As we move forward there are things we need to stay aware of as we move into spring. First, tillage conditions are going to be tentative at best. Soil moisture conditions I don't believe are, or have been ideal for working ground. This will lead to less than ideal planting conditions in the spring if we are wet again. However depending on rotations we don't have much choice. This is why planter setup is critically important also. For all with beets in the rotation this is a very difficult situation. The heavy equipment compresses the daylights of our soils, and depending on axle load this can affect the soil to depths that our typical tillage instruments cannot get to. This has repercussions all the way down the line. As you make decisions on tillage, ask yourself is this going to improve water movement and provide conditions to enable preparation of seed bed in the spring?
As for inputs, at least nutrient wise, this is why we test soils on a regular basis. Lower crop prices combined with fertilizer prices that are not following suit add up to margin issues that are reminiscent of 1990's rather than the beginning of this decade. Therefore we'll have some serious discussions this winter on "needs" of the crop for 2015.
Regulations!! An interesting bit of information came across my desk yesterday out of Ohio. The short of it is fertilizer application regulations are moving their way thru the Ohio legislature as I write this.
Sec. 905.326. (A) Except as provided in division (B) of this section, no person in the western basin shall surface apply fertilizer under any of the following circumstances:
(1) On snow-covered or frozen soil;
(2) When the top two inches of soil are saturated from precipitation;
(3) When the local weather forecast for the application area contains greater than a fifty per cent chance of precipitation exceeding one-half inch in a twenty-four-hour period.
(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply if a person in the western basin applies fertilizer under any of the following circumstances:
(1) The fertilizer application is injected into the ground.
(2) The fertilizer application is incorporated within twenty-four hours of surface application.
(3) The fertilizer application is applied onto a growing crop.
(4) The fertilizer application consists of potash or gypsum.
This is not going to be pretty. I can already see various problems cropping up with this but we will have to deal with it. Oh and by the way if this had been in place last year someone figured out that it would have eliminated 60 days of possible application time gone, YIKES!
We have a new company website, www.denningsai.com. I'm unsure if I will move this blog to tha site but we'll see. Hard enough to keep one blog going let alone 2! Our company site is a work in progress so check back regularily for changes.