Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It’s Planting Corn Time

It’s planting season. The process of preparing the fields for planting started back in March. The first step is applying liquid manure, a natural nutrient, to the farm ground. Then the manure is incorporated into the soil using a chisel plow or disc. 

Discing the field
Another necessary part of this process is picking up large stones that are in the fields. When working the fields, stones emerge and need to be removed. This is done by hand.

Throughout this process, we depend on dry weather. If fields are too wet, tractors and equipment can’t move through them without getting stuck. Another variable is equipment repairs, when machinery works hard, things break and need to be repaired. This year, we’ve been fortunate to have great weather. Much different than last year when it wouldn’t stop raining!

Lad, Kevin and Taylor take care of all the farming along with their daily work at the dairy which results in very long hours. When there is a window of opportunity to work in the field, it is taken because you never know what the weather will be tomorrow.

The tractor pulls the corn planter through the field
We hire someone to custom plant our corn
Jack follows the planter

Each small yellow box is filled with corn seed
Jack and Garrett explore around the field
Jack finds a soft spot to take a rest
Garrett, Lad and Jack chat
The planter drops the corn seed into the soil
The corn planter
Jack and Lad check the seeds
After the fields are prepared, it’s time to plant corn. We use a corn seed that is made specifically to produce high quality corn silage for our cows. This seed is herbicide tolerant which means the herbicide applied to the crop will kill the weeds without damaging the corn plant therefore producing higher yields. We use herbicide because we don’t want the corn plants competing with weeds for water and nutrients. Producing more on less land using fewer resources is a good thing.

This is the seed we used
Three corn seeds
Last year, we planted our final field of corn on July 3rd. This year, we’ll be done planting before the end of May.

2 comments:

  1. Starting with good weather is a good sign! I hope your momentum carries out until the harvest season. It's really frustrating to start farm work under unpredictable rains, but I hope this year will yield a great bounty.

    Salvatore Aguilar

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Salvatore. This year was a dry one for many parts of the Midwest. June was a dry month on our farm, but we did get some much needed rain in July. Our corn crop did pretty well. When it was time to harvest, the rain started falling which made getting the corn out of the field challenging. In farming, weather and timing is everything!

    ReplyDelete

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