Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time For A Break

Harvest is pretty much complete in our neighbourhood.  The bins are more than full.  The manure tanks are getting empty.  The snow will soon fly.

Don Weaver, my ever so helpful Area Manager for Pioneer, expects me to spend the next month selling seed and inoculants.  I also expect me to spend the next month selling seed and inoculants.  For these reasons I am going to take a short break from blogging.   
It has been a great experience trying to share thoughts and ideas as they happen.  I hope if my readers haven't learned anything, at least they may have been slightly entertained with my thin sense of humour.

Here are some of my favourite photos from this past year.

My CCA Award last January.

The birth of our grandson, Hayden Brian.

During a political trip to the Ontario Legislature, Cathy sat in the Speaker of the House chair.  She looks very regal.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR.  

There is corn planted under this lake.

Silt loam soil is not supposed to crack open like this.

The sun shone and the crops grew.

Then a wind storm ruined a few fields.

A rainbow appeared.

We had to buy a bigger weigh wagon to hold all the corn.

One happy little bull calf.  We couldn't ask for more.

See you in a few weeks.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Emotional Decisions

The #1 discussion topic of the week after marvelling about how the well corn harvest has been, quickly becomes why the wheat looks terrible.  Usually, the only consolation is the neighbour's wheat looks just as bad or sometimes worse. 
The question quickly becomes, should I replant the patches like the one shown below? Or stop looking at it?

The cold hearted agronomist says leave it alone.  We have planted wheat in November that sits under 4 months of snow and still makes a decent crop, so why are we worried about wheat that is only had 4 weeks of cold and wet?  There are signs of life.  But you have to get out of your truck, get down on your hands and knees and look for it.

The emotional farmer says the signs of life are pretty faint and the bare patches are pretty big.  What have I got to lose?  Just some time, which I don't have much of.  Some diesel fuel and they make that every day.  Some seed, which is still in the drill.  Why not?  I don't want my wheat field to look like this in the spring, and by the way, I am paying a lot to rent this farm.


The cold hearted agronomist says I agree, you don't have much to lose.  I have some experience replanting thin stands of wheat.  The risk is small because the wheat won't get too thick and fall down.  So you are out your time, diesel fuel and seed.  But I don't think based on my experience you will get any payback to replanting and by the way, don't you have crop insurance?

The emotional farmer says I want to do my very best to grow an excellent crop.  I don't want my neighbours to think I am a lousy farmer.  I have to try.

The cold hearted agronomist says fine, go ahead, have fun while you drive the drill in circles.  As he walks away he thinks to himself, the neighbours are already starting to believe you are a lousy farmer.  If you replant those patches they will know for sure. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pop Quiz Answers

First, a disclaimer. 
It is very important to remember this is a one sample test.  In no way should it be interpreted as a reliable indicator to real differences between these 5 hybrids.  Pioneer will supply us with an extensive data base after harvest which will be a much better guide for identifying hybrids that are sensitive to gibberella ear mold. . 
Now for the answers.

P9760HR >.5 ppm 

35F40 - 1.4 ppm

P0216HR - 2.3 ppm

P0474HR - 3.4 ppm

P9910XR - 4.5 ppm

I must admit, there is no way I would have got this quiz correct without knowing the answers. 
It is a very difficult test and illustrates exactly why I hate gibberrella ear mold with a passion! 

Visual appearance can be deceiving.  The only way to know what you have is to test it.  That would be especially important with what appears to be clean corn. 

I tried to give a clue by putting them in order, but it was a lousy clue.  Everyone who answered the quiz, thought P9910XR was the lowest.  I am not surprised.

When I first looked at the samples out of the combine, my ranking would have been from best to worst, 35F40, P9910XR, P0474HR, P9760HR , P0216HR.  And I had a lot better look than any of you had.  I did my best to make the pictures realistic to the sample, but you can only do so much with a camera.

So in the interest of fair play, everyone who e-mailed or called will receive a hat.