Saturday, October 9, 2010

Beauty in Farming

Steve Groff posted this beautiful picture on Crop Talk of Marigolds being raised in the Canterbury Plains on the South Island of New Zealand. He is discussing the use of cover crops to control root rot nematodes and other damaging soil critters. We want the soil more full of benefical soil critters that enhances crop growth and this is another great benefit of keep your soil covered all winter.

I am pretty sure Mr. Lill took us down this road in February and the Phalacia and Crimson Clovers being grown for seed for cover crops. That road was so beautiful I told them they could charge admission to drive down these farm lanes and view the mere beauty of these crops. Put a little picnic area in and people could stop and eat their lunch there!

To a farmer in the midwest, we see beauty in the best fields of corn and soybeans we raise but our city cousins like a little color like this photograph! I can't blame anyone for preferring this picture over the many brown, harvested fields around here.
Thank you Google for the Save Now feature. Our power just went off again and I think this the third weekend this has happened. Dayton Power and Light? What is the problem? It's like everyone rolled out of bed and turned the lights on and poof there went the power again. Farmers are getting the big electric bills now with all these big 3-5 HP grain fan motors running and your circuits can't handle the overload.
I have replaced too many motors and appliances the last seven years here and some of it is due to these power shortages and the electrical surge that happens when the power tries to come back on. For what we are paying you, we need a little better service please!
That's the problem of technology on the farm. Great when it works, bad when it fails. I guess not keeping our fields green all winter is not using technology to its fullest, either. Every field needs to be planted back to something right now and most won't get it done. They say it costs too much, blah, blah, blah and then wonder why the crop doesn't reach it's fullest potential the next year. I don't farm in an arid region so fallow is not the best solution here. Planting something, anything, is.
Today we hope to plant more wheat laced with radishes. That was an accident we caused on the same field 4 years ago and the wheat made more bushels where we had accidentally filled the drill with wheat seed on top of radish seed that wasn't cleaned out of the drill.
Some farmer recommended this practice yesterday to another who is trying to grow wheat in the cooler, damper soils of Northwest Ohio, those tough lakebed soils. He said you can thank Ed Winkle for this idea, kinda makes you feel good. It was pure accident but it worked and now I and other farmers do it as practice.
The radish will drive off pests, scavenge nutrients and die around Christmas most years, giving up all that benefit to the new crop of wheat.
Might need a little rain to get this wheat out of the ground. Going to "dust it in" and try to burst the bins as the old addage goes.

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