It’s end of June gut-check time on the Hoard's Dairyman Farm, and though we've had more rain than needed, it’s nothing compared to many of you who are reading this.
Knee high by the Fourth of July won't be a problem. Most of the corn got planted in the May 7 to 9 range. Emergence was excellent and plants were well established before the heaviest rains hit. I was counting plant densities last week of around 35,000 plants per acre. All of the corn is planted in twin rows on 30-inch centers. Fortunately, it does not appear at this point we’ve had substantial nitrogen loss. That’s certainly not true for other parts of Wisconsin or other areas of the U.S.
We’ve been fortunate; both our first and second cuttings of alfalfa were harvested without rain damage or delay because of rain. No forage quality numbers yet, but I anticipate they’ll be pretty good. The third cutting is off to a good start, though I did notice headlands and areas with heavy truck traffic were stunted. This is a problem that is common today but was virtually nonexistent not too many years ago. Generally, the traffic damage is masked by the next harvest, though I'm sure there is a yield depression in those areas. Cost of doing business . . . I guess.