Thursday, March 27, 2014

Nope...spring hasn't arrived out East either.

So I was on a fertilizer mission earlier this week out East.  It seems that winter just doesn't want to end this year.  Anywhere.  Well, there is no spring in Virginia, or Maryland where I was on Tuesday.  I met up with SAM Benjy first thing Tuesday morning in Baltimore and we drove down Maryland's Eastern shore to Quantico where the University of Maryland has an experiment station.  I have reported from there several times in the past.  We met with our friend Ron Mulford who, although officially retired, just can't give up plotwork and includes AgroLiquid in many of his trials.  If it looks cold in the picture below, that's because it is.  It was around 30 with a very strong wind.  That's Ron and Benjy looking out at a winter wheat fertilizer test. 
This is a high yield test where Ron is trying for...well...high yields.  Hopefully the weather warms up someday so that it can get some wheat.  The plot on the left where I am standing received a broadcast application of Pro-Germinator + Sure-K + Micros and some N at planting and was topdressed a few weeks ago with some more eNhanced UAN, Sure-K and Liquid micros.  The state does not encourage fall applications of fertilizer to winter wheat, thinking it is more efficient and responsible to be applied in the spring topdress at green up.  So the plot where Ron is standing received dry potash, DAP, AMS and urea.  Hopefully you can see that it is behind in growth.  I'll be back to check on it later on. Assuming spring and summer ever happen.
After that there was a nice discussion on the other tests that Ron will run this year in corn and soybeans.  Fortunately it lasted long enough so that I could have my usual lunch of Maryland crabcake.  After that, we headed back North to Baltimore.  We crossed the Bay Bridge to get across the Chesapeake Bay.  I reported on it last June 6 and had a cool pic then.  But in case you forgot, it is 4.3 miles long and 186 feet high at the shipping channel.  The Eastbound side was completed in 1952, and the Westbound side, where we are, was completed in 1973.  It was just starting to snow here in the late afternoon.
Well as it turned out, Baltimore received about an inch or two, but Ron said he got over five inches of snow overnight.  As I took off to come home yesterday morning (Wednesday) you could see the extent of the snowfall.  It wouldn't be there long, but it shouldn't be there at all this time of year.  I usually prefer an aisle seat, but this is a short flight to Detroit, so I took a window and was glad I did.
As we flew over Lake Erie, you could see that the West end of the lake was still covered in ice. Looking to the South I saw a couple of islands that were obviously inhabited, by humans I presume. But I didn't know what ones they were at the time.  Now I know that the main one there is South Bass Island.  It has a nice resort/tourist town there called Put In Bay.  My parents have actually been there years ago, although not in the winter.  They said they had a really nice time there.  So now that I have seen it from above, I may have to visit too.  That's Ohio at the top of the pic.
 There is still ice covering the West side of the lake.  But I don't think I would want to walk across it.
 Here is the remaining snow cover as we are coming into land at Lansing, which is about 20 miles South of St. Johns.  Still plenty there and temperatures aren't getting warm enough to melt much, if any today.
But it was a good time visiting with Benjy and Ron and getting set up for yet another year of fertilizer research.  Top that if you can!