The past few weeks in eastern Ontario, tractors and all kinds of farm equipment have been in full force along the country roads and in all fields completing the most important task for grain farmers, planting their crops. I deem it our most important task because if the crop is not planted just right into the best conditions, it will impact the remainder of the growing season.
In our grain operation we spend significant time planning which seed will go in what field – each variety of corn seed has its optimal soil type and environment where it will succeed best, planting rate and fertility level. What we will use to feed our crop will be dependent on the soil tests we took the previous fall. We will review our analysis to see what is deficient and then furthermore what we will need to produce a 200 bushel crop of corn or a 50 bushel crop of soybeans. How we intend to feed our crop – we generally break up our fertilizer applications into several stages in order to better use our fertilizer and feed the crop as it needs the nutrients. What tools and equipment we will need to complete the job in the quickest and most efficient manner.
This planning and preparation takes several months on our farm. From finalizing our planting decisions to the constant ebb and flow of equpiment maintenance and daily inspections it all manages to wrap up in time.
The next challenge for us will be Mother Nature. As always, she dictates how quickly we will get into the field. This year proved to be a slow start. By the end of April we were able to start cleaning up our fields, picking stones, spreading manure and fertilizer and preparing our seed bed for when the weather would warm up.
May 1st – now it’s go time! Weather is cooperating and our fields are starting to become ready to work up then plant. Great, right? Think again. Technology distractions (initially thought to be resolved) slowed down our 24 row planter. Add to that an unfortunate faulty engine in one of our crucial tillage tractors has delayed us and we were thrown off what was a perfect start considering the 15 day forecast shows sun and heat!
May 3rd – tractor is replaced and 24 row going in full force minus a few more setbacks that come with new equipment. The following week and a half is somewhat of a blur of long hours, the roaring of tractor mufflers, the refilling of planters, rolling, spraying and disking.
May 11th RAIN DAY—Our calm during the storm and chaos of planting season. We all get a day to reflect on all the accomplishments of the week, clean up the yard, our houses, plan the next moves on how we intend to finish planting and eat a home cooked meal or two!
This week we are working on completing our soybeans and by the week’s end weather permitting 90% of them will be in the ground. Corn planting will be complete once the remaining of the land has been tiled and this sums up planting season 2013 at Wanna Make It Farm.
Here are a few pictures from the past few weeks of our planting season.
Brad rolling soybeans
Pat planting corn
Al planting the Mycogen corn seeds plot