In order to break disease cycles and keep our hybrid seed crops genetically pure, we have various crops we rotate through our farming system. Some of the crops we produce in our rotations are sweet corn, grain corn, green peas, and winter wheat.
Our second largest crop, hybrid canola is planted in late March to early April on a similar male/female ratio as sunflowers, and harvested in July/August. Canola can be swathed and then thrashed using a pickup header. We only grow canola under center pivot irrigation and like sunflowers we grow several different herbicide tolerant varieties.
Carrots can be planted by seed in late August and over wintered under Remay fabric, then harvested the following September, or stecklings can be transplanted in early spring and harvested that fall. Carrots can be watered with sprinklers during the fall and early spring, but after that they need to be irrigated with furrows or drip tape. Bees are required for pollination.
We produce some spring wheat for seed on our farm. It works well as a rotational crop in our system, helping to break insect and disease cycles.
Precision Seed Production, LLC
Our largest crop in terms of acres. We produce hybrid sunflowers and plant them on a 6 or 8 rows of female by 2 rows of male ratio, during late April to May. Harvest is generally during September, and all sunflower seed is trucked to Precision Seed to be scalped on our shaker table. We grow several different herbicide tolerant varieties of confectionary and oil varieties, under both center pivot irrigation and furrow irrigation.
Produced seed to seed or bulb to seed, onions are difficult to harvest. They must be hand harvested and dried before thrashing or swathed onto paper and allowed to dry before thrashing. Bees are also required to pollinate both hybrid and open pollinated onions.