Sunflowers

(Mark) Hi folks, this is a double crop sunflower field in Saline County,
right on the line with Dickinson County. It’s a 30-acre field that
produced really good 60 bushel wheat and has amazing flowers right now.
Planted June 30th. That’s earlier than we’ve ever planted them, which
accounts for their large height. They look great. They were planted at
28,000 population with 13 gallons of 10-34-O starter fertilizer. And then
on the 17th of July we ran our rolling coulter between the rows and 70
units of nitrogen into the soil. And in the week following that procedure
they just shot inches taller. There’s a slight weed problem. In a scale
from one to ten, with ten being worse, it’s probably a three, not that
bad. Here’s an example of the pigweeds coming. There’s also the standard
issue volunteer wheat coming, which we can control with Select in August.
You can’t let that go because that will create disease in any neighboring
wheat fields. So, this is very important to kill this. We can do it,
although there’s a good flush right now, the weeds are probably stable. We
use BroadAxe as our pre-emerge chemical along with Roundup. And once
again, it’s great to have this crop out here given that we were going to
run over it three or four times spending money anyway. And it’s notable
that last year our double crop sunflower fields were our most profitable
enterprise. It’s been a growing procedure for us to have companion crops
with our double crop sunflowers. This particular field has no companion,
no cover crop. We have three other fields of sunflowers this season, two
of which have companion crops in about half of their given acreages. And
what we’re doing there is putting plenty of legumes down, which work in
companionship with the sunflowers providing nitrogen. And as a matter of
fact we began this year not putting any Bolt fertilizer nitrogen down with
those particular flowers, solely relying on the legumes to provide all of
the nitrogen for those sunflowers. And also within that companion mix is
early flowering domesticated buckwheat which brings in beneficial bees and
wasps, which eliminate the need for the aerial spraying for the head moths
later in the season, first of September. That’s fantastic, we like that a
lot. And then of course in the mix we have sometimes some radishes and
turnips and the sunflowers themselves will help with water penetration and
some of those bulbous plants will help sort of break the ground. We like
that too.
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