Hey everyone! I'm Ashlyn Pitman, I am the Intern at HSC for this summer.
This fall I will be starting my senior year at K-State (Go Cats!) to finish out my bachelors in Animal Science! -- and no, I don't plan on going to vet school.
I grew up on a small farm in Berryton, KS. For as long as I can remember my dad has been drilling my brother and I with questions about the Ag industry as his own way of preparing us for future jobs in the Ag world -- I guess that's why I chose to follow his footsteps a bit.
My Fiancé, CJ, and I got engaged in December! We spend most of our time outside of work going down to a lake or finding trails with my golden retriever puppy. When I'm home this summer I'll be riding my horse, seeing friends who are home and trying my best to plan a wedding!
I've already become familiar with some of you at HSC, and hopefully will get to know the rest of you soon! I'm excited to be here this summer and learn more about life at HSC, as well as helping some of our local kids learn more about gardening and our food system!
These past two weeks I have been traveling to a couple different states. The first state I traveled to was Nebraska. I was in York, Nebraska completing the wrap up session of my internship with Winfield United. The first day we traveled to Waco, Nebraska to a Winfield United Answer Plot. They had all kinds of different trials including population stands, planting depths, nutrient packages and the new hot topic of the dicamba tolerant soybeans. The second day of the session we traveled to Waco, Nebraska once again and we had the opportunity to travel the Dekalb Seed Corn facility. It was a very large facility where we were required to wear a hard hat and goggles at all times. It was a very impressive process to watch throughout every part of the factory.
The week after the trip to Nebraska I had the opportunity to compete on Kansas State University's Weed Science Competition Team. The contest was held in Ames, Iowa at Iowa State University's agronomy learning farm. There were five different parts in the contest. A written sprayer calibration worksheet, weed identification, herbicide symptomology, team sprayer calibration portion and a real life scenario farmer problem. The contest was very fun and a great learning experience. I hope that I can compete again next year.
This past week was another eventful one. The HSC Range and Pasture Project is going well with another pasture that was treated with GrazonNext HL for the project. The pasture is in excellent condition to start with but needed to be treated due to a minor problem with iron weeds and to many native prairie plants. We left an untreated strip so that it will be clear to see the difference that using a product like GrazonNext HL is and how beneficial it will be in the long run for weed control. I have also been helping Kyle unload brome seed this week. I have one of the test plots signed and it's looking good with a great stand of soybeans.This past week I also turned the manure pile down by the garden so that it can dry out a little better. In the near future I will also be making another trip to York, Nebraska to visit with Winfield United again.
This past week was a short one due to the 4th of July holiday. However, I was working on my Range and Pasture Project taking different photos of pasture ground we are doing treatments on. I am doing a trial with a product called Pasture Gard HL. We sprayed most of the field and left an untreated strip so that we can take side by side photos of how the product works. At the very end of this week I finished up helping Kyle most of the day in the yard along with scouting fields. I learned this week that it is important to learn how all the different parts of a business work and how that is vital to its success. Every side of the business is very important in its own way and without one branch the whole business would not run properly. This last week was also the last day of Garden Camp.The kids learned about the different types of soil and how to do a soil test. Then we finished the day at the park. I hope the kids learned a lot of new things and had a good time.
As always it is very busy here at Harveyville Seed Company. This past week Debbie Morton the Range and Pasture Specialist came to town to look at a few different pastures around the area. We went to a growers ranch and he had been treating multiple different cedar trees in his pastures with multiple different types of treatments. He had been treating some of the cedar trees with Tordon soil applied. He was also treating some cedar trees with a basal treatment of Tordon. It was very interesting to see what different types of treatments killed the cedar trees better. This taught me that experimentation is always a good thing. It is good to figure out what strategy is going to work best in whatever situation you are in. The grower had a large amount of dead cedar trees and it was interesting to see that with accurate soil applied treatments of Tordon you could kill the cedar trees but keep from killing the trees that he wanted. In my opinion I think he had a very good kill on all of the cedar trees he had treated but I do believe the soil applied treatment killed the cedar trees faster than the basal treatments.
Garden Camp went well this week, the kids did lots of different activities. They learned all about how the process of how pollination works. They also learned all about how herbicides worked and what the meaning of round up ready was. The kids picked around eight freezer bags full of beans along with eight or nine yellow squash. I hope the kids have been learning a lot and the last day of garden camp is next Wednesday July 5th.
Another busy week has gone by. I did many different things this past week and learned a lot of new things. I was able to go and talk to different growers about some of the pastures they own. I have been looking at a number of different pastures lately after talking to the grower to see what the problem weed species are in that pasture. There was also another successful week of garden camp along with mowing around some of the different test plots. I learned that there always seems to be a more efficient way to communicate with someone. I was having trouble getting ahold of people this last week with just an email. I learned that it is much easier to pick up the phone and give someone a call rather than try to email back and forth. The garden is doing very well with a good amount of lettuce, potatoes, beets, and beans so far. The grass weeds are being hard to control in the garden. The weeds were sprayed but hopefully I can get a grasp on killing them.
This past week has been very busy here at Harveyville Seed Company. I learned another important lesson this week and that is to be quick on your feet. Things here can change in an instant. You can be doing one task one minute and then be doing something completely different the next. For example, Thursday the 8th I was meeting with Debbie Morton the Dow Agro Range and Pasture specialist. We were scouting growers pasture ground, then immediately after that I found out that I was going to help plant a test plot of Credenz soybeans off of highways 56 and 99. On Wednesday the 7th I had just got done with garden camp and then I found out that I was going to be picking up some chemicals from Hillsboro, Kansas unexpectedly. Being quick on your feet is a good thing and a skill everyone should have to an extent. I enjoy being busy and not knowing what task I will run into next. Garden camp was another success this week with the kids learning about root structures and why plants do some of the things they do. The kids also were able to harvest lots of lettuce this week, along with beets. A big thank you to Mary Bannwarth with garden camp on Wednesday she was a huge help.
In the past month the Wabaunsee county Kansas area has received in the neighborhood of anywhere from 3 to 8 inches of rainfall according to the National Weather Service. These large amounts of rainfall are causing headaches for growers around the area because all the moisture is interfering with planting dates of soybeans and corn or causing problems with soybeans or corn that is already in the ground. The growing season so far this year has been very cool and wet. This being said the conditions are favoring a season that is going to be high in fungi.
Along with high chances of fungi, saturated or flooded soils can cause inhibited root growth and inhibited leaf expansion in corn. Generally speaking, in flooded or highly saturated soils yellowing of the leaves in corn plants is not unusual and is a symptom of slowing photosynthesis due to lack of oxygen in the flooded soil. The lack of root growth usually is not a problem immediately following the flooding, the biggest problem we see is in the lack of root growth when the corn plant becomes larger and it does not have a well developed root system later in the growing season. When the plant is larger and is suffering from a stunted root system it can decrease nutrient and water uptake in critical parts of the season where that uptake is needed. Along with more lodging of the corn in high winds or bad weather can also be an issue. Usually, roots that are not fully developed in the mid to late growing season will have some sort of drought stress if conditions become dry due to the fact that the roots cannot move throughout the whole soil profile to uptake water. Generally, a young corn plant can withstand being submerged in water for up to 48 hours. However, corn that is before the V6 growth stage and still has a growing point under the ground or close to the soil surface can last approximately 4 days in flooded fields but after that 4 days there will be season long impacts on the productivity of the corn crop. If the corn is not submerged for over 48 hours then the chances of the crop survival increase. Temperatures have a large influence on how harmful the flood waters can be to the corn crop. Cooler water has more oxygen than warmer flood waters. Therefore, if the conditions are warm during the flooding then the corn crop will have higher chances of long term damage. Silt deposition can inhibit the recovery of flooded corn plants. Large amounts of silt in the whorl and on the leaves will inhibit photosynthesis, and can promote disease. Remember to scout regularly and check for these problems in your corn crop.
Ciampitti, Ignacio, Kraig Roozeboom, and Doug Jardine. "Kansas State University." K-State Agronomy : Effect of Water-logged Soils on Corn Growth and Yield. Kansas State University, 13 June 2014. Web. 22 May 2017.
Last week a truck load of compost was picked for use in the garden thanks to good connections with K State, a big thank you to the staff at K State's dairy unit for their help. I learned in retrieving this manure that communication is important. It was a challenge to get a time set up with K State to pick this compost up due to both of our busy schedules. K State ended up giving us several different types of compost some being dry and other types not so dry but over time will be good for use in Garden Camp. We ended up having to shovel a good amount of the compost out of the truck because it was so wet and would not come out of the truck. Thankfully Matt was there to help or it would of taken me all night to unload bymyself. However, the compost worked out for Garden Camp regardless of wet or dry compost.This taught me that communication is key when dealing with situations like that.
Garden camp week one was a good turnout. There are around thirteen kids enrolled in the camp for this summer. We started camp by going over everything that is planted in the garden. The kids harvested and then planted radishes along with tomatoes and beans. The kids also learned about how the process of photosynthesis works. All of the kids got to plant there own personal container gardens that they will be able to take home at the end of camp. Then, the kids played a game towards the end of camp. The beginning of this week was busy getting the garden ready for camp. After garden camp I have been out in the field looking for weeds. I recently took some field samples of common waterhemp out of a field. My favorite part of this week was when I got the opportunity to scout several different fields. I was going to these fields to dig up common waterhemp to test for resistance.
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