09-27-2012 08:08 AM
I think more coverage of sub-surface irrigation is a great idea. So you see this as technology that will become popular again? Because, this type of irrigation has been offered for awhile now, right? I mean since the mid-80's. Would that be right? What do your local neighbor-farmers say about adopting this type of irrigation?
09-27-2012 08:13 AM
When do you think farmers will install this type of irrigation? Is it best to do it in the fall, spring, or someo ther time? What percentage of farmers have this now, in rough estimate terms?
09-27-2012 08:55 AM
Final corn production figure Kraft farm in NC Iowa. 131.53 bushels at 13.7 moisture test weight 64 lbs
About 50 bushel below normal expectations with yield potential of 200 bu with exceptional crop.
Dekalb 5509 if anyone interested
Final bean yield 52 bushels
09-27-2012 09:42 AM
Thanks for sharing your yield information. That makes this Yield Monitor post more interesting to read. All of the updates we can get, each day, really keeps this baby alive. Nice bean yield. I'm hearing the stems are really green. So, some farmers are having to really tweak the head on the combine. Are you seeing this issue?
09-27-2012 12:17 PM
Mike, in my area most if not all that irrigate are irrigating with center pivots or travelers. The small fields that were irrigated seem to have done the best this year. Most irrigated small fields are yielding around 200 bu. or at least that's what Im hearing. The large irrigated fields in this area don't look as good since I don't think the pivots could keep up this year. Sub-surface irrigation might be old technology to some but new to others. I haven't harvested any of my own crops yet. Tried running soybeans the other day and quickly found out they were still a little on the tough side.
09-28-2012 10:20 AM - edited 09-28-2012 10:24 AM
I know that this topic is not about irrigation, but I do want to jump in, since I am an independent irrigation designer
doing mostly subsurface drip design (and was just at HHD, once again a great show this year).
SDI (subsurface drip irrigation) is looked on with anything from love to hate. All of that come back to the dealer IMHO.
I know fantastic dealers that will work with you to get a successful system up and running, and other dealers I wouldn't be so confident in. There is nothing hard about SDI, but it simply requires training and undestanding the system.
SDI does not necessarily "use less" water. However, it does ensure that as much water as possible is getting directly to the plant root system. You “use less” water because you eliminate your spray loss and surface evaporation. Your plant then is able to beneficially use the water that before was lost. The water “savings” of going to SDI can often be phenomenal. During drought conditions it often is the difference between getting a yield and little to no yield, without SDI. In addition to that, saving water means saving energy, which directly impacts your bottom line. On top of all of that, a well-designed, installed, and maintained system has been proven to significantly increase yields.
One of the biggest advantages of SDI, is the whole fertigation aspect. As toughguy said, you can spoon feed nutrients directly to the root zone. At that point you not only save fertilizer (by only applying exactly what the plant needs), but you aren’t over fertilizing portions of the field and under fertilizing other portions. Once again, SDI fertigation is another factor in why SDI yields are better.
What would be the possible disadvantages to SDI? I would actually say that there are not any real disadvantages. It is more of an issue of teaching the grower really how to take care for and manage his SDI system.
As tough guy said, there are several large tape manufactures. The tape can be buried anywhere from 18-8in deep, depending on your tillage practices. Shallower is better, unless you hit the tape while tilling (stating the obvious of course). Spacing can be anywhere from 30in to 60in (wider possibly depending on your soil and what you are cropping).
K State has done a lot of research on SDI and has published some great material on it. They even have a pivot vs. SDI calculator that will calculate the profit increase of SDI (or savings, depending on how you look at it). Personally, I see the SDI as being the next big phase of irrigation, as we have to use water more wisely, as energy costs increase, and as growers seek higher yields. I believe the time is coming when every drop of water will have to count.
I agree that SDI should be something written about. SDI is something that more growers are moving to. If the editors are interested in talking with different people about SDI, feel free to send me a message. I can get them in touch with whoever they need to chat with.
09-28-2012 11:55 AM
Interesting thoughts here from market analyst Ray Grabanski: Corn and soybean yields are 'nowhere near as poor' as USDA thinks. Based on what's going on in your area, do you think this is right?
Agriculture.com Multimedia Editor
09-28-2012 12:13 PM - edited 09-28-2012 12:14 PM
Jeff, you need to speed dial that to Mizzou, he might need to wake up call running auto steer in his beans.
If Ray Grab keeps writing that stuff, someone is going to lock him up in the loney bin. It is good for a laugh.
BESIDES, I think the biggest issue is world stocks of wheat, corn and beans. Not what a field is doing in MN.
09-29-2012 07:30 AM
Here in Nebraska, unless you are one of the unfortunates who had their water cut off before the crops were mature, it was all about pollenation timing.
I have 1 load left to pick off my pivot, so I have a pretty good idea about the yield, I figure about 148 BPA across the whole field. If you subtract the corners that essentially yielded next to zero, I come up with about 160, with a 170-175 being considered an average yield. However, there are big swings in yield from variety to variety, in my opinion being on when the corn pollenated. My shorter season corn usually yields 5 to 10 BPA less, but is dry enough I can start picking sooner, and not break the bank with drying costs. This year, we had a few cooler days, sandwitched between 100 degree plus days (with a wind, and low humidity). The shortest season corn, was tasseling in the heat, and I'd say I was lucky to get 100 BPA out of it (I don't have a yield monitor in the combine, but I have a measure in the bin for my total yield, and am giving my best guess). Also, the very longest season corn, wasn't fully done pollenating before the heat hit, so it took a yield loss as well, but a much smaller one, maybe 10-15 bu less than the best in the field, instead of being 5-10 BPA above everything else. Doing my best to juggle the numbers of total bushels picked, my best guess to the yield loss from the corn that pollenated in the heat, and how many acres of each were planted, I get something like 215-220 BPA for my best corn in the field. My dad always said, if we knew ahead, just which variety was best for the year, we could yield with Iowa, but every year is different, and next year, that same number of corn could be a total flop.
Also, my cousin, who farms pivots, like I farm acres, pretty much plants this pivot to one number, and that pivot to another, has told similar stories. Everything from 110-230 BPA, for corn across the fence from each other, planted a day apart, watered the same, fertilized the same.
As to the green stalks, I have never seen corn like this before. I was waiting for it to drydown, it was over 20 for a while, and when it hit 19% I was going to start. Made less than 3 rounds and broke down. Got the combine fixed, and was up in running in 5 days (the repair didn't take that long, but we got to doing other things, and figured we'd let the corn dry down to 17-18 or so since the season was still early). Well, suddenly, on still green stalks, where the ears are not even turned down yet, we wer picking 14% moisture corn. My dad who is a bit over 70 said he never saw anything like it, and yes, you do have to fiddle with things to minimize shelling at the head, with dry corn, and green stalks. Fortunately, even with the green stalks it seems to be going through the combine fairly easily, and it seems that keeping the head full helps. Also, if you have a 2 speed head, I think it would pay to run on the slow speed, and put new stalk roll knives on if you need to, to help pull the green stalks through.
(sorry for the book-length article, but I woke up before everyone else, and sunrise isn't for another half hour, and I have nothing else to do until one of the kids wakes up).