust masks are a must, along with eye protection. Oh the risks we face to get this valuable data.

Today we harvested the big soybean plot that was featured in this blog during planting on May 20 (see "Big Plant"). This large experiment had three different row spacings (drill, 15" and 30"), each at three different populations (100-, 150- and 200k) and four different fertility programs (none, planter or drill-applied, foliar at V3 and R1), and all replicated four times. So there are lots of plots. The picture below shows plots at 15" row spacing next to a drilled plot, and 30" row plots in the background. The tracks on the side are for the foliar applications with the Hagie plot sprayer, with border rows on the outside.

Here comes the combine harvesting a plot, with the aid of the AWS Air-Reel.

There are still a number of days of harvest to go, so the fun continues....