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view of sprayer out cab window Kyle Stackhouse

Settling into summer routine

The day starts in the sprayer and ends at the ball diamond.

This last week, I’ve been able to settle into a routine: spray, irrigate, ball games.

Temperatures have been pushing the crop along. In fact, we’ve been above average for at least two weeks. Corn is growing at breakneck speed and soybeans are finally starting to look good. Hit and miss afternoon pop-up showers have been exactly that. We are at the point in time where we will need 100% coverage for the crop to continue to progress.

I have been starting my days in the sprayer. We’re trying to keep up with plant demands and reduce stress by providing critical micronutrients. We are also making a preventative application of fungicide. Plants are most receptive to the nutrients in the morning before the heat of the day causes the plant to shut down. Progress is limited as I usually stop the sprayer around lunchtime. We just want to get the best bang for our buck.

After lunch, it is time to turn attention to irrigation. It seems we’re still in the ‘start-up’ phase as nickel and dime issues arise every day. With the sun high in the sky and little breeze in a cornfield it isn’t a nice time of day to be out there troubleshooting a pivot, but it is what has to be done. Many of our cornfields are receiving one last shot of nitrogen mixed in with the water. We are trying to give the plant what it needs, when it needs it.

The last part of my day lands me a ball park. It’s nice to have a return to normalcy, even if it is later in the year than usual. At least one of the kids has a baseball or softball game every night. We get home late, sleep a little, and start the routine all over again. It should get easier as I will complete the spraying in the next couple of days.

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