Friday, May 3, 2013

Will summer ever get here?

The calendar says May 3, but the weather says March or February. Here in Lexington we missed the snow for the most part. While we had light snow falling for several hours, there was no accumulation due to warm soil. But it got cold last night, down to 26 this morning.

Eastern Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and other states got a lot of snow yesterday and today. Iowa and Minnesota got up to 15 inches. That is a lot of snow to melt and then more time to dry and warm up the soil. I have no idea when they will start planting in those areas.

We started planting corn late Monday night on the Batie farm. We put the planter on about 3:00, but had lots of settings to make and electronic issues to straighten out. With the new guidance system we had to rewire the planter as well. Trying to get the guidance system to talk to the planter and the fertilizer pump was interesting. By 7:00 we had it so I could go, not perfectly, but could go.

Tuesday I went pretty hard, after I moved a flowmeter to make the guidance system happy. Still had a few glitches, but was not stopping for that. The picture is notilling corn into soybean stubble. I went until 10:30 Tuesday night and then the rain started. I was moving to a new field and tried planting into corn stubble. With the moisture all I did was rake up the stalks.

We ended up with 0.75" of rain/sleet. Nice rain but oh so cold. I am a little concerned with the cold rain and what it will do to the germination of the corn seeds already planted. There is some research that when corn seeds absorb cold water it hurts germination. Only time will tell.

With the rainout I made an appointment with Hope, our precision farming specialist, to come out and finetune some guidance glitches and tweak the fertilizer pump. Now I think I am ready to go again, whenever it dries out and warms up.

This is not the latest I have started planting. I well remember 1987 when we started the morning of the Kentucky Derby. Why do I remember that day? That was the year I smashed the pinky finger of my left hand. Ten days after I smashed it I got Kenny started planting corn that Saturday morning and then I went into the hospital to have half of the finger amputated. I watched the Derby while laying down in the recovery room.

Here are some pictures of the Integra monitor doing it's thing while planting. I have lots of choices of what I want to monitor while planting. I can watch population, spacing, singulation, skips, doubles, prescriptions, etc.