Thursday, March 29, 2012

Plenty of Activity Today

So today was busy for everyone here at the NCRS. The weather has taken a change from recent warmth to more seasonal as it was only in the 30's today. But little wind, so it was time to get the winter wheat topdressed with nitrogen. Normally it is early April when this is done, but not this year. Below new guy Tim guides the new Hagie plot sprayer through the plots on Farm 5. Stephanie is also in there for plot guidance. I did tear up a little remembering the good times I used to have with my old, and now gone, Hagie sprayer. But I guess this one will do almost as good a job. Tim handled it like a pro spraying three wheat experiments on Farms 3, 5 and 7. Doug and I ran some strip tillage treatments for a sugarbeet experiment on Farm 2. I was his road buddy. Not that there's anything wrong with that. (I still love playing with the new Picasa photo applications.)I hate it when this happens. Probably has happened to everyone who uses gps guidance. We just wait and drive around a little, and it magically re-appears. We have a repeater that will boost signal that we sometimes use, but didn't want to take the time to get it out and set it up. It didn't happen too much, but there weren't any trees or anything around. Just the day I guess.
We will plant sugarbeets next week in these strips. One variable in this experiment will be the previous crop of either soybeans or corn in this alternating experiment from last year. We have had good results with strip-till sugarbeets in the past. This is our third year using gps guidance, and it is so amazing. We wanted the sugarbeet rows to be between the corn rows from last year. So we just entered in a shift track of 15 inches, and it lined up perfectly.
I noticed that there are more plants in the greenhouse. Here are some recently moved flats of peppers. Much more to come in the weeks ahead. The indoor growth chamber is full of germinating trays that will be moved out here soon after emergence. I will say that Dr. Brian and crew have been hard at it planting the apple trees that I referenced in the last blog. I stopped by the field at the end of the day and they had planted 13 rows so far. So over half done. (Would you have stopped after 13? I guess they aren't very superstitions or see the writings on the wall.) It was cloudy and getting dark, so no pictures today.

I was able to ride with Tim on his last round on Farm 3. It is sure smooth and quiet. Phil also topdressed about 35 acres of our production wheat, but I didn't get a picture. But he says he did it.

So things are really underway now.