Minnesota Farmer


5/27/14 Crop progress

Planting got off to a late start here in southwest Minnesota, but I still managed to get our corn and soybeans in the ground at a relatively decent time.  The spring was cold here until just recently.  Now the weather has turned hot and muggy.  We have missed the showers that came to our area in the last week and could use some rain for the surface area but subsurface moisture is good.

The tress are telling the story of how cold our spring was.  Although maple and ash trees are now fully leaved out trees like walnut, locust and catalpa are still slow to push their leaves out.100_2698You can still easily see through this catalpa into the maple behind it.

We planted our first corn on May 4th.  That field was planted into strips that were worked last year and then just leveled a bit with the planter before planting.  This form of tillage works well in soybean stubble since there is little plant material to keep water or wind from eroding the ground.  The corn emergence here is good, although the ground is a bit hard. 100_2696You can still see last years soybean rows in the field.

Spring time soil erosion can be a problem on worked ground.  I was reminded of that again when I saw this.100_2697My neighbor worked his soybean ground last fall and again this spring.  Spring time rains running across the field have cut into the dirt and washed out some corn plants.  The erosion stopped at the property line when the running water got into the unworked stubble on my field.

We finished planting corn on May 10th.  That corn is definitely up and growing, but a bit smaller than earlier planted corn.100_2694The later corn was planted on a field that was corn last year.  The higher amount of crop material left by a corn crop usually lets me work that ground in the fall and spring.  Small corn plants do not do well if there is too much of last years corn plant left on the ground.  Also, we applied hog manure to this field last fall and the manure has to be worked in to keep it in place.  We will need very little commercial fertilizer to supplement the hog manure we applied.

I was very pleased to see that the soybeans we planted on May 21 were starting to emerge.100_2695Some of these soybeans went into dry ground and could use some rain, but most of the field is doing well.

So it goes, spring is off to a good start and summer will soon be upon us.  The alfalfa looks like it is ready to cut and a multitude of other tasks are waiting for me.  Time to get back to work.

Michael

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