This year’s planting season is not ideal. We’ve had a lot of rain and the weather is cool. The truth is, we have two choices to plant; corn or beans. The deep dark soil of Iowa and the humid nights and days of summer are well suited to growing bumper crops of corn and beans. Twenty years ago we also planted oats that also made straw for farrowing hogs. Those days are long gone.
Decisions to plant more corn or beans on a farm are based on weather, previous plantings, seed cost and commodity prices. If corn is planted on last year’s bean ground, it will need less nitrogen, as the bean plant deposits nitrogen into the soil. Beans are cheaper to plant as they need less nitrogen and fertilizer than corn. There will be less bushels of beans per acre than a corn crop. Corn seed is double the price of bean seed, but produces more bushels per acre than beans. It all depends on the price per bushel. It’s tricky business to figure out which crop makes more money than another. There are so many variables to consider; seed cost, fertilizer costs, bushels per acre…is your head starting to swim?
When planting corn, starter also has to be laid beside the seed around four inches deep. Starter is made up of potash and phosphorus. Potash is mined all over the world and phosphorus is manufactured and has some nitrogen in it. This starter is exactly what the name denotes, it starts the seed off in a good direction; UP!
Next week I’ll go into detail about how to plant corn…
While you are pondering all of this information, you might want to also consider how much a tiny container of yogurt costs. You might want to make your own Homemade Yogurt! This can be an easy thing to leave on the counter while you’re out in the field, going back and forth, back and forth!
Please, please, please make your homemade yogurt with either 2% or whole milk! It’s an easy recipe and requires little work on your part. You mostly have to just keep track of temperatures. This recipe makes one quart. If you like lots of yogurt, make a gallon’s worth! (Just multiply by four.)
Tools you’ll need:
Saucepan-large enough to accommodate 1 quart of milk
Bowl to mix milk and starter yogurt
2 dish towels
1 quart 2% or whole milk
3 Tablespoons plain yogurt
On the stove constantly whisk the milk to 180 degrees. Remove from heat and let this cool to 115 degrees. Pour the cooled milk into 3 Tablespoons of plain yogurt and whisk until blended. Pour this mixture into a quart jar. Cover the jar in two dish towels and sit on counter for 4-5 hours. It will magically turn into yogurt.
Just put a lid on the quart jar you used to make the yogurt and put it in your refrigerator. Add whatever you like to your yogurt and be proud of how much money you just saved!