Our operation has finally returned to normal activities, except when you look at the calendar and remember that this is all being done more than a month late. We began to finally dry out enough to plant more corn approaching June 1. We caught up with spraying the corn that was planted in mid-May just before that, and thankfully the rains kept dancing around us over that following week. We had three good days to get corn in. When it rained in the early morning of June 6, we were 88 percent complete with corn. At that point, we decided our window for corn was closed, and it was time to get started on beans.
One-third of our bean acres this year have a rye cover crop, up from 10 percent last year. It was planted in September, had good growth before winter set in, and has flourished with our continuously wet spring.
We are finally planting into the rye, and some things stand out. First, the weed suppression has been excellent. The field borders have large marestail and giant ragweed, but just inside the edge of the rye the weeds are very small or absent entirely. In some fields we left 90-foot-wide strips without covers to see the difference, and it is striking how large the weeds have grown where no cover exists. Second, as we have dried out, the soil is much looser where the rye is growing. It crumbles in your hand much easier than in clean areas. We are still figuring out seeding timing and termination timing, but so far I see no reason to abandon the effort.
If the weather holds, we should be nearly done with soybean planting around June 18.
Local basis: Corn, -.03; hard red wheat, -.10; soybeans -.65. — Ryan Johnson