Farm Industry News Blog

Air conditioning needed first day of spring

Two air conditioners need repairing; two mowers need to be out of the shed; three pasture fences need fixing; one garden needs tilling; and the calendar needs checking! Oops, it is March 20 and I have plenty of time before I will need to do such things. Except, not this year. These things will need to get done this week. There has been no planting of corn around here even though many farmers would like to plant. We would have some corn planted if our crop insurance policies allowed planting before April 6. Crop insurance will not cover corn if planted prior to April 6 or soybeans planted prior to April 21.

Corn potential 

The yield potential for 2012 corn crop looks excellent. I am more curious than worried about the ramifications of a very warm winter on our crop. The soil temperature is already >50°F, which is the minimum temperature for corn planting. We are ready to plant at a very rapid pace when April 6th arrives. Corn on our farm seems to grow best when planted April 15 to April 30. Early planted crops are more likely to be high yielding. We are ready to plant early.

Wheat for forage, soil conservation

A mild winter surged into summer. The rye across the road from our house is as green as our yard. A week ago Monday we were feeding the cows hay, and before the hay was consumed (usually a two-day task) the cows had something fresh and green to eat. The fresh and green alternative to the red wagon partially loaded with dry hay is spring wheat that was planted in the fall after being taken off an overloaded rail car from North Dakota. I planted the wheat as a forage crop and to control soil erosion after corn silage harvest. In a couple of weeks, the cows will be moved to permanent pastures, and the wheat field will become a corn field. 

The soil is dry. Cows look for cool places like standing in the creek or the shade of leafless trees. Dust is flying, and farmers are getting many things done. Today we spread nitrogen fertilizer and notice the dust flying. 

Bottle feeder 

One of our embryo transfer recipient cows had a calf that prefers to drink cows’ milk from the bottle instead of direct delivery. Carol grew up on a dairy farm and does quite well at milking cows by hand. She is much faster and gets more total milk than I can.

The dog is a new addition to our farm. A farm without a dog would be my choice but the three Lock ladies wanted a dog -- so now we have one.

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The Farm Industry News Blog features commentary from Willie Vogt, Jodie Wehrspann, Kathy Huting, Lynn Grooms, Daryl Bridenbaugh and Jeff Ryan.

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