PPR Brandt (copy)

Dan and Rachel Brandt with children Hannah, Evan and Gus. Evan placed first in his wrestling bracket back in February.

ADA, Minn. – Rain was expected in Norman County, so Danny Brandt wanted to complete soybean fungicide spraying ahead of that.

“I looked at the radar and I should have about an hour to get done what I need to get done here,” said Danny on July 20. He was multitasking by completing this report for readers at the same time.

The soybeans had reached the R3 stage, so fungicide was going on the heavy canopied soybeans that had lots of vegetation.

“We’ll see if it will help or not,” he said. “We want to keep the soybeans as healthy as we can.”

Fungicides were also sprayed on the sugarbeets for control of Cercospora leaf spot. Glen Brandt handled a lot of that sugarbeet application. While it was sometimes more convenient to purchase an aerial application, Glen and Danny felt they could complete some field scouting from the cab.

“Dad has a great feel for the fields, and he is pretty excited about what is going on in the fields right now,” Danny said. “As always, we’re cautiously optimistic. I’m driving through soybeans now and they are up to the axle on the duals on the tractor.”

The sugarbeet rows had closed, as had all of the crop rows.

There were some very good soybean fields, and a few that were not quite as good, he said. Some Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC) was noted in about 24 rows where Soygreen was not applied. The ortho-ortho EDDHA chelate was considered essential on Brandt Farms.

In addition, 2 inches of rain early in the growing season brought the salts out of the soil, and the high alkali spots haven’t recovered from that. The soils will need to go through the winter freeze and thaw cycles to get the salts under control again.

The corn was very even in mid- to late July, but Danny saw some differences in appearance of tassels in two competitive 83-day hybrids. He finds that aspect of farming interesting to study and understand what causes that.

The Brandts were also preparing to harvest wheat acres. They also had some oats to harvest that were planted on sandy ridge or sandier fields. The oats set up a scenario for soybeans to grow the next year.

“I put in earlier maturing soybeans and try to no-till the sand ridge, come back with a chemical application to kill off the weeds in late August and the stubble just to keep the weeds down,” he said. “That seems to work and hold the moisture for the soybeans the following year.”

In the hog barns, the pigs were doing well. A couple of litters were ready to wean, and another litter was born. The most recent litter is made up of a Hampshire, York and Landrace cross, and the pigs will be raised for butchering later this year.

The Brandts took time to water the pigs down, and to keep the waterers working in the barns because of the hot temperatures. After the pigs were weaned, the sows were moved to the main farm and put in a lot.

“That is one thing nice about not having a lot of pigs right now is the pens are pretty open, so the pigs are nice and spread out,” Danny said.