What Happens After the Fields are Planted?
Once our fields are planted, we don’t just wait until harvest. We have to “scout” these fields every couple of weeks to make sure they are growing correctly, the plants look good, and no bugs are getting them. Check out a recent post I shared about how the drought is affecting our fields.
This entails walking through the fields and checking the plants. We don’t walk every single acre of every field, but we have maps, and try to hit different areas of each field to get an overall idea of how it’s doing.
With my schooling and record keeping, and my husband’s knowledge of our fields, the planting and nitrogen application, we like to scout the fields together.
We also have a one-year-old son (as of a few weeks ago! Where does the time go?!) I work a full-time, off-farm job, so weekends are when we have the time to scout.
We make it a fun family outing!! We load up our little guy in the car during nap time, since he sleeps so well in the car, and we head out. Stopping at every field we have planted this year, we take turns on who gets to scout each field and who runs the book of maps (and stays in the car with the sleeping baby).
On our trip a few weeks ago we found some potassium deficiency and manganese deficiency. There’s not much we can do about those now, but we’ll keep records for next year.
We also found rust in the soybeans. It’s not the same type of rust on cars, but a plant disease. We also found a field wasn’t visited when the large sprayer was in the area applying products to inhibit the growth of weeds…oops!
We take pictures of the fields and text them to our agronomist, a person who helps us track our crop and field health, so he can help us figure out how to improve the crop next year.
We let our little guy play with a soybean plant, until he tried to eat it, and try to teach him what it is. We usually end the trip with an ice cream.
This might not be a typical family outing, but when you’re a farming family you take any family time you can get! Plus, everyone on the farm helps out and pulls their weight, even if they can’t yet walk.