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Not quite gangbusters

Some days, it’s beginning to feel like spring, but not much fieldwork underway.

We have been able to get outside and do some work this past week. For the most part we missed some forecast rains, but it isn’t any too fit yet. I don’t think anyone is thinking about planting, as we’re still a week away from our normal window. Looking ahead at the 10-day forecast, it leaves no doubt that the start will be delayed.

Work that has been done has focused around the new irrigation install. Though the pivot erection is contract work by the irrigation company, we have chosen to do much of the other work. We were able to set electrical panel and receive a green tag upon inspection. Sounds like the utility company will be here next week to set a pole, hang transformers, and make connections that will put us on the grid.

We also set a fertilizer tank near the pump station so we can fertigate crops throughout the growing season. Since we have gone back to more fertigation, I chose to install the well near the road for better access. There is convenience to putting everything at the pivot, especially now that we run many pivots remotely, however the issue of getting product to the fertilizer tank quite literally becomes a messy one. Often times that trip has to be made immediately after an irrigation pass. Economically, the trade of larger wire (to run the well and pivot) out to the pivot or water pipe and small wire (for pivot only) is often close to even, so this time I chose in-season convenience.

Trenching for water pipe in a system drained field, I can confirm the soil isn’t quite ready for a lot of field work. The not so fun part of this job was that we cut eight tile while doing the work. Sometimes there just isn’t anything you can do. Topography dictated the tile paths and no matter what we had to get a trench from the road with three-phase electric service to the center of the field. It was inevitable to cross tile.

We did take the chisel out and work through ruts left from construction of the pivot. I’ve seen a few neighbors have shined up tillage equipment. But not much has moved. Some fertilizer has been spread. Soil testing was done on select fields. Some days, it is beginning to feel like spring.

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