So remember that big tall tower we have at the farm next to our office/shop building? It is a relay for the internet from the St. Johns office to the Ashley plant. Well it seems that there is a lot of wasted space up there, so we wanted to add some stuff for our benefit at the farm. We are going to put in our own gps base station for better Greenstar reception. And also we will have an antenna for communication radios. We have them, but they won't communicate to the far reaches of all of the farms. I did not know that you had to have a certified tower climber in order to do this. So we were never able to use the short straw approach. Here is a picture that Stephanie took of the ascent. He did make it to the top and did whatever it was he was supposed to do. Now there is still some ground wire work, but it will be soon.
Last week was also busy finishing up field crop planting. Experiments were planted of Navy beans, grain sorghum and sunflowers. And that finished the field crops. We are all in.
The specialty crop crew was busy as well planting cantaloupes and watermelons, plus cucumbers. They have a few more vegetables next week and a final planting of sweet corn and they will be done.
While all of this fun was happening at the NCRS, I was in South Dakota and North Dakota visiting some contract research plots in corn, spring wheat, canola and potatoes. I also had a chance to stop by Hefty Seed in Baltic and visit the Blank Slate Plots, Year 3. Recall that a late hail storm messed up the field last year. The planter applications were of a 50/50 blend of Pro-Germinator + Sure-K with Micro 500. Below I am standing between 16.5 gal/A on the left and 10.5 gal/A on the right. It is hard to see in the picture, but I thought the higher rate had better color and was a little taller. And more so with the 21 gal/A rate. What? Did he really apply 16 and 21 gal/A? Did I mention that this was in-furrow? Well it was, and we saw no stand issues with the higher rates. This is the third year of this. It is higher than our regualar "safety" max of around 10 gal/A in furrow. But this is a test for soil that is very low in all measured nutrients. And it is good to see such seed safety.
Well that was that. More next week.