the foodplots have been hard to get going this year. after three years of double the average rainfall it turned around last fall and i keep getting more of the same . the only time it will rain is when you are in the middle of planting but not done yet. when you get done you will get a little rain but then all the kick in the donkeys read end follow up rains fissel out. probably half of my mainstay corn bean plots are doing very good. the others have a failure in the corn componet,with the beans being pretty low density. of these bean plots only the ones that i planted beans in for the fertilizer planning on adding turnips,etc later are what one could consider good population plots. it is lookin like the buckwheat is going to become a usefull tool this year. i have at least 55 to 60 pounds of turnips, shotplot and raddishes. so i still have lots of ammo. i have even planted a little grain sorgham this year. it is to early to tell how it is doing. the silver lining of all this is that it has gotten dry enough to fix a lot of problem areas that were unusable during the wet years. i am just trying to avoid lookin like a deer in the headlights. i will sucede only problem is that the end product will not be what i had planned for in the beginning. when you go thru a year like this you can feel much better about how things are going if you look at your other efforts in a total package. i have been doing a lot of timber stand improvement.i have done a lot of edge work, i burn every year part of my acres, i believe in the power of the backpak sprayer in creating good quality habitat. it is a great tool to attack those species that are keeping down what is beneficial i have restablished quite a bit of native warm season grasses and wildflowers. sorry for the rant, i sometimes need to give myselt a pep talk. failure is not a option hazelvillebucks
It is pretty easy to get depressed when mother nature doesn't cooperate. The old saying "A little timely rain covers a multitude of sins" holds true. Drought is one of the things that helped me make the commitment to minimize tillage over the long haul. On the counter side, we have had lots of timely rain in central VA and an early spring. My unprotected bean corn mix will canopy for the first time this year. Early planting has helped keep early browsing pressure down. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know. I planted 6 fields of the beans/corn mix. Three were tilled (because they needed maintenance lime) and the rest were not. All were fertilized and planted the same with a no-till drill. The tilled fields are doing MUCH better than those that were not tilled.
Lesson Learned: With plenty of rain this year, moisture retention associated with no-till was not needed and with my soils, compression is still an issue and was mitigated by tillage. Until I can build up the OM in my soils sufficiently I'll be tilling my corn and bean fields every couple of years to combat compression.
So, just keep going to the plate and swinging the bat! It will pay off in the long run!