Routine August tasks

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The rainy period continues here in Knox County, Indiana.  I need to mow the yard again today.  Normally, during August the grass is dry and crunchy, but this year it’s lush and green… needs mowed 2x/week!

In between rains, we have been able to sneak in some field work.  I got a little bit of roadside mowing done this week, and John did some spraying of herbicides on soybeans.  The  soybean fields that required fungicides were too soggy to drive over, so we had the fungicide flown on by airplane.  It has been a challenge!

A little bush hog work near Wheatland.

John sprays some johnsongrass near the railroad

After this busy day of spraying in conditions that were a bit wetter than ideal, John washed up his sprayer.  It’s shiny like new again.  I hope it’s done for the season!

John washes (again) the R4044 sprayer

Tuesday evening, I was able to attend a private field day  at a nearby Bayer site.  We reviewed the new DeKalb corn hybrids and Asgrow soybean varieties.  Such visits are an important part of the research process to make seed choices.  We should be able to choose some of these for our 2023 crop year, and place them alongside some more familiar varieties to give them a good test.   Here are a couple hybrids that caught my attention.

As a 111-day variety, it’s right in our ‘sweet spot’ for maturity.

 

This 116-day hybrid may be a bit too long for us, but it sounds like a possibility.

Wheat has been delivered to the ADM on First Avenue in Evansville this week.  This gives Brandon a reason to test out the NTU (new-to-us) Peterbilt truck.  He sure does smile while he is driving it!

A pretty happy truck driver today.

All these things are typical for August.   Next week, we will likely be pulling out the combines from storage to get them set up for fall harvest, a mere 5 weeks away.   My, how the time flies by!

It is a pleasant 77ºF (25C) today.  A little overcast, but it is a nice day.

 

 

 

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In honor of Ross

Friday, August 5, 2022

Preparations are being made for a celebration of Ross here at the farm.  The shop is being cleaned out, shined up, so to speak.  Decorations and pictures will be placed around for the guests to enjoy.  There will be food and many stories.  So, if you’d like, stop by tomorrow, Saturday, August 6, noon to 5.   We’d like to hear your stories, too.

 

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A change of trucks

Friday, August 5, 2022

This week, we were able to bring home a NTU (new-to-us) truck for the farm.  A few weeks ago, Brandon had arranged for the purchase of a late neighbor’s Peterbilt.  It was this neighbor’s pride and joy, and his widow was pretty selective on who she wanted it to go to.   She sold it to us because she believed it would be ‘well taken care of’.  And that is our intention with this NTU truck.  It replaces the Kenworth we sold a few weeks ago.  Brandon is already putting his special touches on this truck, and I think it is receiving the TLC that the previous owner’s widow would prefer.

Brandon and his NTU ride

The stickers on the doors turned out nice

Brandon added some newer style LED headlights

He also added a sticker to honor our neighbor, the previous owner. We’ll call this one the “Tony Truck”.

We received another significant rainfall yesterday afternoon, 1 to 1.4 inches (25 to 36mm), depending on the location.   It came fast… in about a half- hour.  It probably will not allow us to mow the yard as we had planned for today!  Late July and early August have been unusually wet, quite a contrast to large areas out west that are begging for rain.  We’d have plenty to share if we could do so.

Have a wonderful weekend.

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‘nother rainy day

Monday, August 1, 2022

I was trying to mow my yard this morning, when a bank of dark clouds rolled in from the northwest to bring a heavy rain.  That ran me out of the yard, back to the shop.  Didn’t get but about half-done.  So far, it has brought us nearly .5″ (13mm).  The forecast reported ‘scattered showers’, but this was a bit more than that, and it ‘scattered’ here!

 

Tomorrow will be the visitation for Ross.   Our family will receive guests at Goodwin Funeral Home in Vincennes from 2-8 pm.   The family requests that instead of flowers or memorial gifts, donations be made in Ross’ name to the South Knox High School FFA.

There will be a memorial gathering for Ross here at the farm on Saturday, August 6 from noon to 5 pm.  Bring your lawn chair.  We will share in some food and stories about Ross.

 

 

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Historic rain event

Friday, July 29, 2022

This has been a week of rain.  Although the sun is shining brilliantly today, this week has been a very wet one.  Started off with the biggest rain I can ever remember in a single event.  7.48″ (190 mm) came during Sunday night.  Then, it rained for the next 4 consecutive nights.  In total, we have received 11.03″ (280 mm) of rain this week.

Sunday night’s rain. Biggest single event rainfall in my lifetime.

Shows the total through Thursday night for this week.

The biggest effect is at our Huey farm location.  Probably over 100 acres in this field that will be lost to the flooding.  And the strange thing is…not the White River this time, merely local rainfall!  There will be other, smaller fields with damage in the Roberson and Kessinger ditch creek bottom fields.

Looking down from Huey hill to the Flat Right field.  Tuesday morning.  Not a pretty sight.

Yes, it’s strange to have a July this wet.  But we must take the bad with the good.  It’s tempting to whine about the damage, and to see how extensive it is.  But, we must remember to look around at what’s left that looks great.  Flooding did not take all our crops, only a portion.   Our homes and farm buildings are not harmed.  We are not physically injured.   This is still a good day to count your blessings.

Have a nice weekend.

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Salute to Ross

If you’ve been a follower of this website/blog for very long, you may have been wondering why there was no mention made of Ross over the past several months.  Well, Ross has been battling some significant health issues since the 2021 harvest finished.  On Thursday, July 21, 2022, Ross passed away.  His final two months were spent in the hospital.  We miss him immensely, but we recognize that in passing, he will suffer no more.  We take comfort in that he was a believer in Christ, and that he is experiencing his reward now in the presence of God.

He was a  very major leader for this farm business.  He started farming with our dad Lowell when he was a little kid.  Later, he went into partnership with dad.  When the farm was incorporated in 1977, Ross became a key leader in the farm corporation, moving from VP to President at dad’s passing in 1999.

Ross was good at many things.  He was our best mechanic; there seemed to be no implement or machine that he could not fix.  He was a very skilled operator too.  His work planting corn or harvesting a crop was second to none.  Above all that, he was generally quite amicable.  Although he could be stern when the situation required, his disposition was normally easy-going.  He was no stranger to hard work all his days.

Ross was an excellent ‘field general’, directing the day’s activities.  He was a thoughtful and successful marketer of the farm’s grain.  He had good relationships with each of the buyers, and he made completely informed decisions about marketing.  He relied on his partners to keep the financial records, or make decisions about crop care chemicals.  He made the seed corn selections, but sought the input of his partners in such matters.  He always kept an eye to the future, thinking and planning of future advances and successes.

Farming as his partner was a pleasure.  He allowed me and others to ‘be themselves’.  As partners, we decentralized our management style, allowing each person to lead to their strengths.  He and I discussed most major decisions like buying a farm or major piece of equipment.  But on routine matters, each person performed their role without criticism or second-guessing.  It seemed to work well for us over the years.

I’m going to miss my big brother.  I’m going to miss my farm business partner.  But we will carry on the traditions left to us by Ross and our mom and dad.  We will strive to keep Carnahan & Sons a successful farm.   We will treasure the memories we have of Ross, and keep striving to make him proud of what we are doing.

Thank  you, Ross, for all you meant to all of us.

Godspeed

Ross with his all-time favorite tractor CIH Steiger STX 420 Rowtrac

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More progress

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

It’s a hot afternoon out there.  But even in this heat, the guys from Kiesel Enterprises are here installing some more components to the new grain bin.  They have pretty much installed the conveyor on the roof that will take grain from the new leg.  Next, they will fabricate the 10″ downspout to this conveyor.  Then, the construction crew will install a new auger into the unloading system outside the bin to connect it to the existing grain system.  With that auger, we can take grain from this new bin and place it in the overhead load-out bins.   Finally, another crew will come soon to perform all the electrical work.  Then, the project will be complete.  We’ve been very pleased with Kiesel’s construction work.

Installing the roof conveyor

The roof conveyor will help fill the bin with grain.

 

This morning, at John’s request, I went down to the Huey farm to apply the fungicide/insecticide to two fields of soybeans.  Now, that task is ‘caught up’ until next week.  Tomorrow, John plans to apply the first herbicide pass to the DCB here at the Home farm.

Brandon has been keeping the farmstead looking good with the mower.  We will soon be replacing this mower with a new model.  Those machines seem to be hard to find these days.

Brandon puts in a lot of hours on this JD Z970R mower.

As we pass midweek, we are pleased that the JD 9360R tractor has returned to the farm.  It has been in the local dealer’s shop for 3 1/2 weeks, with a fuel injector problem.  It finally took an ECU (Engine control unit) replacement to get it going.  An ECU is a little box about 8″x 8″x 2″, crammed full of electronic circuits and boards… a ‘brain box’, if you will.  It’s good to have it back home in our shed.

Have a good week.

 

 

 

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Pictures from this week

Friday, July 15, 2022

I’ll be out soon with the sprayer this morning, applying some fungicide and insecticide to the soybeans at the Holscher farm.  Greg from Nutrien, our crop consultant, tells us that there will not be any other soybean field ready for the sprayer until next week.  So, I’ll catch that up this morning.  As I’ve been going around to fields this week to evaluate the progress and examine if any treatment is necessary, I’ve been pleasantly surprised, pleased, and grateful for the appearance of the crops.  For mid-July, they look pretty good.  PTL!

Here are some examples of what I’ve been seeing.

Corn at the Pond farm.

Soybeans at the new Leser farm

DCB at Crook

I’ve also been doing some roadside spraying from the seat of the John Deere Gator.  I like to stop the johnsongrass and other weeds along the edges of fields or on the ditch-banks.  This new Gator is a treat to use, with its air conditioning.  During the spraying, I’ve got the window rolled down to spray with a hand-gun from the driver’s seat.  Cool air blows from the dash as I’m working.  But then, when I’m driving to and from the field, I can roll up the window and it’s pretty comfortable.  I recall the first time I saw this kind of Gator, I thought, “Wow, that’s too much luxury!”  But, when we found this year-old one that we could afford, we were happy to bring it home.  It has been a good addition to the farm.

The miles are racking up on the Gator… here is the odometer reading from yesterday. It’s due for an oil change!

As we wrap up the week, we are reflecting on the good (so far) crops, and counting our blessings.  Yes, there are challenges, but we are grateful for the way things are growing in the summer of ’22.

 

 

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Nice day

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Brandon and Bill are delivering wheat to ADM in Evansville.  It’s such a pretty July day, about 83ºF (28C).  There are just a few puffy clouds in the brilliant blue sky.  The wheat looks great as it drops into the trailer.   It’s pretty nice to have some good-quality wheat to sell in the summertime.  We have delivered all the bushels that we had on forward contract, and the wheat market has dropped significantly in recent days.  But, still the price is above our cost/bushel, so we will be content with what we still have yet to sell.

Here you see the wheat being loaded into the Volvo that Bill likes to drive…

 

We still have the combines to get washed up after wheat harvest, and the tractors after double-crop soybean (DCB) planting.   We are considering adding a full-time employee to the team here ahead of fall harvest.  It’s been quite a while since we’ve had someone on staff, and we will be developing the job description and compensation package.  Again, we are praying for God to send us just the right person to fit into our team.

We are delighted with the way that the DCB are coming up through the wheat stubble.  It seems that the rains, though limited, have been just enough to get the little beans off to a good start.  When they were planted, the soil was hard as concrete, but that made it better for the air drill to slice through the straw and get the seed into the soil.   It’s not perfect, but in reality, the stand is pretty good.  PTL!

Off to a good start!

Our county fair runs through next week.  It is billed as the “oldest county fair in the US”.  I don’t know if that is accurate, but it is a special event here in Knox County, Indiana.

So, we will enjoy this week with clear skies and mid-80s temperatures.

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So grateful

Friday, July 8, 2022

Yesterday afternoon, the clouds rolled in with a nice rain across SWIN.  Here, we received 1.2″ (31mm) of much-needed rain.  It’s the topic of conversation everywhere you go, and everyone is smiling about it.  I am certain that there are many people saying prayers of thanksgiving all around the region.  According to the report we received this morning from Climate Fieldview, our fields saw 1.1″ to 1.9″ of rain yesterday, depending on the location.  Nice.

Watching the rain come down…PTL!

Even though we had received a couple rain events of .3″ (8mm) on June 25 and July 2, the very high temperatures (near 100F) were baking the crops.  One farm we operate is on land that is a reclaimed coal mine from over 40 years ago.  At that location, the corn was strongly showing the effects of rolling up its leaves and having a white cast to the leaves.  When that happens, it’s hurting.  But after this rain, it looks pretty healthy again!   Much of the corn we have is tasseling, and it is quite helpful to the pollination process for the temperature to come down into the 80s instead of the high 90s!

A good side-effect of the corn tasseling is the sweet, sweet aroma.  I think it is the best smell in nature, even above fresh-cut grass!

Tassels are emerging!

 

In other good news, we walked the double-crop soybeans with our consultants on Tuesday morning.  From their evaluation of the stand of DCB, no replanting is needed!   Wonderful.

The DCB loved the rain too.

 

On our bin project, Kiesel Enterprises finished the bulk of the bin construction on Wednesday.  The structure is complete, with the fans installed, the unload system set up, and the stairway finished.  Remaining work will be the installation of a conveying system on the roof, with a downspout from the elevator to it.  You have to have a way to fill this tall, new tank!  There will be an additional auger added to connect the bin back to the elevator.  And for the final part of the project for Kiesel’s, they will fabricate all the electrical wiring, connections, conduit, and controls.  After that, we will get our concrete contractor from last summer to return to place some new paving and drains around the new construction.  The process of this bin construction has been amazing.  It has been decades since we added storage here, so it was quite interesting to watch the progress.

All fresh and clean inside, just about ready for some corn!

As we end the first full week of July, we are rejoicing about the rain.  More is predicted for today.  Have a good weekend.

 

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