Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Seed Meets Soil - 2012

So field crop planting started yesterday with the insertion of sugarbeet seed. I think this is about the earliest we have ever planted at the NCRS. Looking back at last year's blog, the sugarbeets were planted on May 3, which is on the late side. But last year was much colder and wetter, so we were happy to get an early start this year. But don't let the pretty picture fool you as it was cold and windy yesterday. But soil conditions were good to get going. This experiment was with strip-till, or Nutri-till as we call it, on Farm 2. I showed the strip tillage operation earlier. The beet rows in this plot follow the tillage strip running in between last year's corn rows.
You know it is spring planting time when you see Stephanie mixing the fertilizer treatments at the "War Wagon."

Here is Tim planting a second sugarbeet experiment on Farm 7. This is better ground here and with the early planting we are hopeful for good yields and treatment effects. With the auto steer, Tim is able to keep an eye on the monitors and the Capstan.

With the orchard planted, the specialty crop crew is waiting on the installation of the irrigation system. They are also still planting trays of vegetable transplants. Here are the earlier planted cole crops that have been in the greenhouse for awhile now. The greenhouse system has sure been good for growing nice transplants compared to the old way of keeping them in the growth chamber for a longer time and then bringing them out to the farm closer to the actual date of transplanting. Now they are becoming well acclimated to the sunlight.

There is plenty of work ahead, but it's nice to be started.