Monday, January 30, 2012

Meanwhile Back in the Shop

So I took these pictures last Friday, but didn't get around to showing them as all effort has been devoted to the Research Report, which we finished today. It was a rare sunny day last Friday afternoon when the South door of the new shop expansion was opened to bring something inside, and the sun leaked in. I just took this picture of the new Kinze planter, and did not notice until download that it looked like we had the tanks lit up. Pretty cool. Although I guess someday we will actually put some fertilizer in them. But I do enjoy that new tank smell that we have now. Here is what the fertilizer delivery options look like, with the sides removed. It is the same as on the Monosem for in-furrow placement. There is the option of the Tubular or Seed Firmer delivery. We have done research on comparing these the last two years. It's in the report. Here are the Martin No-Till row cleaners and coulter.

And here is a shot of the Monosem planter with an important change that I requested. Notice that the 2x2 fertilizer application coulters are in the front of the planter. They were behind the planter in previous years. Well I didn't like the way that they would throw dirt, I mean soil, over the planted rows rendering them practically invisible. It wasn't much, but it made it hard to see the rows, especially in no-till. So like if I'm applying treatments in the sprayer after planting, well I don't like not being able to see the rows as a guide, even with GPS guidance. And Phil, who does the herbicide spraying after planting, had the same issue. Plus it doesn't look cool with the nice straight rows covered. We would usually raise the coulters up if we weren't using the 2x2 placement. But that was a pain, and now we will be pain free. Thanks to Ron for the job well done.

So that is just a small part of some of the winter projects. There is a lot of activity going on in the shop these days. I know because I can hear people working out there from my desk inside.

It's Coming!!!

So I was driving by one of our corn fields today and thought I saw something creeping up on us.
And wouldn't you know it, but it was our 2011 Research Report! It's so close that I could taste it. It should be up on the website in a day (or so) and the CD be available too. So be prepared for some excellent reading from your North Central Research Station.

Monday, January 16, 2012

What A Way to Start the Year!

So I have been gone recently, but I have a good excuse. I was in Hawaii with the ACLF Research and Sales Incentive tour with many of Liquid's top sales people, along with some growers and other company personnel. It was on the island of Kauai where there is actually some Liquid fertilizer in use in some of the island's agriculture. Senior Agronomy Manager Cory Schurman is the one who works with several ag-businesses, one of which is Kauai coffee. There is over 3000 acres of coffee on the island, with recent expansion onto ground that was formerly sugarcane now that there is no more of that grown there. But a group of us visited Kauai Coffee on Monday of last week for a tour. Below are some of the rows of coffee plants by the office and store. They showed us how coffee is harvested with the machine below. They are behind on harvesting this year due to cool weather earlier in the year. With cameras flashing, the group followed.
I believe we were told that they have 11 of these machines, and running 24 hours a day, they can harvest around 40 acres. So it is a slow process. The fingers inside that cage spin around and knock the berries off the plant onto a conveyer and into a hopper.

After that we drove to a Syngenta research farm. There are actually several seed company farms on Kauai. Syngenta has been testing Liquid in their corn plots for several years now. Fertilizer is both planter and drip tape applied. Below one of the agronomists, the one facing the other way, talks to the attentive group about what they do there. (See anyone you know?)
Basically they are working with the introduction of certain traits into parent stock seed. If successful, someday it will be used for the production of the seed of the future. But there are thousands of plots, and it takes a long time to find what they want. They mainly grow corn here on Kauai, but also some sunflowers and a little soybeans. You can see corn everywhere on the West side of Kauai. There is corn in a block that is 3 inches tall growing next to a block that is tasseling. I guess someone keeps track of it all.

So that was interesting. But it wasn't all work, if you can call it that. There was plenty of time for fun stuff like attending a luau.

Watching a beautiful sunrise. (I understand it does that every day there.)

And sightseeing around the beautiful scenery. I notice that I use the word "beautiful" a lot. Thats because it is.

And that was that. Hope you can make it over there one, or more, days. I can't wait to return. But thanks to Mr. Troy for making it all possible.

So today it was back to the NCRS. It's beautiful too, but not in the same way.