Quint Pottinger, Affinity Farms, New Haven, Kentucky talks about weather, cover crops, and how this year’s harvest is coming along.
The Soybeans are Flat Growing
Our growing season is really coming along in Kentucky. I just had the chance to get away from the farm for a few days and recharge my batteries. Now I’m back and scouting my fields.
And as we say in Kentucky, the beans are flat growing!
Once we get through the next couple weeks of hotter weather, I hope it will cool down through the frost.
We did have a two-week hot dry spell when the corn was pollinating, but now we’ve had a lot of rain, which can bring some disease. We can manage disease, but not dry weather. The Dakotas have had a terrible drought, but they do have deeper soil in areas, so it might not affect supply as much as we’d think and it won’t affect price.
Here, you can see that the beans have a bit of frogeye weed spot. We do have a good resistant trait and some are showing signs of resistance.
The beans can also get a bit of downy mildew, which affects the perimeter around the leaves. We always ask ourselves if it will spread and do we need to treat it?
Our beans went into cover crop ground. For the past two years, we’ve used this land for cover crop, which has created deeper root development. The roots of the cover crop go deep and create more oxygen, which helps with more nodulation of roots and is nitrogen fixing. Soybeans are finicky and need extra nitrogen in June and July.
Here in Kentucky, we struggle to get nitrogen later in the year through organic matter. Breaking down last year’s crop helps nitrogen to be available in July, which is especially good for corn and then the beans nodulate until they start flowering.
As an economic tool, our first rotation of cover crops is starting to pay off. It definitely looks promising, but the scientist in me wants to see how it looks in a dry year. Will moisture be maintained and will it increase microactivity? Microbes do live throughout the year in the south, so that’s something to consider.
My dad Ramey and I are checking our plot. The state average is 145,000 seeds per acre. In this plot, we planted 60,000 seeds, 80,000 seeds, 100,000 seeds, and 140,000 seeds. Our lower population seeds look massive, like shrubs!
While the beans grow, we have been flat busy bagging corn for deer feed and hunting season. This helps us to capture an extra dollar. We’re doing 20,0000 bags with 150 pounds per bag and we’ll sell all of them.
We’ve been checking root development, nodes, and root hairs, plus monitoring the fertility of the soil.
Our yield monitors can select variety for next year as we harvest.