Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Jumping into the weather window

14 hours of good tractor time today; finished the plowing, mostly odds and ends at the edges of the field and corners, and then started disking the field.  The scrapers are working great.    Soil is working out very nicely.  Spent some extra time and passes on a couple of areas where I had heavy sod, but pretty happy with the progress.  I'm going to guess I'm 1/3rd complete on disking.  Called the custom guy (the fellow who's going to plant my corn crop for me) and told him that the corn plot area is ready to go, just let me know when.  Nice to be able to check that off the list.  

 Last year there was 65 acres of corn, this year I'm only planting 10, mostly as a test case to see if I can do it organically, with tillage vs herbicide.  Last years yield was 27 tons/acre, so I have a baseline to compare the yield.  The same fellow who did the corn on my property last year has planted 40 acres just north of me, so I'll be able to compare my "organic" methods yields with his conventional yields.  The corn I grow I'll have chopped into silage and stored in my silage pit; somewhere around 200 tons of it, which should provide extra feed for my growing cow herd.
disking at right angles to plowing
 So the total crop plants this year:  10 acres of orchard grass/alfalfa, 20 acres of orchard grass.  3 acres of orchard grass and clover, 10 acres of corn.  3 acres of alfalfa, 3 acres of alfafa with wheat nurse crop, 4 acres pumpkin, 5 acres fallow.

I'll be grazing the cows on one 6 acre parcel and one 12 acre parcel; that's where they'll go while the various forage crops are growing.  

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