Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Seed Meets Soil!

So planting finally got going yesterday at the NCRS. First priority was for sugarbeets. Sugarbeets are typically planted in early to mid-April, depending on conditions. But this cold and wet spring delayed it till yesterday. Here we see Stephanie transferring the liquid fertilizer treatment to Doug and the planter. And here Doug plants a plot. Each treatment is replicated four times in this experiment. And the plots are 265 feet long, so that should give us a good read on performance.
Here is a picture of the back of Stephanie's winter coat. (Hey it was only 44 degrees and cloudy yesterday.) Albert got one for each of us research types last fall. That embroidered combine scene on the back is from an actual picture that I took of harvesting a wheat experiment. We all think Albert is a swell guy. More on Albert at the end of this.

After finishing planting of beets today, it was time to clean out the beet seed and change the sugarbeet plates to corn plates. Guest worker Alex Ruff provides assistance. (He is a much harder worker than that other Ruff guy who was out here Monday.)

Here I am planting a corn experiment later today. (This experiment has five replications of treatments and plots are 210 feet long.) It is planting of a stip till (or Nutri-Till) plot featured last year in blogs on October 30 and November 1. So we are comparing fall and spring timing of Nutri-Till fertilizer applications, as well as no-till and fall surface applications of Pro-Germinator and Sure-K in no-till. In this picture I am planting in strips that were made last fall. To the right is a no-till plot and to the right of that is a plot where the strips and fertilizer were applied were made yesterday. This will be a good evaluation of different fertilizer options, because we like to help growers figure out what would work best for them.

And now for a special announcement, if you have not already heard. Albert Bancroft and his lovely wife Allison crossed the bridge from well-rested and childless to parenthood. The sign in their front yard (across the road from Farm 3) says it all. Congratulations to the new family, and to Troy and Jill for their first grand daughter.

So it was a memorable day on many fronts. And hopefully more planting memories yet to come tomorrow. Now I have a date with a pillow.