Brandt Farms piglets

Yorkshire/Landrace piglets were farrowed at Brandt Farms on June 19. The females could potentially become replacement gilts for the operation. Danny Brandt shares photos from each new farrowing on the farm as he knows people enjoy seeing piglets on Facebook. It’s his own way of sharing the farm with others.

ADA, Minn. — Norman County skirted most of the rain that fell June 17-19, and that was OK with Danny Brandt. They’d already received 2-plus inches of rain back on June 7-8, bringing an end to the 2020 planting season.

“The crops are healing past that early June storm, and they are really starting to grow,” said Danny on June 22.

The early-planted sugarbeets had reached row closure; the early wheat was headed out. The Brandts applied fungicide (Prosaro) to the wheat on June 21-22, and then they were applying a second application of the herbicide Roundup on the sugarbeets.

They were also applying a strobilurin, Priaxor, to the sugarbeet fields.

“It’s to help with a little more plant health, a little more root health. It’s not considered the first cercospora leafspot spray, but it is just to help prolong the good health of the sugarbeet plants,” he said. The sugar cooperative hopes that the early application will reduce rhizoctonia and/or root rot diseases.

In late June, Danny observed differences showing up in the fields. The two corn varieties were showing their own characteristics. He also noted a compaction layer formed about 4 inches down in a lot of fields this spring. The field tracks were showing up in those areas as light-green corn.

“With the last rain that we got, it’s starting to come out of that,” he said. “It will be interesting to see if the roots punch through that plow pan.”

For soybeans, the wheel tracks were dark green and less affected by iron deficiency chlorosis than the rest of the fields.

“When we try to figure the mystery of IDC, we see the compacted areas where the soybeans are green and it is really interesting. It’s mind-boggling,” he said. “We put Soygreen on all of our soybeans, and we can see every time we run out or flip a switch or a plugged row. That IDC shows up and that is really troublesome.”

As of June 22, he noted that waterhemp was starting to show up. There was also resistant kochia and ragweed, always a fight for growers. The pre-emergent herbicides for soybeans helped hold weed pressure down.

Danny, Rachel and the kids, Hannah, Evan and Gus, were missing the Norman County Fair that was scheduled for June 23-26, 2021. The 2020 fair was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a few activities were going to be held on June 26-27.

“They’re going to have a Fair Food Truck Weekend,” Danny said. Some of the vendors were going to open at the fairgrounds and offer all of the summer fair foods that people love. The Brandts were planning to attend and eat. Tables were set up and spaced apart to follow CDC guidelines.

In addition, Whitney Pittman and Friends planned to provide free entertainment on June 26.

In addition, the Norman County Raceway was offering Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint Car races on June 25.

Evan and Gus were hoping that the fair board would offer bus races, like they have in the past. Danny participated three times in recent years and has done pretty well – either first or second place along with a bus partner. That’s had the kids even more excited for bus races in the future.

As a farmer dad, Danny tries to find fun activities and socialization for his children. Gus goes to daycare two days a week, Hannah had a friend over, and Evan was going to have a couple of friends visit.

“You stop and think about it – it’s been March since they’ve seen any of their friends,” he said. “We’ll try to do something.”

A litter of pigs was farrowed on June 19, and another sow was ready to deliver. Danny intended to use the York/Landrace cross piglets as replacement gilts. The gilts will be crossed with a Duroc boar to produce great tasting pork.

“I had been running Hampshire boars, but they got too big, and I had a couple of just crossbred boars that will fill in,” he concluded.