Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Apples, Tiling and Flowers....in March?

So today the fruit guys started planting apple trees. It was quite a bit colder today than it has been of late, and windy. But that kept the sweat from all that work down. (I mean it's tough following them around taking pictures.) Below we see the tree transplanter at the end of a row with Brian on board loading trees and Dan close behind to firm the ground around the trees and make sure it's at the right depth and straight. Notice that the tractor has a gps globe on it. They are able to use the autotrack, or automatic steering, to make sure the rows are straight. And apparently it is working. Look how nice those rows are. You may also notice how close together the trees are. Only 3.5 feet apart. No this isn't a costly mistake, but a costly plan. This is a new method of orchard establishment where the trees are more like a hedge. In the future they will have irrigation lines running off the ground through the limbs with nozzles for application of water for irrigation, plus crop protection agents and of course, fertilizer. This is known as a fixed spray system. It will be watched by a number of researchers from across the country in the years to come. Below Dan, Brian and Tim check their work. They have a ways to go and I will check back in the days to come. It is kind of pretty up on this hill. I may have mentioned that we have 11 farms now at the NCRS. Last Friday Farm 11 was getting finished with the tile drainage installation. We have special plans for this farm in the years to come. But I will save that story for later.

I know I have mentioned how warm it has been here lately. In fact last Wednesday it got up to 87 degrees. That's just crazy. The picture below was taken at the ACLF corporate office last Saturday. These daffodils should not be flowering like this for over a month. That Mother Nature is a maaaaad scientist.

So the year of research is off to an early start here in 2012. Much more to come in the next few days.