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May 23 To begin with, the grain sorghum was planted into last year's residue of wheat and double-cropped soybeans. The residue levels are pretty high as this is a no-till field. All we do is spray, plant, and harvest. Sometimes we spray more than once for weed control, but we try and minimize our costs of chemicals so that the cropping system is economical.

Last year this field of wheat yielded 45 bushels per acre. We then planted soybeans following the wheat as a double crop. But with the hot and dry summer of 2001, we didn't grow many soybeans, so this field was never harvested. You can see some of the soybean plants still standing. And a few of the bean seeds that did develop have sprouted this spring from where they shattered from the pods and fell to the ground.

Field view of recently planted grain sorghum
May 23, 2002    
  This graph shows daily rainfall over the preceeding three weeks. It also indicates runoff (the negative values in red) which we are measuring using a weir at the edge of the field. So "effective rainfall" will be the total rainfall minus the runoff value. If we arbirtraily use March 1 as the start of the season, then effective precipitation is: 5.4 inches.