soybean field

Richard Wilkins, Greenwood, Delaware


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:
May 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.