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Two kids by robotic milking display, one with back to photographer and one looking at photographer Kyle Stackhouse
Like most of the kids at the Fort Wayne Farm Show, Emry and Onya were fascinated by the farm equipment and milking displays.

A relaxing show visit, then back to work planning seed, herbicide choices

Seed corn costs have shot dramatically higher, according to our farm records.

Wednesday we made our annual trip to the Fort Wayne Farm Show. This show is only an hour away and is a scaled back version of the National Farm Machinery Show (which is February 13-16).

Dad calls going to the show ‘getting away’. I’m not as convinced the 4-5 hours we spend walking the exhibits is ‘getting away’, but none the less, I go.

We took Emry (8) and Onya (6) with us. They were pretty good except for when grandpa or dad stopped to talk and it took too long. They always seem to have a fascination with the robotic milking displays. They could stand there and watch all day. It’s pretty common to see kids of all ages investigating the equipment, climbing up into tractors, combines and sprayers and visiting all the other displays.

Seed corn, herbicide plans

Back in the office, I have gone through several iterations of the corn hybrid placement plan. Since I know my seedsman usually reads this, I will save him a phone call and say this: I am getting close; maybe I’ll have our final preliminary plan done next week. I’ll also say I searched email for some information and noticed our quote from 2014 -- corn prices were $20 a bag less just five years ago. I also remember paying only $70 a bag when I started out in the mid 90’s; the price today is more than two times higher (I’m comparing non-GMO to non-GMO).

I know many of you readers are laughing right now because you can remember prices even lower than that!

I’ve also started collecting chemistry prices and am laying out my herbicide plan options on a spreadsheet. We definitely have to make some changes to our non-GMO soybean plan as we have had black nightshade showing up in our fields again. If you recall my post from last fall, after washing out the inside of the combine several times this fall, I will not make the same mistake again! Nightshade must be eradicated!

I rotate chemistry between corn and soybeans. There are chemicals that are safe for both crops, but if I use them in one, I don’t use the same ones in the other crop. Generally, I use full labeled rates. I also include multiple modes of action. It’s all about slowing the evolution of herbicide resistant weeds. Wish us luck! It doesn’t seem like the speed of new chemistries is matching the speed of the weeds right now.

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

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