Rain is a good thing, right?
By: Rebecca Christman
The rain this past week has been welcome for farmers across South Dakota. Many farms have planted corn are ready to start planting soybeans. The rain is much needed, but it does delay planting. Right now the family is anxious to get the crop in the ground. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that rain is a good thing!
At our farm, we are ready to plant corn. Before the seeds can go in the ground there are a few things that need to be done.
- Select your seeds. The seeds were selected for our farm based on the type of soil we have, how much rain we usually get, and how many days the average growing season has.
- Spray the fields. Weeds compete with corn for resources and can be the cause of greatly reduced yields.
- Add fertilizer. The soil in each field has been tested. We know how much Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) corn needs to grow. We add exactly the amount of fertilizer we need to each field. Adding too much fertilizer would be a waste of money!
- No Till. This is exactly what it sounds like; we don’t till our ground before planting. We choose to do this, because leaving the residue from last year’s crop improves soil structure and helps conserve moisture while the plants are growing.
It takes us about 4 days to plant the corn, but these are some of the most important days of the year. The crop that will grow this summer will be fed to our cows for the next year. It’s a busy time of year for farmers and just the beginning of a rewarding growing season.
Listen to this week's radio segment here! FARMERS_DAUGHTER-MAY_18TH.mp3