A number of explanation why barns are painted pink
Posted On February 28, 2023
Weather: The updated (1980-2010) Michigan 30-year average spring 32-degree frost date for Monroe County is April 25. The fall frost date is Oct. 18. The updated 28-degree freeze temperature for Monroe County is April 13 and fall freeze date is Nov. 5.
Corn: Purdue University released a study of corn yield responses to 2×2 starter fertilizer applications of nitrogen. In 24 of 55 trials, yield response of 23-50 pounds of N averaged seven bushels per acre compared to no starter fertilizer and ranged as high as 18 bushels per acre. No yield response was detected in the other 31 trials.
Soybeans: What is the risk of planting soybeans in March? In dry soils, seeds can remain dormant for weeks. When soil temperatures are 50 degrees or higher, and with adequate moisture, seeds will germinate. Former world soybean yield record holder Kip Cullers, who spoke at Cabela’s, said he wanted all seeds to emerge with 18 hours for a uniform stand. With rainfall, and in cooler soils, diseases such as damping off, seedling rot can quickly kill sufficient plants to warrant replanting. Overwintering insects such as bean leaf beetles can feed upon emerging foliage and kill plants. In previous mild years, soybeans have been planted in late March on occasion in Monroe County and some of those same fields have also had insect infestations of overwintering bean leaf beetles by mid-April.
Wheat: A new world record wheat yield of 266.92 bushels per acre was recognized in the United Kingdom last year. Think you have a good looking wheat field? The National Wheat Foundation is hosting a National Wheat Yield Contest again this year. Electronic entries (no paper entries) are due by May 15, 2023, with information found at: www.wheatworld.org. Michigan had a high yield last year of 165 bushels for dryland wheat. The national high yield was from a farmer in Idaho with a yield of 231.37 bushels of wheat. With the nutrient situation in Lake Erie, it is still recommended that farmers split apply their top-dressed fertilizer, including nitrogen, and do not apply any phosphorus unless a current soil test recommends it.
Why are barns painted red? Since the 1800s, buildings, including barns, have been painted for appearance and to protect the wood used in older barns. “Venetian red” was the tint often seen on older American barns and was suitable for any common work or for brickwork and outbuildings. The red pigment penetrated well into wooden barn boards and resisted fading when exposed to sunlight, so it could age gracefully for generations. Red paint remained popular on many farms because it was most affordable. In 1922, the Sears, Roebuck catalog offered red paint for a third less than the cost of other colors of house paints. Today, red is still popular because it is traditional, practical and the color looks good.
Ned Birkey is an MSU Extension educator emeritus and a regular contributor to The Monroe News.