We have started the hay season and time is limited for posting to my blog. However, an experience with my son last week meant the world to me and while sitting on a plane to Washington DC today, I took the time to share it. Yes, it is lengthy, but perhaps you too will find a value in my experience to carry into your own life.
Each week a few of our agronomists give a report on how the fields are looking in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa. This report, called Radio Servi-Tech, is available online.
To listen to Radio Servi-Tech, go here each week:
We’ll have more updates each week!
We went to Beef Empire Days earlier this week in Garden City. We enjoyed some delicious steak at the Roto-Mix Cattlemen’s Steak Cookout.
Here are some photos!
Parts of the Midwest are experiencing heavy rains and waterlogged fields.
Here’s a story from Ag Professional about how the crops fair in heavy rains.
Corn and soybean survival in waterlogged soils
Over the last five days, some areas in South Dakota, Iowa and other states have received more than 6 inches of rainfall leading to ponded or flooded areas in fields. Water saturated or waterlogged soils lack enough oxygen for root respiration and many wonder, “How long can corn and soybeans plants at early growth stages survive in these waterlogged soils?” There are many factors that lead to this question’s answer says Nathan Mueller, South Dakota State University Extension Agronomist.
“We know that the crop growth stage, variety/hybrid, duration of ponding/saturation, soil type, soil/air temperature, and other factors can affect the survival of corn and soybean plants under these waterlogged conditions,” Mueller said. “Unfortunately other factors reduce plant population related to flooding including crusting, plants covered in sediment or buried under residue, and increase in seed/seedling diseases like damping-off in soybean.”
Currently, the crop growth stages of most corn and soybean range from germination to V3 and germination to V1, respectively. At these early growth stages of germination, emergence and early vegetative, Mueller says both corn and soybean plants are negatively impacted quite quickly by waterlogged conditions.
“Crops that are not completely submerged have some limited capacity for diffusion of oxygen to occur from the shoot to the root, which increase survival time,” he said. “Oxygen is needed by plant cells for growth and development including germination.”
There seems to be a consensus going around that farmers have no choice when it comes to the seed they choose to plant. Or if they do have a choice, large corporations like Monsanto force it upon them. And if anybody tries to voice their opinion and let the farmer’s themselves speak upon their choices, the individual suddenly becomes a pawn for Monsanto.
Dr. Julie McClure, a science policy associate at the Soil Science Society of America, spent two days in April taking an agricultural tour of the High Plains with Fred Vocasek, a senior lab agronomist at Servi-Tech.
Here’s a video of Dr. McClure talking about her experience.
From the article:
During my two days, I learned a lot, much more than I could describe in one article. But here are the three take away points that really stuck with me:
Farmers are highly innovative. I was absolutely blown away by the technology and precision agriculture practices so many farmers, ranchers, and fuel producers employ today. It was great to see how the basic, and sometimes theoretical, research conducted at universities is actually applied in the field.
Farmers are incredible business-men and -women. During my trip I met with many different sectors of the agriculture enterprise and one of the common themes was efficiency. No matter the field, everyone’s top priority was to make the most out of the resources available. That doesn’t just apply to productivity, but also to wise and responsible use of resources.
Here’s a cool story from The Garden City (Kansas) Telegram: Kearny County farmer takes a chance with canola
Along the River Road between Deerfield and Lakin, families and farmers have stopped along the south side of the road to inspect a field of vibrant yellow blooms.
Fred Ritsema, a Kearny County farmer and owner of Lakin Dairy, said his canola field has been in bloom since last week.
Ritsema, who is from Holland, used to grow the crop there and decided to try his luck with the Kansas soil.
Since canola is a winter crop, Ritsema thinks more farmers may be interested in growing it.
Ritsema has farmed in Kearny County since 1997. Growing corn and alfalfa has been difficult in recent years due to the drought.
“This has gotten a lot of farmers’ attention. I think in the near future more farmers will be turning to winter crops instead of summer crops,” he said.