Monday, May 2, 2011

Field Work...Finally

So it was still cool and often cloudy, but no rain. And it was nice over the weekend, so there was some drying, and we took advantage of it. Remember the posting on April 16 showing topdressing of wheat plots? Well one of the variables in a test was timing of topdress application. We actually split a small field and topdressed half on April 13, and planned to do the other half later. Well today was later, and the wheat was in the Feekes 4 stage, with the small stems standing erect now. In the picture below you should be able to see that the previously topdressed wheat is considerably greener than the unsprayed wheat on the right of the flag.

Here is Phil applying the topdress treatment. The application is of a blend of 43% High NRG-N and 57% (volume basis) 28% UAN + eNhance. This is a blend that we are evaluating this year. It will be interesting to see if there is any foliage burn on this larger wheat. There was none with the previous application.

With that out of the way it was on to our sugarbeet test to get that ready for planting. As you know, we include conventional fertilizer treatments for comparison to the Liquid treatments, both regular and experimental fertilizers. Here is a picture of me on the dry fertilizer blower making an application of potash to the conventional plot. I think I have showed this before, but it is an air machine (built by Doug) for application of dry fertilizers to plots.

Next I incorporated the potash with a field cultivator pulled by Troy's 4020. It is a nice old tractor with plenty of horsepower. The wings are folded up to match the 15' plot width. (OK, this is a self portrait. I wanted a pic of me on this tractor. Hopefully no one was watching me sprint from the camera up onto the tractor several times till I was satisfied with the pic.)

With that done, we will plant it tomorrow. Next we have a strip till plot where we were comparing fall strip till fertilizer applications to those in spring. I showed the fall applications last October 30. This is a repeat of a test we ran last year with favorable results in that the fall Pro-Germinator and Sure-K applications were as good as those in the spring. Below we see Stephanie mixing a treatment on the "war wagon" while Ron and Phil observe.

Here is a picture taken by Stephanie looking out the back window. I probably should have moved the wiper, sorry. We call this Nutri-Till, because unlike strip-till, we have dual placement of nutrition: Pro-Germinator, Sure-K and Micro 500 in the seed zone, and nitrogen down 5 inches beneath the seed placement.

So we are set to actually plant some crops tomorrow. Only a few weeks late, but we are farmers: which means we are optimists.