Corn planting continues at Orange Patch Dairy. My father in law was able to put in about 65 acres of corn in today and yesterday. He was having his usual early season problems with our 8-row John Deere planter yesterday, which slowed him down. The planter was skipping in a couple of rows...making for very uneven rows of corn. SO.....we brought it home, got it in the shop and fixed it. Back to the field. The weather forecast looks good for the coming days, so we are hoping to apply the last little bit of fertilizer, work that in, and finish planting our 250 acres of corn for the year. Since we work with our agronomist on nutrient management, we are able to utilize our natural fertilizer (manure) first for our fields. Our agronomist pulls soil and manure samples to calculate the amount of commercial fertilizer we need to apply each spring. Usually we only need to apply a "pop up" fertilizer. This fertilizer is used to help the corn plants get a good start on the growing season, after that the plants will rely on the organic matter, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous of our cow manure!
Del Monte Foods delivered the packer for the pea field but no drill yet, so I guess that means that the peas will be planted soon! I love peas from the field! We usually plant about 30-40 acres of peas each year to be harvested sometime in mid-June. This allows us to have an empty field in the summer for manure application. Once the sweet corn is harvested in July/August then we move to applying manure on that field and seed the old pea field in with alfalfa. If we time it just right, we get a good rain in August and the fall seeded alfalfa is off to the races! The beauty of farming is getting the most from each acre without depleting it of nutrients. By rotating our crops and planting different types of crops like alfalfa, peas and sweet corn, we are able to better utilize our soils for our cows and our farm.