Innovations in the Field

Sponsored by BASF

Welcome to the 2018 BASF Innovations in the Field. This yearlong program is designed to showcase four progressive farmers and their use of technology and agronomic practices to enhance their return on investment and profit potential. Check back each week for new blogs and videos from the farmers as they share their experiences and crop management decisions throughout the growing season. Here is a brief overview of our four participants.

Dale & Ethan Zoerb

Mason City, Nebraska

Dale & Ethan Zoerb

Blog Entry #3: April 16, 2018

Since I last posted we have been busy putting finishing touches on the planters. We still have one to go through, but will possibly be getting a tractor off a strip till rig soon to put on it.


This looked clear when I took it but it is our plumbing for the furrow jets on right and the ability to switch between 3x2x2 Martins and our old way off the back of the planter.

This is how our 24 row is set up.


I got the privilege late last month to spend three days in my parents' barn all by myself in quarantine. Because I didn't want to get my family sick with the influenza A and strep throat that I had come down with.


I also have spent a good amount of time this past month working on planting prescriptions.

This is an example of a soybean prescription I wrote that is variable rate from elevation only. There is a center pivot on this field and one in the bottom left corner as well. The red is the bottoms of the field at 130,000, yellow are the side hills and smaller hills at 145,000, and green are the tops of hills and steeper parts at 160,000.


We are starting to have problems with white mold here so going thinner in the bottoms may help with that. And at thicker populations, the beans in the bottoms tend to get tall and fall over costing us yield in those areas. We are looking to mitigate this. Last year we flat rated populations at 160-170,000.

We have also been trying to get into the field and strip till when there isn't snow on the ground. I'm typing this on April 11 and we are due 2 to 4 inches this weekend in a storm, based off the latest predictions.

I realized I haven't really included many pictures of dad so here he is.


This is some of the stripping we did today. We are doing 24 and leaving 24 so we can come back later with a different blend of fertilizer and check side by side.

The girls came and rode with me today too. It was great to see them before bedtime.

This is some of Mom's dry erase marker artwork that I haven't erased from harvest when this tractor was on a grain cart.


This is what we will be working on in the coming weeks. This is our setup for treating soybeans and corn.


This is our shop ornament that was partially in the last picture. It's a Farmall F-20, the first Zoerb tractor. Dad and I (mostly Dad) have been working on restoring it.


This is a picture of my Mom's parents, Bob and Kay. Grandma passed away three years ago in March and Grandpa passed on the second of this month. This a photo of them from my wedding five years ago when they won "couple who has been married the longest". A few days ago would have been their 62nd anniversary.