Tuesday, May 7, 2013

From a Kernel to a Chip: April Update

As most of you probably know, this has definitely been a spring that will be remembered! Actually, I don't even know if we can call it spring because spring doesn't include freezing temps and snow! At the beginning of April last year, we had a good start on corn planting but that was the complete opposite this year. We were lucky to get a few days in the field at the beginning of April, and that only included wrapping up some fertilizing and tillage. Unfortunately, due to very cold temps and snowy/icy/rainy weather, we weren't able to start planting white corn until April 27th. Most years, we try to start a lot sooner than that but that wasn't the case this year. Not only was the weather colder, but so was the soil temperature. Under most circumstances, we want the soil temperature to be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit since that is the temperature that corn seed will begin to sprout. However, corn/white corn can get planted in soils that are 41 degrees Fahrenheit or greater but it will slow the emergence of the corn crop. Most of the soil temps in our area were just above the 41 degree temp but not quite to 50 degrees by the time we started planting. Usually our soil temps are a lot warmer by the time planting starts!

While white corn planting may have started late this year, we were able to get a lot done once we did get some better weather. We have finished all of our white corn and also finished our field corn. Now we will move on to planting popcorn and drilling soybeans. The way the forecast sounds, I think spring might finally be arriving with much warmer temps! However, I hope that mother nature won't shut off all of the moisture we have received in the month of April. The moisture we have received has been great for our soils and is helping recharge the moisture in our subsoil which almost was completely depleted last summer due to the drought!

Below are pictures of white corn planting!

This is something that a person really doesn't want to see in the middle of April. While we are thankful for the moisture, we would much rather have rain!

Pioneer is the only seed company that has white corn hybrids. So here is a bag full of seed waiting to be planted!
A box full of seed that will soon be put in the ground! Hopefully each seed will produce a good ear of white corn that will end up yielding well!

The tractor and planter. The front tank on the tractor is where we put our liquid starter, which is a fertilizer. This helps get the seed to emerge quicker.
A view from the cab! It is nice having GPS which makes for nice straight rows of white corn.

The white corn seed is placed roughly two inches deep into the soil.
Once the planter puts the seed in the ground, closing wheels will push dirt on top of the seed.

Be sure to check back on June 4th for the next "From a Kernel to a Chip" update!

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