Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve

2012 is all but history.  How was your year?  Ours was tough but not as bad as my friends in Missouri and southern Illinois.  Remember those posts about the corn crop dying?  Ours tried to die 3 times I can remember but it never gave up the ghost.  It produced a decent yield.

I did a lot of things I could have done better.  In my book I did them wrong.  Few farmers were ready to plant when Mother Nature our earliest good planting date in my lifetime.  I was one of them.  In hindisght I wish I had planted everything the week of March 18.  It seemed crazy but that's the kind of year we had.  Crazy, just plain crazy was the year of 2012.

I should have done a better job controlling weeds.  I didn't know it the day I sprayed but I should have used a higher rate of Corvus and atrazine or Harness Extra instead.  I should have gotten all of my corn sprayed again early with 2-3 ounces of Capreno when there were few weeds and they were small.  I knew better, I planned better, Ijust didn't get the job done.  5 ounces of Corvus and a pound of atrazine or a full rate of Harness Extra should have been put down pre-emerge after planting.

If I didn't plant that week I should have put anhydrous ammonia down preplant.  Those were the best looking fields I saw all summer and it's the way I've raised my best corn.  My helpers didn't want to do that and I shouldn't have listened to them.  Instead I bought my 28 a week too late and paid out the nose for watered down urea ammonium nitrate.  The 28 I bought tested 25% nitrogen and the 32 they billed me for tested 28.  Liquid fertilizer is an opportune business for the seller.  I know no way they can water down 82% anhydrous ammonia but I am sure someone has figured out a way.

Ideally I would have put 15 gallons of 28 and 5 gallons of ammonium thiosulfate on one side of the row and 2 gallons of calcium nitrate mixed in 8 gallons of water on the other side of the row.  That is absolutely the best corn I have seen anywhere but I could have come close with ammonia acting on my high calcium lime. 

Wheat was bumper crop in this region and so were soybeans.  All you had to do was plant them on time and take care of them.  They didn't require a lot of management for a good yield like corn did.  We should treat all crops as good as our corn.  We would be more profitable.

It's hard to get it all done!  I set high goals every year and it's great to meet them.  This year I feel I left 20 bushel or more on the table.  Mother Nature caught me off guard all summer.

I have a good start on 2013.  I might have the best looking wheat I ever had at this date.  It's six months to harvest though and plenty of time for errors or poor timing!

I just hope 2013 is not quite as challening as this year was.  It tested me to the max.

Ed

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