Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stick THAT on your soil management plan Natural England!

Day 3 in Sikeston Missouri, which Josh (Neals son in law) reliably informs me was the centre of an MTV programme about the 'capital of crystal meth'. This morning we headed out to Aarons farm - he works with Neal EC scanning to allow the creation of zones for sampling and variable rate spreading. I have colleagues who use it and swear by it but the maps they showed me here seem to change too often for the spreading gear to be able to keep up. Aaron and his EC scanner are pictured. Hank is also in the picture, his wife rides in the rodeos - now that's interesting

We headed out to the fields to see Aarons rice and maize, they grade the fields here with a blade and laser sights to allow flooding for weed control in the rice and to enable furrow irrigation (as pictured between the maize rows) having seen this it's no surprise they need to add so many nutrients, they do put levies (soil banks) at the end to catch the run off but it's still an awesome demonstration of land / soil management. Stick that on your soil management plan Natural england!
THE Woman from the UK (as Aaron calls me) in a rice field. We headed back to the classroom across the bayou via a bridge Luke 'my driver' (found me a luke out here) assures me is quite normal, old wooden sleepers going cross ways with large gaps between them, forded by what appeared to be broken down pallets running lengthways about 6 wide to run across, ummmm.
Today we had 1/2 the course notes to cover in one day, needless to say with Neals vast experience we didn't make it. Only had P and N left to cover - nothing major then! -Still loads of good stuff on micronutrients, S, K etc.
Ending the course meant the beginning of the goodbyes, it's always sad when a bonded group has to split up, so goodbye to Nancy, Grant and Tom who were great fun. Off for a phat steak for the rest of us and a drive by the lavish Kinsey Ag offices, I think they've taken 'keeping overheads low' a bit seriously! We had a great meal with all Neals family and staff which was a great way to finish a great few days -even if the waitress asked me if I was the mother of a 17yr old? (guess this might be the place to get some botox before i return). Anyway, more goodbyes and greatful thanks particularly to John - my buddy at the back of the class, Alan, Hank, the Kinsey family, Chris, Shannon, and plenty of promises to come see us in the UK - I really hope they do.
The final two bonuses were winning the mobile phone sweepstake and grabbing a lift with Winslowe back to St Louis saving the need to catch the luxury Greyhound and the Gangster rap metro!

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