Wednesday, May 9, 2012

At Last...Hit the Field

So we started planting corn 3 weeks ago today, and it is finally coming up.  This was the first experiment we planted, a strip till test on Farm 3.  It has been cold, cloudy and wet since then, and I was getting nervous.  In good conditions we see emergence in around 9 days.  But we had seen germination and growth, just slow.  It was still cool this week, and wet.  We just thought we could maybe get going again today.
Here's Dan watering transplant trays in the greenhouse.  The greenhouse has been a great asset this year.  Some of those look big enought to plant.  "HEY DAN, WHY DON'T YOU GET STARTED SETTING THEM IN THE FIELD?"  He said "OK, now leave me alone, camera boy!" 
Well I always thought it was a good idea to work when you had extra help, and that is what we had at the farm today: The Agronomy Guys are here!  Dan and Tim B told them how much fun it was to sit on the transplanter dropping vegetable starts into the ground, and wouldn't you know it, they took the bait.  Below we see Alan and Jay planting cabbage or broccoli or something like that.  Alan and Jay aren't used to sitting down on the job, but it's required here.  We also see Brian keeping a close lookout on the rookies.  (Alas, I have never gotten to do this.  After all, I like fun too.)
Here is the view from behind and we see Dan and Tim B checking progress while Cory checks his phone for messages.
We have a newcomer at the farm, for the summer anyway. Kirk Geldersma is our MSU intern who will be helping us with the research plots this summer.  Kirk is a junior majoring in Crop and Soil Science and comes from Belding, MI, on the West side of the state.  Kirk's family farm grows potatoes and apples.  He is a welcome addition, and knows he had some pretty top-notch predecessors.  Welcome aboard Kirk.
Below Cory assists Stephanie with the fertilizer treatment mixing as he checks his phone for messages.  (He's a busy guy after all.  He gets fertilizer questions from all over the hemisphere.)
One field was dry enough to plant some corn into, and that was Farm 6.  It is pretty sandy.  After checking seed depth and spacing, Tim D makes a pass on the border rows as Kirk checks out the planter.  Cory checks hi phone for....well you know the rest.
This is a no-till covercrop test where we planted some ryegrass strips after soybean harvest last fall.  (I may have showed it last fall.  I'll check.)  But this will be a long-term test in corn and soybeans, plus some other treatments are there.  But it was nice to see the sun shine for 10 minutes today while I took this picture.
Tomorrow will be another blog-worthy day at the farm.  I just feel it!