GROUND WORK – Spring in Kentucky

GROUND WORK - Spring in Kentucky

  • As in much of the U.S., it’s been a wet spring here in New Haven, Kentucky. In the meantime, I’m getting a lot of non-urgent types of things done around my place. Sometimes we farmers call this “piddling around,” but there are truly always plenty of things to work on.
  • This is the quintessential “waiting for the rain to stop” photo. I’m working on my garden tractor here. There’s usually a mower deck on this. We use this around our place, Affinity Farm, to mow, level the yard for moles, haul things, and sometimes we put a boom sprayer on it to spot spray.
  • I’ve been ready to plant since mid-March, about 60 days. If the seed had come in two weeks before Easter, we would’ve planted already. But we would’ve had to replant all of it since we’ve had so much rain. Sometimes things just work out.
  • This year, we added drag chains to the planter. These help us with practicing sustainability around the farm. My dad Ramey jokes that we are always adding another piece of weight to the planter to help with our no-till farming.
  • We use row cleaners to help clear out residue when we open farrow. Using no-till helps us to conserve moisture, but if we clear too much residue, the soil and seed are exposed to the sun and get too dried out. The drag chains help pull the residue back over the furrow so it doesn't dry out.
  • My Australian shepherd Koby always wants to help me around the farm, and it was no different with this project. He likes to bring me wrenches, but he hasn’t brought me the correct wrench yet. This time, he kept dropping rags on my head while I was working. He also stole my hamburger when I got distracted with a phone call the other day! Obviously, he’s got a really big personality.
  • I’ve been aiming to add drag chains for a while, and I took a really good agronomy course over the winter that focused on improved yield and conservation. It helped to further confirm my beliefs on cover crops.
  • Both the planter and the garden tractor are ready to be called into service soon.
  • I hope to begin planting in the next three to four days. The ground is nearly dried out from all the rain now and we are ready to go!
  • This peony is proof that spring is here in Kentucky and it’s time to plant!
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Quint Pottinger

U.S. Soybean farmer