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Summer At Cornell-Subsurfer and Alfalfa Harvest

A few weeks ago we tested the subsurfer poultry litter injector on a field at the Musgrave Research Farm in Aurora in hopes that we wouldn’t break the prototype.  Good news is, it didn’t break but the bad news is used it doesn’t work too well.  Instead of using the dry poultry litter, we used separated manure solids from a dairy farm just up the road.  When we first added some solids in at the dairy farm and ran it out on the ground it worked great but that was not the case when we tried it in the field a few weeks later.

The video explains a little more about how exactly the injector works, but in brief, the bed is lined with augers that pull the manure forward and send it through a shoot where two discs separate the soil and put the manure near the roots. The separated solids had a little more moisture than the poultry litter that others used which caused a few problems.  It would build up in the shoots and wouldn’t fall down.  After each plot we would have to clean out each shoot so the manure would fall down.  Another problem is that the augers made tunnels through the manure and wouldn’t pull any more of it forward so nothing would come out.  We emptied out the bed of the injector and are trying to dry out the solids a little more and give it another try in a few weeks. We’ll see what happens.

The second cuttings of all our alfalfa trials are in as of last week.  We collected the forage samples we needed at each of the three locations and I am grinding all the samples.  I look in the store room and see the mountain of brown paper bags and I know I’ve got a lot of work to do!

Whats left after 3 days of more field to go!

One of our plots in Valatie had quite a bit of green leafhopper damage.  The green leafhoppers will feed on the stems and underside of leaves on the sap causing those areas to be a lighter color.  There was no sign of leafhopper damage at Coynes field and the alfalfa planted at Aurora was a leafhopper resistant variety and seems to be doing very well.  In no time at all, it will be time for the 3rd cutting and tip samples.







Alfalfa Field in Valatie

Later this week, I will get to take a first look at the soybean field where my project will be taking place.  I will take the 2 hour trip to Delaware County to take stand counts on the soybeans and meet all the other people involved with the project.  I will also be bringing back some initial soil samples to process.  I am still reading up on soybeans and working through the lime module, but I hope to have more for you on the soybeans soon.  Until then, stay cool and pray for some rain!

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