Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Too Much Rain Makes Anxious Farmers

 So on April 21 I showed a pic of planting sugarbeets on April 20.  I mentioned that it rained that very night.  But that was a long time ago.  How much planting do you think has been done since then?  Well this is our seed stash, and it is unchanged since then.  Nearly three weeks.  It has been constant cold and rain that has prevented any planting here in mid-Michigan.  Normally we would be planting corn the last week of April, but this is not a normal year.  In fact last year we started planting corn on April 27.  But we are in single digits for dates in May, so there is still time.

I was out looking around on Farm 7 today.  I did more walking than driving as even the grass lanes were pretty slippery.  And I sure did not want to have to make a call for a tractor to pull me out.  Here is the field of sugarbeets that was planted on April 20.  FYI: it was strip tilled last fall, but all of the fertilizer will be put on in-season.  This is so that we can get on it sooner.  Good thing.  But it is plenty wet.
Here are a couple beets coming out of the ground.  It was warm and sunny today, so hopefully many more will follow.  Wish it would be warm and sunny for a lot more days.
 Here is a wheat fertilizer research experiment on Farm 7 that looks pretty nice.  It was top-dressed several weeks ago and has good color.  In case you are new here, those spaces are tram lines for the Hagie sprayer to make applications to the plots without driving over the wheat.  I mean, we are researchers after all.
Back on Farm 3, the soil is light enough that Phil was able to make herbicide and fungicide applications to the wheat plots there.  I don't recall if I had showed pics of the new (for us) Hagie field sprayer we have this year.  This sprayer will be used for general farm spraying and the other one will be for plot spraying.   
Well in spite of our current state of soil wetness, there is more rain in the forecast starting tonight and through tomorrow.  Hope they are wrong.  But here is the radar as of 10 pm.  Doesn't look too bad, he said trying to be optimistic.  Like many things, rain is not a supply issue, it is a distribution issue.
I will post the outcome tomorrow.  So either happy or sad researchers.