Friday, May 4, 2012

Planting Corn on CRP

We are planting corn into ground that was in the Conservation Reserve Program. Click Here to see an explanation of the program and see the work we were doing last Fall to prepare this land.
Grandpa Sonny is going to use the Phillips Rotary Harrow to break up chunks and smooth the surface. 
Read more about the Phillips Rotary Harrow by visiting their brochure available on the link. Grandpa Sonny is unfolding the harrow as he prepares to begin. 
He and Farmer Fred agree that he will probably need  to go over the ground more than once.  
Twenty years of CRP means a grass mixture was planted and grew here undisturbed. During that period, we clipped and occasionally hayed the ground for weed control, but the roots mass in the top soil is a tight bundle to break down. 
The Case IH 8950 is up to the task of pulling the Rotary Harrow through the field. 
The process is working and you can see a bit of dust being raised in the process. 
After two passes with the Phillips Rotary Harrow and a thorough going over with the Salford RTS, the ground looks ready to seed. The organic matter from the grasses are good for the soil, but the soil test indicates that the ground is in need of fertilization.
Farmer Fred uses the Concord Air Drill to apply fertilizer to the ground. This pass provides another tillage pass to smooth the field before planting. 
The seed bed is finally adequate. Not great, but with attention, it will improve as the seasons move progress.
Remember that the grasses of the plains were originally turned by walking plow pulled by ox and driven by men and women. The recovery process on CRP ground makes me grateful to the American pioneers for their tenacity in turning the plains of GriggsDakota into a part of the world's breadbasket. Their patience and fortitude is humbling. 
Bill follows with our Case IH 1200 Planter to plant the corn in GriggsDakota. It will be done 16 rows per pass.
There has been a few little showers this week and lots of gorgeous sky. Hope you find fresh air this weekend. 


  1. Wow! I had never thought of all the work we put in to that CRP in comparison to the work they did to prepare the ground with oxen and horses......humbling. With our advanced methods it takes many man hours to be ready to work. I can't imagine what it was like in the homestead stage of United States.

    -Farmhand Robbie

  2. Great post walking through the process of returning CRP to productive farm ground. Agree with Farmhand Robbie - humbling to think how hard those who came before us worked to get us here today.