Saturday, February 21, 2015

Corny and beany thoughts

I'm planning on planting more corn this year, going to go for an organic seed corn and an organic fertilizer, in keeping with my effort to get the pastures certified organic.   Organic dry fertilizer is pretty darned expensive; $1000 to $1200 a ton; and organic seed corn, heck, regular seed corn is expensive.  Regular is $200+ per 50lb bag, and organic is more.  I don't have a price because they haven't figured it out, but I don't have to imagine far.

Working with the JD 7000 planter last year
Last year one of the seeders was broken, so we used it as a 3 row planter, and the others really needed some work.  Seed belts and various wear parts and covers for the bins...  and everything needed grease and elbow work.

So I've ordered new seed meters and tubes for this planter, which should give me fewer skips and doubles, and generally a more consistent stand.  The other thing that this does is is give me the ability to better plant other types of seeds -- beans or peas, anyone? -- which adds a little more to the choice of forage that I can plant.

The new parts
Beans or peas are an interesting idea because they are a high-protein option for building a ration.  I don't get very good weather for dry beans, but I do get great pea weather.  I'm thinking that this years test plots will probably be beans and peas.

Beans have doen very well in field trials at the WSU Mt. Vernon research center, and I'll use that as the basis for deciding what beans to try in my own experiements.

1 comment:

George said...

After our barley crop comes off (next is hay in the rotation) we plant a summer stand (with a planter very similar to yours) of forage peas, buckwheat, corn, and let our cattle graze it when its about waist high. Then that field is lightly disked, and planted into alfalfa / orchard grass.

Yea organic seed prices are heavy on the pocket book. the good news is that prices stay steady, corn sells for around $11-15/BU and Soybeans $20-25/BU..

Although, honestly I the farm I buy will not be certified organic.. and I manage 165 acres of it right now ;) Costs are too high, restrictive, and quite frankly dangerously close to being taken over by the FDA and USDA anyhow... the NOSB was essentially dethroned last year at their conference by the feds.