CARRINGTON, N.D. – On the Rosenau farm in the eastern region of the state, Tysen and Markie Rosenau are ready for the 2023 planting season after a week of sunny, warmer weather. While temperatures ranged between the 50s and 70s in late April/early May, the forecast called for wet weather.
“We would have started planting, but we are expecting rain this week – five or so days of rain. Once things dry up after this coming rain, all the wheels will be rolling,” Tysen said on May 5.
Meanwhile, Tysen started applying fertilizer the prior week, and he also picked rocks on certain fields.
In his John Deere tractor pulling a pull-type fertilizer spreader, Tysen spread liquid fertilizer throughout the corn fields.
The liquid manure fertilizer Tysen uses is a result of a relationship with a neighboring dairy, and it saves him money on fertilizer inputs.
“All dairy manure (including his neighbor’s) is stored in liquid lagoons, and then they bring a pump in and that floats in the lagoon, and they pump it out,” he said.
Tysen will also top the liquid fertilizer off with some urea, because not all the manure has nitrogen (N) that is readily available. He explained the manure has a 3- to 4-year release on it, which allows them to have fertilizer in the soil not only this spring, but for a few years after.
“When they test the manure, it gives you total pounds of N, and then it also gives you what N is readily available. Then, the other stuff has to break down and convert and that takes time,” he explained. “There might be 300 pounds of N there, but only 120 or 150 available the first year. Then, you might get another 80 or 90 pounds the second year and another 80 or 90 pounds in the third year.”
He added the “nice thing” about synthetic fertilizer is “once you put it down, it’s all available to use. If your plants don't use it, it’s either going down or going up into the atmosphere.”
Tysen has had a working relationship with the dairy for some time. He will custom plant for them and they will sell him liquid manure.
“I do some custom corn planting for the dairy. I will plant 1,000 or a little better than that of their acres for them,” he said. “They will buy 250 acres of my corn and come in and chop the corn for me. We get some liquid manure out of it, and we have that working relationship.”
When spreading the liquid manure, there will be six 8-inch hoses across the field on the back of the applicator to spread the fertilizer.
“After spreading fertilizer, we follow that up with the field cultivator installed with rolling baskets that dig that fertilizer in about 2.5 inches deep,” he said. “The cultivator has 9-inch sweeps on 6-inch spacing, so it overlaps and turns the dirt over, covering up 100 percent of the fertilizer.”
The rolling baskets on the back of the field cultivator help provide a more level seed bed, so Tysen can plant right in behind it if he wants. He tried it out recently in the back of the yard, planting an acre of corn with his DB60 planter, just to test out his equipment and make sure it worked like he wanted.
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“My John Deere DB60 corn planter, which has a 60-foot toolbar with 24 rows, is the one I worked on this winter in the shop,” he said. “I wanted to get it out in the field to make sure that everything was okay. Everything worked well, so I am very happy about that.”
With the rain coming, Tysen doesn’t want to get too far ahead with tillage, because after the soil has been worked, “the top might dry off, but underneath it will stay wet, so then you got to turn around and work it again.”
“Instead of trying to do it now and risk having to have that expense twice, we’ll just hold tight and see what happens here with the rain this weekend and next week, and then we’ll fire up as soon as it’s good to go,” he said.
Once the rain event finishes, Tysen will head to the fields to plant corn. The other crops will be seeded with the 60-foot JD 1890 air seeder.
“I envision we’ll be planting corn, wheat, and soybeans in the same day,” Tysen said. “We don’t have a lot of wheat going in, so then we’ll get it switched over to beans. I will keep a compartment open on my drill so I won’t have any cross contamination.”
Tysen delayed purchasing some of the urea they needed until closer to spring, which ended up being a good move.
“Prices are ticking back up now, so I'm happy that a month ago we bought everything we needed,” he said.
The Rosenaus’ corn seed was purchased last November. They have some Pioneer 86-day and 88-day, DeKalb 89-day and Peterson Farm Seeds 81-day, 84-day, and 87-day. For the corn that is being chopped, they use a 110-day variety.
“With Pioneer, there is a new 86-day out I am trying, and then they have an 88-day. We like to try different corn varieties and maturities to see what works well for our farm and what works well in different years,” Tysen said.
There is still some snow melting on the farm, mostly in the shelterbelt areas. They are concerned that the snow between the trees is running off into the fields.
As Tysen is chair of the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC), he said business has settled now that HB1153 has passed and signed into law.
“Now we’re able to work with the corn growers on getting the contract put in place for funding. We also moved the NDCUC offices across the parking lot from where they were in Fargo,” he said.
On the homefront, the three kids are doing well.
“We’re just wrapping up a year of preschool, and next year there’ll be another one, so we’ll have two in school next year and everything’s going good there. Markie still works part-time for the Carrington clinic,” he said.
With the equipment greased up, they will head out to the fields after once the weather is right.
“We’re ready to go whenever Mother Nature allows,” Tysen concluded.