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News: Ground Work

John Heisdorffer – Keota, Iowa

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm: John grows corn and soybeans and raises 10,000 hogs on his farm south of Keota. He and his wife of 41 years, Deanna, have two daughters and one son. Heisdorffer’s…

Farm: John grows corn and soybeans and raises 10,000 hogs on his farm south of Keota. He and his wife of 41 years, Deanna, have two daughters and one son.

Heisdorffer’s patch of sweet corn is looking good this year and is already tasseling as a result of the ample rain and sunshine in Iowa. He gives away much of his sweet corn crop to family and friends.

Heisdorffer’s patch of sweet corn is looking good this year and is already tasseling as a result of the ample rain and sunshine in Iowa. He gives away much of his sweet corn crop to family and friends.

June 30, 2014—This week, we are starting to spray our beans. We always put down something early for grass and weeds, and that’ll be the final herbicide treatment for the year.

All the rain we’ve had is challenging because the weeds in the soybeans are getting pretty tall. When the weeds are bigger, we have to use more herbicide, but we always try to use as little as possible to reduce herbicide-resistance.

Our goals this week are to make some headway on the bean spraying. This heat and little bit of rain has really got them growing, and of course, it’s got the weeds growing, too. Another goal is to get an electric fence around my sweet corn patch. Otherwise, the raccoons will get it while I’m gone for the American Soybean Association meeting.

The sweet corn looks good; it’s going to be fantastic. We plant a quarter of an acre of Roundup-Ready sweet corn for personal use – it’s just a friends-and-neighbors type thing.

We are also hoping to get some hay made this week, though we don’t have much. I don’t have any cows, but my son does, so we usually mow waterways and bale them. We haven’t been able to do that yet this year, so it’s getting time to get that out of the way.

There’s not too much going on right now. We’re cleaning up equipment and putting that away, like we always do after planting. I have livestock, so I’m looping back around to do the hog chores that I put off for a week or two when planting was going strong.

In the future, we’ll get these beans sprayed, and then we’ll probably come back and spray some of my corn and some of my beans with fungicide.

Photo: Heisdorffer’s patch of sweet corn is looking good this year and is already tasseling as a result of the ample rain and sunshine in Iowa. He gives away much of his sweet corn crop to family and friends.

Jimmy Sneed – Hernando, Mississippi

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm:  Jimmy raises soybeans, corn and wheat in Hernando, Mississippi. He and his wife, Dinah, have two children, Emily and Russ. This is Jimmy’s sixth year as a USB…

Farm:  Jimmy raises soybeans, corn and wheat in Hernando, Mississippi. He and his wife, Dinah, have two children, Emily and Russ. This is Jimmy’s sixth year as a USB director and his second year as the Communications Target Area Coordinator. In addition, Jimmy is a director on the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, a member of the USSEC board and a Farm Bureau member. He has a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University.

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Photo: The weather may be damp, but Sneed’s fields are looking good after a successful post-emerge weed application has been applied.

June 30, 2014—We have received about 4-5 inches in the last week. We are having the wettest June we have had here in Mississippi since 1897 and we will have to re-plant some acres once the rain stops.  So that has been our challenge lately. Our beans do look good though; we got our post-emerge weed control on our early and full-season beans, so we are in the vegetative stage right now. We hope to finish planting our double-crop soybeans later this week, once the ground dries some.

I want our international customers to know that despite the unusual weather we have had so far this growing season, we are still going to produce a reliable crop of U.S. soybeans for them. The moisture we have received so far will help the beans grow faster for the remainder of the season, and we will provide a quality crop for them just like we have done before.

 

 

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Kevin Scott – Valley Springs, South Dakota

Friday, June 27, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm: Kevin grows soybeans and corn on his farm in Valley Springs, South Dakota. He and his wife, Jannell, have six children. Kevin has been on the North Dakota Soybean Council…

Farm: Kevin grows soybeans and corn on his farm in Valley Springs, South Dakota. He and his wife, Jannell, have six children. Kevin has been on the North Dakota Soybean Council for eleven years and both the ASA and USSEC boards for two years.

Despite the wet weather South Dakota has been experiencing, many of Scott's soybean fields are already showing a good stand for the year.

Despite the wet weather South Dakota has been experiencing, many of Scott’s soybean fields are already showing a good stand for the year.

June 25, 2014—I recently returned from Japan, and while I was out of the country we received huge amounts of rain here in South Dakota. Many of my fields were flooded, so this week I am checking the fields to see if any soybean acres can be replanted. We do have a decent stand so far this season and have already applied the pre-emergence for weeds that is working very well—we are finding very few weeds. We do need some sun and warmer temperatures soon to help the crop continue to grow well; we definitely have enough moisture for a while.

I want our international customers to know that, despite the abundant rainfall that many parts of the country has received, U.S. soybean farmers will still produce a great quality crop for them. I know in South Dakota in particular, the crop will be even better that usual overall and we will be able to supply for all of their protein needs.

John Heisdorffer – Keota, Iowa

Friday, June 27, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm: John grows corn and soybeans and raises 10,000 hogs on his farm south of Keota. He and his wife of 41 years, Deanna, have two daughters and one son. Heisdorffer’s…

Farm: John grows corn and soybeans and raises 10,000 hogs on his farm south of Keota. He and his wife of 41 years, Deanna, have two daughters and one son.

Heisdorffer’s beans have been benefitting from the recent rains. They grew about two inches in just two weeks.

Heisdorffer’s beans have been benefitting from the recent rains. They grew about two inches in just two weeks.

June 23, 2014—We aren’t doing anything in the fields this week; it’s a little too damp. Mostly, I’m just mowing weeds and grass and spraying a few weeds around the farmstead. We’re doing all those odds and ends that we let go while we were planting.

One challenge I’m afraid we’ll have in the coming week is that they’re talking about rain coming through for the next four or five days again, and we would like to be able to start spraying our beans. The rain might put a damper on that, but we’ll have to wait and see.

My goals this week are to get everything – all the things that got let go while we were planting – finished. I’ve already started meeting season, but it will get busier with the American Soybean Association (ASA) board meeting and state board meeting. Those types of things are coming up in the next month.

I’ve been thinking about sustainability because I went to the National Biodiesel Board meeting last week. Biodiesel is a pretty sustainable product, and I’m president of the National Biodiesel Foundation so we educate consumers about the benefits of biodiesel including sustainability.

This week surprised me because we got some nice rains, and we didn’t get any of the flooding. That’s really been a plus. If you go to the other end of the state, they have had huge amounts of rain. I was surprised, too, at how the beans took off this week. The corn did, too, but you kind of expect that because corn likes hot, humid weather. Our beans went from 3- or 4-inches tall to 6-inches tall.

Dwain Ford – Kinmundy, Illinois

Monday, June 23, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm:  Dwain and his wife, Melba, own Ford Farms and M&D Seed Company in Kinmundy, Ill., where they produce and market soybeans, corn and wheat. Their family includes…

Farm:  Dwain and his wife, Melba, own Ford Farms and M&D Seed Company in Kinmundy, Ill., where they produce and market soybeans, corn and wheat. Their family includes son, Shannon; his wife, Misty; son, Ryan; his wife, Carrie; and four grandchildren. This is Dwain’s sixth year as a USB Director.

Dwain Ford:

dwain fordThis week I attended the USB Executive Committee meeting and met with executive members of ASA.

In the field, we started harvesting wheat and hope to start double cropping the soybeans once we get all the wheat cut, but that depends on the weather since there’s rain in the forecast for this and next week. The soybeans have a good stand, and most of them are planted in the area. Some farmers have to replant their soybeans though since it rained right after they planted.

We finished spraying the soybeans with herbicides.  Since we don’t have any pressures from insects or diseases, we haven’t had to spray any insecticides or fungicides. Right now, we’re just keeping an eye on the crop and will monitor it throughout the growing season. We’ll likely have to spray herbicides again probably in August because there will be a new flush of weeds that will germinate and emerge.

The challenge right now is the weather conditions. Up in Minnesota and Iowa, they’ve had some severe storms and flash flood warnings. Some farmers in that area have reported four to seven inches of rain. Fortunately we haven’t had that much rain; we’ve had excessive amounts at times but not to that extent. It’s been extremely hot this week in the mid-90s with the heat index over 100 degrees, so the heat and humidity have also been a challenge.

With severe weather, it’s good to know we have the comfort of a diverse soybean-growing region. With soybeans planted in at least 26 states from the Southeast to the North, as far west as Colorado to the Northeast and clear down to Texas, then all over the South and Midwest, we’ll have a reliable supply of soybeans this year for our international customers.

Angela “Annie” Dee – Aliceville, Alabama

Monday, June 23, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm:  Annie grows corn, soybeans, wheat and rye and raises beef cattle with her brother, two sons and niece in Aliceville, Ala. They practice extensive use of cover…

Farm:  Annie grows corn, soybeans, wheat and rye and raises beef cattle with her brother, two sons and niece in Aliceville, Ala. They practice extensive use of cover crops to improve the overall soil health. She and her husband, Ed, have five children, Rachel, Seth, Jesse, Mary and Martha, and five grandchildren. This is Annie’s third year as a USB director.

Annie Dee:

dee farmLast month, we were in the process of harvesting our wheat, so that we could get our double soybean crop planted before it rained and we could avoid a repeat of last year. I’m happy to say we were able to get the double crop soybeans planted just before the rain came. Those soybeans are already starting to come up. We didn’t have many challenges with planting the double crop fields. The ground was just a little moist. Planting soybeans behind the wheat helps us with weed control and builds up the fertility of the soil.

I will spend some time this week in Nashville, Tennessee, at a conference for nurse practitioners, informing them of the health benefits of soy. The work will still continue on our farm though. We also raise cattle, and our main goal of the week is to finish our cattle work for the year. Usually we don’t finish that until July.

Everything is looking really good on our farm. The soybeans are getting ready to bloom, and all of our other crops are at various stages. We’ve been receiving rain on a regular basis and temperatures are staying consistent. The temperatures are in the 90s during the day, but it is cooling off at night.

I would like for our international customers to know that the outlook for our crops is very strong. Right now, it looks like we will have an above average year. We are very optimistic. Of course, the crop condition can always change at a moment’s notice.

Richard Wilkins – Greenwood, Delaware

Sunday, June 15, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm: Richard farms 400 acres of soybeans annually with his wife, Donna, and nephew, Christopher. In addition, he produces 400 acres of corn, 250 acres of wheat, 100 acres…

Farm: Richard farms 400 acres of soybeans annually with his wife, Donna, and nephew, Christopher. In addition, he produces 400 acres of corn, 250 acres of wheat, 100 acres of barley, 200 acres of vegetables, 250 acres of hay and raises 150 head of beef cattle.

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Water from Wilkins’ irrigation system creates a picturesque scene in his pea fields. He’s waiting for the peas to harvest so he can plant corn in that same field.

June 9, 2014—This week, we are side dressing the corn with nitrogen. We’re getting a lot of scattered thunder storms, and that’s usually a good thing. But this morning, we had a pretty good downpour in one area, so there are three farms that we aren’t going to get to side dress today because the soil conditions are too wet. Other than getting the rest of the corn side dressed, we’re hoping that the peas will get mature enough to harvest. We’re checking them every day. The sooner they’re harvested, the sooner we can get the last of the corn planted in the field where the peas are. We’re running out of growing days, and I’m hoping we don’t have to switch the field to an alternative crop. The longer the corn is in the ground, the higher the yield will be. Every day we are delayed in planting that corn means that our pounds of grain will be less. We are also waiting for the barley to get ripe. It wasn’t quite ripe enough to harvest last week, and now the weather is too cloudy and rainy. The weather supposed to be clear this weekend, so we’re hoping to harvest it then. The alfalfa is ready to harvest again, but we need some sunny, dry days to dry the alfalfa hay down. I had a pleasant surprise when I got up on Tuesday morning. I thought we only had a sprinkling of rain overnight, but I looked at the gauge and we had an inch. A farmer’s perfect dream is for it to rain during the night and then the sun to come up and dry everything in the morning. We continue to think about sustainability by using the integrated pest management practices to justify when we need to put a crop protectant on the crop. We’ve also done pre-nitrate side dress testing on the corn fields. The test tells us how much nitrate we have in the soil, and we use that test result to estimate how much nitrogen we want to put on based on our yield goals. What we’re trying to do there is put on just the right amount of nitrogen fertilizer. If we don’t apply too much, we’re spending more money than we have to and were potentially harming the environment and water quality.

Jimmy Sneed – Hernando, Mississippi

Sunday, June 15, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm:  Jimmy raises soybeans, corn and wheat in Hernando, Mississippi. He and his wife, Dinah, have two children, Emily and Russ. This is Jimmy’s sixth year as a USB…

Farm:  Jimmy raises soybeans, corn and wheat in Hernando, Mississippi. He and his wife, Dinah, have two children, Emily and Russ. This is Jimmy’s sixth year as a USB director and his second year as the Communications Target Area Coordinator. In addition, Jimmy is a director on the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, a member of the USSEC board and a Farm Bureau member. He has a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University.

Jimmy Sneed:

sneedRight now, we’re waiting for it to dry out. As soon as it gets dry, we’ll be doing weed control on the soybeans. We also hope to harvest the wheat soon then double crop the beans behind the wheat. The corn is pretty well laid by and all the full season soybeans are planted. Looking ahead, we’ll be busy with double cropping, weed control and watching for pests.

The challenge right now is just getting the work done. We’re trying to be as timely as possible. We’re already running late because of weather.  This year, we’re probably starting about the same time we normally get finished — it’s just one of those years. We’re trying to hustle up to get the wheat cut and finish weed control because when the soybeans start to canopy, it’s hard to reach the ground to spray. We just want some good weather to get the work done.

Like most farmers, I’m trying to produce the highest quality product that I can for our customers. We are constantly improving our sustainability by using state-of-the-art equipment, such as rate control technology when applying herbicides so you don’t use more than you absolutely have to, and GPS for guidance and efficiency to prevent overlaps. We are also looking for new ways to improve our production practices, such as no-till farming. It helps us manage our residue, retain our organic matter and sequester the carbon, which is better for the environment, so it’s a win-win situation using no-till methods.

John Heisdorffer, Keota, Iowa

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm: John grows corn and soybeans and raises 10,000 hogs on his farm south of Keota. He and his wife of 41 years, Deanna, have two daughters and one son. John Heisdorffer:…

Farm: John grows corn and soybeans and raises 10,000 hogs on his farm south of Keota. He and his wife of 41 years, Deanna, have two daughters and one son.

John Heisdorffer:

Heisdorffer is happy to have all of his beans in the ground. Heisdorffer has been planting no-till soybeans, which help keep farming sustainable, since the 1980s.

Heisdorffer is happy to have all of his beans in the ground. Heisdorffer has been planting no-till soybeans, which help keep farming sustainable, since the 1980s.

We actually finished with beans last week and are just doing some spot spraying on the fields now. We had a nice, beautiful rain last night. I was pleasantly surprised that we didn’t get the 5 inches of rain that many were forecasting. It rained all night, and it was just perfect.

My goal for this week is trying to do a second spraying of the corn – this time it will be RoundUp. We also need to get the first corn we planted sprayed before it gets too big.

Up until last night, the challenge was getting some rain. We haven’t had any rain since Mother’s Day, so we we’re really getting dry. Our crops were growing, but not like they do with a nice rain.

I was surprised by several things this week. For one, we have noticed some corn disappearing in the field – it’s just kind of fading away – and we’re not sure what the cause is. We’ve got some agronomists coming out today to look at it.

We’re keeping sustainability in mind by using no-till soybeans. All of my beans are no-till, and we’ve been using no-till beans since the 1980s. It helps the environment and saves us money through a decreased amount of seeds used without decreased yield. With conventional tilling, we would plant 200,000 seeds per acre, but we are now able to plant only 165,000 seeds per acre. The money saved from a decreased seed cost eventually paid for my new planter when I first switched to no-till.

The best management decision we made was to get all the beans in before the rain, which is good because it takes some moisture to get those beans started. With this rain, the crops look beautiful.

 

Dwain Ford, Kinmundy, Illinois

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Dwain Ford finished planting his soybeans this week, which are starting to emerge. Farm:  Dwain and his wife, Melba, own Ford Farms and M&D Seed Company in Kinmundy,…

Dwain Ford finished planting his soybeans this week, which are starting to emerge.

Farm:  Dwain and his wife, Melba, own Ford Farms and M&D Seed Company in Kinmundy, Ill., where they produce and market soybeans, corn and wheat. Their family includes son, Shannon; his wife, Misty; son, Ryan; his wife, Carrie; and four grandchildren. This is Dwain’s sixth year as a USB Director.

Dwain Ford:

DwainFord_060314_1This week we’ve had some quick showers, although we’re still pretty dry and could use some more water. We finished planting all our soybeans about three days ago, which has gone smoothly. Without rain, we were able to plant all the soybeans at once. We checked them today, and you can start to see the rows of beans, so we shouldn’t have to replant any. We have had to replant some of our corn though because of water damage—we just had to patch in some spots.

There are still farmers in my area planting corn, but most are planting soybeans. A few of us have finished planting, but those doing soybeans now are putting them in pretty quickly. Our goal this week is to get all the soybeans sprayed. Also, I’m predicting that we’ll start harvesting wheat within the next two to three weeks. So we’re getting the combine ready, then we’ll start double cropping the soybeans and wheat. We no-till the soybeans into the wheat stubble.

DwainFord_060314_3Overall, it’s been a good week for our soybeans—nothing out of the ordinary. Some farmers in my area have had problems with armyworms on their wheat, but there hasn’t been any damage to the soybeans because they aren’t large enough and haven’t fully emerged. It looks like if everything stays the same and progresses as it should, we’ll have a good start to our soybeans. Most of the weeds have been controlled, so we have the opportunity for a good soybean crop this year.

Dwain is harvesting his wheat in two to three weeks, then will no-till soybeans into the wheat stubble.

Richard Wilkins, Greenwood, Delaware

Monday, June 2, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm: Richard farms 400 acres of soybeans annually with his wife, Donna, and nephew, Christopher. In addition, he produces 400 acres of corn, 250 acres of wheat, 100 acres…

Farm: Richard farms 400 acres of soybeans annually with his wife, Donna, and nephew, Christopher. In addition, he produces 400 acres of corn, 250 acres of wheat, 100 acres of barley, 200 acres of vegetables, 250 acres of hay and raises 150 head of beef cattle.

wilkinsRichard Wilkins — During the past week and over the holiday, we put up silage hay for the cattle. We also finished planting single-crop soybeans and put herbicide treatment on the corn. We used fungicide and insecticide as a preventative for wheat scab. The population of cereal leaf beetles in our wheat had reached the economic threshold, so we had to apply insecticide to prevent the beetles from becoming a problem. Aphid populations were also at the threshold on our peas, so we had to apply insecticide to that crop, too. I’ve had to be quite the multi-tasker.

Our challenges lately have been weather-related. We’ve had two storm systems that came through since my last update. Fortunately for us, they didn’t cause any damage to our farms and fields, but some of our friends had a tornado touch down on their farm, which caused some damage. Another farmer friend had a pivot irrigation system that blew over. Now, we’re stuck in a weather front that’s keeping us from getting hay dried down. It’s unseasonably cool, too. We’re going to plant string beans as soon as the weather cooperates.

The best management decisions we made this week are certainly all of the ones regarding the application of crop protectant materials after our field inspections showed that the pests and conditions were conducive to development of potential problems. This careful monitoring of the fields and waiting until the population counts reached the economic threshold necessary for crop protectant application is one way we incorporate sustainability. Plus, we used the least-intrusive materials that would handle the problem.

For the remainder of this week and into next week, we plan to get string beans planted and the remainder of the first cutting of hay harvested. We also need to get the combine ready for barley harvest.

 

Angela “Annie” Dee, Aliceville, Alabama

Monday, June 2, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm:  Annie grows corn, soybeans, wheat and rye and raises beef cattle with her brother, two sons and niece in Aliceville, Ala. They practice extensive use of cover…

Farm:  Annie grows corn, soybeans, wheat and rye and raises beef cattle with her brother, two sons and niece in Aliceville, Ala. They practice extensive use of cover crops to improve the overall soil health. She and her husband, Ed, have five children, Rachel, Seth, Jesse, Mary and Martha, and five grandchildren. This is Annie’s third year as a USB director.

Annie Dee:

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A closer look at Annie’s single crop soybeans as they start to grow.

A closer look at Annie’s single crop soybeans as they start to grow.

We finished getting our single soybeans planted last week. The weather looks ominous here this week, but we’re going to try to get our combine in the wheat field so we can get that harvested. Then we will plant the double soybean crop behind that. That’s our big goal of the week.

Once we get the wheat harvested, we will use our no-till planter and will plant the soybeans into the wheat stubble. That will help keep the weed pressure down and help preserve the moisture. Leaving the wheat stubble will also build the organic matter. Using that process is beneficial to us in many ways.

Getting the wheat harvested before the rain gets here is probably our biggest challenge this week, though. We had that issue last year. Since it rained continuously once it was time to harvest the wheat, we had to put ruts in the ground to get the wheat out. Because of that, we weren’t able to double crop our soybeans. The ruts here too large and it was too wet to do it. Hopefully we won’t have a repeat of last year.

I would like our international customers to know that, as you can see from the pictures, the soybeans we’ve planted so far are already coming out of the ground and are looking strong and healthy. We’re running full steam ahead!

Jimmy Sneed, Hernando, Mississippi

Friday, May 23, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm:  Jimmy raises soybeans, corn and wheat in Hernando, Mississippi. He and his wife, Dinah, have two children, Emily and Russ. This is Jimmy’s sixth year as a USB…

Farm:  Jimmy raises soybeans, corn and wheat in Hernando, Mississippi. He and his wife, Dinah, have two children, Emily and Russ. This is Jimmy’s sixth year as a USB director and his second year as the Communications Target Area Coordinator. In addition, Jimmy is a director on the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, a member of the USSEC board and a Farm Bureau member. He has a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University.

 

Jimmy Sneed

This week we are trying to finish planting our soybeans. We are about two-thirds finished planting our full season beans, but we have been out of the fields since last Thursday because of rain. As soon as the fields dry out a bit, we will get back in to finish planting. Then, we will get our pre-emerge treatment for weed control out. The weather has been unusually cool here, and we are about two weeks behind what we would call a normal season. But everything is going well, so we are in good shape.

A big focus of ours this year is making sure we are vigilant with our resistant weed program; weed management is a top priority and is always at the front of our minds. We are working hard to produce the highest quality crop that we can for our international customers at the best value possible.

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Kevin Scott – Valley Springs, South Dakota

Thursday, May 22, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm: Kevin grows soybeans and corn on his farm in Valley Springs, South Dakota. He and his wife, Jannell, have six children. Kevin has been on the North Dakota Soybean Council…

Farm: Kevin grows soybeans and corn on his farm in Valley Springs, South Dakota. He and his wife, Jannell, have six children. Kevin has been on the North Dakota Soybean Council for eleven years and both the ASA and USSEC boards for two years.

Kevin Scott

kevin scottThis week, we are finishing up planting our last few acres of soybeans. I am also spraying our soybeans with a pre-emerge herbicide, so we have a lot going on. Surprisingly, the weather has cleared up in the last few weeks, allowing us to get all of our planting done before the end of May, which has been a nice surprise. We are currently in very good shape, but since I just sprayed the pre-emerge spray, we could use more rain in the near future.

I want our international customers to know that U.S. soybean farmers are continuing to go full speed ahead to provide the best quality soybean crop for them. I am looking forward to going to Japan next month to learn more about U.S. soy’s opportunities with international livestock

Dwain Ford – Kinmundy, Illinois

Friday, May 16, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm: Dwain and his wife, Melba, own Ford Farms and M&D Seed Company in Kinmundy, Illinois, where they produce and market soybeans, corn and wheat. Their family includes…

Farm: Dwain and his wife, Melba, own Ford Farms and M&D Seed Company in Kinmundy, Illinois, where they produce and market soybeans, corn and wheat. Their family includes son, Shannon; his wife, Misty; son, Ryan; his wife, Carrie; and four grandchildren. This is Dwain’s sixth year as a USB Director.

Dwain Ford, on his farm in Kinmundy, Illinois, checking corn emergence in the field.

Dwain Ford, on his farm in Kinmundy, Illinois, checking corn emergence in the field.

Dwain Ford:
With good weather in the 80s last week, we were able to finish planting all our corn and are now starting to see the rows. With cooler temperatures, more than two inches of rain since last Friday and more showers in the forecast, our goal is to start planting soybeans by the first part of next week, if the rain stops and the corn emerges alright. Last spring we had 12 inches of rain during the month of May, so we’ve got good soil moisture right now compared to last year. We just hope that if it quits raining, it doesn’t stop altogether because the moisture dissipates pretty quickly from the soil in my area when it gets to be 90 degrees and sunny.

Other than the cool weather and rain, one other challenge is weed control for farmers that didn’t spray last fall or earlier this spring. We sprayed everything last fall, so our fields are looking good. The cool, damp weather may also create an insect problem, or possibly cause some diseases that require fungicides to control.

Even with weather challenges year after year, we’ve proven that we can provide a consistent supply, and we strive to provide international customers with safe and sustainable quality soybeans. Our international marketing staff at USSEC is dedicated to providing expertise to customers around the world, offering technical experience and educational seminars to help them better utilize our U.S. soybeans and soybean products.

Richard Wilkins, Greenwood, Delaware

Monday, May 12, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm: Richard farms 400 acres of soybeans annually with his wife, Donna, and nephew, Christopher. In addition, he produces 400 acres of corn, 250 acres of wheat, 100 acres…

Farm: Richard farms 400 acres of soybeans annually with his wife, Donna, and nephew, Christopher. In addition, he produces 400 acres of corn, 250 acres of wheat, 100 acres of barley, 200 acres of vegetables, 250 acres of hay and raises 150 head of beef cattle.

Richard Wilkins:

wilkinsMay 5, 2014—The past week was quite pleasant and very productive. We had very few machinery breakdowns, and the issues we had were moderate – ones that we could quickly overcome and keep on going. As far as in the agronomic world, our challenges are that we are getting some weed emergence in our pea crop. So we’re going to put some first-emerge herbicide treatment on the green peas for weed control.

We’ve also been on the lookout for the alfalfa weevil, which gets into the alfalfa at this time of the year. Fortunately, they haven’t been at high enough populations to require treatment.  But they can multiply rather quickly, so we have to keep a constant vigil on that crop.

The way we’ve handled the alfalfa weevil this week shows our commitment to sustainability. We closely monitor what the insect populations are in the alfalfa so that we only use the chemical control treatment if we absolutely have to because some beneficial insects also live on that alfalfa. If we have to spray, we not only kill the bad bugs, we also can hurt the populations of the good bugs.

Our goal for this week was to get as much corn planted as we could before I go on a soybean-promoting trade mission to China. We started planting corn a couple weeks ago, and we got about two thirds of our corn crop planted before we were rained out by a big storm. I’m pretty satisfied with the level we achieved.

The best management decisions we made this week are the ones that we made based on corn hybrid placement decisions. I feel pretty good about the hybrids that we selected to be placed on different fields and different field types that we manage. We’re still working hard to produce a bountiful crop for our customers to enjoy this year.

 

John Heisdorffer – Keota, Iowa

Monday, May 12, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm: John grows corn and soybeans and raises 10,000 hogs on his farm south of Keota. He and his wife of 41 years, Deanna, have two daughters and one son. Dirty Jobs –…

Farm: John grows corn and soybeans and raises 10,000 hogs on his farm south of Keota. He and his wife of 41 years, Deanna, have two daughters and one son.

Dirty Jobs - John Heisdorffer braved the southeast Iowa wind this week to get his corn planted. He’s ready to switch to soybeans and continue feeding the world with U.S. soybeans.

Dirty Jobs – John Heisdorffer braved the southeast Iowa wind this week to get his corn planted. He’s ready to switch to soybeans and continue feeding the world with U.S. soybeans.

John Heisdorffer:

We finished planting corn on Saturday evening, and we’ve been mostly selling hogs these past few rainy days. My goals for this week are to get the planter changed over and ready for beans, as the forecast says it should be mostly dry this weekend.

As far as challenges, the soil is so dry that we could hardly see the marker when planting. We have auto-steer on the tractor, but I still use the marker. I’m an old-timer; they’ll convert me some day. The ground has been working nicely, and we haven’t had a hard rain to pack it down.

It’s also been windy, which made loading the planter difficult. The wind never quits; it blows every day. My first corn, which was planted April 23rd or 24th, is up in rows and looking good. My sweet corn, which I always plant first, is also up. Although the ground has gotten hard, we’ve got a good stand with all our corn.

It’s been a good week because we got a lot done. Actually, the week was sort of awesome – even though we did go through a five-hour ordeal to fix the wire harness when our planter and tractor systems weren’t communicating. I think the best management decision I made was to really push planting because we got all the corn in before it started raining.

We’re busy trying to feed our customers, and we’re being sustainable through no-till and minimum tillage practices.

Angela “Annie” Dee – Aliceville, Alabama

Friday, May 9, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm:  Annie grows soybeans, corn, wheat and rye and raises beef cattle with her brother, two sons and niece in Aliceville, Ala. They practice extensive use of cover…

Farm:  Annie grows soybeans, corn, wheat and rye and raises beef cattle with her brother, two sons and niece in Aliceville, Ala. They practice extensive use of cover crops to improve overall soil health. She and her husband, Ed, have five children, Rachel, Seth, Jesse, Mary and Martha, and five grandchildren. This is Annie’s third year as a USB director.

Annie Dee:

Annie Dee in her corn field, where planting should be completed this week.

Annie Dee in her corn field, where planting should be completed this week.

 

Annie Dee poses with her planter in a soybean field, where soybean planting will begin this week.

Annie Dee poses with her planter in a soybean field, where soybean planting will begin this week.

May 5, 2014—We are still experiencing non-stop rain every few days, which has kept up out of the fields and has delayed planting, but we have made progress since last report.

We are very close to having all of our corn planted. Once it is complete, we will immediately begin planting our soybeans. We are hoping to have all of our soybeans in the ground by the end of this week.

One challenge we didn’t anticipate experiencing last week was tornadoes. We had a few blow through the area. We had enough warning, though, that we were able to prepare. We put one planter in the barn and left one in the field, so we would have access to one in case the other was damaged. Fortunately, we were very lucky and our farm did not experience much damage from the storms.

Even though we have been delayed in planting, I would like our international customers to know that we expect a good crop this year. We are still very hopeful for a good year. We just need to get our soybeans planted, which is our main goal the week. We are working with two 16-row planters well into the night to make sure we reach our goal.

Once we get the soybeans planted, they should basically jump out of the ground. The land is warm enough that they should thrive from the very beginning.

Richard Wilkins – Greenwood, Delaware

Monday, May 5, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm: Richard farms 400 acres of soybeans annually with his wife, Donna, and nephew, Christopher. In addition, he produces 400 acres of corn, 250 acres of wheat, 100 acres…

Farm: Richard farms 400 acres of soybeans annually with his wife, Donna, and nephew, Christopher. In addition, he produces 400 acres of corn, 250 acres of wheat, 100 acres of barley, 200 acres of vegetables, 250 acres of hay and raises 150 head of beef cattle.

Richard Wilkins:

wilkinsMay 5, 2014—The past week was quite pleasant and very productive. We had very few machinery breakdowns, and the issues we had were moderate – ones that we could quickly overcome and keep on going. As far as in the agronomic world, our challenges are that we are getting some weed emergence in our pea crop. So we’re going to put some first-emerge herbicide treatment on the green peas for weed control.

We’ve also been on the lookout for the alfalfa weevil, which gets into the alfalfa at this time of the year. Fortunately, they haven’t been at high enough populations to require treatment.  But they can multiply rather quickly, so we have to keep a constant vigil on that crop.

The way we’ve handled the alfalfa weevil this week shows our commitment to sustainability. We closely monitor what the insect populations are in the alfalfa so that we only use the chemical control treatment if we absolutely have to because some beneficial insects also live on that alfalfa. If we have to spray, we not only kill the bad bugs, we also can hurt the populations of the good bugs.

Our goal for this week was to get as much corn planted as we could before I go on a soybean-promoting trade mission to China. We started planting corn a couple weeks ago, and we got about two thirds of our corn crop planted before we were rained out by a big storm. I’m pretty satisfied with the level we achieved.

The best management decisions we made this week are the ones that we made based on corn hybrid placement decisions. I feel pretty good about the hybrids that we selected to be placed on different fields and different field types that we manage. We’re still working hard to produce a bountiful crop for our customers to enjoy this year.

Jimmy Sneed, Hernando, Mississippi

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Category Ground Work 
Farm:  Jimmy raises soybeans, corn and wheat in Hernando, Mississippi. He and his wife, Dinah, have two children, Emily and Russ. This is Jimmy’s sixth year as a USB…

Farm:  Jimmy raises soybeans, corn and wheat in Hernando, Mississippi. He and his wife, Dinah, have two children, Emily and Russ. This is Jimmy’s sixth year as a USB director and his second year as the Communications Target Area Coordinator. In addition, Jimmy is a director on the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, a member of the USSEC board and a Farm Bureau member. He has a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University.

Jimmy recently completed his burndown applications in his soybean fields. He is happy with the results and feels he is a step ahead of any herbicide resistant weeds present in his fields already.

Jimmy recently completed his burndown applications in his soybean fields. He is happy with the results and feels he is a step ahead of any herbicide resistant weeds present in his fields already.

In the last week, the south has experienced severe weather so he is waiting to get back out in his fields. Its optimum soybean planting time, so I hope to begin planting as soon as possible when the ground conditions are right.

We were able to successfully get the burn-down applications out early on our soybean acres. This is important for our weed management strategies for this year to make sure we don’t get behind on managing weeds. Hopefully we will be able to starting planting our soybeans soon, since it is optimum time to plant, and then we can also get a pre-emerge and a post-emerge application on the soybeans as another part of our weed management plan.

Thanks to programs like Take Action, my neighboring farmers and I are aware of the different strategies available for managing herbicide resistant weeds and we can plan our modes of action to manage these weeds in advance. I am pleased with the burn down that we have gotten done, so other than wet conditions right now, we are in great shape for this year’s crop and look forward to providing a high quality supply of U.S. soy to our international customers.