Thursday, May 24, 2012

Road.....I Mean "Air" Trip

So I got the call that a customer in Missouri needed 5 gallons of Carbo ASAP.  All the usual means of transport were unavailable, so of course, they turned to Research.  I called able pilot and Sales Account Manager Adam Beck, and he dropped everything and stepped forward to help.  Adam lives near Lafayette, IN, so I drove down there Tuesday night and yesterday morning we strapped the Carbo safely aboard his plane and headed West.
I'm ashamed to say that in the haste of the journey, I did not take a pic of Adam and his plane, a Piper Cherokee.  But here is one from our last journey together in 2010.  Both plane and pilot have improved with age.
We had a great day for flying and made good time.  Adam is a natural.
We were in the air for around 3.5 hours.  I am fortunate to have a strong stomach, and not bothered by flying and/or bumps.  But of course my concern is the lack of a rest room on board.  But I practiced for several days ahead, and did just fine.  Below is my view.  I presume Adam knows what all of those numbers and dials mean.   
We finally reached our destination and landed on a small and isolated air strip in Western Missouri for the Carbo drop.
Did I mention that we also were working with a researcher in the area?  There were some planter fertilizer plots in corn.  They are looking good, although some rain would certainly be welcomed.
This experiment is evaluating different planter fertilizer treatment comparisons.  Growers there still think they need dry fertilizer in the fall, so all of the plots had that.  But is planter fertilizer still helpful?  Well the rows on the left had no planter fertilizer, and the rows on the right had 2.5 gallons of Pro-Germinator + 2 quarts of Micro 500.  Quite a growth response I'd say.  But I am a trained scientist.  Hopefully you can see it too.  I made the picture extra big to help. There were several other planter additives too that will be measured for effect on yield.
On the way back to Indiana, we crossed the Mississippi River.  I guess if we didn't cross it, we would be going the wrong way.  It is fun to look at farmland from the air.  Look at the fields on the East side of the river in the floodplane.  I would imagine some years it is more suited for rice.  Look at the line of trees on the edges of the fields, I guess where the water stops.
Feel up for a planting challenge?  Then take a turn in the fields below.  I don't think gps guidance would be of much help other than maybe finding your way out.
This is why yield maps are all different colors.  You see alot of this in the air where there is quite a variation in soil types like here in Indiana.  (The color differences are not due to water as it is quite dry all through here.)
So shortly after this we landed Back Home Indiana.  (For those that don't know, that's the state song. You would have heard it sung by Jim Nabors at the Indianapois 500.  I've been several times, it's moving.  Poor Jim is quite ill now but is supposed to sing via recording at the race this weekend.  But enough on that.)  Nearly seven hours of flying there and back, but it saved two days of driving.  I then drove back to Michigan getting home very late last night.  But it was an interesting trip.  Thanks to Adam Air for the nice ride.  (But would it have killed him to offer the passenger some peanuts or something?)