Minnesota Farmer

Between showers scramble

Life has been a bit of a scramble here on the farm in southwestern Minnesota.  In the days since May 30 we had over 10 inches of rain.  That stalled out farm work.  Luckily I got the weeds killed in the corn before all of this started.

I usually put on most of the nitrogen that the corn needs about now.  With that much rain I was going to have some problems getting it on.  The corn is growing fast.  Conditions got almost dry enough, so three days ago I gave nitrogen application a try.100_2720Mostly the work went well.  Small areas were still wet, but I could get through most of it.  With the tallest corn having to bend over to allow the nitrogen applicator to pass, I was at  the last days of being able to get through it.  This corn looks real good, but that is not the case with all of it.100_2723Yellow corn leaves show areas where the ground was water logged, but not covered in water, and corn was having trouble getting the nitrogen it needs.100_2724These yellow areas can be near low spots, but may appear at random spots on hill sides.100_2725Low areas have lost most of their corn.  There is still some corn left, and since it is so late in the year and the areas are small we’ll just have to live with what is there.100_2728There are some drowned out areas in the soybeans also.  Again they are too small, and it is too late to do anything about it.100_2727The nitrogen applicator is doing a nice job of tilling the area between the rows.  Getting in and loosening the water compacted ground may do as much good as getting extra nitrogen to the corn.  The areas that were too wet, will get more compacted, but those are small areas.  I just have to accept the small amount of bad along with the greater good.

Last night we got another 1.3 inches of rain.  Now we wait.  We will get dryer weather, if it will be soon enough to finish putting the nitrogen on is something we do not know.  Meanwhile weather radar shows more rain on the way and the forecast is for several more days of rain.

The old saying is “Rain makes grain,” and this should lead to a good harvest.  Rain and warm weather are good for our crops, it just makes weed control and fertilizer application difficult at times.  No one said I was living an easy life.



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