Tuesday, July 12, 2011

We Had a Visitor Today

So we had an important day, but had to get some more foliar spraying done this morning. It was going to be a hot day, so wanted to get an early start while it was still somewhat cool. We like to spray when it is less than 80 degrees, which I know is hard in some areas where it is never less than that. But anyway, here I am on Farm 5. We are spraying soybeans that are in the R2 growth stage, or flowers all the way up the stalk. We plant indeterminate beans here which means that they start flower at the bottom and progress up the stalk even as it grows taller. Here is a plot that runs up to the alfalfa plots that we harvested last week. It is kind of cool looking. Later in the day, Doug cut and windrowed those borders and it will be baled tomorrow to get the plots ready for the next fertilizer application later this week. Over on Farm 6 you can see that we have been dry as the grass has all turned brown. But it is interesting to see where the sidedress rig dribbled some nitrogen on the grass as it was turning around. These strips of grass got a good dose that enabled better growth and root development that enabled it to stay better hydrated. Just another illustration of how fertilizer is our friend. I said that we had a visitor and here she is, Dr. Karen Renner from MSU. Jeff and Amanda are not only working at the farm this summer, they are also getting college credit for all of their labors. Dr. Renner is their advisor, and she is making a visit to make sure that they are doing college-worthy stuff and not just goofing off all summer. (You know from the blogs that they have been a great help to the research efforts here.) Actually Karen and I go way back as we were Weed Science graduate students at MSU together under Dr. Bill Meggit back in...well it was awhile ago. Unfortunately we really haven't crossed paths much over the years, so it was good to have her out for a visit. She did say that she had no idea how big the NCRS is and how many research plots we actually have. That is why we needed student intern help. So everyone benefits. Below Jeff and Amanda explain how the "war wagon" works.

OK, she's gone. Now get back to work. Stand counts on Black Beans need to be done. I know it's hot out, but at least you are in the shade (until that cloud moves anyway.)

Well I am off on a fertilizer mission for the next few days. I am anxious to go, but it is a much more comfortable time to visit there in the spring than in the summer. Where is it? Stay tuned.