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First week of spring has been busy at our farm

Environmentally-friendly concrete mixing slab goes in, while soil samples were pulled.

Last week felt more like spring than this week where we farm in Indiana. Monday was the nicest day this week. We were able to pour a concrete slab which will become our chemical mixing area. The slab also has a 6-inch tall curb around the outside to act as containment area in the event something goes wrong.

Though it is our intent to comply with regulations, the reasoning is more basic than that. It just makes sense to take care of the environment. Farmers know this as we make our living from the earth and its resources.

While Dad and I were out of town, soil samples were pulled. Generally, we try to keep about a three-year sampling rotation, where a third of our acres are sampled each year.

One change we have made this year is to request micronutrient test results on all the samples. Some soil test services don’t do any micros, and some report micros on every 5th or 7th sample. It cost an additional $1 per acre, but we think this will give us a better ‘look’ at the field fertility.

We may also pull some deeper soil samples just to see what is further down in the root zone.

Anhydrous going on

On our way back home we traveled across I-80 in Illinois and saw just a couple tractors out in the fields applying anhydrous ammonia. I know the first few tanks in our area were delivered to farms late last week. After we get past this weekend’s weather, spring work will come furiously.

We are doing one (hopefully) final review of soil tests and crop plans. We want everything to be ready when the time comes. It looks as though we may be missing a few VRT maps which I’ll have to have created.

I’m sure the kids will be disgruntled this weekend when they realize their ‘play area,’ aka the seed storage area, has been taken over by bags and boxes of seed and other supplies delivered this week. They will definitely be looking forward to some nice outdoors type of weather.

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

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