Saturday, February 9, 2019

February Checkup

I walked the Newman Rd field today.  After a discouraging Fall and Winter it was really nice to see the field.  Despite all the problems last year, we have a good planting and there will be a harvest.  I suspect there will be some bare spots from all the rain and washouts, but there will definitely be a stand of some fantastic and extremely rare heritage wheat.  This field will have the most authentic Turkey Red offered in many years, I believe. 

Wisconsin No 2 Turkey Red.  I planted 3/4 of an acre--maybe we can expect 25 bushels at harvest time???!

I don't think this washout is new, it's just the same one that appeared last October.  It will be fine.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The big washout

The winter wheat was put to bed on September 27.  By the 29th, we were getting regular, large rain events.  Roughly, there were 2" on 30th, 2" on the 1st, and 2" on the 6th.  I lost track after that.  By October 14th I was able to walk to field and see what had happened.

The worst washout went right through the Red May.  This is actually high ground, and fairly flat.  But it was just a ton of rain.

I think this is the Krymka and Goldcoin.

The high spots look pretty good.
This is the oats and peas with red clover at the North end of the field.
Below are some glam shots from October 9th.  Thankfully, a lot of wheat survived. Wish I had a packer, I think that would have saved more of the planting in the low spots.

This is all Vavilov.  It was too wet to walk out and see the WN2.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Newman Field Winter Wheat planting

After waiting the entire summer for good planting conditions, a single day in late September finally presented itself.  The high areas of the field on Newman Road were in very good condition and worked up very nicely.  I only needed 2 acres so I could pick and choose.

The Vavilov plot measures 354.5' x 45.5' and is on the West side.  I drilled in 46 lb 2.8 oz, or about .77 bushels.  It worked out to 2 bushels per acre, which is right on target.

Immediately to the East I put in the Wisconsin No. 2.  This measured 354.5' x 88.5' and it used up 107 lbs of seed, or 1.8 bushels.  It worked out to 2.4 bushels/acre.  I don't know why it ended up so much more per acre than the VTR.  There is no good explanation for the discrepancy, since all the settings were the same.  

I put this year's winter test plot out in the Newman field, since it was the only good soil I had available.  It's in a ten-foot wide strip to the East of the WN2.  I decided to continue growing out the Krymka, Goldcoin, and Red May.  At the South end of this strip I put in single strips of all my Turkey Red strains, so I can see them growing together.  From North to South (photo is facing North), they are:
  • Stephens Turkey Red
  • Ehmke Turkey Red
  • Vavilov Turkey Red
  • Wisconsin No 2
  • Nebraska No 6
  • Montana No 36
To protect the test plot I filled up the hopper with ordinary Ehmke Turkey Red and planted a protective strip around everything.

In the background is the Marquis field from this Spring, which has been planted to oats and peas plus red clover. This was all planted way too late to be much benefit, but there was no possibility of planting it sooner due to the rain.  Basically, I spent the entire summer waiting for the field to be dry enough to work up and plant.  Many fields in our area were not planted this year due to the excessive rain.

I went over the field carefully with the spike tooth harrow to work in the seed and increase soil contact.  I kept it pretty light so as not to contaminate the plantings.

The next day I realized that I really want to see that Early Noe again.  So at the Northeast corner of the entire plot I drilled in about a tiny test planting.  This photo is facing South.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Nebraska No. 6

I threshed out the Nebraska No. 6 wheat from the test plot today.  This is another selection of Turkey Red, created in Nebraska during the early 20th Century.  I did not see anything too interesting and will not be growing it out.

Nice berries.  I got a yield of 206 grams.

Montana No 36

I threshed out the Montana #36 today.  This is a strain of Turkey Red developed for Montana, presumably by the University there.  I grew it out to compare to my other strains of Turkey.  It was not too interesting and I will not be growing it out.  However, I did put a small row in the Newman Rd test plot next to every Turkey that I have.

Nice looking berries, some good plump ones with nice color.  Not as nice as WN2, but nice. Yield was 325 grams, which is good for seed from the archive.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Haynes Bluestem Harvest

The Haynes Bluestem was a real pleasure.  It's the first wheat I harvested this year that was standing up 100%!  Very interesting stalks.  They are arrow-straight and a foot shorter than the winter wheat or even the Red Fifes in the test plot.  The heads, culms, and straw just make a really neat package.  The harvest overall looks a bit "thin" but I'm very impressed with how the berries look and taste.  I also measured the plot and will do a yield calculation after threshing.  Anyhow, I really want to continue growing it out now!

The blue color is long gone by now, but the overall impression is still very distinct.  It's the strongest stalk I've ever worked with, and the heads are heavy and compact.  This is the third year of growing it out.  It should be further along, except that last year the birds really hit it hard.  This year the entire test plot was well covered with hooped bird netting.  What a pleasure to harvest undamaged wheat!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Java Wheat Harvest

The entire test plot harvest has gone quickly without much drama.  Everything is being harvested in the old style, meaning I need to wait a couple weeks before threshing.  This means I have labeled sheaves of wheat stuffed everywhere this week!  I hope to get it threshed soon and have my storage space back.

The Java was productive and healthy.  Unlike the Haynes, it lodged a bit.  The stalk is not as strong as Haynes.  In fact, it feels weak and thin.  The heads are healthy and the berries look and taste great.  I will definitely continue to grow it out.

These are the sheaves from the Winter wheat germination test.  Although it's a pain, I plan on threshing them down and doing a side-by-side comparison of the berries.  It will be very educational.