Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day Shift at the NCRS

So did you know that our first Research Field Day tour is only one week from today?  Yesterday I wanted to take a look at one of the demonstration stops. It is a comparison of different planter and dry fertilizers on corn growth.  We plan to bring back the ever popular root trenches for better looks.  So I dug up some plants from each of the 10 plots to see what is happening.
Below are a couple of the comparisons.  On the right is an in-furrow application of 5 gal/A of Pro-Germinator, and on the left is Fertilizer X.  The Pro-Germinator has much more root volume than Fertilizer X.  Actually we will reveal the identity of Fertilizer X next week.  There are many other Fertilizers in this comparison stop.
We actually got a half inch of rain last night.  It was a surprise, and do we ever like surprises like that.  We also got nearly 2" late last week while I was gone.  But below is one of the demonstration sites on Farm 5.  It is a second site just in case there were issues with the one on Farm 3.  Looks like we will go with Farm 3. 
You know with all of my travels of late, I kind of have trouble remembering my way around the NCRS.  Fortunately my Taurus has GPS capability for easy guidance.  It was alfalfa harvest day, so I drove it on over to watch.
Around 11 am it was dry enough to start cutting the alfalfa.  Ron operates the haybine for each plot.
Late in the afternoon it was time to bale it up for weighing.  It is ok if it is wet as we aren't storing it.  It will be cow food pretty soon.
Phil lowers the bale for weighing and sample collection by Stephanie and Tim.  I know I showed this for the last cutting, but it does make for nice pictures. 
So now for something completely different.  Brian made fertilizer applications to the new apples today.  There is a tube on the tractor that puts a stream of fertilizer at the base of the trees.  (Weed control was applied earlier in the week.  Next year residual herbicide will be applied in the spring.)
There are lots of different things going on every day.  Lucky us.