Buckwheat soybeans

Buckwheat flowers amongst the soybeans in Andy Lacey's field near Trent, S.D., in mid-July. Lacey tried intercropping to attract beneficial insects and build soil health. 

Weather at the Lacey farm has been on the drier side with just .2 of an inch of rain falling in the last week.

Irrigation systems have been running, and crop watcher Andy Lacey has used that opportunity to apply nitrogen, something his soil tests showed was in short supply in some fields. The tests also came up short on carbon material. Lacey found that puzzling because one sample came from his field with eight species of small grains, which are high in carbon.

“I’m learning a few things,” he said.

Small grain harvest is coming up soon. Lacey swathed some down to see how it would do, but he’s waiting another week for the spelt in the eight-way mix to mature.

After harvest, he’ll decide what sort of cover crop mix to put on the small grain fields, which will likely be planted to corn next spring.

“You’re preparing for next year’s cash crop,” he said.

Despite dry days, Lacey said crops are looking green and leaves aren’t curling. They’re getting just enough rain and the sun is not overly hot, he said.

Beekeepers added more hives to Lacey’s property recently. On the cattle side of the operation, they treated two groups in attempt to control flies.

Andy Lacey farms in Moody County, S.D. He gave his report July 28.