John Heisdorffer, Keota, Iowa
- 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.
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.