Monday, November 25, 2013

The Last Field Project....Let's Eat

So as I said in our last blog installment, there was a Sales Management meeting in Dallas last week.  All of the sales managers were there.  To add some balance, a couple of agronomists and some researchers also attended.  That was Stephanie, Brian and myself.  We presented some of our preliminary research results from the NCRS and also from various university and contract research plots around the country.  Much of the results are very encouraging.  Some are head scratchers, but that's research. 
But someone had to stay home and see that research stuff gets done.  So Tim D made the maiden voyage with the new Orthman strip till machine.  Here he is last Wednesday running some of the fall fertilizer applications.  (But no UAN nitrogen is recommended for fall application up here!) They just got it put together in time for this experiment following wheat.  Next year corn will be planted here.   
These strips look really nice.  Our home-made Nutri-Till machine did a fine job for many years.  But it had become tired and was retired.  So it will be different running a commercial machine now.  Tim, Ron, Phil and Jeff all worked hard to get the tanks put on, hoses installed, as well as the pumps and rate controllers, the electronics and wires.  And then it is all linked to the Greenstar controller in the tractor cab.  Tim said the rate controllers from Ag Xcel are amazingly accurate and easy to use.  After a trial stationary calibration of the six row, he entered the outputs, and the computer made some flow meter cal adjustments and some other stuff, and the next time got the exact same output for each of the rows.  Again I will relate my story of the many hours Doug and I used to spend with stopwatches and graduated cylinders back in the day, and calculating tractor speeds needed for a rate.  And then doing it again for the next rate.  Kids today have it so easy.  But it is much more accurate and less tiresome now.  Although it is a little spendy.  But certainly worth it.   
As is the custom at the NCRS...the end of another successful year of research at the NCRS is commemorated with a nice farm-cooked meal.  This was last Friday.  I got there just in time to take this picture and pull up a chair.  Stephanie got a nice tenderloin, or some kind of meat.  She seasoned it with...well, seasoning.  Brian got some farm potatoes and vegetables, and then cooked the whole thing on the grill.  There was pie and ice cream for dessert.  The NCRS crew is the best and worthy of such a feast.    
We are all working on putting the research report together now and getting equipment winterized.  Plus putting  snow removal equipment on some of the tractors and trucks.  Does that mean what I think it does?