Thursday, June 14, 2012


I just got back from doing IRM spot checks in Pennsylvania. The corn looks better with each sunny day and heat but it has a lot of problems in it. The best corn I saw was around Franklin County, Pennsylvania. They have good stands, the corn has good color and is growing well.

Anyone who had problems like I did this spring doesn't have as good a corn crop. I was surprised to see mine looking good this evening when I got home but I know all the problems in it as I walk it every week.

My tissue tests are all coming back low in Potassium and deficient in boron and manganese after applying a lot of those nutrients. Even corn with 200 lbs potash on it is low in K so I assume I have taken off quite a bit in the past years. I think the flow of potassium in the soil solution has not been good this spring and I will pulling more tissue at ear leaf in a few weeks to see how it stands.

Nurturing a crop is no easy task if you take it seriously and I do. I want to do the best with the land I have been entrusted with I can. Most farmers seem to feel this way and there is so much to do in running a farm operation there never seems to be enough time or money at this time of the year.

Some farmers are already asking when do I quit spending money on this crop? It is time to have it "laid by" for the year and we want to address the problems that will make us money. I don't know of one farmer who will turn down a rain right now so that one is out of our hands.

If we have the weeds controlled and the side dress on, then it is time to say enough. Some are looking at a crop so poor they are giving up on it and not wanting to spend another dime on it. That is a hard decsion and a personal one for each field.

Almost every field I have seen will be "knee high by the fourth of July," so if it gets rain we have done about all we can do for it. Late sileage corn in Pennsylvania is a different ballgame than corn going for grain in Ohio.

I met a lot of good people this week and they made my task a lot easier. That was a blessing as each inspector has to fill out the report on computer in front of the farmer and we both sign off on a electronic pen pad. My new laptop spent a lot of time in dairy parlors this week.

That's all I have for tonight so I am looking forward to the big farm auction nearby tomorrow night at 6. A lot of people is wondering how that farm will sell. Having met the couple, I hope they get every dollar it is worth. That is a very personal decision, too.

I wish my corn looked as good as it did in this picture two years ago but it doesn't.


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