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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

First Cellulosic Ethanol Plant is Open

It has been open nearly 2 months, but I just figured out that the first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant is open in Emettsburg Iowa.   This seemed like a good idea when we had $8 corn.  With cash prices around $3 I don't know.  It is a technology that needs to be developed for our future, but it would see we have enough corn at least this year to take care of energy needs, food needs, and feed needs, as well as export.  In any case it will be interesting to see how this works out. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Soil Sampling Advice.

No-Till Farmer gives advice out of Kansas State offering seven tips on soil sampling. The advice is not terrible.  It mentions using the factors of soil formation, but it really does not get into how.  The advice about lots of samples is good.  I have seen research results that indicates 15 cores per sample is the way to go.  Many grid samplers only get 3 to 5 probes per sample.  The also don't mention that the sample needs to be well mixed by grinding or crushing to get a representative sample.  Sometimes high clay soils are too wet to get them mixed well.  We dry those samples and crush or grind before they go to the lab.  The article also mentions seasonal variability.  The causes of variability that I have seen are moisture and temperature related.  Sampling conditions may not always be perfect, but data is better than no data when making your fertility decisions.  For precision farming, defining your sample areas is critical.   You also need the technological expertise to make variable rate maps. Maybe some of this information leads you to hire a consultant. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Harvest Progress

Harvest went well last week.  My estimate is that corn and soybeans are at 60%.  There are places where the view is no longer blocked by corn.  Soybeans are very dry at this point, so many people are concentrating on soybeans.  wheat hs also been sowed.  There is more rain on the way tomorrow night.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Morning Fog

Fog made for some scenic beauty this morning.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fall Colors

Fall Colors are looking good and warm weather is in the forecast.  Enjoy the weekend.

 The tree is loaded with Persimmons, but they are not ripe yet.  Even a soft one on the ground had a pucker factor.

Sassafras in full color

Looking down the street

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hedge Apples

I picked up Hedge Apples (fruit of Osage Orange) to use for insect repellant in my basement.  They are said to be poisonous, but I have seen squirrels rip them open to get the seeds.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cover Crop Looking Good

The Annual Ryegrass cover crop below was planted in Mid-September.  Seed was incorporated by Turbo-Till.  It looks very good.  Nearby fields planted around October 1 are not quite this far along.