Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall planting season has finally arrived

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no-till planting wheat into sorghum regrowth
We began planting wheat for our spring silage crop on Monday. All in all, we expect to no-till drill the seed into 90-100 acres. Half of that ground is cropland on which we grew our sorghum crop this summer. The sorghum has experienced a little over a foot worth of regrowth thanks to a warm October and late frost, but it shouldn't impede the wheat's germination or growth.  The rest of our acreage will be in hay fields, and to get a good crop establishment there we will have to delay planting until after a killing frost.

Unlike the wheat we are planting for silage, we will plant our grazing crop into a prepared seedbed for the first time in several years.  This will be a four-step process:
  • We will "shallow till" by breaking the top of the ground with a disk.
  • We will spread manure slurry to incorporate nutrients and organic matter.
  • We will use a section-harrow to fill-in/level rough spots and smooth the ground prior to planting.
  • Finally, we'll use our seed drill to plant wheat and ryegrass into the prepared ground. A homemade drag attached behind the drill will help cover the seed and finish smoothing the ground.
We'll be able to apply additional slurry once the wheat/ryegrass establishes well enough to stabilize the ground. There is a chance we can graze the herd on this land before the end of the year if we have a mild November, but we'll likely be looking at early spring before we get much benefit from it.

God bless, and y'all have a "dairy" good day!

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