Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kentucky: Plots and Goal Achieved, At Last

So I hope everyone visited Blog Post #400, and filled out comments to the FCC about keeping RFD TV on Comcast.  Even if you get it on another source, or don't get it at all, they need to hear from you to keep the voice of agriculture accessible.  Don't let the suits win this.  OK, now back to affairs of state.

Last week I went down to Kentucky to see the field plots established by Patrick and Dustin of Security Seed at their research farms in Morganfield and Hopkinsville.  Well loyal readers will recall that I would always pass this monument for Jefferson Davis at his birthplace of Fairfax, Kentucky.  But every time I stopped to visit, it was closed.  Well here it is last Thursday morning as I made my way to Hopkinsville.  I had a meeting set, but I swung in to see if it was open.  And it was!  But only till 5 o'clock.  So I vowed I would be back before then.  This is a quest!
 But first I had some research plots to visit.  First we drove up to Morganfield where Security Seed and Chemical has a research farm.  I reported from their field day here last summer (August 1 to be exact.) Well there is another one on July 31.  Here are the various product signs along the highway.  AgroLiquid is down the way.
And guess who my escort was?  It was Lang, their chief agronomist.  Lang and I go way back.  I mean waaaaay back.  It was good to see him, although he still is on the phone alot.  People seeking answers I guess.  Anyway, this farm produced outstanding crops last year due to a great growing season.  This year it went in ok, but it was a wet spring and now is turning dry.  I hate it when that happens as you don't get a deep root system and it is more subject to stress from lack of rain.  So a good root-building fertilizer program can really help.
 Here is a commonly used broadcast dry program, usually 9-23-30, a blend of DAP and potash.
And here is an if-furrow application of 6 gal/A of Pro-Germinator + Micro 500 + eNhance + Boron. This has been the research proven program of choice here, and it shows.  It is definately healthier looking and able to withstand the dry conditions better.
 Here is a view looking back on the wheat plots.  They are almost ready for harvest.  There was a lot of wheat being harvested in the area.  And most all of the ground will be planted to soybeans, which is a great opportunity for foliar applications after they are up and growing.  
 After that we headed back to Hopkinsville, to the other field research site.  There I was met by SAM Jourdan.  How come everyone talks on the phone so much when I'm around?  I should call him to ask.
 Earlier it was reported that the plots did not look as good as those in Morganfield, again due to wet conditions.  But things are coming around now that the sidedress N has taken effect.  Below is another broadcast dry standard on the left compared to AgroLiquid in-furrow on the right.  After seeing this, going to the field days and seeing the yield differences, I can't understand why everyone doesn't use Liquid.  Maybe they need just one more year of research.  Well here it is.  And come to this field day on July 29.  I know I will.
Now, I was able to wrap up business in time to go over to the monument.  It's just minutes away from the Hopkinsville field.  I made Jourdan drive me over.  Here it is.  I reported extensively on its history in a blog post on April 19, 2013.  So history buffs can re-visit that for complete details.  But isn't it impressive?  It's 351 feet tall, and is the tallest unreinforced concrete obelisk in the world.  That means it has no rebar in it, due to being build in 1917 during World War 1.  It was completed and dedicated in 1924.  
 Now it was opened in 1924, but the elevator wasn't installed until 1929.  And here it is, the original one.  It still has the 1929 inspection certificate. I wonder when it is due for another inspection?  But it was actually nice and roomy.  I was afraid it would be small and hunchy.  We were told that for the five years before the elevator, people had to go up the stairway of over 800 steps.  In fact our guide said that at the dedication on June 8, there were Boy Scouts that escorted people up and down, making numerous trips each.  I'm tired just thinking about it.  But you can't take the steps anymore.  Jourdan and I were going to race.  I would have given him about a 700 step head start.  Although I probably would have changed my mind after he started up, and taken the elevator anyway.
And here is the view from the observation room, some 310 feet above the ground.  This is looking to the North.  There is the highway between Hopkinsville and Bowling Green that I took the pic up at the start of the post.
 Here is Jourdan looking out the East window.  Jourdan used to live in Bowling Green for several years, but never made the stop here.  He was glad I made him, so he can cross this off the bucket list.  (I just assume this was on it.)
 Here is the East view.  That church down there is where the cabin supposedly was where Jefferson Davis was born.  In case you missed history class that day, Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederate States of America.  That didn't work out so well.  But he did get a cool monument.  Although he died 35 years before it was opened.  
 Here is a view of the visitor center, and Jourdan's white Taurus 351 feet below.  Sadly, they have bars on the window so you can't throw things on cars.  I had to stick my arm out and aim the camera down and click.  After several tries, this is the view.  Pretty cool.  Since it was almost 5 by this time, there weren't any people still there.  In fact, Jourdan and I were the only people up the tower at the time. But we kept the guide entertained with deep and thought-provoking questions and comments.  Like about the terminal velocity of a watermelon dropped from the top.
So what a perfect day.  I got to be in Kentucky where I ate catfish.  I got to see Lang and Jourdan, and Patrick too, plus see some good test plots where AgroLiquid shined on corn.  And I got to finish the trip with a visit to the Jefferson Davis monument where I had been denied for so long.  Which made me appreciate it all the more.  Now who can top that?