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Winter landscape with sunset sky and frozen river. Daybreak ESOlex/ThinkstockPhotos

Blown away by old man winter

Coming freeze will kill off cover crops.

If you live in the Midwest, and have been outdoors at all the last couple of days, you know exactly what I’m talking about. We’ve gone from nearly 60 degrees to the 20s in just over a day. It seems as though old man winter is about to set in.

I would guess that this coming freeze will be the one that kills our oats and radishes we used as cover crops. Hopefully there was more growth below ground than there was above ground. They say the cover doesn’t have to get very big to have benefits. The covers also help to hold nutrients and soil in place.  

The ‘mad dash’ from last week may finally be coming to a close. Though there were still things on the list, we had to prioritize. The clay farm won out. There aren’t many opportunities to install tile on farms like that, so that happened Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. After just under 5 miles, we are about 1/3 done. With the difficult soil type and impending weather forecast, we pulled the chisel plow into the field and worked it down.

Tiling outcomes

We are anxious to see the impact tile on 30-foot centers has on drainage on this tight gummy farm. We laid the tile as shallow as we could with the topography we have. Though there won’t be a wide draw, most often the issue on this farm is starting the crop off with wet feet. We are wanting to get the surface dried out quicker. If this resolves the issue, we will continue to system drain the balance of the farm as opportunity arises.

Paperwork and parking equipment will dominate the rest of the week. I’m also waiting on preliminary year end planning advice to come back from the accountant. Maybe we can get some time off next week?

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

TAGS: Weather
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