Friday, May 20, 2022


We got a pretty big storm  last night.    Tornado Warning.  The effects of it were not quite as severe right here as it was in far south Knox County.   There was a tornado that ripped through near Decker, but it lifted as it came northeast toward Monroe City and Wheatland.  Still, we had winds near 60 mph (96kph).  As the sun came up today, we went out to assess the damage.  Surprisingly, we had a few tree limbs down in the yard, but no real severe wind damage.  The 2.4″ (61mm) of rain will bring us some flooding of some of our flatter fields, and that will be a cause for replanting corn or soybeans in those areas.  It’s too early to know exactly how many acres will be replanted, but it is pretty certain there will be some to do.

The wheat crop is still standing, and that is amazing.  Perhaps that is due to the fact that we treated the crop with a growth regulator that shortens the plants.   Or it is due to the protection given by our Maker!  There was a little hail on our Shake farm, and it seems to have knocked out some seeds from some of the wheat heads.   It is hard to quantify the damage today, but we will eventually figure that out.

John shows us one of the hailstones

Again, we are grateful that our homes and buildings were spared from damage.  Others were not so fortunate last night.  We know of no injuries, just blown-away buildings and trees.  As your grandma used to say, “It coulda been worse.”   Later today, we will survey our fields and draw up a list of potential replant needs.  I guess it was premature for me to think that there would not be much replant this year!

In other news, Devon came yesterday from Alliance Tractor in Vincennes to perform the repair work that was identified in the combine inspection from March.  The work went faster than I expected, and he was finished before lunch.

We had to drain the fuel tank to repair a leaky valve. The ThunderCreek trailer was a good receptacle. After the replacing the valve, we pumped the fuel right back in.
Devon replaced some belts, chains, and bearings, plus a few paddles on the clean grain elevator.

I did a little bit of mowing of roadsides on Thursday.  It’s kinda early to begin that task, but I had the time during this rain-out period, and it certainly needed it.

Mowing along Junkin Road.

Pat helped me choose some perennial flowers to plant at the office.  With her help, I got them planted.

Brandon is working on the Kenworth, repairing some minor air leaks, and polishing it up.

The KW will look even nicer when Brandon finishes his polishing

The sun is out today, and it is a breezy day!  The dry-out has already begun.  Perhaps next week, we can get back in the fields to plant or replant.



Have a great weekend.  Count your blessings!



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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

It’s raining again this morning.

This rain will delay our return to finish off the soybean planting.  We are grateful that the corn is complete, and the soybeans are nearly so.   I would estimate that a day-an-a-half will let me finish the soybeans.   It is not certain when that day-and-a-half will occur, but we will hop on it as soon as the soil is fit.

Brandon is polishing the Peterbilt truck today…a good ‘inside’ job on a rainy day.   I got the oil changed in the pickup this morning.  My plans to use the sprayer in the Gator on a nearby ditch and to do some roadside mowing have been delayed due to today’s rain.   They say the rain will stop in the early afternoon, so maybe I’ll get to do those tasks later today.

The wheat crop still looks very, very nice.  We are looking forward to cutting that crop… probably beginning around June 20-25.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

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May 8 to 14 was a good week.

Tuesday, May 16, 2022


Last week was a very productive one for Carnahan & Sons.  Daytime temperatures were near 90ºF (32C).  No rain; blue skies!  By Friday night, Brandon had completed planting the corn crop.  And, as of today, we stand at about 80% of the soybeans planted.  The field work began on Tuesday morning, the 10th, and ran through Saturday afternoon on the 14th, when a sudden downpour of rain drove me from the field at Nellie where I was almost to complete the planting of that field of soybeans.

Planting soybeans at the new Leser farm location

Planting soybeans at the Huey farm, one of our largest fields, 243.1 acres

Here is my last pass at the Nellie farm on Saturday afternoon as the rain drove me from the field…

For the soybean planting during the week, I had to move about from one field to another and back again, as the fields became dry enough to plant.  It required more than a typical amount of moving around from field to field, and I had more ‘road time’ than usual.  But now the soybean planting is down to 3 fields, and I just need about a day-and-a-half to get them done!  The forecast tells us more rain is coming tonight, and towards the weekend.  The fields are still too wet today from Saturday and Sunday’s rain, so I won’t be planting today.  But there will be a day when it will all work out okay.

Upon a drive-by inspection of the planted fields yesterday, we discovered only one little area that may require replanting corn.  Also, there was only one farm location that may require some acres replanting of soybeans.   Maybe that’s the benefit of this year’s delayed start to spring planting… fewer occasions of replanting.

Another result of the yesterday’s drive-by was that most planted crops have emerged and are looking pretty nice.   It is always a great relief and happy sight to see the corn and soybeans come up out of the soil and begin to turn the field ‘green’ again.

During this rain-out period, we are using the days to catch up other tasks.

The boxes that contained our seed corn were ‘collapsed’ and loaded on Nutrien’s trailer to return them.

John is servicing the R15 cutter (or bush-hog) to begin roadside mowing.

Mower blades get sharpened

Brandon washed the Pete, and now is polishing the aluminum.

All in all, we are happy and grateful for the crop progress for 2022.  PTL!

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Just wait ’til next week…

Friday, May 6, 2022

We planted all the fields that we could this week.  We finally ran out of places that were dry enough to plant.  And to added to that, we received rain yesterday and today.  But the forecast is optimistic!   Looks like the cold, rainy days are going away for a couple weeks, and that is a happy thing.

Chilly and rainy morning in SWIN

10-day forecast is looking good this morning!

There is other good news at Carnahan & Sons too.  The wheat crop is looking pretty good, and has us hopeful for the upcoming harvest next month.  The heads are now emerging.   It will need one more fungicide treatment early next week.  The predicted hot days will really help the corn and soybeans that have already been planted.

Wheat heads are popping out

I dug up a soybean seed planted at the Huey farm. Even after 3 comparatively cool days, this little bean has a root that will soon push the cotyledons up to the surface.

Even though we cannot be in the fields, there is no shortage of activities to keep us busy.  Two tractors required an oil change, and the air drill required a lubrication.  John has the Volvo in the shop today chasing down and repairing air leaks.

John washed off the sprayer yesterday

The JD 9520R tractor got an engine oil change. The CIH STX420 did too.

The Volvo is in the shop to fix some air leaks

The concrete foundation for the new grain bin was completed yesterday.  They removed their forms during intermittent showers, but they got the job done.   It took 87 yards of concrete to build this foundation!   The steel for the bin is on-site, and the builders are expected to begin that construction in July.

Every time we pour new concrete, we like to etch the date into it.

Next week, we are hopeful we will get the planters rolling once again, and get much of #plant22 accomplished!

We don’t expect perfect planting conditions… it rarely is.   Ecc 11:4.   But better conditions seem to be coming.  PTL!

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It started

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The planters have started rolling for #plant22!!

Seems like it has been a long time coming.  Yes, we would have preferred to plant the bulk of our acres in April, but the weather did not allow us to do that.  We did plant one field of soybeans in April, a 30-acre patch.   That allowed me to evaluate the air drill’s performance and work out any perceived ‘bugs’.  Didn’t find many problems, just a broken spring and a worn shut-off door in a seed meter.  Not bad at all for a start.

The JD 9520R tractor pulls this combo of a JD 1910 air cart and 1890 air drill. It plants 60- 10″ rows. The cart holds 350 bushels of seed. That is enough seed to plant 280 to 350 acres of soybeans, depending on the plant population.  Here, the soybeans are being planted into terminated cover-crop rye.

In this picture, we are loading soybean seed into the air cart from a semi-trailer. The seed is pink because it is coated with protective fungicide treatment.

I picked up another load of Asgrow seed soybeans today.

Here is the soybean planting drill at work.


Yesterday, May 2,  was the first day that both planters were operating.  Brandon took the CIH STX 420 and the CIH 2150 corn planter to Lett and Watjen farms, and got those fields of corn put in.  I went down to the Huey farm and planted soybeans on the hill parts of that farm.  So, it feels good to finally get the planters rolling!  What we got done yesterday makes us feel like we are making progress.  Yes, rain came last night as we were finishing the last field of the day, and that has kept me from returning to plant some more soybeans.  After a gray and drizzly morning, the afternoon has brought brilliant sunshine, 75ºF (24C) and strong wind.  That is drying the soils again.   By 4pm it was dry enough in one field for Brandon to return to planting corn.  I hope to get back into soybean planting again tomorrow.

The CIH STX 420 Rowtrac Tractor pulls a CIH 2150 24-row planter to plant the corn.

Here is the corn planter at work.

All the NH3 for the 2022 corn crop has been applied, and those application machines have been placed back in storage.

The construction crew came today from Kiesel Enterprises of Princeton, Indiana, to begin the construction of the foundation of the new grain bin.  It has been a long, long time since we built additional grain storage, and it is fascinating to watch the process.  It will continue to be interesting as we watch the new bin spring up from the ground. Finally, we will watch all the loading and unloading components get connected.

A trench is excavated for the footer of the foundation. Rebar is installed.

The footer is poured in the bottom of the trench. Forms will be built to receive the concrete above this layer to create the foundation for the walls of the bin.

We are pleased to be making some headway on #plant22!


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Another small step forward over the weekend

Monday, April 25, 2022

It’s raining again this morning, 1.1″ (28mm) since midnight.   #plant22 seems like a repeat of 2019.  If you go back and read the posts from April of ’19, you’ll find similar information about rain delays and short windows of field work.  But we must remember that even though planting was delayed that spring, the final result was still pretty much okay.

We did take advantage of one of those ‘windows of opportunity’ over the weekend.  Friday, Saturday, and yesterday were all warm days about 83ºF (28C).  I found a few ‘dry enough to spray’ fields and applied soybean burndown chemicals on Friday evening and Saturday morning.   The winds got very strong (>15 mph, gusts to 28) on Saturday causing me to stop the sprayer.  By Saturday afternoon,  Brandon was able to get into select fields to apply NH3.  John joined Brandon on a very windy Sunday afternoon to add to the weekend’s progress.  No, we’d prefer not to go to the field on a Sunday, but we felt compelled to use this opportunity to get some more work accomplished.   The rainy forecast lent a bit of urgency to the day’s work.   It was a productive afternoon and evening.   It kept Bill and me busy to deliver ammonia tanks to the field, and return the empties to Nutrien.  Brandon and John worked into the evening, and as they moved home Sunday night, the rain began to fall.

Brandon and John applying NH3


John is hooking up to the next pair of NH3 tanks.  This will cover 33-35 acres.

Good progress was also made at the new Leser farm location on Friday and Saturday.  Shepard Construction completed installing all the drainage tile, and building the 2 WASCoBs.   The field drainage system includes 2-8″ (20 cm) main trunk lines that go up the hill to the WASCoBs, with branches off these mains of 4″  (10 cm) tile spaced every 40 feet.   There remains just a tiny bit of work with the ‘root rake’, and the job will be complete.  The next operation there will be to spray to terminate the fescue growth.  Once that fescue begins to turn brown, I’ll run a disk over the field to smooth where the tile plow and dozers did their thing.  Then, Nutrien will apply the lime and fertilizer, and the planter will run!   Looking forward to working there with a tractor for the first time. It’s not quite ‘no-till farming’ there initially, but will be in subsequent years.

Here is a WASCoB under construction

Here, Tyler Shepard finishes off the final smoothing passes of a newly-built WASCoB

This is the final run of 4″ tile being connected to a previously-installed line, and then plowed into the soil

Shepards built this roadside surface drain. Not a ditch, but more of a waterway. I seeded it to fescue to protect it from water erosion, and plan to mow it to maintain it in the future.

A few planters have been running around our neighborhood.   Watching them really gives me the ‘itch’ to do likewise, especially for soybeans.  But, the forecast is again for some nights in the 30s, so I’m okay with waiting a few days longer.  The goal is to get all the NH3 applied, and then begin with the planters.  Hopefully we can do that before May arrives.

Today, I’ll work in the office.  The property tax bills came, and they must be entered into the computer.  For several years now, the assessed valuation of farmland and the accompanying bill has been decreasing.  But with just a passing glance at the bills, it is apparent that the A/V is up and the bill is going to increase this year.  After I get the information into an Excel sheet, I’ll know exactly what those increases are.  The bill is due at the County Treasurer’s office on May 10.

We begin the last week of April with a rainy day.  More than May flowers, we are eager to see the crops begin to grow!  Planting is such an important operation, some say it is the most significant pass through the field every year.   We will do our best to give the corn and soybean crops their best chance to thrive.   After that, we trust our Maker to help them be all they can be.

Have a great week.



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Another rainy day in SWIN

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Yes, it’s raining…again… here in Knox County, Indiana.

Looking out this morning, the drizzly rain makes for a gray day.

You can almost feel the ‘damp’ from this picture


We did get a small window of opportunity yesterday to work in the fields.  Brandon was able to apply anhydrous ammonia most of the day, and I was able to apply some burndown herbicide on a few soybean fields.  The wind got too strong and stopped me from spraying.  But it was a nice thing to make some more progress with spring work!   I saw a neighbor with his planter out yesterday.   So, there are just the faint beginnings of #plant22 happening here in SWIN.

I had planned to start the JD R4044 sprayer on Tuesday evening.  However, as we were filling it, the main solution pump sprung a leak!  We were able to locate a replacement, and Logan from Alliance Tractor came yesterday morning to install it.  We will be refurbishing the old pump so that we will have a ‘spare’ on hand.  So, the sprayer start got delayed from Tuesday evening to yesterday afternoon.  The conditions were not perfect; there were some muddy spots in the each field, but the bulk of the day’s spraying went on okay.  No, the soils would not be dry enough for planting just yet, but now the weeds and cover-crop rye are stopped… at least on those few fields!  I gotta say, it felt good to get some of that done!

Loading the JD R4044 on Tuesday evening

Logan moves the connector fittings from the old to the new replacement solution pump on Wednesday morning.

Spraying at the Tom field yesterday afternoon. There were even occasional moments of sunshine!


View from the sprayer yesterday (Wednesday the 20th) afternoon


Our wheat consultant from Nutrien, Landon Taylor, came by yesterday to formally evaluate the condition of the wheat.  He was quite positive about it, and noted the only problem was the bottoms of WASCoBs and other small depressions, where the excess water has delayed the wheat’s development.   We are thankful that the wheat crop is still looking pretty good through all the cold and wet days we’ve had.   It was a very encouraging report.   Thanks, Landon.

Landon took some tissue samples of the wheat to analyze its progress

Also, some significant progress was made  yesterday on the Leser farm project.  The guys from Shepard Construction got lots of tile installed, and they also ran a ‘comb’ over the areas where there were grapevines to clean up the remaining debris, roots, wires, and broken posts.  That device looks like a giant garden rake on the end of the mast of the big Caterpillar 345 excavator.   The work progressed even faster than I had imagined, and the place is looking better and better with each step of the clean-up.

Plowing in some runs of drainage tile on the Leser farm yesterday. 

Shepards’ Cat 345 with the attached ‘comb’

Progress is being made here at Carnahan & Sons.  Bit by bit, step by step… we are trusting our Maker to bring the needed good and dry days to plant our corn and soybeans.

The prediction is for warmer temperatures over the weekend, and we hope some sunshine comes with them!  We are eager to get to #plant22.





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After Easter

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Now that Easter is in the past, it feels like we should be getting back at it in the fields.  It would certainly be good to start the tractors rolling again!  But, the chilly nights and cooler days have slowed down the drying process.   Another effect of the cool days is the progress of the wheat, which has slowed from what it would have been development-wise in an average year.

We need to inspect the wheat closely again.  We had another frost last night, with nighttime low at 34ºF (1C).   We don’t expect to find freeze damage, but we must examine it closely to know for sure.

So, instead of field work, we work on stuff at the farmstead.   Brandon has been working to sweep out the corn from the last of the storage bins.  The new-to-us (NTU) Volvo truck has been fully outfitted for our needs and has been placed into service.  John used it to help Brandon deliver corn to market yesterday.   That delivery task got completed by the evening, and the trucks got washed.  Our grain storage bins are now MT (empty).

The final load of 2021 corn gets loaded yesterday afternoon.

Now that all the 2021 grain has been delivered, the next load to go on this 2013 Volvo VNL 300 will be soybean seed!

Brandon washes the KW. He keeps it pretty shiny.

John replaced the flag. It was getting quite tattered… they seem to last about 6 months up there.

A new crew from Shepard Construction is moving in to our new Leser farm location.  They will be installing a drainage tile system, and building 2 WASCoBs. 

I’m going out on the Gator this afternoon to search for field dry enough to run the sprayer.  I’d like to get 30-40% of the soybean acres sprayed with the ‘burndown’ as the guys are applying anhydrous ammonia.   Then,  as soon as the NH3 gets applied, I could begin with the soybean planter.  Even though the calendar says ‘get going’, the soil temperature makes me feel okay that nothing has yet been planted.  That could change quickly, for the forecast has some days in the 80s.   Those will certainly be welcome!

After a week or so of good and productive NH3 application days, we should be ready to hook up the planters and get that important phase of #plant22 underway.

Today’s sunshine is helping, even if the temperature is staying in  the low 50s.


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Sunny day

Thursday, April 14, 2022

After last night’s storms, the sun came out today.  It was a breezy day, getting up to about 60ºF (16C).   The overnight got down to 34ºF (1C).  This day was a beauty.

A cool, but beautiful SWIN day.

The 10-day forecast is now showing all days that have no rain!  Of course, that’s subject to change, but we’d approve of the “no rain” part!  The temps are still predicted to be in the 50s, which will temper the speed of the fields to dry down enough for us to return to work.  My guess is Tuesday will be the next get-back-in-the-fields day.

There is an old saying in these parts that goes like this.  “If it rains on Easter, it will rain for the next 7 Sundays.”  So, naturally we are hoping for a dry Easter Sunday.

Brandon has been hard at work today sweeping corn bins.  That’s a job that can make a guy’s back hurt!   Scooping corn behind the sweep auger and running a broom to clean the bin floor is not for the faint of heart, but Brandon does not complain… he just does the work!

Today, John cleared the area for the new bin site, moving away a sturdy collector box in which we place used metal objects that will go in for recycling or repurposing.  It was hard to find just the right spot for a new location for this box–it needs to be ‘out of the way’ but also convenient to access when needed.  I think John found a good spot.  If not, we will move this box again!  The bin site is now ready (at least as ready as we can make it) for construction crew.

I used part of the morning to pull my pickup into the shop and give it a wash.  With the dry forecast, I’m hoping the pickup will stay clean for several days.

This white pickup still cleans up “pretty good”.

We send you our best and warmest wishes for a happy Easter holiday.  We prefer to call it “Resurrection Sunday”, and we trust that the eternal, hope-filled message of Jesus will be part of your celebration.   Be blessed in a special way this Sunday, as you recall our Savior’s sacrifice.  Let us appreciate this gift of lovingkindness in a new and fresh way.  Whether the upcoming soybean and corn planting time goes well or is frustrating, the love of God gives us hope and purpose to face whatever comes our way.




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More rain

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Yes, it’s raining again here in SWIN, but so far today it has been lighter than the downpours they predicted.  No complaint there!  So far, we received .11″ (2.8 mm).  It is more rain than we wanted or needed, but we must accept the conditions we have.  The 10-day forecast is more favorable after today’s storms.  Even though the temperatures are gonna be lower than we’d like, at least there is no rain predicted for the next 10 days!   Such a contrast here in the eastern corn belt (ECB) compared to the plains states.  There, the farmers are praying for rain!  We would share if that were possible!

The skies are dark with rain off-and-on today.

Rain makes the horizon dark… it’s coming

The new-to-us (NTU) Volvo truck is off to the local VoMac (Volvo and Mack) dealer to have its engine ‘turned up’, meaning the engine’s horsepower will be increased by updating the software that controls it.  It will also have the transmission serviced with new oil and filter.   When it returns home, John will swap out a defective antenna cable that supports the CB and AM/FM radio.  Just a few more minor touches and the NTU Volvo will be ready to be placed into service.  I think they plan on using it to pull the hopper trailer with soybean seed.  We haven’t picked up any soybean seed yet, but we will as soon as this truck-trailer combo gets hooked up.

Brandon is delivering some corn to the local elevator, Robinson Grain, just across  US 50 from the farm.  Their bid was pretty competitive today, so there we go!

Brandon heads out in the KW to deliver corn to Robinson Grain.

John is servicing the Peterbilt semi (Pete, as we call it).   Engine oil and filter change, as well as fuel filters, and afterward, a lubrication the driveshaft components.

After the old oil is drained and filters changed, the new oil is pumped into the engine.

Over the weekend, the guys at Nutrien finished off the 2nd and final application of nitrogen for the wheat crop.  The conditions were not ideal, with a few soft spots in some of the fields.  In those spots, the sprayer left some ruts in its tracks.  Weighing that against the delay of application, we decided to proceed– anyway.   We will still see those ruts this fall!   But the wheat is ‘fed’ and it looks very green and healthy!

Nutrien applied the N very accurately.

As the calendar pages flip over, it reinforces the idea that we’d like to get going again in the fields.  The term ‘early’ is always relative, but it’s beginning to feel as if the ‘early’ window is closing.  Still, there is plenty of time to capture full yield potential.   We cannot throw out our hope and optimism!

We are hoping that the grain bin builders will be starting the construction soon.  First will be the concrete foundation.  All the steel components are already here.

Keep dry and safe out there today.


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