Friday, May 27, 2016

Busy Every Day Last Week

So finally had a busy week of planting at the NCRS, working hard to get caught up.  Planters and sprayers were all over the place.  Like below on Tuesday planting soybeans on Farm 11.  The way it works is that all of the needed fertilizer is brought out to the field on a wagon, referred to as the "War Wagon".  Then the crew prepares the treatment mix by pumping the ingredients into a mix tank.  Then Tim plants the replicated plots while the crew prepares the next treatment.  Round and round until all the plots are planted.  Pack up and move to the next test.
 Summer interns Trevor and Lacie load the planter with the fertilizer for the next treatment.  Hey, what is on that hat that Trevor has on?  Why it's our favorite mascot Pistol Pete!  Well of course, Trevor is a student scholar from Oklahoma State University spending his summer at the NCRS.  He is the son of Tim and Paige Tyree of Retail Partner Tyree Ag in Kansas.  And Tim and Paige are also OSU graduates.  So it's great to have Cowboys outnumber Sooner Galynn when he stops by.  Lacie there is an ag major and going to be a sophomore at MSU.  She is from a farming family near Ithaca,  MI, and they have used some AgroLiquid in the past. So it is our mission to get them converted all the way over.
There is a lot of preparation for the AgroExpo in August.  It is on Farm 12. Agronomist John Leif is responsible for seed and chemical plots.  Here is a crew helping plant some of the last AgroExpo corn and soybean variety plots.  It is time consuming as after each plot, the seed from all six planter boxes must be emptied and the next kind put in.  I helped by staying out of the way and taking pictures. And in the background you can see what looks like our tour trailers.  Well that is Jay showing the farm to a group of school kids on a field trip.  Doesn't hurt to introduce kids to farming and food production. We have had a number of tours this spring and more to come.
I actually had responsibility for establishment of the Yield Challenge plots where different agronomists made corn and soybean fertilizer recommendations that will be tested for the AgroExpo. The corn plots were planted earlier, and Wednesday we planted the soybean plots. There's Lacie pouring out some fertilizer for application.  And she is sharing the War Wagon with John and second year intern Quinton, who are using a backpack sprayer for application of different herbicides for evaluation, also for the AgroExpo.
Here is Tim planting one of the soybean Yield Challenge plots.  It will be really interesting to see how the different program recommendations work out.  So plan on visiting the AgroExpo in mid-August to see this and so much more.  If you don't come, it will be something you will regret for the rest of your life.  More info at
 Also coming by for a fertilizer fill-up are Stephanie and Trevor.  They are making broadcast fertilizer applications to select plots around the NCRS.  Tim makes his way back to the tractor for the next soybean plot.  We could have used a traffic light with all of the people coming and going.
Here is Trevor driving the Hagie making an application of nitrogen on a long corn plot on Farm 11. This was his first time driving this complicated sprayer configured for plot application.  But being a Cowboy, he was driving like a pro in no-time.  In case you are wondering, Stephanie rides in there too with the treatment list making sure everything goes where it should.  Mistake free, guaranteed.
 Today Galynn and I visited the NCRS to take a look at some of the plots now that the corn is emerged.  Here he is taking a stand count on one of the corn Challenge Plots.  He did pretty good up till around 33, when he had to stop and re-think what comes next.  But I always enjoy getting an early look at plots, even with Galynn as lively discussion always ensues.
So hard to keep up with all the activity, but this is what it takes to make the NCRS the finest crop fertility research facility anywhere.  So in all the frenzy, I lost track of the Horticulture Crew.  I know they were busy with a variety of tasks, and I will check in with them next week.