Thursday, September 12, 2013

Research Field Days? That's A Wrap

So Tuesday marked the last Research Field Day for the year.  Hope you were among the nearly 600 visitors that we had in all of field days this summer.  If not, I hope you can make it next year as we are already laying plans for then.  (No, we really are.  It will be great.)  Here is the sun breaking through the clouds Tuesday morning as I was heading over to Farm 7 to get my ears laid out for the Research Tour stop.  Corn ears that is.  You may think I am obsessed with the sun since I show so many pictures of it.  Well you are right, as it does make for a nice pic.  Plus it's pretty important for lots of other things too I hear.
Here we go again.  Part of the tour group is at the soybean fertilizer placement demonstration. The soybean leaves are really turning fast now.  Won't be too much longer till we start harvest.  But for now there is still time for fertilizer learnin'. 
Stephanie definitely has the story down for nitrogen applications for corn.  I think the Hagie N applicator made for a nice backdrop.  After year one of using these, I give a hearty thumbs up.  For plots or production, it is a good way to inject nitrogen at sidedress.
We were fortunate to have a couple of special guests this time.  Not only does the picture below show four Okies, but the one next to me is the former two time governor of Oklahoma Brad Henry, and his former chief of staff and current business partner, Gerald Adams on the far left next to Galynn.  Since leaving office in 2011, the governor and Gerald are business consultants, and are interested in learning more about agriculture.  But truth be told, Galynn and Brad are former fraternity brothers at...(relax, just breathe and type it)...the University of Oklahoma.  But in spite of that, he is really a nice guy and a pleasure to meet and visit with.  That goes for both he and Gerald, who had the good sense to go to Oklahoma Baptist University.  In fact we all had dinner together that night.  Not to be out numbered, I invited my wife and fellow OSU alum Cathy to even the score.    But they invited me to call next time I am in OK to get together, and I hope to do that.  (And even though it's been a long time since I left, I still consider myself an Okie.  I do keep my dues current.) 
Here Galynn is showing them some of the high tech advancements in liquid fertilizer rate controllers. These were from Ag Xcel.  They remarked that they had no idea that farming is so technologically advanced.  It is still our job to fill that knowledge gap. 
 As before, there is a great lunch.  It was very hot, in the mid-90's.  At least it was Fahrenheit.  But there was a steady breeze that kept it somewhat comfortable.  But after that, it was off to the research plot tour. 
A new stop was planter fertilizer comparisons presented by Jeff.  This was his first solo presentation.  He did his homework and did a great job.  Also at his stop was a presentation about the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program.  This was initiated by the International Plant Nutrition Institute to promote responsible nutrient management.  (Why does that sound familiar?).  With regard to crop nutrition inputs, it advocates using the Right Time, Right Rate, Right Source and Right Place.  All of this is in line with what AgroLiquid has promoted for years.  But now we need to publicize this as farmers need to feed an ever-growing world population. 
That was Tuesday, and yesterday (Wednesday) we hosted a group of 55 attendees of the Michigan State University Soil Academy.  This event had the theme of the 4R's mentioned above.  There was an indoor morning session near the MSU campus that discussed different aspects of farming, then a tour at MSU and then all the way up to the NCRS to see our place.  The group consisted of farmers, MSU extension agronomists, and some industry folks.  Tim, Stephanie and I put our heads together to come up with stops at experiments that dealt with each of the 4R's.  After showing off our nice equipment, we set out.  Here Tim on Farm 5 discusses the Right Place for fertilizer as it pertains to different row spacing in soybeans, and then corn. 
On Farm 3 Stephanie presents the Right Rate as it applies to nitrogen in corn.  There were different responses from High NRG-N, 28% UAN with eNhance, and 28% UAN alone.  Earlier on Farm 5 she presented the Right Time, again with application timing of nitrogen on corn.  Nitrogen application to corn is really critical for yield and the environment, and it's so important to get it right.
I talked about the Right Source on Farm 7.  (I took this prior to the tour, so don't think that no one came to hear me.)  But it was the same as the RFD tour stop where we are running different types of fertilizers in a long-term corn/soybean rotation experiment to follow sustainability of programs.  So far, so good for AgroLiquid.  So it passes the Right Source test.
And we concluded the NCRS visit with a cup of Bancroft 2-cylinder homemade ice cream back in our shop.  Our County Extension Director Marilyn Thelen, who also lives nearby, gave a summary of the day and gave a reminder to practice the 4R's in the way that we farm.  You know we will here at the NCRS.
So with that, Tour season is over.  Let harvest season begin...soon.