Sunday, May 14, 2017

Season Finally Starts at NCRS

So usually we are pretty far into planting by May 8.  But with frequent rain and cold, field activity just got started last week at the NCRS.  And it was nice all week, so it was busy every day.  We are having some more buried drip tape installed on a small field near the field office.  It will be on display at the Agro-Expo.
 Believe it or not, there were frost warnings last Sunday and Monday nights.  So Tim B loaded up some foliar fertilizer into the Prop Tech orchard sprayer and gave the apples a blast during the day on Sunday and Monday.  This is to get some nutrition in the leaves to help ward off the cold.  Well it got down to 27 degrees both nights.  Well actually more around just before sunrise.  We saw no damage.  There were areas around where the fruit trees were hurt badly.  Every fruit growers worst nightmare.
 At the Agro-Expo there will be silage corn demonstrations.  The grower who is working on this part of the Expo came over to plant the hybrid plots, plus the part of the field where the silage choppers will run at the show.  This is also the grower who installed the Precision Planting parts on our planter. Naturally AgroLiquid fertilizer will make for a good show plot.
 I couldn't imagine having to make seed changes on a 16 row planter.  But they are like a pit crew with two vacuums with long hoses to empty out the planter boxes, and then put in the next one.  Everyone on the crew had a specific job, so you didn't want to get in the way.
 Phil and Jay check wheat plots for frost damage.  Hard to say right then.
 Later in the week Tim was applying the banded Liquid fertilizers in the orchard.  It's hard to see, but there is fertilizer coming out of a tube that runs along where the drip tape will water it in if it doesn't rain.  
 So the orchard is fenced to keep out all types of four-legged pests.  As I said previously, there are lots of robins in the orchard.  Now I did not know that robins nested on the ground.  Maybe it's because the trees are too small for nests?  I don't think so.  I will have to check into this. But there are no cats in there, so maybe they like it better.  This was the last nest with babies still in it.  There are larger juveniles around that can fly a little, but mostly scurry on the ground.  It was entertaining.  And by the way, we flagged this so as not to give them a fertilizer bath.  We do that with killdeers out in fields too.  I like birds and we are nice after all.
With the new line of Primagro fertilizers, the fertilizer wagon (or War Wagon) had to be expanded.  It's loaded and ready.
I described the new Kinze planter earlier.  Tim is loading tanks and moving product around and checking pumps.  Certainly more complicated from the old speed and pressure liquid planter used at the start of the NCRS.  But with well over a thousand plots to plant, timeliness and accuracy are important.
It worked great with excellent precision and monitoring everything.
Here are the four college interns who will be spending the summer at the NCRS.  They are learning about loading the fertilizer treatments.  They will have a diverse experience with all types of operations at the NCRS and a variety of other places.  More on them later.  I will say that three of them are from Michigan State (Go Green) and one is from OSU.  Well not the same OSU as me, but that other one just to the South. You know, THE OSU.  But so far so good for all of them.
There was another video made at the NCRS this week. This one about the Y-Drop fertilizer application system from 360 Yield Center.  We have had good results with it in our plots, and actually bought a system for our field Hagie applicator for use on our production corn.  Our friend Stephanie Smith with 360 Yield Center came out to be in the video along with Agro Stephanie and Tim.  I missed the actual video shoot, but reassembled the actors for this fine pic.
So this one should be out soon.  You can see other fine videos from the NCRS on the AgroLiquid Facebook page.  So it was a very busy week, but the work is far from over.