Sunday, June 18, 2017

Last Week at the NCRS. Part 1

So last week was a busy week at the NCRS, as they all are.  But I was on hand to be able to file this report.  We got some new drop style irrigation nozzles on our linear Reinke system on Farm 3.  They were installed by Farm Services of Lakeview, Michigan, the same people who first put the system together back in 2001.  Or maybe 2002.  But it was awhile ago.   We have been very dry and in need of rainfall lately.  So the two farms with irrigation should be getting watered. The funny, well kind of, thing is that when I came out Monday and saw the linear way up the field to the North, I asked why wasn't it running.  I was told that it was. Sure enough it was.  It's just not as obvious from afar.  And then later that day back at the office, Troy asked me why the irrigation on Farm 3 wasn't running.  I said it was. He thought as I did earlier.  I guess you had to be there.  But we are applying water where we can. 
 On Farm 5 it is easy to tell when the irrigation is on.
 Side-dressing of corn plots has been going on recently.  Here is the plot Hagie making applications with the Y-Drop system that we like.
 It places the nitrogen band on both sides of the base of the plant.  We have found this to be better than the coulter injection in the middle of the row.  And coulter injection is better than dragging hoses which is still done in places.
On the May 14 blog I showed the new Y Drop system for our other Hagie for our production, or non-plot corn.  Well it was initiated on Friday, starting on Farm 12.  Fortunately I was there for the occasion.  We can do 18 rows at a time which should certainly speed up the side-dress applications.
 It seemed to work fine to my critical eye while riding with Phil at the helm.
 Back on the plot scene, it was time for nitrogen applications and hilling of the potato plots on Farm 1.  This is primarily an evaluation of Primagro fertilizers, and Dr. Massri guides Tim B through the plots. These are Snowden potatoes which are used for potato chips.  Did you know that Michigan is the number one potato chip producing state?  Well it is.  And did you know that potato chips are the number one snack food.  Hey, I don't compile all of that, I just report it.  It's on the Internet, so it must be true. 

Remember last week when we were making dry fertilizer applications to the alfalfa plots at the NCRS on Farm 5?  Well a week has gone by and it was time to make the Liquid applications.  Here we see intern Jacob making fertilizer applications with the backpack sprayer.  Did you know that this backpack sprayer was the first piece of equipment that I bought when I started back in 1992? Well it was and I'm glad to see that it is still in action.  Although Jacob wasn't born yet when I first bought it, he's using it now. And like me, still in peak condition.  And by the way, we use an internet metronome to maintain a steady pace.  Accuracy counts.
So it's hard to believe that all of this happened in a single week at the NCRS.  But there is still more that will be reported tomorrow.  And what better way to spend a Saturday night than reporting on the cool happenings at America's premier research facility.  That's the North Central Research Station in case you were wondering.