Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

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Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby Stocker Steve » Sun May 20, 2018 7:58 pm

Had a lot of snow and runoff this spring so the meadows are still have moisture. No ponding now but the tires come up wet.
High ground is dusty but annual crops are germinating. Grassy hay fields look weak but alfalfa is still growing well. Less than an inch of rain so far this spring...

I plan to fertilize my reed canary meadows if it stays dry. Any tips on when to pull the trigger?
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Aaron
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby Aaron » Sun May 20, 2018 8:05 pm

Just before next rain. Seriously, the heavy annual doses of fertilizer are now paying off big time. My fields have never been in as good a shape as they are this spring. Pastures are growing very well too. Just put another 200 lbs/acre 14-17-11-12 on all the pastures this weekend. Fields got 100 lbs, other than couple fields which got 150 lbs.
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby Stocker Steve » Sun May 20, 2018 10:03 pm

How did you come up with that blend?
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby Stocker Steve » Sun May 20, 2018 10:08 pm

Farm Report shows us as in a "moderate drought".
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby Aaron » Sun May 20, 2018 10:22 pm

Stocker Steve wrote:How did you come up with that blend?


Averaged all field soil test recommendations. Across all 12 tests or so, results were very similar, so all fields have responded well. In basic terms, maintain and improve P and S levels and K is already in good supply, so don't worry about it. N comes with S, so covered as much as I need there.

Fertilizer plant manager tells me it wouldn't work well for alfalfa fields - too much S. I said well apparently everything else likes it, so p!ss on alfalfa. I can get some phenomenal timothy/brome stands with it if I don't keep the gate tight on the spreader.
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby Stocker Steve » Mon May 21, 2018 6:06 am

Standard S recommendation is 25 pounds actual per acre here. Never heard of too much S on alfalfa. Lucky the alfalfa did not all die back in the good old acid rain days.

I always worry about P tie up. What is your P soil test target?

Taking heads say I am in "moderate drought", but farmers can not plant in parts of southern MN because they are in a "rain hole." Sounds like you!
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby chevytaHOE5674 » Mon May 21, 2018 2:29 pm

Moderate drought UP here as well. I've never seen it this dry this early here, usually this is our wet season, but ponds/creeks/ditches/etc are drying up grass isnt growing and is turning brown. Snow left about 4 weeks ago and we've only got 10 drop of moisture since.
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby Aaron » Mon May 21, 2018 7:07 pm

chevytaHOE5674 wrote:Moderate drought UP here as well. I've never seen it this dry this early here, usually this is our wet season, but ponds/creeks/ditches/etc are drying up grass isnt growing and is turning brown. Snow left about 4 weeks ago and we've only got 10 drop of moisture since.


Sounds like a great time to get some ditching done/cleaned out before the monsoon season starts again.
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby 1982vett » Mon May 21, 2018 7:35 pm

Was getting dry here too...had a 60% chance pop up a week ago with out a cloud around. Checked the 10 day forecast Friday morning before hooking up the haybine and cutting 13 acres I planned to bale today. Showed 10% chance Saturday and 20% chance Sunday evening 0% the rest of the week....pretty much a standard no rain in site for3cast around here....it’s rained 5 times since Sunday morning. About 1 1/4 inches so far. Pastures sure needed it but I dam sure wouldn’t have cut if I had forecasters that were right more than 3 times a year. Another 2 tons of fertilizer gone to $hit.......
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby Stocker Steve » Mon May 21, 2018 10:08 pm

Aaron wrote:Sounds like a great time to get some ditching done/cleaned out before the monsoon season starts again.


Do you currently have ditching cost share?
What is your hourly rate for a hoe?
Last edited by Stocker Steve on Mon May 21, 2018 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby Aaron » Mon May 21, 2018 10:15 pm

Stocker Steve wrote:
Aaron wrote:Sounds like a great time to get some ditching done/cleaned out before the monsoon season starts again.


Do you have ditching cost share in Canada?


No. Just be glad that we are not hampered by unnecessary regulation like across the river in Lake of the Woods county. Zero private drainage allowed there without a permit, which are never given out.
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Nothin' prettier than a red Ford truck, a Massey Ferguson tractor and a red-n-white Hereford sittin' on the farm.

Stocker Steve
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby Stocker Steve » Mon May 21, 2018 10:20 pm

I used to ask FSA when to sign up for the ditching cost share, but it stressed them so much I had to back off.

Now I am just a self funded land shaper...
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby Stocker Steve » Sat May 26, 2018 7:16 pm

Rain missed us last week. Talking heads announced today that we are in a drought. I knew that. They recommended destocking 10 to 20% at this time. I had planned to ship a few next week.

A concern I have is that this is not a great time to be making splits, since I am mostly a May on grass calver. How would you approach cull cows with 30 to 60 day old calves?
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Re: Getting Dry in Central Minnesota...

Postby Aaron » Sat May 26, 2018 10:40 pm

Ship all yearlings, even open heifers and keep all cow-calf pairs. You sell calves now, or start bottling them and it's a losing proposition. You might break even on what you invested into the cow this past winter with what the calf is worth.
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