Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hi-Crop Spraying...

Can it be just two short months ago...

...that we had more rain than we knew what to do with...that we wondered if the corn would ever get planted...that we wondered if the seed would ever grow...that we wondered if the sun would ever shine again...that we wondered what kind of summer we'd have?

The rain finally stopped...

The corn was planted...a bit late, but planted...

The sun came out...

The seed grew...most of it, anyway...

...and so did the weeds!

Early in the season, we had all the corn fields sprayed for weeds.  Since then, the corn has been growing quickly, and in most cases is well over our heads. 

Last week we scouted the fields for late emergent weeds.  We walked through the fields enough to get a feel for whether or not weeds were enough of a problem that they needed spraying again.  We were looking primarily for pickle vine, thistles and high grass.  Too many weeds will stunt the growth of the corn.  We saw a little pickle vine and just a few thistles, but some high grass and broad leaf weeds.     *note to self...always wear long sleeves when scouting corn fields which are at least head high, or be prepared to take Benadryl to counteract the itching!

Time to call in the hi-crop sprayer!

This is the only piece of equipment that can get through the tall corn.   I rode along here at home, and I learned a lot! . The clearance underneath the truck is 6'. That's enough, he told me, that occasionally when he's travelling down the road (top speed around 35 mph) that motorcycles sometimes drive right underneath him.  NOT a good idea!!

 I think it looks  like a big grasshopper when it's "wings" are all folded up...

 The width of the sprayer, when his "arms" are extended, is 90 feet...45 feet on each side.  The sprayer is equipped with a GPS which maps each field.  When he gets to the end and turns around, the computer can tell where he has already sprayed.  If there is any overlap of spray on his return path, the individual drop nozzles on his arms automatically turn themselves off, to avoid wasting spray.  Pretty slick, I think!

This is looking directly in front of the sprayer as we went through the first field.  If you look closely, between the rows you can see the drop nozzles.  They are situated along the arms to hang down between the rows of corn and spray the weeds on the ground. 

He told me that a lot of farmers are having the hi crop sprayer in this year, due in part to the wet spring we had.  Some of the weeds are late emerging, and the first spraying just wasn't enough...

A different perspective on a corn field...

 It's good now, almost a week later, to see those weeds slowly dying.  It's just one more thing that Jim has to be on top of, to ensure a good crop of corn to feed those hungry ladies in the barn!


  1. Ok, I always wondered if you could drive under one of those things but didn't think someone would do it and when he is driving down the road to boot!!! That is so dangerous. I bet that just ticks him off. People are so inconsiderate.

    Our weather pattern has changed to really dry now. No sign of rain.

  2. I was kind of thinking the same thing as Mary. What kind of idiot would actually drive underneath there! Good that you can get this sprayed now and have a bumper crop!

  3. I hope some of that grain (mmmm, grain) is going to go to the goatie girls!

  4. Mary and thoughts exactly! He said it's time he never saw them coming up behind him, and it was a loud cycle...then the guy did a wheelie as son as he came underneath! NOT a good idea!!

  5. Alica, your posts are showing me such interesting things about your farming situation. I understand kitchen garden farming, but not the large scale operation you've got going there. Thanks for all the pics and descriptions! Side question: are those 'pickle vines' just wild cukes? or something else entirely? I enjoy cukes so much I'd probably forage for them. LOL

  6. Kris - Thanks, and glad you're enjoying it! :)
    As for the pickle vine question...I really don't know...I've never seen cukes on the vines, just humongous, nasty vines that can grow in a canopy over the corn if left to grow...

  7. Wow I am still visioning the dumb guy on the motorcycle. We have had crazy drivers mix with our equipment not fun. Nice crop. B


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