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Old 12-08-2009, 04:11 PM
 
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Yes I agree it was a little fuzzy. I will explain...

This year was a crazy year as it started off nice and so in May we laid down our normal application of manure...5000 gallons to the acre. We then tilled and planted, using a little fertilizer in the planter as we always do.

Then two straight months of rain came. I think in June there was 3 days of sun. It was bad. All crops suffered including our corn. The soil was so wet that the manure we laid down had leached completely from the soil, there was yellow streaks in the corn they lacked nitrogen so bad. The only place the corn looked good was in the sags where manure kind of collected. This is unusual as that is typically where the corn grows the least.

So we waited and we fretted watching our already low prices look even worse as without corn, our grain bill is higher. Then a sprayer contractor showed up and mentioned anhydrous ammonia. No one uses it here so for us "anhydrous ammonia" is sprayed. There are no big tanks here and knife units to incorporate it...we spray anhydrous.

So the guy gives us a pitch, a family meeting is called and it is decided, we will try it. Yes it will cost us over 500 a ton, and yes that will sink us deeper in debt, but if it helps the corn then it will be worth it. A whole lot of if's when its been pouring for 2 months and still raining.

So the guy sprays our corn (1260 acres worth) and we are fretting. A few days later the weather breaks and we are flooded with sun. The corn, having just been given a tremendous shot of sunlight and nitrogen shoots into the sky. It was a huge gamble, but we lucked out (by the grace of God) and we end up having the best corn in the county and definitely enough to go all winter and keep our grain bill down. As is we have other farmers begging for the feed we got.

The point is pretty simple: have faith in God and he will take care of you. He will give you the weather you need...

As for the crop insurance, damages can be made if the crop loss is over 50% and there is a "major weather event". I have never heard of only hail and drought...two things we never have here. I know in the past year crop insurance has changed a lot and only 3-4 people in the county have it, but as long as your county FSA applies for a "major weather event", you may be able to make a claim loss. In years past we have made crop insurance claims on cut worms and that was not hail or drought.
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:57 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,679,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plowman View Post
Friend, don't stress yourself.
I was raised that we should expect nothing from the government or anyone else other than to be left alone.
We don't even report our yields to the ASCS and we've never rec'd one dime of subsidy money on any of our crops.
I realize you pay for insurance so some think it's different.
How about if you have a crop in the field and weather makes it so you're unable to get it out? Does the "insurance" cover for that? I assume it must as I have plenty of neighbors who are "BIG" farmers and they sure don't seem to be in any hurry to get their crops out.
There are only 2 reasions why crop farmers------"don't seem to be in any hurry to get their crops out "

#1---grain moisture is still very high

#2---fields are too wet to drive the combine in

Which is it in your area ?
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:47 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,679,656 times
Reputation: 8170
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
Yes I agree it was a little fuzzy. I will explain...

This year was a crazy year as it started off nice and so in May we laid down our normal application of manure...5000 gallons to the acre. We then tilled and planted, using a little fertilizer in the planter as we always do.

Then two straight months of rain came. I think in June there was 3 days of sun. It was bad. All crops suffered including our corn. The soil was so wet that the manure we laid down had leached completely from the soil, there was yellow streaks in the corn they lacked nitrogen so bad. The only place the corn looked good was in the sags where manure kind of collected. This is unusual as that is typically where the corn grows the least.

So we waited and we fretted watching our already low prices look even worse as without corn, our grain bill is higher. Then a sprayer contractor showed up and mentioned anhydrous ammonia. No one uses it here so for us "anhydrous ammonia" is sprayed. There are no big tanks here and knife units to incorporate it...we spray anhydrous.

So the guy gives us a pitch, a family meeting is called and it is decided, we will try it. Yes it will cost us over 500 a ton, and yes that will sink us deeper in debt, but if it helps the corn then it will be worth it. A whole lot of if's when its been pouring for 2 months and still raining.

So the guy sprays our corn (1260 acres worth) and we are fretting. A few days later the weather breaks and we are flooded with sun. The corn, having just been given a tremendous shot of sunlight and nitrogen shoots into the sky. It was a huge gamble, but we lucked out (by the grace of God) and we end up having the best corn in the county and definitely enough to go all winter and keep our grain bill down. As is we have other farmers begging for the feed we got.

The point is pretty simple: have faith in God and he will take care of you. He will give you the weather you need...

As for the crop insurance, damages can be made if the crop loss is over 50% and there is a "major weather event". I have never heard of only hail and drought...two things we never have here. I know in the past year crop insurance has changed a lot and only 3-4 people in the county have it, but as long as your county FSA applies for a "major weather event", you may be able to make a claim loss. In years past we have made crop insurance claims on cut worms and that was not hail or drought.

----" we spray anhydrous--

No you don't as it is impossible

Definitions-------Anhydrous Amonia contains 82% N and is a voaltile gas at atmospheric preasure. Application must be subsurface to avoid immediate volatilization


--------------Liquid Nitrogen fertilizers----Concentrated mixtures of amonian nitrate and urea in water, typically 28-32% nitrogen.



Applying anhydrous amonia and the liquid nitrogen you sprayed bear no resemlance in the way they are handled or the way they are applied or the % of nitrogen in each.


I guess you can call it----" spraying anhydrous amonia"--but it would be as foolish as me calling your sheep---- goats
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:45 PM
 
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Marmac, we use a different product then what you are talking about.

From what I gather, the stuff you are talking about is some of the lowest stuff in regards to nitrogen content, and the stuff we use is closer to the top. I do think you are right in that it is derived from Ammonium Nitrate, but I checked and ammonium nitrate is a derivative of anhydrous ammonia. In fact all synthetic nitrogen products comes from anhydrous ammonia. That is probably why the sprayer guy calls it "spraying anhydrous ammonia", because it is not the low grade stuff you are talking about, it is not urea, nor is it true anhydrous ammonia. He probably says it like he does to let the farmers know exactly what he is using.

Either way I doubt it is something we will do a lot of in the future. This year it worked out well because the offensive rain leached the manure from the ground, but to just boost the nitrogen levels without adding to the organic matter and trace minerals would be rather silly.

I got some soil probiotics that I am going to try next year. It is supposed to help with salts and help break down organic matter faster to help the plant uptake nutrients faster. I am going to test it out on a corn plot next year and see how it fairs compared to the rest of the field. With the soil I got already in the optimum range, I am not sure if it will prove much though. Pretty hard to improve upon perfect.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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Liquid manure is a very good fertilizer.

Here, the farmers have to keep a log on application rates they apply to their fields.
( most likely in Maine also)

The drawback farmers are facing when they try to use liquid manure as their sole fertilizer is if they apply at rates heavy enough to meet their nitrogen needs, they are exceeding the maximum allowed for phosphorus.

Phosphorus is the culptit when liquid manure is applied too heavy.

Some farmers who have applied liquid manure at heavy rates in order to satisfy their nitrogen requirements, had phosphorus in their soil tests that were so excessive regularors got concerned.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:18 AM
 
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Yeah we have to watch that here, but copper and iron are more of a concern because our vast forests we have (90% of the land base) absorb the majority of the phosphorous run off before it reaches bodies of water.

The problem is, cows need copper, but it kills sheep. I have to keep a a careful eye on the manure samples to keep the ppm of copper below 8.

As for liquid versus solid...I don't know any more. They told us years ago that liquid was the way to go as the water on top of the lagoon keeps the nitrogen from escaping since the manure itself settles out to the bottom. Now they are saying that solid is better then liquid because the nitrogen dissipates faster then solid manure once spread. I know liquid smells worse that is for sure.

They now have a manure spreader that injects liquid manure right into the soil in a no-till application, but the machinery is expensive and slow. It may be the way to go in the future but they need to take care of some very tough time constraints before its a real workable implement. It is one of those things, if you are determined to do no-till then you might put up with the hardships to do this manure injection, but to do that instead of simply spraying a field with a truck...I don't know, our corn does a lot better with tilled soil. It is minimum till, but still stilled.

Pretty hard to do something else when you don't hate the way you do it now.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:10 AM
 
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The fastest growing system for handling liquid manure in our area is the " drag hose" method of injecting.

Hose is layed across fields.under highways, and to the designated field and attatched to a tool bar with shanks.

I have seen those hoses run for a few miles.

Most farmers who use it also aren't minimum tillage farmer,but full tillage farmers.

I can see where the disadvantage might be finding a custom applicator to do it in Maine ,as we have so many dairy farmers in my county with manure pits that there is a big demand for their services.

The biggest advantage to the " drag hose" system ( besides saving all the nitrogen by injecting) is no soil compaction during the application process.
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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However, what works best for one farm/one area isn't always what works best someplace else.

Costs also vary from one area of the US to another.
We are fortunate to live in a county where dairy abounds ( mega farms,large farms, and smaller dairy farms)

This ensures we always have dairy suppliers/equipment dealers. custom applicators, custom harvesting . vets, milk processors in our area and have many to choose from due to competition.

The greatest thing we have is a twice a month hay auction 23 miles away where high quality akfalfa hay ( along with straw and grass hay) is auctioned off by the semi loads.

Sometimes there are as many as 180 semi loads at that auction.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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We could never do that here. I have been to MN (a lot) so I can understand why it works there, but here it never could. Our land base is 10% fields, the rest is forest, so we might have a rental farm with 100 acres, then have to pick up and drive 2 miles to another farm and then farm 60 acres, then jump to another farm...well you get the idea. Our furthest field is 35 miles from the farm and it only has 80 acres to it. We consider ourselves lucky to have it. Other farmers are farming even farther away then that just to get good farmland to rent.

So for us, trucking manure just makes sense. I am not saying the drag hose method is bad, we just could never do it. They do have a liquid manure injector now for no-till farming and allows incorporation to minimize nitrogen loss, but it needs a little re-engineering before it is practical. You have a lot of time filling it up, and then you have to go slow across the field. If you go to fast the little aerator plugs end up rotor-tilling the soil instead...and you know dairy farmers, we are always in the highest gear we can get while remaining in the seat. (lol) This is in comparison to taking a truck, pulling into the field, spraying your load and then heading back to the farm 4 minutes later.

The one thing we do knife in here is fish guts due to the smell. That is an excellent fertilizer though. It is hard to get fish guts now ever since the fish factories went to processing the fish onboard and dumping their offal overboard since it is okay to do so in international and federal waters.
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