It’s a slower time of the year, but there are many opportunities to learn. In fact, I am fresh out of a two-day intensive crop management session. Burning through many pages in the notebook, it will take some time to sort through it and put it all into order. My head is ready to explode! Lessons learned will roll right into planting the 2018 crop.
Fortunately, next week will be a lighter week. Locally, it is time for the Fort Wayne farm show. A much less intense ‘learning’ experience, this is suited to all ages and walks of life. We usually try to take some of the kids with us as we go. Learning opportunities once again abound. Besides seeing equipment and machinery, there are crop programs, market and weather outlooks, as well as sessions that focus on livestock.
Additionally, this is the time of year I visit the state chemist website in order to find locations to earn CCH points. In order to keep up with my commercial applicators license I am required to get 20 hours of training every 5 years. I am also required to take classes to keep up my manure license.
Sometimes businesses or local extension sponsor classes, but Purdue also, does classes at 5 separate sites each year. These classes rotate through different sites in the state each year. At this time, I am strongly considering attending one of those classes. It is always better to keep ahead on the hours, as you are not allowed to earn more than half the hours in one year.
Required Dicamba training
This year Indiana has a required dicamba training class if an applicator desires to spray the new dicamba chemistries on Xtend (dicamba resistant) soybeans. Personally, I have no interest in that. Though our tentative crop plan includes some Xtend beans, the selection was strictly based on yield and value. Indiana has also made herbicides containing more than 6.5% dicamba restricted use. This is a major change. Older chemistries like Banvel, Clarity, and many Generics come in near 50% active ingredient and previously were not considered restricted. Restricted use means you must have either a private or commercial applicator license to purchase these products.
Perhaps the best of this time of year is socializing with farmers from different areas as well as catching up with those you may already know. There are always stories and it’s never boring!