Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Farm Science Results


It was another gorgeous day in southwest Ohio, reminding one of the weather on 9/1/1 once more, clear blue sky day! It was so nice it almost made one feel guilty for walking around a farm show but you couldn't have better weather to do it.

The crowd responded, they said there were many more times the people there were in that gloomy weather yesterday. There seemed to be a lot of students there either way, so many schools had picked Wednesday this year.

I did see lots of my friends there and got to chat with a few. Everyone wants to know what yields are and they vary so much it is like talking about the weather. I did see plot results from nearby Jamestown and the hybrid I thought was very good again this year for the 5th year in the row was at the top. That is the genetics in LG-2540, AgriGold 6533 and Porter 4514. That plot was around 145 bushels per acre and was over 200 bushels last year and the year before.

The red white and blue striped Massey combine was getting lots of photographs as expected and the sign said 165 years of progress right beside John Deere's popular exhibit that said 175 years. John Deere wasn't popular here until the 10 series tractors came out in the 60's and has grown ever since.

Gypsum, lime and cover crop exhibits were everywhere as expected as well as the machinery to apply them with. The planting and row unit displays are always meaningful to me but today Marion Calmer's cornhead displays really caught my attention.

I showed some friends his 7 patents hanging in his well designed and laid out booth. He showed the advancement of corn seeding from 46 inch rows to horses to his 15 inch row cornheads today. The single chain gathering head impressively shows the smoother action of gathering stalks and more ears.

I talked to my friend Ronnie Holt at Martin's and he told me Johnny had a field of corn that made 40 bushel and right up the road the same hybrid planted the same day made 140 bushels because of a couple of timely rains. So it is this year all over the U.S.!

He talked about his first job selling AC 333 notill planters in 1969 when I was studying agriculture at Ohio State and working on the OSU farm. The old AC to the newest planter with Martin Till has been demonstrated over the years, all the way to harvesting the crop from it. I told him about how much better the stands were this year with his planter attachments. Many fields averaged 10,000 more plants per acre without coulters! There is so much experience at that review!

I was thankful for my many friends today and all that I have learned and shared. Sometimes it seems I've gotten back a lot more than I have given, and that is good. I just enjoyed the beauty of the day and friends and saw many enjoying the same thing. It was wonderful.

What did I learn today that I can apply to my farm and to others? Cover cropping and calcium is key to any success next year so I have to stick to the basics. There is a better way to feed crops and I saw it in action during our trip and reflected today.

Here is a hidden piece of information in Seed World that may explain the huge interest I am seeing in biological products for crops this year.

"So might these biological products make our crops more efficient during the hot and dry seasons such as growers experienced in 2012?
Streit: There’s only one piece of research so far on that question. That was done in Robert Kremer’s lab at the University of Missouri by a post-graduate PhD student. In lab work, the student found that certain traits bred into corn hybrids actually doubled the rate of water usage by the plant. And when we’re working on better water utilization by our corn hybrids, that is absolutely the wrong direction. Unfortunately, virtually all University researchers are forbidden to test that sort of question. Why? Because it might reflect badly on some of the genetic engineering traits already bred into the system."

My quest for pure non GMO lines and biological activity continues.

Ed

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