Indiana Prairie Farmer took its camera to the 2007 Farm Progress Show site near Decatur, Illinois last week. Indiana Prairie Farmer joins Prairie Farmer in hosting the show on Aug. 38-30 this summer.
What the lens captured was corn pushing waist-high in some areas. It's an early hybrid anyway, so it looks to be well on track for demonstration combining during the show. What the camera lens also revealed, however, was that crops there, like in many areas of Indiana, still need a drink. Showers and storms, at least through last week, remained very spotty at best.
One central Indiana resident reported getting 0.2 of rain over the past two weeks at his home farm, while another farm just a couple miles away benefited from multiple rains totaling more than an inch of rain. That spotty pattern story seems to be repeated over and over. Once in a great while someone says they're getting all the rain they need. But for every person that says that, there's also a story of someone who got something like two-tenths of an inch in the entire month of May.
Part of the corn at the Farm Progress Show site was planted in 8-inch spacing, twin rows, with then a normal bulk between the next set of twin rows. A Great Plains planter capable of producing this pattern was used to do the planting. The twin-row corn seemed to be reacting a bit more to the dry weather during Indiana Prairie Farmer's visit, rolling in the afternoon. However, it's not clear if total population was higher for the twin-row corn that corn planted in 30-inch rows across the lane that didn't seem to roll. It's also unknown if the fields were planted to the same or different hybrids.
Seed plots on the very north end of Progress City seemed to be in good shape last week. Plots are expanded this year, with some 20 companies putting out two rows each of several of their hybrids and varieties. Seed row featuring tents of most of your favorite seed companies will be set up just south of the seed plots, on a brand new eleventh street, added this year because of demand for exhibit space at the show. The plan, says Jeff Smith of Farm Progress, is for companies to be able to take their customers into their seed plots directly behind their tens if they choose to do so.
A few companies, including Golden Harvest, chose to locate their display exhibit elsewhere than on seed row. Their plots are still located in the seed plot area.
The plots were planted in late April by a host farmer, using an 8-row planter supplied by Kinze. Plots were fertilized in advance, and weed control was also provided. Since these are 'show' plots and will not be taken to yield, companies are allowed to add extra fertilizer to their plots if they choose, Smith notes.