We thought we had turned the corner. We began sidedress applications last week and made some more in crop herbicide applications. Then it rained. Totals ranged from 1.1 to 3+ inches. Ditches and streams filled quickly and flooded some low areas. We now have a few acres to replant, as well as part of one field that hasn't dried out yet.
We will attempt to get some more applications made this week. We may elect to leave the floater tires on and spray soybeans. Last year, we had no choice but to rut up some fields to get the chemicals on in time. I don't want to do that unless there is no other choice. Corn is growing quickly, but will have to wait for herbicides until late this week or next week.
We will continue applying 28% nitrogen to some fields this week, but plans to use dry fertilizer over the top for some of the sidedress applications takes pressure off and gives a longer window. Also, the lengthy planting season provides somewhat of a reprieve as stages vary greatly from first to last planted.
Now, to our mystery from last week
We have found the problem in several more fields. There were no real answers from experts last week.
Though it is clear the Counter did not meet expectation of pest control, there also appeared to be somewhat of a pattern within the rows.
We are now looking at the pop up and or the delivery method. We sent a sample to the lab for analysis. Results came back Tuesday afternoon, but we haven't have a chance to dive in to them. Everything came back close to what we were sold. The product is metered from the planter with a piston pump and flow divider.
We are wondering if the 'pulse' of the piston pump isn't smoothed out by the time the fertilizer reaches the trench, resulting in cycles of over-application.
This is the first time we have seen issues in our third year on this system.
By dumb luck, we have a control strip in on field where we forgot to open the valve to the fertilizer tank when starting out one morning. Soils in that field aren't as sandy, but a pattern seems to appear beginning at the location where we turned the valve on.
The investigation is ongoing.
The opinions of Kyle Stackhouse are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.