Preparing for Planting in the Delta

Right now, we’re just getting started after enjoying some time off over the holidays and in January. We’re hitting the ground running, and the guys know when we come back, we’re back wide open.

In 2015, we were a bit below what we like to see; a bit below average. We fared better than some and worse than others. The new farm was less than we had hoped, but we got it pretty much whipped into shape now, so hopefully 2016 will see some changes.

Unpredictable Weather

It was seasonably warm in December — we were at 85 degrees for a lot of it. Our El Niño weather is the exact opposite of what they told us how it was going to be. They said it would be a brutally cold, wet winter, but that hasn’t been the case. It’s been wet, but it’s just now gotten cold.

I don’t think that should affect planting time, because we’re all completely rowed up now and ready to plant. We were able to get lots of work done, and now all we’ve got to do is drop in, though I don’t know what the planting season is going to hold with this weather.

Changes for 2016

The biggest change this year is that we’re going to 30-inch rows. We’re switching from 38s to 30s, mainly to streamline planting. I don’t like a wide row bean, and we saw last year that the twin-row beans did real well. But I think we can do a lot better trying to precision plant this year.

Actually, we’re going to use a lot more prescriptions this year as compared to 2015. Last year we kind of planned our dryland separately, but this year we’re going to do a lot more precision stuff. We’d like to start on some variable rate in our fertilizer applications and some others. One thing we’re sticking with is our liquid P & K program. We had great results with that last year, and we’re going to do it again.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the next week or two and get a bit more hunting in before planting starts.