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Petersons ready for crops to grow, grow, grow

Bruce Peterson

Bruce Peterson

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Farming was going well at Far-Gaze Farms in early June.

The Rice County operation had their final day of regular spring planting on May 24.

About a 0.7-inch rain fell May 28-30, and another 0.4-inch rain was measured early on June 6.

The gentle rains were appreciated, said Bruce Peterson.

The Petersons had received 10 inches of rain from April into late May. That was too much rain, especially during planting.

These recent gentle rains were a healing balm to the young seedlings.

The farm crew checked corn emergence and picked rocks. Field areas that had been too wet earlier were planted as conditions allowed.

“I wouldn’t say we are done with that,” Bruce said. “We are still monitoring the very last-planted corn.”

Dry urea was broadcast across the cornfields. Before spreading, the Petersons kept a close eye on temperature, wind, and forecasted rainfall. They needed a little rain to work the urea into the soil.

“It’s crucial that we get a fairly calm day to get a uniform spread,” he said. “We try to have product on hand here so that we’re ready to go.”

For soybeans, Bruce figured about 25 percent of the last 40 percent of planted soybeans were a little slow to emerge as of June 6. Wet field conditions had led to soil crusting on high traffic areas and headlands.

“The soybeans are a little slower to pop through, so the rain should help with that,” he said. “Every little bit of rain helps. It’s nice to not get into a real-extended dry pattern.”

His nephew, Tyler Peterson, does most of the spraying for the farm. He had a good start on post-emerge corn herbicide applications that will continue in the week ahead. The main weeds are foxtail, woolly cupgrass, Giant ragweed, lambsquarters and velvet leaf.

“It’s been a good week for spraying – the wind hasn’t been a factor. Ideally, we would like it to be a little warmer, but it also depends on what (herbicide) product you are using,” Bruce said. “It doesn’t seem as though the corn is stressed where Tyler sprayed. We have had good sunlight, so even though it’s been a little cooler, the plants have taken up some energy from the sun. It would be nice if it would warm up.”

There were several other jobs to complete on the farm.

Although the Petersons have hauled all their soybeans, they still have corn to haul to market. There are several end markets for corn nearby – ethanol plants, feed mills, the rail facility at Randolph, Minn., and the river market at Savage, Minn. Prices remain very good for corn, but farmers now must factor in the price of diesel fuel when deciding where to truck their grain. High water levels on the Minnesota River delayed loading corn barges for a few days, and loading soybean barges for couple of weeks. By early June, the water levels dropped enough that barges could again be loaded.

The crew back at the farm was busy putting equipment away. It is amazing how fast the planting season speeds by, but summer was quickly approaching. There was hay to cut in June.

Back at the main farm, Brian and Mary’s modular home had arrived. The two halves of the home were set on its foundation by a giant crane. There was still lots of work to do on the house, including the plumbing. Brian and Mary are waiting on concrete work to pour footings for their custom-built garage.

Bruce had plenty of paperwork that he wanted to get done. There were acreage reports to send to FSA and to the crop insurance provider.

“It’s one of those projects that take some time,” he said. “I don’t like to wait until the middle of July to do it, which is the deadline. I like to get on it before it’s too busy at FSA.”

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