Search This Blog

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Still Sampling Corn

We still have corn ground to sample, but most of it is not as big below.  I walked that 100 acre field.  Some of the corn was neck high, but the stand was very uneven because of wetness.  The good news is that this field was past the brittle stage so it was easy to walk through.  We try to sample corn within 2 or 3 weeks of planting but sometimes we miss some and get a good cardio workout.  The interesting part of sampling this was I used my Droid to keep track of where my zone boundaries were.  I used the Locus Free app and had to convert files to gpx format but it worked very well and you can't beat it for light weight.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wild Rose

I found this Wild Rose in full bloom.  Too bad the internet does not do scratch and sniff.  They smelled as good as they looked.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Glyphosate Resistance

Photo below shows glyphosate resistant waterhemp on the left that was sprayed with glyphosate.  On the right was sprayed with Liberty.  Liberty is not highly rated for waterhemp, but it cleaned the weeds up.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rain disrupts winter maize crop near the city of Palotina, Parana

By Eduardo Paim:
Rains have disrupted Maize harvest especially farmers who planted early. Because the corn is ready to be harvested is suffering because of the rains that should continue for a few more weeks. In the region of Palotina where corn was planted earlier losses will reach 10%.

Average production for corn in Mato Grosso:
City of Smile - 100 bags per Ha
City Simione / Lucas do Rio Verde - 100 bags per HA
City Green Field - 97.5 bags per HA
City Itiquira - 113 bags per HA

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Corn Growth

Today I was able to photograph corn at the extremes of growth in our area.  Some is almost ready to tassel and some is just emerged.  We have everything in between.  It was a long planting season and I am looking for a long harvest season.  I think most of this corn still has good yield potential except maybe the smallest.  A lot still depends on summer weather.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wheat Harvest Began in Monroe County

This wheat was harvested prior to recent rains near Columbia, Illinois.  The producer picked a good field to start on.  Wheat is turned and heads are dropped south of St. Louis so when we get some dry weather, harvest will start up again.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sweetcorn Season Getting Close

Since it was the day after a rain, field work did not seem prudent.  Instead, I visited the family farm near Valmeyer.  After last year's drought, it looks like we might have a good sweetcorn crop.  The corn is silking and should be ready in about 2 weeks.  There is nothing like fresh picked sweetcorn.  If you are accustomed to buying sweetcorn in a supermarket, I suggest you try a roadside stand or better yet find a way to pick your own.  Fresh sweetcorn is one of the best summer treats. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Septic Tank Investigation

When searching for a blog, what I am doing today always seems appropriate.  I pulled cores to a depth of 5 feet yesterday in order to classify the soil for a septic tank filter field.  This soil is about as good as it gets in my area.  It does have a seasonal water table at around 2 feet, but perimeter drains will take care of the problem and the owner has enough land to make that work.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hay Making Time

Many farmers have taken advantage of dry weather to make hay this week.  While the quality will not be great because the plants are over mature, the hay in bales looks fine.  Unfortunately a rather large popup thunderstorm today will prevent the hay raked this morning from being baled.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Erosion and Sediment Control

I was able to capture this picture of a Water and Sediment Control Basin AKA - WASCOB, Little Dry Dam, and etc.  With several rainfall events over 3 inches, we are seeing more than our share of erosion.  This practice is good for controlling gullies and reducing the amount of sediment leaving the farm.  It is a good practice on short choppy slopes. The dark area has a fresh layer of sediment on it

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Is your Corn Sulfur Deficient?

I heard a supplier agronomist talking about sulfur deficiencies recently.  The deficiency is easily identified by the striping on the leaf.  Your field may look yellow and you may think it is nitrogen, but leaf striping is from sulfur.  We like to see at least part of your nitrogen come from ammonium sulfate.  Elemental sulfur is a good alternative.  Rather than buying the expensive micro-nutrient mix, I add 40 to 50 ponds of sulfur to your fertilizer program.  Then see if you need the other micro-nutrients.  I think in general if you are seeing deficiency symptoms it is hurting your yield.  We are seeing a lot of deficiency this year.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Progress Report

Corn planting seems to be following no clear pattern this year.  We have had to walk a field here and there that was planted earlyThe earliest planted corn will be tasseling by July 4.  There is not much of that.  I walked some that was thigh high today.  I think the rain this weekend ended any plans for more corn planting, but there might be a bit going in. 

Soybean planting should be done soon, but there are still fields to plant.  Most soybeans are in the bifoliate stage, but I saw some near Greenfield yesterday that have their second or third trifoliate.  They looked really good. 

Wheat is turning, but stems are still green.  We are seeing some scab and some leaf diseases. I expect decent wheat yields, but maybe not great if it did not get fungicide. 

One of our vegetable growers has fresh tomatoes already.  Stuckmeyer Plants. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Row Shutoffs

This picture is a good example to illustrate how row shutoffs can save money on seed.  Yields should also increase because plant populations are correct instead of being doubled up. 

Row Shutoffs

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Subsoil Moisture

I did a septic tank investigation yesterday.  It is a busy time to slow down from sampling cropland, but it also gives me the opportunity to look at subsoil moisture.  The site I looked at was grassy so water infiltration should be good, although the slope will not allow for standing water.  Subsoil moisture was good on the site I looked at.  It was a little surprising that there was no water table considering how wet it has been. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Corn Harvest in Brazil

by Eduardo Paim: 
Here in Mato Grosso we are beginning to harvest maize; we are talking to producers and most are reaping average of 120 bags and 125 bags per hectare. The average should continue to be good on  about 50% of the planted area, then we'll get the last 50% that failed to get good rains.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Does Walmart Call this Service?

I went to Walmart in Litchfield tonight to pick up a few items on  my way home.  How is this Ag related?  Walmart is the largest food retailer and I was buying food.  Lines were long so I decided to use the self checkout.  That is what they want anyway.  I scanned 3 items and then some sweet cherries.  When I scanned my last item t would not scan.  The "Helper" came very to help.   She said the cherries did not have the right price on them.  I told her it was what the scanner put on.  She tried to correct it multiple times.  I told her that self checkout at Walmart is a lot of trouble and seldom works.  She said that management wants more people to use the self check out and that is why the lines are long.   She then told me that maybe I should have waited for a real checker.  Right after she told me I was doing what management wanted????  She then walked away without a word.  I stood there for several more minutes and she never came back, so I left my stuff at the checkout and told them rather loudly I was going somewhere where I could get service. 

I doubt that Mr. Sam would approve of this and I speculate that he is rolling in his grave. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Killing Weeds

I am not sure what he is using, but my client is having good luck killing some fairly large weeds.  It is easy for the professor or crop consultant to tell you to spray when the weeds are 2 inches tall, but this year's wet weather made it difficult to spray in a timely manner.
Water Hemp



Wednesday, June 12, 2013


The water below is in areas protected by levees in St. Charles County MO.  Even with levee protection, water seeps under the levee and internal water is trapped in these swales and closed depressions.  Water will move out through the ground as river levels dropped.  Some of these areas will be reported as prevented planting.  Some may be planted to soybeans.  For the moment, the waterfowl such as Egrets and Herons are making use of them.  A small flock of geese was swimming in one field we were working on today. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

St. Charles County River Bottoms

We worked today from West Alton to Orchard Farm.  South of US 67 was flooded as well as land that was riverward of the levee and some land that is unprotected.  There was about 2 feet of water in the hangers at Smart Field.  Crops not affected by wetness were looking OK.  Wheat is starting to turn.  We sampled some corn that was chest high in the best parts of the field.  Yes we walk that.  We also did some nitrogen sampling.  Soybean planting is still in progress.  Everyone we talked to had a positive and optimistic attitude.  Most in that area are giving up on corn and moving toward planting soybeans.  Some of the wet areas will be prevented planting for crop insurance.  All the low areas have water in them at this point.  It would be a great place to watch shorebirds right now. Seep water will go out as river levels go down. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Field Activity in our Area

Soils started drying out enough for some work to be done about Friday.  There was some spraying going on earlier in the week.  Saturday was a very busy day and yes some people were still planting corn.  There are also a lot of beans being planted.  Today we sampled some in southern Sangamon County.  It was very wet.  Light rain in our area on Sunday sort of dampened the spirits for today although some planters were going by afternoon.  We had a half inch in Hillsboro, but most places did not have that much. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Decisive Action

Gillespie gym has been made safe from further damage by the decisive action of the school board and Superintendent of Schools.  Work began Monday morning.  This STLToday article has more information and pictures. More rain came today so the temporary repair was just in time. 
Gillespie Gym 6/1/2013

Gillespie Gym 6/8/2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mulberry TIme

Its Mulberry time. Not the most flavorful berry, but good when you have parched mouth.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sprayer Tracks.

When I see sprayers taking out long parts of rows of corn like this, I am persuaded that it would be better to run the sprayer perpendicular to rows.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Decision Time

We missed two chances at rain the past two days; that is the good news.  The bad news is that there is a lot of corn to be planted yet and we are past the date to assure full coverage by crop insurance.  Producers will need to decide whether to stick with corn, switch to soybeans, or take prevented planting.  I have talked to customers who have made their decisions.   We sampled mostly corn fields that are out of the ground today.  We did  one soybean field.  This is the time of year when we are trying to sample corn as fast as we can.  Soybean fields and unplanted field are often passed by. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hail Damaged Corn

Hail damaged corn is interesting.  It Looks terrible but usually recovers, although this field has some damaged all the way to the ground.  This area also had homes and trees damaged by winds, hundreds of acres of corn drowned, and lots of roads had been under water.We have 3 customers who have not started planting anything.  We have one customer who had his enture crop destroyed by flooding.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Levee Breaks

Levees are breaking along the Mississippi River and flooding cropland including some of our customers.  Yes homes will be flooded too.  We hope the levee breaks are minimized as river stages are dropping slowly.

Monday, June 3, 2013

First Nitrogen Sampling Day

Our customer today wanted to do some nitrogen testing to see if there was a difference between tiled and un-tiled fields.  The top field was planted on May 14 and is a nice size to sample.  The bottom field was planted April 3.  The later fields have better stands in general, although wetness is starting to take its toll.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Storm Damage and Wetness

Gillespie High School Gymnasium was damaged by a tornado.  it was built in 1928 and remodeled recently because of storm damage.
Gillespie High School Gymnasium
 The tractor below was exposed because the shed blew away. 
Fordson Tractor
 The shed was laying in the field north the tractor
 Corn field at Greenfield.  This field is well tiled.
Courtesy of Randy Darr
 Corn field near Dorchester.