Week Ending June 17th We finished side dressing nitrogen on the corn. We spent some time filling in small holes in the soybean fields with a 2 row planter this week. This planter is a little less advanced than our high speed 24 row planters but it worked well for what we needed it to do. It is about time to put the planters in the shed for the year.
Week Ending June 10th We started side dressing corn in Farmer City this week. The early corn is past knee high. We are using a prescription to variable rate our nitrogen application again this year.
Also sprayed corn and soybans this week. The early corn that is about waste high is starting to show some stress from lack of moisture.
Week Ending June 3rd We finished planting soybeans on May 31. The last soybeans went in well. I am glad we gave the ground a few more days to dry out. Below are some pictures of the last couple of fields going in.
Week Ending May 27th Crops in Farmer City that we got in early are looking good. See pictures below. Corn looks very good despite all the rain they have had to date. Row by row planter control makes for pretty rows when the distance calibrations are correct.
We were able to get back into the fields for about one afternoon this week to get some beans planted.
We also spent some time in the shop this week making a brush guard for the front window on the excavator. Could be a life saver.
Week Ending May 20th We were able to get back into the field on Monday of this week. We ran for 4 days before getting rained out early Friday morning.
We finished planting the first round for corn and made good progress on soybeans. The beans are now about 80% planted. All of the corn and beans planted before the cool/wet spell are now up. We will have some replant areas due to ponding but they are not as bad has we had thought they might be.
All of the preplant spraying is now done. We switched out the wide tires to narrow this week to start on post spraying.
The excessive rains over the past couple of weeks blew out several field tiles. We are working on getting those repaired.
Below are some pictures from the week.
Week Ending May 13th We continue to wait out the cold wet weather so we can get back into the fields. We have now been out for 3 weeks. The corn and beans planted before all the rain have yet to emerge but the seeds are still alive when we dig them up. Small sprouts are about to emerge on the corn. Below are some pictures of the dug seeds.
The weather forecast looks better for next week.
We continue to work on machinery and make sure it is ready to run again once the sun returns.
Week Ending May 6 Field conditions stayed wet and cold this week. We had another 0.5 to 1.1 inches of rain on the fields. We are somewhat concerned about the corn and beans we planted just ahead of this weather. The corn we planted last week has germinated but it has barely started putting a root down in these cold conditions.
We were able to get some repairs and maintenance done on the machines, haul corn to the river terminals, and do some excavator work. I am hopeful the field will dry out enough to get back in the fields next week.
Week Ending April 30th We had a good start to the week in the fields around home. Field conditions were dry and we started spraying, field cultivating and planting both corn and soybeans on Monday. By Thursday we had over 1/2 of our corn in and about 1/3 of the beans planted around the Yorkville area. While the weather conditions were good while we were planting, we were concerned about the wet and cold weather in the forecast.
We were rained out on Thursday evening. The first round of showers only brought about 1/2 inch of rain. However, by the end of the weekend we had gotten 3.5 to 5.5 inches of rain in most fields. Many areas in the fields ponded with standing water. We will have many places to replant once the water goes down.
Week Ending April 22 We had a good week of work in Farmer City. We finished all of our commercial corn and soybean planting in the Farmer City area on Friday. We started moving machinery north to Yorkville late in the week and started spraying around home on Friday as well.
One of the new tools we are using this year is DisplayCast from Ag Leader. This service allows us to share coverage maps between machines in the field in real time. This is a big deal for us since we often run two planters in one field at the same time. The shared coverage maps allows us to know precisely where the other machine has planted. The automatic row shut-off system can read the coverage map from the other planter and control the planter based on the combined coverage map of both planters. In order for the system to work, the planters need a live wi-fi connection.
Besides sharing coverage maps between planters, we can also share guidance lines. A new or changed line is instantly available to all machines and we can tell which lines to other machines are currently running.
The data is also being shared this way from the sprayer to the planters. We can tell which areas of the field were sprayed with which chemical. This is useful when we have corn and soybean splits in a field.
The Agfinity system through AgLeader allows us to track all of the machines in real time and view the data they have collected through an iPad app or with through a website.
Below are some pictures from the week including shots of two planters working in the same field with the shared coverage maps.
Week Ending April 16th We were able to get started planting corn and soybeans in Farmer City this week. Field conditions improved in that area this week as the rains started to hold off and temperatures rose into the 70's. We started spraying and field cultivating on Wednesday. Corn and soybean planting started on Thursday April 13th.
Both the corn and soybeans are getting a pre plant herbicide. The corn herbicide is Harness Extra and the soybean herbicide is Fierce. The corn herbicide is being applied with 32% liquid nitrogen, giving the crop its first of three shoots of nitrogen fertilizer for the year. We are again running a Hagie STS16 sprayer that has a 120ft boom and a 1600 gallon solution tank.
After the spraying pass, all of the ground gets worked with a field cultivator. The field cultivators are 60 feet wide and are pulled at about 10 mph with Challenger 875 and 865.The tillage tractors run on RTK GPS steering on our controlled traffic system. All of the machines run on preset guidance lines so that the wheel traffic is all in the same paths and the tracks are not where the crop rows will be.
We are planting with 2 Horsch 24 row/30 inch planters which are 60 feet wide. One planter typically stays in corn while the other stays in soybeans. The corn planter is putting down liquid starter fertilizer for the corn. Seeding rates for both crops are controlled by variable rate prescriptions that have been written based on soil types and historical yield levels. Corn seeding rates vary from 30,000 to 38,000 seeds per acre while soybean rates vary from 130,000 to 160,000.
We are using some new technology in the planters and sprayer this year. We are using AgLeader's Display Cast and AgFiniti service which allows data to be shared between the machines in real time. This allows us to share coverage maps, seeding prescriptions, and guidance lines. This has been useful so far when we have had multiple crops in one field with the need to keep track of where corn vs. soybean herbicide was applied and making sure the correct crop is planted in the correct area of the field.
We were able to get in over 1500 acres of corn and soybeans in late this week before rains moved in Saturday night.