The Northeast Nebraska Corn Growers were in Jackson on August 24th to host the 1st annual Growing Potential Ag Festival. Over 300 kids from area schools were at the city park where they got to spend the day learning about all facets of corn production and processing. Many different area businesses and organizations came together to put on a fun, interactive, and educational day. It was a great event and it’s great to see youth who might not otherwise get the opportunity engaging in agriculture! http://www.ktiv.com/story/36213849/kids-ag-expo-day-plants-seeds-for-nebraskas-agricultural-future
Farming is constantly evolving and in an effort to continue to enhance our soil health, weed control, and water holding capacity we have started to experiment with cover crops. In the picture you can see rye that was seed in august of 2016 with an airplane while the previous corn crop was still in the field. After harvest and greater exposure to light the rye was able to establish some initial growth. After winter the rye begins to grow again developing roots which increase microbial activity in the soil. Soil microbes help to break down crop residue and make it into valuable nutrients for thefollowing crop to use. The rye will be killed around the time we are ready to plant soybeans into this particular field. The leftover rye residue will serve as armor to protect the soil. It will also serve as a weed barrier making it harder for weeds to grow. Lastly it will help to maintain soil temperature and hold moisture. We are excited to work with this new system and carry it through this growing season to learn more about the benefits that using cover crops might have.
As we finished up with harvest this fall the process of preparing for next begins right away. Throughout the fall while combining and after combining has finished up we are working to prepare the seed bed for next year using a variety of tools. This year we are excited to add the Degelman Pro-Till 33. In the past working heavy corn stalks was a daunting task that often times took multiple passes with a tandem disk and maybe even a finish pass with a vertical tillage tool. With the addition of the pro-till we have gained the ability to utilize high speed (10mph+) in combination with aggressive disk placement and a rolling packer to bury the residue, level fields, accelerate breakdown, and put us well on our way to an optimum seed bed for the following spring. Another critical factor is being able to do this at a depth of about 3-4 inches which is allowing us to not totally disturb the soil profile and tear out corn root balls but still get soil on top of the trash even in the most heavy residue conditions. We hope to use this tool to efficiently manage residue leaving minimal final prep work in the spring to achieve the optimum seed bed for uniform emergence.
Applying Fungicide is a practice that has come on strong in the past few years in corn and soybean production. This year we had the opportunity to work with Kvols Ag of Laurel, NE and they brought in their STS16 Hagie. It is a high clearance machine with a 132 foot boom span and a 1600 gallon tank. This machine is specially designed to allow give us the features and clearance necessary to spray fully grown corn at heights often exceeding 10 feet. It is giving us the ability to apply at much larger volume of product to the crop at 17 gallons per acre versus the airplane method which previously limited us to 2-4 gallons per acre. Effective coverage is crucial with fungicide so we are excited to see how this new method will pan out this fall!
Click on the coverage video link to see ear leaf coverage.
Planting in 2016 will be something hard to forget. The season was plagued with an excessive amount of precipitation that left getting into the fields very challenging. Our planting season lasted nearly 2 months this year, more than double the normal amount of time for us to plant our crop. With the large amounts of precip we also have a fully charged soil profile which will prove very valuable if the hot and dry forecast continues like it has been through mid June.
New for this year was our seed treater. We used this system to be able to treat our soybean seed with inoculant, fungicide, and insecticide to help with emergence, nodulation, and vigor as the plants come out of the ground. It proved especially important with a wet spring like we had!
This years harvest was fast and furious with only two rain events all fall. It was nice to get the crops out in a timely manner and also have some time to get some tillage work done this year. As we reflect on this season it will go down in our memory as one of the most favorable growing seasons in recent history. Very little ground got too wet until very late in the year and moisture proved to not be a limiting factor in most cases. This year we were challenged with late season stalk rot and early death of corn plants as well as mold and disease in some bean fields. All in all crops were good this year. Our next task is getting all of our harvest equipment serviced, clean up, and put away for the year. We plan to review harvest data and see what we can learn now that we have time to do a deeper dive. We are already starting to make 2016 input decisions as well. Through the winter months trucking grain and putting plans in place for next growing season will be the primary tasks. Another season in the books and another reason to be thankful that we were blessed with good crops the safety of everyone on our farm.
We would like to update everyone on what has been going on with the farm recently as we look to move in to the harvest season. We have been working to get the combines, heads, tractors and grain carts, and trucks serviced and ready. Scouting fields and establishing harvest priority and yield estimates has also been an ongoing project. We have received the moisture and conditions needed this year for strong yield potential and our goal is to make sure that is captured and finished out through a safe and timely harvest. Production is especially important this year as commodity prices continue to trend lower tightening profit margins. We are excited to see what we can learn from this years efforts. Several product comparisons and trials are in place and are a very important part of our business decisions for the year to come. We will also begin fall tillage and soil grid sampling right behind the combines to prepare for 2016.
The days and hours tend to get long by the end but it is an exciting time of year with a lot going on. We look forward to sharing our yields and information with our landlords and farm managers following harvest in the landlord and farm managers tab on this website. As we look to enhance our farm we know how important it is to engage those we work with and have the highest level of communication possible to build a long lasting network of trust. Please check back during the harvest season for more media and news!
Spring is here and with that means a whole new crop year to take what we’ve learned and continue to improve. 2014 gave us a big challenge with the all-time wettest crop year in history for our area. It also taught us a lot. It has taught us that managing fertility in our soils is a major challenge with all of the variability in soil and environmental stresses that we see in a year. This year we will be working to enhance our practices in several ways to mitigate these challenges.
This year we have implemented a full soil testing program to help control and measure fertility levels on all of our farms. We will be using seeding prescriptions on all of our corn acres to maximize efficiency and have the best placement of seed. We are looking to better manage our nitrogen and water use through the use of Encirca services. This will allow us to split apply nitrogen and forecast our nitrogen and water needs on a field by field basis. Lastly, we will be conducting a multitude of research trials including variety, hybrid, fertility, seed treatment, and foliar application trials.
As we look to start planting we hope to see soil temperatures at or above 50 degrees with a warmer extended forecast. This gives us good conditions for germination and emergence leading to strong stands. We will be right behind the planter with the sprayer applying our initial nitrogen and herbicides. Be sure to check out our media tab throughout the season for pictures and videos!
Harvest 2014 is in the books! We are very thankful for such a great harvest season. Mother nature proved to be challenging again this year with excessive rainfall becoming a limiting factor for yields as well as several storms that passed through this summer causing crop damage. That all changed when harvest time got here as we were able to get a several week stretch of great weather allowing us to get the crop out in a timely fashion. We were able to finish on November 12th.
This year we were able to complete a corn research plot as well as several side by side comparisons of different treatments, hybrids, and varieties. We feel that it is vital to conduct our own tests to make the best decisions on how to maximize efficiency on every acre we farm. It is very important to our mission of enhancing our practices on our farm and ensuring the highest levels of productivity possible.
As we look forward to winter we have several projects ahead of us. We are currently working on performing routine maintenance on all of our trucks and harvest equipment and getting everything cleaned up and put away for the season. We are also looking at this year’s data and making buying decisions for inputs in the 2015 crop season. Other projects include performing directed zone soil sampling on our fields to ensure proper fertility programs for next year and the start of delivering our grain that we have in storage.
We are thankful that we had a safe and successful harvest season and look forward to some time this holiday season with family and friends! Landlords and farm managers please be sure to visit your farm’s page as all harvest yield data has been uploaded and be sure to check our media page to see pictures and a video from harvest 2014.
As we approach the end of October harvest is progressing very well. We were challenged by wet conditions, tough stemmed beans, and high moisture levels early, but we look to finish the bean harvest on or near the 22nd of October. We feel fortunate to have had very few break downs and to have gotten nearly all of the bean crop out safely. The crew has been putting in very long hours to take advantage of the very narrow window to get the beans harvested and looks forward to moving on and changing over in to corn.
Looking forward to corn harvest we anticipate seeing some elevated moisture levels in the grain under certain circumstances because of the type of year we have had but are happy to see the warm dry days that we have had lately to help with the corn dry down process. While most of our soybeans were hauled directly to Cargill processing in Sioux City corn will be the opposite. We look to store the vast majority of the corn crop in bins. We have also updated our media gallery with a few photos taken from this harvest! Please check back throughout the harvest season to see the latest updates and media pertaining to our farm. Landlords, be sure to access your login page using the landlords and farm managers tab on the home page after harvest to check on your farm’s performance!