Monday, October 4, 2010

Plot Harvesting Mad Men (and Woman)

So last week and now this week we are flying through plot harvest. With good weather and early harvesting, it is going great so far. We did get some rain over the weekend, which helped settle the dust and will help the just-planted wheat. And this week calls for sunny and dry all week, so harvest continued today. I will say that today was one of those days that makes the job fun. It was cool and sunny with no wind, and no breakdowns. Windy days can make things difficult by making the scale on the big grain cart jump around. In fact, if it's too windy, we won't harvest plots. But today was perfectly calm. We knocked out three big corn tests. Again because of the strangely warm season, we are harvesting corn before we finish our soybeans, which is very rare. But last night we had our first frost of the fall, and decided to let the frost finish off the soybeans and get them more dry. What a contrast to the unusually cool 2009 where we actually had a killing frost on October 4 before the corn had even reached black layer. In the picture below, it is the same routine as before, follow the combine with the grain cart. We get good treatment readings in this experiment where the plots are 380 feet long with four replications.
At the end of each plot, the corn is weighed and a sample collected for moisture and test weight measurement. Look what somebody dropped off on one of our farms (Farm 7). They are all over the place. This is another motivation to get finished with harvest.

So we are keeping after it so that we can find out what the treatments did as we continue to explore this Responsible Nutrient Management that seems to be all the rage.