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Soil sampling with pile of soil atop plastic BartCo/iStock/GettyImagesPlus

From summer to winter in one week

Tuesday the high was a near record 84, and by Thursday the daytime high was about 48.

We were sweltering earlier this week, and now, we were close to a frost this morning.

Of course, with that drastic change came more rainfall. We were able to harvest about a day and a quarter so far this week. We have hopes of finding a dry spot later today (Friday) or tomorrow.

Despite the delays it seems we are still ahead of schedule to complete harvest.

It’s time to test the soil

Soil testing has been running pretty close behind the combine. Dad has decided to have some of his fields sampled this fall. (I prefer spring sampling.) We both had had some deeper samples pulled. We are looking at different layers of soil in hopes of better understanding what is in the fertilizer bank.

The abnormally warm weather pattern has really helped our gas bill this fall. We haven’t even burned through two tankers of propane yet and are about two thirds done with corn. Warmer temperatures require less gas to heat the dryer air. Warm temperatures also facilitate in-field drying before the combine rolls through.

Cover crops on hold

Along with harvest being on pause, tillage and cover crops are on hold. There are a few more fields we would like to get cover crops on, but with the seed quality issues, it may not happen.

We also have a list of those farms where we would like to do deep tillage, and a list of those that need a fall herbicide application. We will have to wait for field conditions to be right in order to do this work.

Dad has spent some time organizing the shop and we have both had some meetings this week. I retrieved all of the harvest data from combines and tractors. I’m also trying to catch up on some paperwork.

Fall sports for our kids are coming to an end this week. It certainly feels like marked change of seasons.

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

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