2023 Eastern Nebraska Soil Health Conference - Farmer Panel
Interseeding cover crops into early-season corn and soybean - What we learned and next steps
- Farmer panel with Chad Dane (Clay County) and Jay Goertzen (York County) moderated Jenny Rees, Nebraska Extension Educator
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[00:00:05.340]Okay, we're gonna move on to our afternoon panel.
[00:00:09.390]I'm really excited about this.
[00:00:11.550]All the producers are gonna be up here
[00:00:13.020]I've worked with personally,
[00:00:14.880]so they can vouch for good or bad recommendations from me.
[00:00:18.570]But one thing I've always loved about working with producers
[00:00:21.510]is what I get to learn from them
[00:00:23.100]and the information they share back with me.
[00:00:24.870]So that's really what this is about.
[00:00:26.610]So this is also your time.
[00:00:28.410]I've asked our panelist to kind of give five,
[00:00:31.560]seven minute update each and then we'll open it up
[00:00:35.310]And Keith Lewin and I started this back in 2015, I think,
[00:00:38.760]here, called the Eastern Nebraska Cover Crop Conference.
[00:00:41.580]And one thing we've always had is producer panels.
[00:00:44.790]We had one this morning and they've always gone really well.
[00:00:47.880]And so once we get through those kind of presentations,
[00:00:50.340]we'll open up for questions,
[00:00:51.360]and we've always filled the time
[00:00:53.114]so don't be scared, it goes fast.
[00:00:56.640]So I'll ask my panelists to come up.
[00:00:59.700]If you wanna grab a seat up here,
[00:01:01.170]we have a mic that we'll pass around.
[00:01:03.060]I have a brief introduction for the whole panel
[00:01:05.520]and then I'll have them start on introductions.
[00:01:07.590]I think I have Garrett up first.
[00:01:11.790]No, it's okay.
[00:01:14.245]So we'll go through this.
[00:01:16.650]So the title of today's afternoon panel
[00:01:20.675]is the Nebraska Farmer's Perspective
[00:01:22.200]on Diverse Crop Rotation and Intensification.
[00:01:25.200]If you didn't catch my name earlier,
[00:01:26.730]it's Nathan Mueller.
[00:01:27.563]I'm a water and integrated cropping systems
[00:01:29.760]extension educator, Saline, Jefferson, Gage.
[00:01:31.920]Some of you may have remembered when I was up in Dodge
[00:01:33.750]in Washington County.
[00:01:35.970]A little bit about the USD crop reporting districts
[00:01:40.890]How many of you are familiar with CropScape?
[00:01:46.020]So it's actually a USDA satellite,
[00:01:48.270]called the Modus satellite, that USDA,
[00:01:50.160]and Rick Mueller runs it, no relation.
[00:01:52.950]They essentially use the satellite imagery
[00:01:54.630]to verify what crop you're growing on every field.
[00:01:58.020]So you certify acres if your producer's, right?
[00:02:00.630]They've then figured out with satellite reflectance
[00:02:03.360]a signature to figure out, okay, that's, corn is corn
[00:02:05.940]based on the imagery.
[00:02:07.200]So they can tell us how many acres are planted
[00:02:10.050]of which crop, even though they still asked you
[00:02:11.550]to fill out a paper survey.
[00:02:12.660]I just filled out my ag census.
[00:02:14.340]Anybody get that done last week like we were supposed to?
[00:02:18.240]So that's another piece of information.
[00:02:20.100]So I just ran down, outta curiosity, from 2021
[00:02:23.820]what the satellite imagery,
[00:02:24.870]they always delay the data,
[00:02:26.220]probably to not influence the market.
[00:02:27.930]So it's always behind probably on purpose.
[00:02:30.300]But we had 1.85 million acres of corn in Northeast,
[00:02:33.780]1.34 for soybeans,
[00:02:35.719]193,000 acres of alfalfa, and 3,800 acres of wheat
[00:02:42.720]And then you go down corn 2.1,
[00:02:45.150]soybeans 1.5, alfalfa 92,000, and wheat 11,000
[00:02:49.740]in east central Nebraska.
[00:02:51.684]And then down in the southeast we had corn at 1.5,
[00:02:55.680]soybeans at 1.3, alfalfa at almost 50,000,
[00:02:59.220]and wheat at almost 30.
[00:03:01.260]So you can look back in time
[00:03:02.940]if you wanna track acre changes.
[00:03:04.538]Over the past couple years, winter wheat has has increased.
[00:03:08.760]We probably reached a bottom in about 2019, 2020,
[00:03:12.540]and then things actually have been coming back up.
[00:03:14.700]There's crops I left out, right?
[00:03:16.590]I should have probably put oats.
[00:03:17.700]If you look at oat acres in the far northeast,
[00:03:20.250]there's quite a bit.
[00:03:21.330]There would've been grain stored,
[00:03:22.410]the list goes on, right?
[00:03:23.370]And so a lot of these, if you haven't been to that website,
[00:03:25.830]Google CropScape and you can learn more about
[00:03:29.310]what everybody's doing in eastern Nebraska.
[00:03:32.370]Before I forget, a plug, 'cause a lot of the producers
[00:03:34.890]are gonna talk about small grains in the rotation
[00:03:38.190]as well as alfalfa.
[00:03:40.140]We do have some events coming up.
[00:03:41.670]The UNL Winter Wheat Variety Trial Tour
[00:03:43.770]and Field Day's gonna be June 8th near Fairbury
[00:03:46.260]in Jefferson County.
[00:03:47.700]And then we'll have the Southeast Nebraska
[00:03:49.440]Alfalfa and Wheat Expo August 24th in Crete.
[00:03:52.620]So save the dates.
[00:03:54.716]And Haldon's at round two.
[00:03:55.560]He's already been a panelist for me
[00:03:57.000]at the Alfalfa and Wheat Expo in Crete.
[00:03:59.970]So I'm really excited, we'll go north to South.
[00:04:02.790]Garret Ruskamp, if you wanna raise your hand,
[00:04:05.307]is up in Cunning County.
[00:04:07.650]Angela Knuth, Saunders County.
[00:04:10.200]And then two gentlemen down in Southeast
[00:04:12.540]in both kind of Jefferson and Gage,
[00:04:14.910]Kyle Riesen and Haldon Fugate.
[00:04:19.260]With that, I'm gonna turn this over to Garret.
[00:04:22.110]I do have some of the pictures you sent to me,
[00:04:24.420]and so just a brief introduction of your operation
[00:04:26.970]and what you're doing, and then we'll go through
[00:04:29.310]all four of you and then we'll open it up for questions.
[00:04:31.860]So I'll turn it over to Garret.
[00:04:35.550]Yeah, can everybody hear me?
[00:04:37.350]All right, so I'm from up by Cunning County,
[00:04:40.380]kind of southwest of West Point.
[00:04:43.050]And we've got a diverse rotation between corn,
[00:04:48.150]soybeans, wheat and alfalfa.
[00:04:50.490]And then we've got a cow calf operation as well.
[00:04:52.470]So we try to utilize the cover crops with the livestock
[00:04:56.700]as much as we can.
[00:04:58.260]I guess some of the things that we're doing
[00:05:00.030]as probably for the past five, six years,
[00:05:04.080]we constantly plant rye in the fall,
[00:05:07.080]usually following corn silage or something like that,
[00:05:10.320]and then we graze it in the spring with the cows.
[00:05:12.930]And then we plant soybeans into that,
[00:05:17.086]and I guess we've been having wheat in our rotation
[00:05:21.900]for probably about, like I said, five, six years
[00:05:24.537]and we've been doing really well with it.
[00:05:27.030]And we usually plant a cover crop following the wheat
[00:05:30.420]and that's always been really good,
[00:05:34.080]and depends on moisture obviously,
[00:05:36.000]but we can usually get some pretty good growth in the fall.
[00:05:38.975]Like Mary was talking,
[00:05:40.860]we usually do sorghum sedan of some sorts.
[00:05:43.680]And then this last year we had a pretty diverse mix
[00:05:47.328]that we planted and we didn't have a lot of moisture
[00:05:50.610]but it still turned out pretty decent.
[00:05:53.010]And we grazed that.
[00:05:54.346]And along with the grazing we do try to do strip grazing
[00:05:57.931]as much as we can.
[00:06:00.330]And I guess the one new thing that we did try this year
[00:06:03.810]is that picture up there is actually the relay cropping
[00:06:07.680]with rye and soybeans.
[00:06:10.050]And so basically we planted the rye in the fall
[00:06:14.280]and then the soybeans in the spring,
[00:06:17.160]just used a drill on seven and a half inch spacings,
[00:06:20.520]and then we basically didn't touch it.
[00:06:23.220]Herbicide passes, nothing, and a little bit of nitrogen
[00:06:26.190]to the rye and then I harvested the rye
[00:06:28.830]over top of the soybeans and then came back in the fall
[00:06:33.120]and harvested the rye.
[00:06:34.890]And for the little moisture that we had,
[00:06:37.530]it didn't turn out too bad, I suppose.
[00:06:40.080]That's kind of an overview of what we do.
[00:06:44.550]Yeah, so the pictures there,
[00:06:46.050]they might be kinda hard to see,
[00:06:47.040]but on the left is our rotational grazing or strip grazing.
[00:06:51.090]It's what I call a tumble wheel fence
[00:06:53.550]that we use with poly wire that we can easily move.
[00:06:57.360]It saves on time, but we can still strip graze our rye
[00:07:02.722]or any cover crop that we're using it in.
[00:07:04.430]In the middle there would be the diverse cover crop
[00:07:07.410]from this last fall that we planted after wheat.
[00:07:10.954]We had like an eight way species mix in there.
[00:07:15.060]And one of those would be on the right,
[00:07:17.130]the purple top turnip, and we had really good growth
[00:07:20.310]on some of those.
[00:07:21.750]Mostly down in the bottoms
[00:07:22.950]where there was still some moisture,
[00:07:25.013]but turned out really good.
[00:07:26.790]We grazed it most of the fall
[00:07:29.370]and then we're still grazing it,
[00:07:31.978]'cause we kind of stockpiled some of that.
[00:07:33.150]And we still got fall pears running out there now grazing.
[00:07:38.730]My name's Kyle Riesen.
[00:07:40.920]Farm Gage, Jefferson County, live on the county line.
[00:07:43.740]So walk across the road from my house,
[00:07:45.630]I'm in Jefferson County, I guess.
[00:07:47.693]I grew up on a dairy farm.
[00:07:50.910]We farmed, or we milked about 150 cows until 2012.
[00:07:55.650]And that's when I went off to college also.
[00:07:58.710]When I came back I was fortunate enough
[00:08:00.810]to get employed by my neighbors
[00:08:04.691]who farm a few thousand acres.
[00:08:08.580]We started using cover crops on our family farm
[00:08:11.220]back in, I think 2007.
[00:08:13.290]Started with oats, diversified into turnips and radishes,
[00:08:16.650]and oats as well as a way to graze, fall graze
[00:08:20.820]after corn silage to meet feed needs
[00:08:24.097]for replacement heifers,
[00:08:25.260]bred heifers, and dry cows.
[00:08:27.510]When I moved back and jumped on with my neighbors,
[00:08:30.330]we didn't do much cover crops then,
[00:08:33.510]but my dad and I still did with our small beef herd
[00:08:36.000]that we still currently have, 50 cows.
[00:08:38.790]So I kind of talked to guys I work for
[00:08:40.890]into starting with rye and that kind of took off.
[00:08:43.800]We put about a thousand to 1500 acres of rye in every year,
[00:08:48.630]or some variation of that.
[00:08:50.010]Some of it's strictly for erosion
[00:08:52.560]because we did some sort of tillage
[00:08:54.960]and some of it's just with the intention of soil health
[00:08:59.280]and no-till situations.
[00:09:01.200]So I have a few pictures up there as well.
[00:09:03.600]Some of 'em are kind of hard to see.
[00:09:04.590]I was scrolling through about five years worth of pictures
[00:09:06.900]on my phone, which I didn't realize I had that many.
[00:09:09.202]But here, so on the left,
[00:09:13.560]it's hard to see probably on this screen up here,
[00:09:15.690]but situations like here,
[00:09:17.100]these are a lot of earthworm holes that came up
[00:09:19.802]in our rye field that was out there.
[00:09:23.310]It was really easy to find and pick out.
[00:09:29.431]And then the picture on the right is a turnip I believe,
[00:09:33.660]no, radish I believe.
[00:09:35.100]And I was driving through the field in the spring,
[00:09:37.680]and that was the decayed skeleton,
[00:09:39.300]and so you can see the hole that was around it.
[00:09:42.090]Pretty easy place for water to get into and infiltrate.
[00:09:46.170]These two pictures, the one on the left was after
[00:09:48.240]our winter wheat crop, which we first started growing
[00:09:50.580]in 2021, was our first crop.
[00:09:54.420]I was anhydrasing that year in the spring,
[00:09:58.050]which is not good for the earthworms,
[00:09:59.430]but it was neat to see the root structure
[00:10:01.452]associated with this, the cover crops we did.
[00:10:05.640]I tried to make an attempt at a test trial
[00:10:08.010]and on-farm research.
[00:10:08.970]It failed miserably 'cause it didn't rain
[00:10:10.500]from July 15th to October one.
[00:10:12.840]But I did oats and turnips and radishes on one part
[00:10:15.780]and I tried to do a legume mix,
[00:10:17.520]and then I wanted to try and supplement in some blocks
[00:10:19.920]at different varying nitrogen rates
[00:10:22.470]to see what the nitrogen credit would come from legumes.
[00:10:25.530]When it doesn't rain and it's a hundred degrees,
[00:10:27.150]nothing grew except the river bottom.
[00:10:29.430]So that's what we got out of that, nice strip of roots,
[00:10:32.400]the picture on the right's the same,
[00:10:34.500]and think there's a earthworm in there.
[00:10:36.208]It's really hard to see on the picture on the right,
[00:10:37.524]but it's the same principle.
[00:10:40.238]Another earthworm picture right there.
[00:10:43.740]There's the big guy and he crawls up through there.
[00:10:45.640]I don't know why I'm interested in earthworms,
[00:10:48.030]but I think that's a feel good thing
[00:10:49.560]when you're doing cover crops.
[00:10:51.000]And more earthworm castings and holes here
[00:10:54.060]in various years.
[00:10:55.620]That's just a picture of how mellow the soil
[00:10:57.510]was when I was anhydrasing,
[00:10:58.710]that was probably an eye-opening experience.
[00:11:00.180]Most of the time it's pretty hard.
[00:11:02.550]It feels like, especially for as dry as that fall was,
[00:11:05.637]I blasted right through there and got it
[00:11:07.770]as deep as I wanted.
[00:11:09.079]And you can see the growth.
[00:11:11.280]That was a little bit better 'cause it was
[00:11:12.600]in the creek bottom but it was just super mellow,
[00:11:15.033]really was an eye-opening thing to see there.
[00:11:20.790]So this is one of my favorite pictures.
[00:11:23.589]The two comparisons, our farm that I live on and grew up on
[00:11:27.120]has been in our family for a while.
[00:11:30.679]Haldon's been across it to try and hay,
[00:11:33.750]and he knows how rough it is.
[00:11:36.960]And so I put in some drain tiles
[00:11:38.520]where I was having some really bad ditches.
[00:11:41.160]And so the picture on the left is just
[00:11:42.810]what the cover crop looked like,
[00:11:45.030]just kind of a fancy picture, made me feel good.
[00:11:47.490]But the picture on the right here was from this spring,
[00:11:51.847]as in our area we didn't get any rain
[00:11:55.951]or any moisture from maybe February or March
[00:11:59.520]until April 30th.
[00:12:01.860]And that's when we got three inches of rain very quickly,
[00:12:04.696]stopped planting for about 10 days.
[00:12:07.320]And then the following, that was on April 30th,
[00:12:09.900]May 3rd, we had another half inch of rain.
[00:12:12.330]And this is coming out of the water
[00:12:13.440]coming outta my tile line where I had cover crops.
[00:12:16.350]Crystal clear water.
[00:12:19.320]I thought that was a pretty neat picture to see.
[00:12:21.480]There was wasn't hardly an ounce of runoff
[00:12:23.250]coming off that field after three and a half inches of rain.
[00:12:29.430]This is a picture fertilizing our wheat,
[00:12:32.959]our first year doing wheat.
[00:12:34.350]That was just a picture to kind of illustrate
[00:12:36.108]we didn't have any moisture, or after we planted
[00:12:39.000]that winter wheat, we had about a 60 mile an hour windstorm
[00:12:43.170]on October 10th or 12th or something.
[00:12:45.450]And so it blew wheat seeds and soybean residue
[00:12:48.810]all over the place,
[00:12:49.643]and we were very, very close to terminating our wheat.
[00:12:53.970]But Nathan kind of talked us out of it and we decided,
[00:12:56.520]well, we're not gonna learn anything
[00:12:57.510]if we don't see what happens.
[00:12:58.980]So we fertilized it and that was just to illustrate
[00:13:01.710]how spotty some of the stand was from,
[00:13:04.500]you can see kind of a line right in through there
[00:13:06.750]and up in some of those corners, very, very patchy.
[00:13:10.200]It looked worse than what the picture shows.
[00:13:12.180]And then the picture on the right is is just
[00:13:14.580]a view of maybe, probably middle of June
[00:13:17.810]in that same wheat field.
[00:13:18.750]They really come around and, thanks to Nathan's help a lot
[00:13:23.103]and Mark Noble who we bought our seed from,
[00:13:27.390]tremendous resources for successful wheat crop.
[00:13:32.424]Like I said, we have a small cow herd,
[00:13:33.870]so this is a feel good picture, a couple of 'em.
[00:13:36.300]But we also integrate livestock to an extent.
[00:13:39.180]We graze our rye in the fall.
[00:13:41.100]And because we have the livestock, we do it twofold.
[00:13:43.500]So we plant rye to graze in the fall as much as we can
[00:13:47.550]and then come spring we swath it, chop it for hay,
[00:13:51.030]makes tremendous feed, in our opinion, for our mama cows
[00:13:53.820]and the few other custom feeding customers
[00:13:57.390]that we have for that.
[00:14:00.630]Just a couple pictures of anhydrous,
[00:14:01.980]some feel good pictures,
[00:14:02.880]but that's what the oats and turnips
[00:14:05.400]and radishes looked in the bottom on the left
[00:14:07.997]and they looked in the creek bottom,
[00:14:09.750]but up on the hillsides there was next to nothing.
[00:14:13.170]And the other part for the guys that I work with,
[00:14:16.620]we do a lot of rye and plant soybeans right into it
[00:14:20.580]and spray the cover crop the day of planting.
[00:14:25.260]So obviously both of those pictures
[00:14:27.360]are probably our post-spray.
[00:14:31.020]We also have hogs.
[00:14:32.340]So we have a high amount of hog manure.
[00:14:34.578]We got caught in a pickle where we didn't quite know
[00:14:37.200]what to do.
[00:14:38.033]The picture on the right shows me trying to spray
[00:14:40.470]a residual herbicide with all the crop residue.
[00:14:42.660]So I wasn't quite sure that that was a smart idea,
[00:14:44.730]because I didn't know how the residual product
[00:14:47.250]was gonna get to the soil.
[00:14:48.900]But we did it anyway.
[00:14:50.280]And we didn't have any weeds,
[00:14:51.582]and you can just see how thick of a mat that rye was.
[00:14:55.287]And that was there all the way until we harvested.
[00:14:57.210]So I don't know if that's a good thing
[00:14:59.070]or if that's bad because the microbes didn't eat at all,
[00:15:01.320]but it just shows how much residue we can have.
[00:15:06.090]And those were, luckily we had rain,
[00:15:08.010]so those were successful soybean crops for dry land,
[00:15:11.010]we are really pleased with the yields.
[00:15:13.140]I'm Haldon Fugate and farm around Beatrice
[00:15:15.900]and Gage County.
[00:15:17.850]Mainly alfalfa, irrigated and dry land.
[00:15:21.510]Get to do some crazy things coming in with Kyle
[00:15:24.870]behind crops to get,
[00:15:27.296]'cause I'm on some pretty high value ground
[00:15:29.910]that they're trying to rotate out.
[00:15:31.530]So virtually we planted some half stand wheat,
[00:15:35.700]you'd call it.
[00:15:37.140]I mean Nathan called it,
[00:15:38.310]it would be a failure wheat crop in the fall,
[00:15:41.220]'cause we had to do some tillage for some ridges
[00:15:43.380]to get took out, and that ended up being a really good deal
[00:15:46.860]'cause that same windstorm that he had trouble
[00:15:48.690]with his wheat, I didn't lose all my ground.
[00:15:52.140]And then we come in the spring
[00:15:53.430]and planted alfalfa into that,
[00:15:55.020]which is kind of unheard of, plant alfalfa into something
[00:15:57.690]green matte that's shin high, was kind of crazy.
[00:16:01.560]Everybody tells you that that ain't gonna work.
[00:16:03.390]And Nathan said, well I don't know how this is gonna work.
[00:16:06.180]And I said, well we're done now
[00:16:08.157]so we're gonna see if it'll work.
[00:16:11.969]And ended up being a very successful deal.
[00:16:15.270]And it seems to be good.
[00:16:17.700]There's things I would do a little differently.
[00:16:20.018]There was 180 of that that was beans that got,
[00:16:23.850]wheat got planted in September sometime,
[00:16:27.690]and it got way too big.
[00:16:30.060]The stuff that was planted into the corn ground
[00:16:32.531]and later, that ended up being really good
[00:16:35.550]and had a good, successful stand.
[00:16:37.980]And alfalfa appears to have done very well with that.
[00:16:43.200]I also run cows, cow calf, and dabbling in some stalkers,
[00:16:48.117]run some custom cows on some cover crop stuff
[00:16:51.570]with Kyle and those guys.
[00:16:53.700]So dabbling in that area.
[00:16:57.090]Hello, I'm Angela Knuth,
[00:16:58.290]and we farmed just a couple miles up the road from here.
[00:17:01.530]Our soil health journey probably started in 2005
[00:17:04.860]when we moved from full tillage to strip till in our corn
[00:17:09.150]and no-till in our beans.
[00:17:11.940]We did that until 2019,
[00:17:14.910]but we'll get to that.
[00:17:16.034]And then in 2013 we moved to putting in small grains
[00:17:21.810]The university had a milling wheat program,
[00:17:24.210]so we jumped into that.
[00:17:26.400]And that opened up a real big window,
[00:17:29.280]a big opportunity to adventure out with cover crops
[00:17:34.050]because, you know, you harvested in July,
[00:17:35.790]so you've got that big window.
[00:17:36.990]We started out with sorghum Sudan grass,
[00:17:40.170]and we grew that, and cut it, and bailed it off.
[00:17:42.330]So that whole system was a good income system.
[00:17:46.686]And then we moved, as we moved on in in the years
[00:17:50.100]with the wheat, we've went from the sorghum sudan grass
[00:17:56.610]to doing some more studies with the university
[00:17:59.460]with like a three-way mix.
[00:18:01.950]And in 2020 we actually put in a 17 way mix, it was crazy.
[00:18:07.170]And then last year we put in buckwheat after that.
[00:18:11.280]For green cover seed we grew buckwheat seed for it.
[00:18:13.980]And that was a very good rotation for us.
[00:18:19.620]In 2015 we worked with Mary Janowski
[00:18:23.730]and we did a grazing study, and that was very helpful
[00:18:30.120]for us to work with the university
[00:18:31.890]because we had never put in cereal rye before, nervous.
[00:18:36.750]So it was great working with the university
[00:18:38.910]as far as, they set up the trials, they brought in the cows,
[00:18:43.230]took care of the cows.
[00:18:44.250]We basically just had to plant and just observe
[00:18:47.250]how that affected our ground.
[00:18:50.610]And it turned out well.
[00:18:51.904]I actually thought Mary was gonna graze in the fall,
[00:18:55.410]and she said in the spring and I'm like,
[00:18:57.570]my husband's gonna kill me.
[00:18:59.532]'Cause we had to put corn in right after that,
[00:19:02.730]but we did not see a yield drag at all.
[00:19:06.120]And then, so that's our journey.
[00:19:08.460]And then 2019, after the floods,
[00:19:10.470]we went from strip till to all no-till
[00:19:12.900]because we were all planting late that year
[00:19:16.380]and we haven't looked back on that.
[00:19:18.510]So the video I'm gonna show you is just,
[00:19:21.240]so we've transitioned some acres to organic.
[00:19:24.210]That started in 2018.
[00:19:25.530]And we went with alfalfa because we wanted to do
[00:19:29.160]minimum to no-till organic.
[00:19:31.500]Yeah, that's fun.
[00:19:33.990]So the transition years were just alfalfa and then we,
[00:19:39.600]I had heard Rick Clark speak, and he was planting corn,
[00:19:44.250]no-till just planting corn green into living alfalfa.
[00:19:50.970]And he said, I mean it works.
[00:19:52.800]So he said to try it on a few acres, and we put it on 140,
[00:19:56.580]and actually the first two years we got away with it,
[00:20:01.043]but we didn't know how to get out of it
[00:20:02.940]and we had some problems.
[00:20:05.287]So this is, first of all, just a little video.
[00:20:10.530]This is our farm here, just up the road.
[00:20:12.438]And this is our first organic field.
[00:20:15.567]And this is us planting green into the alfalfa.
[00:20:23.219]We didn't really have any openers on that.
[00:20:25.560]We just had the shark tooth,
[00:20:26.940]I think that's what they call the blades there.
[00:20:31.410]And then this is our second organic field.
[00:20:33.567]And this was a planting of beans, cereal rye and sunflowers.
[00:20:38.970]The cereal rye was supposed to help with weed suppression
[00:20:42.450]and the sunflowers were supposed to bring in
[00:20:46.182]beneficial insects to help with insect pressure.
[00:20:51.540]And that was done under the instruction of,
[00:20:57.577]we went out and found consultants.
[00:21:00.150]We didn't do this by ourselves,
[00:21:01.350]'cause we would never have done that by ourselves.
[00:21:04.080]This is my husband and our two sons,
[00:21:06.990]and that just put that in there.
[00:21:08.790]That's the whole operation right there.
[00:21:12.870]Just a little bit, whoops, my bad.
[00:21:16.140]Got it, got it.
[00:21:20.010]This is just a little bit more,
[00:21:21.090]we're gonna show an overview of what the actual row
[00:21:25.200]looks like in planting.
[00:21:28.920]Actually, we were scared of planting into it,
[00:21:31.500]but that turned out to be the easiest part
[00:21:34.110]of the whole process.
[00:21:36.510]That's just what the soil looked like at planting
[00:21:39.480]and that seed to soil contact was pretty good,
[00:21:44.730]and I accidentally put black on the end of the video there,
[00:21:48.930]but we had really good seed soil contact.
[00:21:51.180]And this is the inside of the row, what it looks like
[00:21:53.752]and just kinda showing you that.
[00:21:57.480]And then when the corn got to the V stage, or V1,
[00:22:01.410]we came in, Mednas up the road have a big hanging business
[00:22:06.060]and this is a Crone.
[00:22:07.740]Took 60 foot swaths and cut the alfalfa down.
[00:22:13.170]And they got it done in an hour or so.
[00:22:15.480]We thought about doing it with our own shredder,
[00:22:19.110]but we would've been out there all day, two days.
[00:22:22.800]And there's kind of the stand,
[00:22:25.470]'cause I know you're wondering what kind of stand we got.
[00:22:29.100]And then we would come in and just spread it out
[00:22:32.190]with the header there.
[00:22:35.160]So that's just what it looks like after,
[00:22:37.770]that's the same day that it was shredded.
[00:22:41.700]And that's kind of just an example of the stand
[00:22:44.580]that was out there.
[00:22:45.413]Of course you've got areas in the field that are bad,
[00:22:48.060]and of course I'm not gonna take pictures of those.
[00:22:50.401]So this is, now the race was on,
[00:22:55.020]now it's just a matter of the corn outgrowing the alfalfa.
[00:22:58.380]And just these are different stages of it.
[00:23:02.130]So we were pretty nervous at this point,
[00:23:05.160]'cause it's like the alfalfa was kind of winning.
[00:23:08.550]That's the past pad part.
[00:23:12.300]Yeah, if you wouldn't mind,
[00:23:13.440]this is just a shot of the corn right before,
[00:23:15.960]there it goes, right before pollination.
[00:23:18.720]And the alfalfa is still very much alive and doing its job
[00:23:25.830]And then once we got into to the pollination,
[00:23:30.571]the alfalfa just kind of died down
[00:23:34.020]and it was a little easier to actually walk through finally.
[00:23:38.400]And okay, so that was the first two years we did it.
[00:23:42.360]This is 2022.
[00:23:44.010]We had no exit plan with the alfalfa.
[00:23:47.330]And we had to go to beans or something else,
[00:23:50.220]and I wanted to try some other things.
[00:23:53.280]My husband wanted to try some soybeans and he won.
[00:23:56.640]So we tilled, tilled up the alfalfa.
[00:24:00.000]And then this is a shot of what it looked like in spring.
[00:24:04.350]That is a carpet of mare's tail.
[00:24:11.850]Just a carpet.
[00:24:13.650]And the other mistake that we did was we put
[00:24:16.410]20 tons of manure on there.
[00:24:18.600]So I'm sure that didn't help at all.
[00:24:21.150]So we were dealing with that.
[00:24:22.830]This is a few days after emergence there,
[00:24:25.380]and you can see that that's not looking very good at all,
[00:24:27.840]and it wasn't very good.
[00:24:29.970]We ended up, we planted the first time middle of June,
[00:24:35.400]we rototilled twice and then we replanted
[00:24:40.120]in the latter part of June.
[00:24:43.290]And so that is button weeds.
[00:24:45.857]And that was what greeted us
[00:24:49.230]in the latter part of the season.
[00:24:52.398]Basically we had to have the field walked,
[00:24:56.392]but there was 30 acres that we wouldn't have, I don't know,
[00:25:03.420]I can't get that to go.
[00:25:08.880]There's 30 acres that we just lost.
[00:25:13.080]I mean that's sad.
[00:25:15.000]So we had, again, the Mednas come in with their mowers
[00:25:17.550]just to try to keep the seed amount down
[00:25:21.600]and just mow off the tops,
[00:25:23.550]and that was not fun at all.
[00:25:27.060]And of course you don't farm in a vacuum,
[00:25:31.530]so everybody's like, what are you doing?
[00:25:35.640]So, and that's just another view of it.
[00:25:40.440]So that was 2022 for that one.
[00:25:43.950]Now this is the other field that we planted, the cereal rye,
[00:25:47.820]the sunflower and the beans together.
[00:25:52.980]And the first, that was in 2021 and it worked out great
[00:25:57.780]for the most part.
[00:26:00.630]We did have this walked and we did have Carrie's dad,
[00:26:04.320]call in him every week to tell us to till it up
[00:26:07.440]and start again.
[00:26:09.240]But we held on, we actually even had the adjuster come out
[00:26:13.590]and take a look at it.
[00:26:14.423]But it pulled through and we found out that the sunflowers
[00:26:19.200]don't only attract insects, but people too.
[00:26:23.580]And then this was 2022, again we were gonna go to corn.
[00:26:27.600]We had planted a five-way mix.
[00:26:29.640]We had too much cereal rye in it.
[00:26:32.116]I'm not sure what happened, but again,
[00:26:32.949]our consultant's going, "do not plant corn in there."
[00:26:36.810]And so we drilled soy beans into that
[00:26:42.990]and this is kind of a overview of what it looked like.
[00:26:45.390]So that's the five-way mix.
[00:26:49.260]So we drilled into it standing up,
[00:26:51.000]'cause we were worried about this,
[00:26:52.050]with the seven and a half inch spacing
[00:26:53.700]we were worried about it lodging.
[00:26:55.830]And then we came in and roller crimped it, excuse me.
[00:27:03.000]And we thought we did pretty good.
[00:27:06.210]The problem we had this year, and we're thinking it was,
[00:27:09.780]maybe it was the VNS, I think cereal rye
[00:27:13.740]is supposed to finish pollinating like five to eight days.
[00:27:17.610]It took over two weeks.
[00:27:19.020]And I think it was, we're thinking it was
[00:27:20.640]because of the VNS, that there was so much,
[00:27:23.160]I mean it wasn't pollinating all at the same time,
[00:27:25.320]so we couldn't roller crimp it so it got really late.
[00:27:28.050]But anyway, this is what the beans looked like.
[00:27:30.360]They were at their first trifoliate.
[00:27:34.560]And we thought we did a good job,
[00:27:37.170]but this is further into the season.
[00:27:40.860]There are beans in there and it just,
[00:27:45.990]the foxtail just took over and we lost on that.
[00:27:49.830]We had people asking us what we were growing out there.
[00:27:54.570]So you gotta have exit plans and you gotta have a plan.
[00:27:59.880]And those were two good examples of not having a plan
[00:28:03.240]and not having an exit plan.
[00:28:06.570]We're not afraid of the alfalfa,
[00:28:07.860]but now we're talking with the university about the clovers,
[00:28:11.460]because alfalfa you can't,
[00:28:12.930]I would not recommend it in dryland,
[00:28:15.150]and you can't plant a lot of other species in it.
[00:28:18.150]So beans don't work in it.
[00:28:20.160]But we're hoping that maybe with the clovers
[00:28:24.360]we could do a perennial implant in that.
[00:28:28.140]We'll go ahead and open, keep that mic up here,
[00:28:31.230]we'll pass that around to you four.
[00:28:33.060]How we've formatted this before,
[00:28:35.880]we'll wait for the microphone.
[00:28:37.740]We'll run a microphone around,
[00:28:39.930]wait for that microphone, and then state if the question
[00:28:42.150]is for one of the person on the panel
[00:28:44.400]or if you want all the panelists to answer the question.
[00:28:47.270]Is that, everybody understand that right?
[00:28:50.280]So if you have a targeted question,
[00:28:51.570]make sure you say if it's a panelist
[00:28:52.650]or if it's for the whole panel, state that.
[00:28:55.232]So with that we'll open it up for questions.
[00:28:56.065]This is your time with the panelists.
[00:28:58.650]And if no one has a question, I'll lead us off, too.
[00:29:00.720]I have a question in my pocket if we don't get one
[00:29:05.040]For those of you doing the relay crop rye,
[00:29:08.190]what was your seating rate on the rye
[00:29:10.830]and then also on the soybeans?
[00:29:14.850]For the rye, we try not to seed too heavy.
[00:29:18.540]I want to say it was around 40 pounds,
[00:29:21.960]give or take a little bit, being as it's an old drill.
[00:29:25.440]But you know, for the soybeans I think we stuck
[00:29:28.230]with our standard, about 140, 150,000 plants.
[00:29:32.610]And that particular experiment, it was on a small acreage,
[00:29:38.430]but we planted the rye with a drill at an angle,
[00:29:41.970]and then we planted the soybeans with the drill,
[00:29:44.850]or excuse me, planted the soybeans on 15 inch row spacings
[00:29:49.110]with our planter that has rolling cutters on the front,
[00:29:52.950]and we planted at a separate angle, and we just left to go.
[00:29:56.629]On the beans you were just talking about,
[00:29:59.223]when you interceded into the rye,
[00:30:01.620]what planning date roughly did you go into that standing rye
[00:30:05.220]and decide to get your beans in?
[00:30:09.600]So we planted the beans really early.
[00:30:11.610]It was the first field, I mean end of April.
[00:30:14.070]And we tried to shoot for a longer maturity bean.
[00:30:17.190]So like up in our area,
[00:30:19.530]anywhere from two five to a three one is pretty common.
[00:30:24.630]And this was a three three.
[00:30:27.810]Our thought there was, if we can get that maturity
[00:30:31.950]a little bit longer so that way we can get that rye off
[00:30:34.350]and a little more sunlight when it needs it,
[00:30:36.690]a little later maturity bean.
[00:30:38.790]And that was the one thing that we did notice
[00:30:41.040]that we struggled with was the sunlight.
[00:30:43.380]And beings that the rye was basically shading out
[00:30:45.660]the soybeans, those soybeans had a lot of length
[00:30:49.650]in between the nodes because they were trying to grow
[00:30:51.450]to the sunlight.
[00:30:52.800]And so that's, we definitely learned on that this year.
[00:30:56.131]And so I'm gonna try it next year.
[00:30:59.250]I'm gonna change how I planted the rye.
[00:31:01.650]I planted it and basically in twin rows,
[00:31:03.930]seven and a half inch spacings on 30 inch centers
[00:31:06.780]and then I'll try to plant the soybeans in between that
[00:31:09.840]so that way they're not competing for the sunlight as much.
[00:31:14.490]All right, yes.
[00:31:15.750]For Mrs. Knuth,
[00:31:17.625]what are some advice or tips you would suggest
[00:31:21.090]for those thinking about using a roller crimper
[00:31:23.060]in the future?
[00:31:25.344]Well we actually just bought the roller crimper
[00:31:27.199]last winter, so I'm not sure if I'm qualified to say,
[00:31:33.780]but I would say our problem with the roller crimper
[00:31:38.790]was the fact that, I mean I really think that it was
[00:31:41.760]the VNS and it not maturing fast enough,
[00:31:45.660]and then you've got a husband
[00:31:46.650]that wants to get in the field.
[00:31:48.540]So we didn't wait long enough.
[00:31:51.450]So we put covers on 700 acres and tried rolling those,
[00:31:56.040]and we just went in there too soon and it came back up.
[00:32:01.590]And so we ended up having to spray anyway.
[00:32:03.780]We were trying to get away from the pre-emerge,
[00:32:06.600]and we just shot ourselves in the foot.
[00:32:09.090]So if you're gonna roller crimp,
[00:32:10.620]just from one year experience, I would say don't skimp
[00:32:14.820]on the expense of the cover.
[00:32:17.550]If you're doing rye, make sure it's not a VNS.
[00:32:21.323]That's just our experience.
[00:32:23.280]I'm sure there's plenty of guys that would debate that.
[00:32:27.480]What about on a maintenance standpoint?
[00:32:29.280]Very minimal maintenance?
[00:32:33.960]I was wondering, those sunflowers
[00:32:37.203]that were in with the soybeans,
[00:32:40.292]how did that work at Harvest?
[00:32:43.260]What was the outcome of the sunflower?
[00:32:46.950]Do they go to seed and intermingle with the soybeans or?
[00:32:55.883]They did, and I won't say
[00:32:58.273]the name of the variety right.
[00:32:59.573]It's perdaca, or if somebody can help me with that.
[00:33:02.490]They're actually supposed to shoot out the back,
[00:33:04.680]but I think there's different varieties,
[00:33:06.390]and we might have ordered the wrong one.
[00:33:08.580]So they were in there with us.
[00:33:11.353]It was organic so they had to clean 'em anyway,
[00:33:14.250]so we did get a dock on that,
[00:33:15.630]but it was well worth it.
[00:33:18.120]So yeah, you have to be careful about the variety
[00:33:22.470]that you do that with.
[00:33:25.260]This is for anybody who planted wheat
[00:33:26.820]last year, but as dry as it was,
[00:33:28.350]I'm just kinda curious for anybody
[00:33:29.820]who planted wheat last fall,
[00:33:31.080]what kind of stands you got and when you planted it?
[00:33:34.080]And if it was too dry and didn't germinate,
[00:33:37.050]if it germinates this spring,
[00:33:38.610]is there time to vernalize and produce grain yet or not?
[00:33:42.660]So you're saying this past fall,
[00:33:45.000]this fall of 2022.
[00:33:50.393]We have irrigation so we cheat.
[00:33:53.617]And actually, yeah, the dry land was not that great
[00:33:58.110]but the irrigated, I guess we have irrigation so it works.
[00:34:04.980]We have a mix of dryland
[00:34:06.000]and irrigated dryland farms.
[00:34:08.651]Well, two years ago, this year it won't be a problem,
[00:34:11.430]I don't think.
[00:34:12.270]It's germinated enough.
[00:34:14.880]I don't know how tall it got.
[00:34:16.620]2, 3, 4 inches.
[00:34:18.180]Feels like it'll be enough.
[00:34:19.320]And the only way I'm making that assumption
[00:34:24.360]is from two years ago when we had our ferocious windstorm
[00:34:26.580]right after planting, our fall growth was seriously
[00:34:29.220]next to nothing 'cause it just took it all with it
[00:34:32.730]when the abrasiveness of the soil,
[00:34:35.160]and came back and had 80 plus bushel wheat.
[00:34:38.670]So I don't know anything about wheat,
[00:34:41.820]that's Nathan's department, but it worked that first time
[00:34:44.667]and so I think it'll be fine again this time
[00:34:46.350]for at least us.
[00:34:47.790]So in terms of vernalization,
[00:34:49.320]that wheat just needs to exort water.
[00:34:51.540]That seed just needs to exort water
[00:34:53.250]to start that vernalization process.
[00:34:54.960]You don't even have to see a coleoptile shoot or anything.
[00:34:58.740]So usually you're okay.
[00:35:00.660]As long as that seed's still semi firm
[00:35:02.460]or you have a little bit of a shoot or coleoptile,
[00:35:05.880]that's a good sign.
[00:35:07.200]If it's starting to get soft and mushy,
[00:35:09.780]then that's what it's a little bit of a concern.
[00:35:11.550]So there's some fields I've walked where we'll see,
[00:35:14.313]I've dealt with wheat enough in eastern Nebraska,
[00:35:17.952]I don't make any judgements yet, just hold off
[00:35:21.656]and you have time yet, most of the time,
[00:35:25.200]to make that decision later.
[00:35:26.370]And I do have a really nice one 10000ths of an acre grid
[00:35:31.650]So you can just plop that down,
[00:35:32.790]you don't wanna do a tape measure with wheat
[00:35:34.350]for stand counts.
[00:35:35.670]And if your wheat hasn't come up with,
[00:35:37.380]I've had a lot of wheat that doesn't even emerge
[00:35:40.470]My own field, that was the first year and we had 86 bushel.
[00:35:43.350]As long as you're a little bit more aggressive
[00:35:45.147]with your nitrogen early on
[00:35:47.310]to promote some spring tillering,
[00:35:49.290]you can make up for that.
[00:35:50.123]And the main thing is that you had a good fall seeding rate,
[00:35:53.220]and that's why we always do seeds per acre.
[00:35:55.260]You never do pounds.
[00:35:56.820]Because if you had 28,000 for a corn plant
[00:36:00.900]population you wanted, and you seeded 20,
[00:36:02.588]or you got 20 and you got 40 for actual stand,
[00:36:05.910]you wouldn't be happy, right?
[00:36:07.290]And so that's why we gotta get the seed size german purity
[00:36:09.870]and I have a calculator, you can plug that all in.
[00:36:12.120]So usually I start guys at 1.2 million seeds per acre
[00:36:15.081]at early October, and as we delay planting
[00:36:17.700]we increase that by about 300,000 seeds per acre
[00:36:20.430]all the way up to 1.8.
[00:36:22.290]And that compensates for the lack of of tillering
[00:36:24.990]that you're not getting in the fall,
[00:36:26.220]so you have more main stem heads.
[00:36:27.450]So you make up some of the yield
[00:36:29.100]but you have extra seed costs.
[00:36:30.270]And the audible, for most guys in eastern Nebraska,
[00:36:32.400]they're far enough away from seed that the option is,
[00:36:35.423]you bought the seed,
[00:36:36.630]you thought you were gonna get in right after soybeans.
[00:36:38.670]It ends up being second half of October.
[00:36:40.830]Either go get more seed or plant less acres,
[00:36:43.620]just don't go with your planned seeding rate.
[00:36:46.950]So I've made judgements on wheat before,
[00:36:50.550]and over the past, I started in Kansas
[00:36:53.370]and I just keep dragging my feet until the very end
[00:36:55.860]when you have to make the decision,
[00:36:57.060]'cause it's surprised me quite a bit.
[00:36:59.430]Are you finding that your soybean yields
[00:37:02.100]are staying the same or going up or down
[00:37:04.890]where you're using cover crops?
[00:37:08.640]I guess for us,
[00:37:10.530]typically in the past we plant rye in the fall
[00:37:13.347]and we plant soybeans into it.
[00:37:16.410]In the past we've been grazing that and so,
[00:37:19.574]we're not planting our soybeans until the end of May
[00:37:22.770]because we're grazing as long as we can.
[00:37:24.780]And we're further north and so it takes us a little bit,
[00:37:28.380]it's usually the end of April before we can really
[00:37:30.900]get out there and graze that rye.
[00:37:33.149]And so we are giving up a little bit of soybean yield.
[00:37:36.782]I won't say they're gonna beat our traditional soybeans,
[00:37:39.720]but for what we're gaining in grazing value,
[00:37:42.686]I'd say it's pretty similar.
[00:37:45.180]I mean I think on our traditional year
[00:37:47.280]where we get normal rainfall, whatever normal is,
[00:37:51.077]we can usually be within less than five bushels.
[00:37:59.040]Our experience with that,
[00:38:00.273]kind of twofold.
[00:38:02.340]On the one side we graze our rye early in this fall,
[00:38:06.090]like I said, and then we chop it about,
[00:38:08.948]what in mid-May, late May, maybe more Memorial Day weekend
[00:38:13.320]and we still plant beans into that.
[00:38:15.557]I think I would say for sure two,
[00:38:17.850]maybe three of the four years we've done it
[00:38:20.100]we haven't hardly seen a yield drag at all if any.
[00:38:22.233]But we just, we plant obviously different maturity,
[00:38:26.750]later season in our area,
[00:38:28.800]we're still going 3, 7, 9, 40s occasionally.
[00:38:33.072]And so we haven't seen it a lot.
[00:38:36.510]Now this year was different in 2020,
[00:38:38.831]we planted some regular seasoned beans,
[00:38:42.105]well we planted everything,
[00:38:44.190]basically everything that had cover crop
[00:38:45.177]had a five bushel yield drag.
[00:38:47.100]But I think some of that was associated
[00:38:48.990]with two week later planting delay because of some rain
[00:38:52.380]compared to some earlier season shorter maturity.
[00:38:54.870]I think that was a culmination of things.
[00:38:56.190]So we just hit the wrong rain window
[00:38:57.780]from July 15th to October one with no rain,
[00:39:00.330]just at the prime time for needing it,
[00:39:03.270]just in the wrong spot.
[00:39:04.440]But otherwise in the other experience we haven't hardly,
[00:39:06.720]we haven't seen any yield drag at all,
[00:39:07.920]even after chopping or planting green.
[00:39:11.310]Nathan, this one's for you.
[00:39:12.330]When does that wheat and rye have to imbibe water?
[00:39:14.820]What we planted in October laid in the dust
[00:39:16.980]until it snowed in mid-January
[00:39:18.780]'til it got any moisture on it.
[00:39:21.210]Yeah, usually it's just any point.
[00:39:23.940]You usually need probably 30, 40 days for vernalization.
[00:39:28.710]It depends on the variety.
[00:39:30.420]But it could be absorbing it now.
[00:39:33.083]I've seen it where it's bone dry,
[00:39:35.790]it's dry and then it freezes.
[00:39:37.694]And there's been one year up in South Dakota
[00:39:41.520]where I saw pockets of a field, maybe the size of this room,
[00:39:44.970]in a few pockets where it didn't vernalize
[00:39:46.497]and it stays vegetative, and you'll know pretty fast
[00:39:49.140]'cause you're not gonna have those shoots
[00:39:50.490]or it won't produce heads if it doesn't vernalize.
[00:39:52.467]And actually had that question yesterday,
[00:39:54.030]someone that wanted to do winter rye
[00:39:55.980]planted this April.
[00:39:58.470]So I guess I'm not too concerned about it yet.
[00:40:01.620]So if I'm wrong you can call me back later this year.
[00:40:06.060]So have any of you
[00:40:06.893]used conservation programs, whether it be NRD, NRCS
[00:40:10.950]to kind of help offset some of your risks?
[00:40:13.830]And if you're not, is there something
[00:40:15.930]that's keeping you from doing that?
[00:40:20.760]We're in the process
[00:40:21.690]of figuring that out.
[00:40:23.220]We have applied for CSP stuff,
[00:40:24.900]we haven't done any cost shares.
[00:40:27.158]We're in the process of figuring that out,
[00:40:29.117]'cause we like what we're doing in our experiments
[00:40:31.262]and seeing just to be reimbursed
[00:40:34.440]and help maybe fund some more expensive cover crop mixes
[00:40:38.280]to justify some more extravagant ideas, I guess.
[00:40:45.060]You know, I guess whenever we've
[00:40:46.440]looked into it in the past,
[00:40:47.981]most of our acres have seen a cover crop at some point,
[00:40:51.600]and so, I guess I could be wrong on the qualifications,
[00:40:54.990]but you gotta be pretty new to it.
[00:40:57.000]It's kind of like the carbon markets
[00:40:58.470]with the additionality clause,
[00:41:00.450]and so we haven't really looked into it much.
[00:41:03.120]And it's also for the fact I kind of like doing my own thing
[00:41:06.420]and don't necessarily like following guidelines.
[00:41:11.520]I'm the same as him
[00:41:12.660]as I'm gonna beat my own drum and do what I wanna do
[00:41:15.750]and nobody else needs to tell me how I should do it.
[00:41:18.835]And there's really no insurance policy for alfalfa
[00:41:22.380]to begin with, so it's just easier to do your own thing
[00:41:25.590]and take your own risk at your own will.
[00:41:30.780]We've got sharing seed with NRCS and also PFI,
[00:41:36.570]so that that takes some of the risk out.
[00:41:39.461]And then if you partner with the university and do a study
[00:41:42.930]they help you out too.
[00:41:45.502]On my farm where I have wheat,
[00:41:47.700]I am currently I think fourth year,
[00:41:49.860]fourth year of CSP.
[00:41:52.890]And the dollars helps a lot
[00:41:54.930]when your brother's an ag economist,
[00:41:57.390]so that was the main motivation.
[00:41:59.760]So yeah, it's been fine.
[00:42:01.350]I think one of the barriers is just some of the seed mixes
[00:42:04.340]where we're at, Dodge, Washington,
[00:42:06.360]between corn and soybeans, other than the small grains,
[00:42:08.640]some of the other ones we either dormant seeded
[00:42:10.890]or in the fall haven't really contributed much
[00:42:13.170]to biomass and that's why we really went to wheat,
[00:42:16.560]so we could do more of a forage crop, cover crop.
[00:42:18.690]And then of course I made the mistake
[00:42:20.130]of not putting the goal after wheat,
[00:42:23.370]so I couldn't graze my cover crop after wheat,
[00:42:25.860]because my goal was to minimize compaction in the CSP.
[00:42:29.070]So setting your goals in CSP up front's important.
[00:42:32.400]I guess that's been my experience.
[00:42:36.330]I guess you mentioned the PFI,
[00:42:38.490]was that the Practical Farmers of Iowa?
[00:42:40.530]I did look into that.
[00:42:41.820]I mean there's a couple things out there
[00:42:43.530]that you can apply for, and I might do that
[00:42:46.410]as long as it fits my parameters.
[00:42:47.880]I'm not gonna change what I'm doing to go after $20 an acre,
[00:42:51.900]let's just put it that way.
[00:42:55.380]Yeah Garrett, while you're talking anyway,
[00:42:57.660]when you combined your cereal rye
[00:43:00.150]as opposed to grazing it off and then planting soybeans,
[00:43:02.670]what was your end goal for the rye?
[00:43:04.500]Your own seed or?
[00:43:06.360]Yeah, so that was, there was only 14 acres there
[00:43:09.175]and we got about 30 bushel an acre off of that,
[00:43:13.020]which I was pleased with.
[00:43:15.240]And we basically just kept that fur and we cleaned it
[00:43:17.910]and we used it for our own cover crop seed.
[00:43:19.440]And that was, it happened to work out
[00:43:21.360]that that's all that we needed for the following.
[00:43:24.090]We planted it all out this fall.
[00:43:27.930]Have you changed any of your other
[00:43:29.310]input expenses as you've used more cover crops,
[00:43:32.118]be it chemical or fertilizer?
[00:43:35.700]I mean this year we did pull some handy samples.
[00:43:40.320]And so we might be cutting back on the fertilizer
[00:43:42.510]a little bit, but we haven't changed a lot.
[00:43:46.770]The particular experiment with the relay cropping,
[00:43:50.070]that that did not get a single herbicide pass.
[00:43:53.790]The fertilizer was pretty similar
[00:43:56.700]to our standard soybeans program.
[00:44:00.660]But the thing there is the additional costs that we'd cut
[00:44:04.800]was we did not take the crop insurance,
[00:44:07.680]like multi peril crop insurance.
[00:44:09.559]The last year premiums were pretty high on multi perils
[00:44:13.200]so we did save a little bit there.
[00:44:14.760]I do know the RMA has released a little bit more information
[00:44:19.620]on applying for crop insurance using relay cropping,
[00:44:22.830]but it's kind of like the wheat,
[00:44:24.930]you need previous year's history of doing it well.
[00:44:27.900]Not many of us have that so it's not really worth
[00:44:30.450]going through it.
[00:44:33.120]For the pre-emerge we just went with glyphosate
[00:44:36.090]and didn't have like five or four different products in it.
[00:44:40.110]So in that respect we did save a little bit
[00:44:43.793]on the herbicide.
[00:44:48.450]Probably shouldn't have answered so quickly.
[00:44:50.400]We did do a few times where we tried to reduce
[00:44:54.720]So I say we tried.
[00:44:56.100]And we ended up going back.
[00:44:57.570]The farms where we do a lot of cover crops
[00:44:59.938]also happen to get hog manure applied to 'em out of lagoons.
[00:45:03.540]So by the nature of it, weeds that come around
[00:45:05.820]the edge of the lagoon somehow get mixed into the lagoon
[00:45:08.610]and end up on those fields.
[00:45:10.560]Some years we've, one year we tried,
[00:45:12.660]so from the guys I worked for,
[00:45:14.970]I chopped half of an irrigated farm off
[00:45:17.310]and we tried to roller crimp the other side,
[00:45:19.610]poor timing, just kind of did it blindly,
[00:45:22.950]and we needed to come back with glyphosate.
[00:45:25.068]And since we figured we were making the pass already on,
[00:45:28.830]probably would've been June 15th ish,
[00:45:31.320]June 10th, we figured we ought to just hit it
[00:45:32.703]with Zidua quick, too, 'cause we're making the pass.
[00:45:35.790]We didn't wanna necessarily risk it having Palmer come
[00:45:39.000]at that point anyway so we just made the pass anyway.
[00:45:42.120]So we have tried.
[00:45:43.341]Some of our management hasn't quite worked into that
[00:45:46.475]but we have tried to make those steps,
[00:45:48.390]mostly in the pre-emergence.
[00:45:51.180]I don't want to say we're gonna increase
[00:45:53.152]some of the fertilizer load,
[00:45:54.720]you know 'cause it's kind of opposite of what I just said.
[00:45:56.483]But I do know, when it comes to the rye,
[00:46:00.120]this year we may try putting a little bit
[00:46:02.280]extra fertilizer out there and sometimes,
[00:46:05.592]I would like to try the roller crimping,
[00:46:09.270]and I think if you had a more even stand of rye,
[00:46:12.030]maybe a little extra shot of nitrogen on that rye
[00:46:14.190]in the spring might help it be a little more even,
[00:46:16.770]and maybe actually help you get a better kill,
[00:46:18.840]was just a thought that I had.
[00:46:21.035]I just had kind of a funny one for Angela,
[00:46:24.840]did you enter a photo of your field into any photo contest?
[00:46:30.270]Because it was the most beautiful field in the county.
[00:46:33.900]No I have not, but they're for sale if anybody wants them.
[00:46:38.850]And that's why I work with this farmer group,
[00:46:40.440]folks, right there.
[00:46:45.900]When you seed rye in the fall,
[00:46:49.260]anybody in the panel,
[00:46:50.190]all of you comment on what you're seeding rate would be
[00:46:52.950]if it's a cover crop versus if you're using it for grazing,
[00:46:56.910]what your seeding rate would be for winter rye?
[00:47:01.470]We're doing the winter rye for grazing,
[00:47:03.840]I'm crowding the two bushel mark pretty hard.
[00:47:08.580]We're not grazing right now
[00:47:10.170]but I think we were at 70, sorry, I really don't remember,
[00:47:14.640]70 pounds per acre.
[00:47:17.820]I think typically when we were grazing
[00:47:19.650]we were shooting for upwards to 70 to 80,
[00:47:22.680]or even close to 90.
[00:47:25.170]You know, I think we do have a couple fields,
[00:47:27.360]if we're gonna say we want to plant a plant corn into rye,
[00:47:30.240]which we don't typically do very often,
[00:47:33.000]I'll try to stick that around 30 to 40 pounds an acre.
[00:47:36.600]So I definitely, it kind of varies,
[00:47:38.760]and it might depend on how much rye you have left
[00:47:41.656]what rate ends up being, so.
[00:47:46.080]We try and stick around 75 pounds
[00:47:47.970]if we're grazing it in the fall and silage for forage.
[00:47:53.940]On our cover crop only,
[00:47:55.442]it's kind of whatever the guy sets the drill for,
[00:47:58.050]but it's mostly 50 to 60 pounds,
[00:48:00.720]maybe a little lighter, just because
[00:48:03.660]we're trying to save a few costs
[00:48:04.890]and we're not really trying to suppress
[00:48:06.600]a whole lot of weeds, we're just doing it
[00:48:08.190]for the soil health on that standalone cover crop.
[00:48:11.550]Had a question for Mrs. Knuth,
[00:48:13.050]on that organic corn no-till into alfalfa
[00:48:15.960]year one and year two,
[00:48:17.700]I was curious what the yields were in the end.
[00:48:19.800]And I know some of that yield can be offset
[00:48:23.520]with double or triple the price with organic corn
[00:48:26.580]compared to conventional corn.
[00:48:28.710]I'll defer the actual yield
[00:48:30.540]but the first year, the return on investment,
[00:48:34.269]the yield was lower by the return,
[00:48:36.690]'cause basically we planted it,
[00:48:39.240]we had to pay for the mowing, and then we went in
[00:48:42.090]with two different applications of fish,
[00:48:45.319]four gallons of fish and that was it.
[00:48:48.630]So the return on investment, I mean,
[00:48:51.930]and everybody's about yield, but it's really,
[00:48:56.280]at the end of the day it's how much you make on the field.
[00:49:00.450]So you have to look at that.
[00:49:04.960]I have a question for the panel,
[00:49:05.970]just because I wanna make sure everybody's up to speed
[00:49:08.250]on where we're at for yields on wheat.
[00:49:11.940]I'd love to hear what kind of your range of wheat yields
[00:49:14.550]and maybe what you expected before you started doing wheat.
[00:49:20.460]I guess we've been doing wheat
[00:49:22.230]for probably six years now, and I think our lowest yield
[00:49:26.370]was probably about 70.
[00:49:28.260]And I mean 2021, it was exceptional for everything
[00:49:34.355]in our area and we had, I think our average
[00:49:37.440]was over a hundred bushel wheat.
[00:49:39.480]And so I think we've routinely got over 90, it's pretty,
[00:49:44.070]and that's, I don't say I expect that,
[00:49:46.920]I planned for about 80.
[00:49:48.750]But yeah, I'd like to get 90 every year if I could.
[00:49:53.880]I was talking with Garrett earlier
[00:49:55.020]and I told him I don't like to tell yield data
[00:49:56.940]because I don't know if people are telling
[00:49:58.650]the highest number they saw in the yield monitor
[00:50:00.720]or what when they share it.
[00:50:01.650]But when we started wheat in 2021,
[00:50:05.850]the patchy stand, we thought we were
[00:50:07.770]maybe gonna get 50 bushels, but we hadn't grown wheat
[00:50:10.410]for the guys I worked with for 10 years.
[00:50:12.442]And so we ended up getting, as I recall we had like a 93,
[00:50:18.497]a 91, and an 87 or something on the three farms we did.
[00:50:22.620]So that blew our socks off.
[00:50:23.970]And then one of those farms was the cover crop failure.
[00:50:26.580]The other one was a manure play for hog barns,
[00:50:29.940]and the third one, and some of those were straw bailed off,
[00:50:33.237]and the last one was straw was spread
[00:50:36.180]and we did double crop beans.
[00:50:37.830]And we got an additional 20 bushels of beans
[00:50:39.750]off of that, which was a blessing,
[00:50:42.120]and got a rain at the right time to make that work.
[00:50:45.600]So we kind lucked out there
[00:50:46.530]and that was a super profitable year for that,
[00:50:49.110]'cause that was when beans were coming up.
[00:50:50.674]So we hit that right by luck.
[00:50:52.860]And then this last year we did an irrigated farm,
[00:50:56.340]and I think corner to corner it made close to,
[00:51:00.150]I wanna say 92, 90 maybe, something like that.
[00:51:04.740]But dry land was next to nothing on the double crop beans
[00:51:08.130]that preceded that.
[00:51:09.354]Our double crop beans on the irrigated farm made 20
[00:51:12.660]and we had to irrigate it all summer to get to 20.
[00:51:15.940]And then our dry land farm we had was at 75.
[00:51:18.150]And we attempted some double crop milo, plot twist in there,
[00:51:21.840]and that was a failure but we're getting some grazing value
[00:51:25.320]out of it so we'll see how that works out.
[00:51:28.500]One thing I want to comment,
[00:51:29.970]you know you talked about return on investment
[00:51:31.950]or the revenue that's produced.
[00:51:34.980]This last year we had two varieties of wheat,
[00:51:38.520]and if you wanna look on the pounds
[00:51:41.160]from the grain cart scale, they both did over 90,
[00:51:44.640]but you gotta be careful with wheat
[00:51:46.320]'cause there's some varieties out there
[00:51:47.820]that don't like to thresh very nice
[00:51:50.130]and the grain elevators don't like that.
[00:51:52.590]And so I think I figured,
[00:51:55.218]when we took the actual revenue on the dock
[00:51:58.680]that we took from all that,
[00:52:00.270]I mean it was over a hundred dollars an acre difference
[00:52:04.020]in revenue that we lost because we took the dock
[00:52:06.450]at the elevator.
[00:52:07.530]So there's things you gotta be careful with that as well.
[00:52:10.890]As far as raising wheat goes,
[00:52:14.340]do any of the buyers that you guys sell to
[00:52:17.730]offer a premium for like a "chemical company's",
[00:52:23.550]quote unquote, acre?
[00:52:25.380]Like they won't dock you if you use X products,
[00:52:28.650]things like that,
[00:52:29.727]have you guys had any experience with that?
[00:52:33.597]No, not that I'm aware of.
[00:52:34.430]I mean Nathan would probably know more than we do,
[00:52:36.540]but around here, Scouler Grain in Fremont's
[00:52:39.720]basically where everything goes,
[00:52:40.860]they got a really good basis bid.
[00:52:43.133]And I guess if I'm not aware of anything that they offer.
[00:52:47.220]I haven't heard of any like management practices
[00:52:50.220]that come with the premium other than
[00:52:52.230]they're obviously looking for test weight and protein.
[00:52:54.521]Most people don't know,
[00:52:56.160]but the basis at Scouler in Fremont,
[00:52:58.020]this isn't a plug for Scouler, it's just a reality,
[00:53:00.600]is often 40 cents over Kansas City price.
[00:53:03.060]So the only reason I knew that, I grew up in Fremont
[00:53:05.490]and never knew that until I worked in South Dakota
[00:53:07.320]with wheat, and guys said they were hauling it down.
[00:53:09.840]So that's something I always share,
[00:53:11.580]but even given the basis is often zero,
[00:53:14.187]so it does pay to see what basis is in eastern Nebraska,
[00:53:18.120]and oftentimes it's a lot better
[00:53:19.410]than actually where most wheat's actually grown.
[00:53:22.920]So yeah, that's something that can make
[00:53:24.960]a big marketing difference.
[00:53:26.246]Scouler does provide a protein premium most years,
[00:53:30.240]not every year, because they play that game
[00:53:32.940]like everybody else on protein,
[00:53:34.350]depending on what's happening down south.
[00:53:35.910]If they low yield and high protein
[00:53:37.770]then they don't give as much, or vice versa.
[00:53:40.650]But if you have poor quality wheat,
[00:53:42.060]I always tell people not to go to Schooler,
[00:53:43.500]'cause they dock pretty aggressive,
[00:53:44.760]because it's food grade use
[00:53:46.020]and they go to somebody in the southeast US
[00:53:47.910]on their hundred car trains.
[00:53:50.031]Yeah, for us it's,
[00:53:51.990]well he said South Dakota, and it's well worth our drive.
[00:53:54.360]We're two hours, right at two hours from Fremont.
[00:53:56.471]Our basis is almost 60 under for our local co-op.
[00:54:00.956]So it's a dollar extra just to bring it up here
[00:54:03.390]and we can get two loads a day.
[00:54:04.950]So it pays wage, pays truck,
[00:54:07.710]maybe a little extra gravy on top.
[00:54:09.450]And then if there's any sort of protein,
[00:54:11.559]this is probably not a good plug,
[00:54:13.769]but Kansas State has a interesting basis map on ag manager
[00:54:18.750]for corn, soybeans, wheat and milo.
[00:54:21.720]And so it's kind of interesting,
[00:54:22.800]it's hard to see Fremont in there,
[00:54:23.940]'cause they're so positive on their basis.
[00:54:25.830]But it's kind of interesting to see
[00:54:27.330]the layout of the basis map for wheat,
[00:54:29.220]or all commodities really of those major four.
[00:54:32.640]You can type in Google search,
[00:54:34.417]"Kansas State basis maps" and it'll pop right up.
[00:54:37.350]It's kind of a neat map to look at
[00:54:38.610]when you're looking for some of those expanded markets
[00:54:40.680]that are within trucking range.
[00:54:42.870]Well thanks for your time
[00:54:44.220]this afternoon on the panel.
[00:54:45.360]Thank the panelist again for their time this afternoon.
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