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Red in the morning, sailor’s warning?

Side dressing urea took a backseat to irrigation startups this week.

I hope that’s what it means. This has been a long, tiresome week. Rainfall has been scarce the last few weeks, but we’ve received enough to get by. We hope it has been enough to incorporate nitrogen and to activate in-crop herbicides applications. We hope to not have any more herbicide failures.

(SIDEBAR-- To the herbicide company rep assigned to evaluate the product efficacy on our farm- stop asking for the same information 4 times! That means 1 of 2 things: you don’t care enough to keep up with what is going on, or you think you can find a ‘gotcha’ and shrug your responsibility. Stop it. It’s all about perceptions! This is insulting.)

We wanted to get top dress urea applications into the soil as well as ensure chemical activation. As a result side dress nitrogen applications and spraying took a back seat to starting up irrigation this week. Even though we had all the pivots functioning at planting time, we have had two buried wires go bad, and several other start-up issues. We were surprised wires went bad, generally there is a correlation to lightning storms, and we haven’t had any.

We are about three-fourths done with spraying and side dress. Acreage that remains to be done is the later planted crops which are still smaller. Topdressing can always be a bit tricky because you need rain to get it in the soil profile. We use a stabilizer to buy a few weeks protection against valorization. I like the top dress application, because it is fast, and with less than half the tires of the liquid rig, there is quite a bit less damage on the headlands.

I’d say I’d like the rain to hold off today so rock crew can work a couple more days at picking rocks, but I’m ready for a break. Late planted corn will be small enough to pick rocks next week, then we will be done for this year. It’s been about 3 years since conditions have allowed for rock picking. In this part of Indiana we have plenty of rocks, in some fields you would even think they actually grow and reproduce.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

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