Thursday, May 2, 2013
Itching To Go
By now the seed is here, the inoculants have been delivered and the tractor and planter are all tuned up to go like my friend near Decatur, Illinois is in today's picture. I've seen Paul come a long way in his few years of farming that rich Illinois soil. If you ask him, he might say only the price is rich! We've shared soil tests and debates on how to address them. I think he's done a really good job.
I remember when I yelled at the group down deep in the soil pit beside his house a few years ago. He called me the Corn Whisperer until he heard me yell like I was talking to a bunch of school kids. I have to laugh about it now. I quickly became the "Corn Yeller."
In the audience was some guys who probably forgot more than I ever learned, Jeff Martin and company to be exact. Jeff and son Doug run a sweet operation not far from Paul's near Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. If I didn't need to be here, I would love to be there today. I bet there is action a going.
Top farmers study all year for today. That day when the sun is bright and the air is warm and the soil is drying out. Whether they no-till or tear up the whole earth, they are ready to go.
I did notice the farther I drove east the browner the ground was. They have sprayed more burn down than we have around here. Everything looks ready to plant and if the green is now brown, you know they are prepared to save soil moisture later on with no-till or strip-till..
That's just one advantage of no-till. It saves "soil, oil and toil." It sure does and that means more profit in the farmer's pocketbook to do a whole bunch of things.
If you think no-till is impossible on any farm, just record the PBS movie, "The Panama Canal." I sure would have like to have been there when engineer John Stevens told Teddy Roosevelt they had to build the canal above sea level! We got to cruise through it a couple of years ago and it truly is a masterpiece.
Your no-till neighbor is working on one right now.