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FIELD UPDATE: Varied conditions

Local farmers John Wilken, left, and Tim McGreal chat near a field Friday morning / CIFN photo.

CHATSWORTH – John Wilken’s crops look much better after a three-inch rain fell during a recent June weekend.

“I think if we can get some consistent rains for the rest of the summer, this drought we had here in May and early June probably won’t phase things a bit,” Wilken said.

The area farmer admits the crops still have a long way to go, even though things look promising so far. Wilken farms around 650 acres in the Chatsworth and Cullom areas.

Fellow Chatsworth farmer Tim McGreal’s fields were mainly dry until those heavy early June rains which dumped over three inches on his northern fields and as much as seven inches across the southern end of his operation. McGreal was pleased with the successful planting season which was done in a matter of days this year.

“We planted both crops in eight days. I don’t think we’ve ever done that before,” McGreal said.

One of McGreal’s soybean fields, which was planted April 26, included variable rate seeding through Ag Leader software from his business, Nu-Ag Technology. He found that soybeans respond well to this planting method.

“Everybody talks about the low population new fad of planting 100,000 beans. We found that works really well in certain areas of the field but yet it doesn’t work so well in other areas of the field.”

McGreal bumped the planting population up to 160,000-180,000 in poorer ground to compensate for emergence issues.

Nu-Ag Technology recently took on a new product called AeroVironment drones, which are made by a new publicly-traded company expanding into the agriculture market.

“It’s a fixed wing drone that does a vertical takeoff and landing,” McGreal noted.

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