As one might suspect, it has been a pretty busy few weeks here at New Vision Farms. Once again, Harvest is upon us, and so far so good. Our green bean harvest cycle wrapped up about a month ago, soybeans about a week ago, and we were pleasantly surprised. The multiple August rains we were fortunate enough to receive gave the crop a nice boost to the finish line. We are now on to popcorn, and have found yields to be at or slightly above our expectations so far with moisture levels better than we ever could have imagined a few weeks ago – but we still have a ways to go. Mother Nature appears to be throwing darts at her weather-picking module this harvest season, with daytime temperatures in a 40 degree range (no, really) and scattered rain events knocking us out of the fields periodically. At this point it is still too early in the game to get overly anxious as far as harvest progress is concerned, but it’s crunch time. We are starting to see our plant health deteriorate in certain popcorn varieties, and the last thing we and our landlords want is to be picking corn up off the ground. We are going to get back out and shelling today and tomorrow, as the weather folks are calling for more rain Sunday. Hammer down!!!!
In addition to harvest, we are also performing a myriad of other field operations. Rolie and Co have been chopping/mowing ditch banks when we can, Rob got our winter wheat planted, and a number of ditching projects are to be undertaken with the Rover Pipeline coming through our area. We are also running our strip-til unit across a large portion of our harvested green bean, wheat and soybean acres. For those that are unfamiliar, strip-tilling is a type of tillage pass that creates a seed trench for next year’s corn crop by which we can plant into in the spring. In addition to creating said seed trench, we are applying macronutrients Potash (potassium) and phosphorous directly into the seed trenches at prescribed variable rates while retaining organic matter and preventing soil erosion generated by full tillage passes. By placing these nutrients directly into the seed trench, we are ensuring we are placing the fertilizer ONLY were our crop can benefit most from it next growing season. And, by using variable rate prescriptions generated through soil grid sampling, every acre of every field is getting the proper amount of fertilizer applied. This technology will help reduce runoff and over-application of fertilizer on areas that do not require it, which protects water quality. For those interested in learning more about Variable Rate technology (VRT or VRA) and how it is revolutionizing the Ag industry, check out this article from Virginia Tech’s extension office written by people much smarter than I.
As always, if there are any questions, feedback, etc, we welcome your input! Please tweet, message, email or share your thoughts and comments. We will be back with a post-harvest update when we get there, complete with all sorts of pictures and videos for your viewing pleasure. Until then, stay safe everyone!