Saturday, June 29, 2013

Since I was already in Iowa...

So after the 4R summit, I had a few other things to do while in Iowa.  On Wednesday afternoon as I was headed West on I-80, there was a sign for a turnoff to a historical train robbery site.  Well that was a calling I couldn't ignore, so off I went...and in a short time came to this spot.
So right here on this spot Jesse James and the James Gang made history.  They reportedly took $3000.  And this is the 140th anniversary year.  Not sure if any festivities planned on July 21.
Evidently that Jesse pulled up the tracks on either side of the train to prevent it from following them.  I guess it was never re-built. 
The next morning I saw this in a field.  Alternating strips of corn and soybeans.  There were 6-30" rows of corn and 12-15" rows of soybeans.  Certainly not a common practice. But there are advantages.  The reason is to take advantage of the extra light received on the outside rows.  The planted population is higher in the outside rows too, up to 50,000 or more.  Yields have been in excess of 400 bu/A in this arrangement.  It was found that the 6 row strips are superior to 12 row strips.  The soybeans suffer a little from the extra shading from the corn, but the corn yield more than makes up.  Now this would increase food production for those 9 billion people in the future.
I also stopped by one of our contract research locations.  Here I saw the "tote" corn that Sr. Agronomy Mgr Cory has been running for several years now.  Here is corn growing under different fertility programs in the 330 gallon fertilizer totes.  Drainage water is collected from the bottom for nutrient leaching content.  But here they are now.
There are also some soybean plots there with different applications of experimental and exsitng products.  You can tell this is research by all of the flags there.
And as I got closer to home on the long drive yesterday, dark rain clouds appeared on what had been an otherwise dry and sunny day.  Minutes later it was slow down and windshield wipers on full speed in the proverbial torrential downpour. 
Sure hope any stray N and P don't find their way down to the Gulf of Mexico.