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Our field is in great shape. The plants still have that dark green
color. There are no weeds, or at least very few and I can't see them now.
It's a cloudy day and there's a chance for rain.
This gives us an idea of how many plants per acre we have. After hand thinning plants earlier in the month, we ended up with about 19,000 plants per acre. This is a little lower than I wanted, but we should be okay. You're probably wondering how I came up with that number. Because we are in 30 inch row spacings, if I measure 17 feet, 4 inches of a row, I know that area (30 inches x 17 feet, 4 inches) equals 1,000th of an acre. So, by counting the number of plants in that area and multiplying that number by 1,000 we'll have our plant population. I made several counts across the field and then averaged the counts.
Do you remember when I mentioned that farmers don't like plants too close together or doubles? Well, here's a double and you can see the plants are smaller and a little more spindly. These plants will develop smaller flower heads.
This is something else farmers don't like to see . . . big skips between plants. The plants will compensate for the big skip by producing larger flower heads. But given the choice, farmers would prefer that plants are evenly spaced and they have uniform head size.
This is something farmers like to see. Ladybugs are beneficial insects because they prey on damaging insects. Of course, by the time you find ladybugs the other insects may have already caused their damage. Sunflower fields are magnets for attracting insects! As you might expect not all those insects are ones we like to see.