Friday, September 21, 2012

First Day of Harvest


I survived the first day of harvest on the Winkle farm. We don't feed livestock and our corn is worth more for grain, thanks to the rain. These boys in North Dakota do though and they chopped one giant pile of sileage! I wonder if that is a Hutterite Colony?

It's beautiful weather, the corn is yielding well but I understand what I did, a little out of tune with nature. Planting date, planter setup, pest control, fertilization are all involved. I saw Keith's and Jeff's corn and I can do better. Some guys will have 200 bushels and sold it for $8. I could too and I was very close.

At least I didn't find these guys in my cornfield. There are plenty of shady characters around and I'm glad we've got Sable the German Shepherd to help sort them out! I have to make sure she gets enough attention though so she stays near me at harvest when I can and I took her to go test my corn samples.

Can you believe one sample tested 1.5% different in moisture at 3 locations and one pound test weight variation? I got the same results myself so I am fairly satisfied with the results. The grain varies so much from stalk to stalk and cob to cob. Those vines patches sent the moisture up 2% and the test weight down. There was some 200 bushel plus corn though so it all equals out.

Another surprising thing was the similarity in 3 completely different hybrids in the same field. First Choice 695, 805 and 835 were very similar in yield, moisture and test weight. I know I gained the 7% yield advantage I see planting 2 completely different hybrids beside each other and maybe more this year. The 12 row blocks really helped each other.

The kernals are deep thanks to the rains effect on my management program and there was no aflatoxin so many have in Illinois. We live in a good area for little mycotoxin and corn and soybean quality. We are very blessed with that.

Our soils were generally plowed too long so erosion as taken its toll and remains quite a challenge. Our water holding capacity is so good we need tile in every field in Ohio and lime is right there with it thanks to clay subsoil. Cover crops improve our soil but add a whole new realm of management, one that is not written in the books very well. It's hands-on experience and the Internet helps share the rapid exchange of information.

I am working on posting pictures from my camera but I am still writing from my office computer and uploading pictures from another one my camera does not have access to. A good picture adds a lot to blog and I miss not being able to do that.

Have a great weekend!

Ed

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