Another year of blogging and farming gone by already! It was an interesting year that started out too wet, but brought us perfect harvest weather even if the yields weren’t perfect.
I’ve been sharing my top ten most viewed posts of 2015 on facebook and twitter so I thought I’d collect them all here in a list for quick reference. Check ’em out!
“A cover crop does just what it says. It covers the soil during the period between the time you harvest one crop and plant the next. For my farm this means winter. Our cover was seeded by airplane in mid September just ahead of harvest. We chose aerial application in order…….”
“Compacted soil layers inhibit root growth which limits the ability of a crop to locate water and nutrients. We used to rip about a third or so of our acres every year going across entire fields. Now we just want to hit high traffic areas in our fields and maybe wet spots because machinery isn’t the only source of soil compaction. Areas that pond frequently can…..”
“There are roughly five months between us and mature corn, soybean, and popcorn crops ready for harvest. So what happens now that we are done planting? Plenty! In fact I almost feel like we are busier now because we aren’t nearly 100% focused on one task. Now we are juggling several things at once.”
“I’ve always wondered why earthworms come out of the ground when it rains. I don’t know about you but after a rain I can always find them on driveways and roads. Sometimes I’ll see thousands of them on a short stretch of road as if they are having some kind of mass annelid exodus from a field on one side of the road to the other. So what gives?”
“We use glyphosate on our farm. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup. We grow wheat. I have never seen our wheat germinate as poorly as the right half of that picture shows. And not over a wide area like a whole field that has a history of Roundup treatments. There could be any number of factors that contributed to the appearance of that wheat on the right.”
“We plant on average 32,000 seeds per acre taking the whole farm in account. 32,000 x 850 = 27,200,000 corn plants. Just to keep things simple let’s say all the corn plants emerged and survived to harvest. In some soils we plant more corn, and some areas we plant less. But one still might wonder why I care about one single ear among 27 million.”
“No-till is just what is sounds like. A true no-till system avoids disturbing the soil with tools like chisel plows, field cultivators, disks, and plows. Not all of our acres are no-till, but we have been doing less tillage as of late including putting more acres into no-till. I’m 32 years old and I’ve never actually ran a moldboard plow over a field aside from the single acre we took turns playing on a few years ago in our 1956 John Deere 70 Diesel and three-bottom plow.”
“We raise both dent and waxy corn on our farm. Whenever I mention waxy someone inevitably asks me, “What is waxy corn?” Even other corn growers tend to ask because it is not a large part of the overall corn market. Here in Indiana there are several markets for waxy corn.”
“We recently completed wheat harvest on our farm using two John Deere combines. After 20 years of sitting in a barn after purchase, we were able to get our John Deere model 45 combine up and running so it could participate in the action. I thought having a machine from the 1950s out in the field with our 2010 9670 STS would make for some great comparison photos. It’s easy to see that the new combine is larger. Quite a bit larger actually.”
“What did it say? “*Made with non-genetically engineered popcorn.” Really? I would like to know where anyone would find popcorn that is genetically engineered. Of course as a popcorn farmer I know better, but most people aren’t going to realize this. Is this type of marketing disengenuous when there is no GMO option on the market? I want to hear from people on different sides of the issue so please leave a comment and let’s have a discussion.”
So there’s the 2015 top ten list. Will any make the list in 2016? I’ll know in another 12 months after another crop is planted and harvested starting next spring. Some of these posts are pretty recent, some have held on to their top spots for years, and others got a new life from social media sharing. So do me a favor and share a post or two with your friends and followers. Which post of mine was your favorite?