Diversification in both crop and animal production paired with the latest in agricultural innovations and a strong focus on environmental conservation are essential to the success of Vulgamore Family Farms.
Learn more about the many aspects of our farm.
1550 W. Road 70 | Scott City, KS 67871
620-872-5242 | VulgamoreFamilyFarms@vffarms.com
Mother Nature plays a monumental role on any farming operation, and ours is no exception. Our work is constantly changing to reflect the weather conditions and growing cycles, which means our lives always revolve around the seasons...
Irrigation responsibilities in the spring include service and maintenance on irrigation systems as well as watering wheat and pre-watering corn.
As the weather begins to warm, conditions are right to plant our corn, milo, and soybeans. With both irrigated and non-irrigated, we will plant more than 20,000 acres of crops in the spring months.
In a search to find alternatives to summerfallow, we have been planting numerous different cover crops in March (i.e., peas, spring barley, and spring oats).
Growth for wheat is rapid in the spring time, so it is necessary to keep it in the best of health as it develops toward maturity. That’s why targeted spraying of pests and disease is key during this stage of development.
Spring is also the time to spray the newly sprouted weeds in front of the planter. A residual herbicide is sprayed behind the planter to inhibit additional weeds from sprouting during the growing season.
Any remaining cattle are transported to a local commercial feeder where they complete their finishing.
For PASS, springtime means:
• Continued seed sales
• Seed delivery
• Setup and organization of test plots
• Planting of the test plots
In the spring SWAG continues its focus on conditioning, delivery and spreading.
June marks the most intense time of the year on the farm with wheat harvest. While it brings with it the excitement of seeing the product of our labors, it also brings very long days (18-20 hour workdays). In total, this harvest generally lasts around two weeks.
During the summer months, the irrigation wells need to be checked and monitored on a daily basis. It is critically important to keep the irrigation systems running, so an automated reporting system notifies us via text message as soon as a problem arises.
Planting: Double-crop sunflowers
In our operation, sunflowers or soybeans are generally double-cropped and planted on irrigated wheat circles following their harvest.
After wheat harvest, the wheat stubble must be sprayed to control weeds and volunteer wheat that can be detrimental to the following crops. The sprayer also stays busy making post applications in the growing crops as well as keeping the weeds eliminated from the fallow acres.
Summer is an important time for getting out in the fields and analyzing any issues that may be arising as crops emerge and mature. As a result, PASS stays busy with:
• Client consultations
• Field scouting
• Troubleshooting crop problems
• Planning and execution of PASS Field Day
For SWAG, the summer is marked with manure spreading on harvested wheat fields and summer fallow.
Fall harvest is less of a sprint than summer harvest. Lasting from late August through November, weather plays a big role in the dry down of the crops and the longevity of harvest. Less daylight, cooler temperatures, and higher humidity limit the number of hours in a day that are suitable for harvesting. Corn is harvested in three forms: silage, high moisture, and dry grain. Milo, sunflowers, and soybeans are all conventionally harvested as dry grain.
As fall sets in, it’s time to get the winter wheat in the ground so that it has time to establish a strong root system before the frigid Kansas winter sets in. We plant more than 12,000 acres of wheat in any given year.
Cattle: Processing and starting
The first of our 1,500+ head of cattle will arrive in this period, being tagged, processed and started before being sent on to a commercial feeder for finishing.
In the fall, PASS's activities are primarily dedicated to early seed orders, consultations and harvesting test plots.
With winter approaching, the local feedyards empty their pens, leaving our operation with plenty to do in getting the manure processed so that it can be spread on farmers’ fields during the winter and early spring.
Weather permitting, we apply commercial fertilizer throughout the winter by strip-tilling the irrigated corn acres and utilizing a JD 2510H nutrient applicator to no-till the dryland row crop acres. The winter wheat is topdressed with additional fertilizer during the winter months as well.
With more than 900,000 bushels of on-farm storage, we keep our trucks busy in the winter months delivering corn and milo to feedyards and our sunflowers to a crushing facility.
Winter is the time when we give all of our machinery extensive inspections and tune-ups to ensure that it will be working at its best during our busy spring and summer months.
The winter months are the busiest for the farm’s office. An in-depth look at the overall performance of the operation is imperative to make herbicide, fertilizer, and seed decisions for the upcoming year. Soil samples and yield maps are analyzed to provide prescriptions for every acre of every field. Government reports are filed to remain in compliance for irrigation and pesticide application. In addition, winter allows us more time to carefully analyze all of the different aspects of the operation and plan for the year ahead.
Each year, we will start more than 1,500 head of cattle on feed, with the first arriving in mid-fall and continued into the winter. They are processed and tagged at our facilities, given any necessary care, and started on a concentrate-based ration. These cattle will later be sent on to a commercial feeder for finishing.
When the conditions are favorable, we will also run cattle on wheat pasture during the winter months.
As fall harvest wraps up, collecting and analyzing test data becomes a priority. Other tasks include:
• Field-by-field recommendations to customers
• Invoicing of seed
• Precision ag consulting
Manure conditioning and delivery
As the work in the fields slows down, the focus on moving manure out of the feedlots and onto the fields ramps up. The manure that is already conditioned is trucked off the feedlots and delivered, while the manure that is just being brought out of the cattle pens is started on the conditioning process, which generally lasts between 5-8 weeks.