Well, not sure when Mother Nature is going to cooperate, but sometime here spring will stay! Plant 2020 is here! We hope you are excited as we are. It’s important to reflect during this time on the importance of our role as farmers, we are the shepherds of creation. We want to grow our soils, grow our farms, grow our families and grow the ag industry.
The Hora farm is doing many different things to get prepared for planting. We are trying to plan hybrid placement, trial locations, and which crops are going where. We will be planting corn, soybeans, and mustard. From last fall, we already have barley and cereal rye planted that we will be harvesting. We are focusing on diversifying our farm and finding new opportunities!
We are getting very comfortable with planting green. For corn, we are going to plant into green standing cover crop when it’s only 6-12 inches tall and will terminate soon after planting. We have started our soybeans and drilled them into a living cover crop. However, we will not terminate that cover crop for multiple weeks and the termination timing will depend on the weather, specifically with moisture in the forecast and moisture that is in the soil.
As you’re preparing for planting and don’t have a cover crop going, think about transpiration (moving water from the soil through the plant and back into the atmosphere) as another method of being able to get your soils dried out. What we have found with using cover crops in replacement of tillage is that we get the soil to dry out and maintain the right balance of moisture. If you’re in a tillage or a no-till situation but aren’t using cover crops, consider transpiration as another method to prepare your soils for planting.
A big part of Continuum Ag’s business over the years has been to manage product trials. We’ve been testing biologicals, starters, fertilizer additives, new fertilizers and a variety of stabilizers. These products are typically applied with the planter or foliar. 2020 is no different. We are locking in a wide array of product trials and we look forward to working with many of you to host those trials.
Our trial systems are being more standardized this year compared to previous years, in that every trial has been different and customized. But as we continue to grow, we are gaining more consistency and continuity from trial to trial. It’s getting easier for farmers to collaborate with us, implement trials, learn new things and get paid!
All of the data is being housed in our new TopSoil Tool, which is really exciting. We are going to collect soil data, tissue samples, in-season soil samples and a variety of in-season imagery. In-season imagery will include satellite imagery, airplane imagery and drone imagery across all of our trials. We are so excited about these new data components to help us paint the full picture of new products and evaluate those new products based on localized efficacy and impact on soil health.
Overall our goal is to get you, as the grower, the best data, technology, inputs and marketing connectivity as we possibly can.
RightWay and More
Other than that, we are wrapping up a lot of soil testing utilizing our RightWay program. We are deploying a lot of trials this year as well with the AgLaunch program where we are looking at zone soil sampling versus grid soil sampling with our RightWay program. We are doing this to help show farmers utilizing zone soil health based testing is a better alternative to the traditional grid soil sampling. It’s outdated. We now have better technology that allows us to do better!
Now is the time to wrap up variable rate applications, seeding prescriptions, and use data to drive in-season split applications. So please reach out if you have any fertility management questions, we can pull soil samples, pull tissue data and get you imagery. All these things are not expensive and can really help as you are making in-season decisions.
Contact us if you have any questions and be sure to check out our new TopSoil Tool if you have not. On the TopSoil Tool you can view the wide array of different services we can offer to your farm to help you to continuously drive economic resiliency and environmental sustainability!