We did all kinds of farming for this week’s edition of Farm Week in Pictures. Wheat was harvested, soybeans were planted, equipment was cleaned, and grain was sold. Check it out!
Wheat harvest actually got started while I was in Tennessee last week, but rain meant there was a bit left when I got back to work Monday. Dad handled all the wheat cutting. Harvest totals came in at a really nice 91.2 bushels an acre!
I was right on Dad’s heels with the planter. We always have the intention of planting soybeans behind our winter wheat crop. Soybeans planted this late won’t yield as well as beans that get a full season of growth, but this can be a profitable venture if we can get two decent crops out of a field in one year. The ground was very moist. If this had been regular planting in April or May we would have stayed out until the soil dried a bit. Our seed trenches didn’t fully close everywhere, but more closing pressure could compact the wet soil making it hard for roots to penetrate the soil. At this late stage moisture is our friend though. Two days later this field got 1.5″ of rain.
And on the Third Day They Rose
Just three days after planting those double crop soybeans Dad and I found quite a few of them already poking their heads out! A very good sign. We’ve got some really good weather going on right now for this.
Put it in the ShedHere’s a shot of the planter being broke down for cleaning and removal of the seed plates for storage. When we put it away it will pretty much be ready to roll for next spring.
The cutting platform for the combine also got cleaned out. Wheat harvest will be the last task for this head and our combine. By fall harvest we’ll have a newer combine and a brand new draper head which I’m anxious to put to work.
Our crops are entering the reproductive phases now. Corn silks are popping out this week. The tassels emerging on top of the corn contain the pollen that will fall on to these silks. The pollen grains travel up these tiny tubes which each represent a potential kernel. Very high temperatures and lack of water can lead to poor pollination. I like to tell people plants don’t like to be stressed out while having sex. This year we are looking really good on moisture and with temps forecasted in the low to mid 80s the temperature is looking pretty good too. We’ll have to keep an eye on the silks to be sure bugs like Japanese beetles aren’t eating them. Corn pollinates in a short window so it’s important that conditions are good. It’s also why we have some variance in maturity of varieties so everything won’t be pollinating at the same time.
Soybeans are getting ready to set seeds as well. Flowers tells us that beans are getting ready to pollinate too. Soybeans can handle more stresses than corn as they can pollinate over a relatively long period of time. That means if pollination begins during a stressful time soybeans may pollinate long enough for those conditions to improve. A corn field might go through pollination within a week’s time.
On the Other Hand
The rain that was so helpful to us in getting our double crop soybeans established brought some strong winds along too. There are cornstalks snapped in two and some spots where corn has been laid down. There’s not much to be done about this. It happens. This popcorn can still put on grain, and the combine can still pick a good portion of it up. Hopefully damage isn’t very widespread throughout large areas of fields.
A Week Makes a Difference
I took this shot from the top of a grain bin. Can you see the distinct color change in these soybeans on the right hand side of the photo? The left side was planted a week earlier because we were rained out of this field. Another factor is that big rain that brought planting to a halt ended up crusting the top layer of soil so we came back and ran our rotary hoe on those earlier soybeans to break the crust. We’ll see if there are any obvious yield differences at harvest. I doubt we’ll notice much, but it is interesting to see the difference right now from this viewpoint.
Stay tuned for next week’s shots as the scenery is going to be quite different.