Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wow!

An 8 acre swamp we farm for a couple grossed $10,000!  That breaks the record of 70 bushel beans I raised on it in 2008 at $12.  The interesting thing is the weeds on it cost me 20 bushels per acre!  The foxtail and fall panicum was awful and there are two big patches of Canada thistles on it and a big giant ragweed patch.  I was not able to get a rescue spray on it before it got too tall to run over.

I did that on 120 lbs of nitrogen, 50 lbs of P, 60 lbs of K and a pound boron, zinc, and manganese.  It is going to get 4 tons per acre of wet calcium on it if it doesn't rain and the pumper guy gets here next week, and another shot of the same recipe less about 80 lbs of nitrogen it doesn't need to break the stalks down over winter.

This was the sad little field I talked about half the winter where the beans would never get dry enough to run.  I never got them out until February and then planted notill corn on it May 21.  I planted right through those little ruts I left, just enough to make the seat rise when you cross them.  The poor old Gleaner sat out there half the winter waiting for that perfect day to cut them.  I know, that was stupid and that is my fault.

We are truly blessed in southwest Ohio as I know millions of acres of better ground across this great land of ours yielded a whole lot less.  Less enough to cause the crop insurance writers to write record checks totalling billions and billions of dollars to the insured farmers.  I am thankful I wasn't one of them, you always make more money when you DON'T get an insurance check.

If I can do this you would think everyone would.  It feels like they are!  I lost the 50 acres beside it because one of my former students thought it was worth a whole lot more than I did!  I upped the rent every year but it wasn't enough.  The owners of the 8 acre patch didn't want him to farm it so I drive 5 miles to farm 8 acres.  I don't know how long that is going to last.  They are going to get a nice little bonus though this year for sticking with the teacher!

This is the eighth year I have farmed it.  There is a real trick to farming it, too.  It really responds to tillage but I don't till so I have to compromise.  It doesn't like to be farmed wet either and that isn't very often.  Today was one of the driest days I remember in the last 8 years there, we barely left a print.  It doesn't respond to big doses of fertilizer either which just fertilize the weeds which I did this year.  It likes a little at a time or spoon fed.  It does have a reoccuring weed problem so it has a huge seed bank of weed seed.

It makes your day and it makes your year when something like this happens.  If it weren't for ethanol and the high corn markets, it would not be a record.  The fields either side of it were in beans and I guarantee you they didn't gross that per acre although they didn't cost as much to farm, either.

I got my best compliment from reader Bill though this morning.  Those kind of remarks are very flattering but very hard earned from the school of hard knocks.  That patch's result today was almost worth the aggravation I went through last year.  Here is what it looked like September 8.  I will post some harvest pictures later.

Ed

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