Saturday, May 7, 2016

NCRS Sees Action After the Rain

So after getting nearly 3/4" of rain on Wednesday, one of the NCRS fields was dry enough on Friday to do some work.  That was Farm 3 which is pretty sandy.  Thank goodness as depression from inactivity was setting in. 

The first test was getting some potatoes planted for an experiment.  Jake is loading the planter while driver Tim is ready to get back to the plots.
 Dr. Zouheir is in charge of this experiment.  He was not happy with the spacing of the potatoes in these relatively short plots, with some seed pieces sometimes doubled up and leaving a gap in the row.  Mostly they are fine, but you want uniformity in research.  So they took off the closing disks and Zouheir ensured uniform spacing while Josh and Jay raked the furrows closed.  The planter is able to band the fertilizer treatments on either side of the seed piece and a nozzle sprays a band of Admire systemic protectant in the furrow.  That's why Zouheir has on protective gloves.  So it will be a good test.  No problem.
Meanwhile on the other side of Farm 3, part of the field crops crew is out setting up a corn test.  Tim, intern Quinten and Stephanie load a tank from the "War Wagon" fertilizer trailer.
 Tim is running the Orthman strip-till applicator in between some corn stalks with the potato crew across the field in the background.  It was sure a nice sunny and warm day after the rain just two days before.  It is good to be working in this field, although the other farm fields have heavier soil and will still require several more days to dry.  Several more dry days, as there is still rain showers in the forecast for the next several days.
But taking advantage of what you have, there is now corn planted in several experiments at the NCRS.  That along with the potatoes made Friday a good day at the NCRS.  By the way, don't worry that Tim is not watching where the tractor is going.  Recall that we have auto-track satellite steering. So the tractor is driving him, not the other way around.  Perfectly straight rows every time.
The rows of no-till corn look nice in the evening sun, don't they.  Now no rain dances please.