A busy harvest week

Friday, September 30, 2022

As we wrap up the month of September, we look back on a busy week.  We were in the fields harvesting every day.  The weather has been very beautiful… dry and sunny and breezy.  It was an especially good week for harvesting soybeans, even if the dew was heavy each morning, delaying the start of the combines until right at noon.  So, we are grateful for the cooperative weather, and the progress we’ve been able to make this week.  The forecast still shows no rain in sight, so we hope to continue today and tomorrow.  We do not plan to be working on Sunday.

Larry has made progress each day with planting the 2023 wheat crop.  The specialists at Nutrien blend the seed in with the granular fertilizer, and use a special ‘air-flow’ spreader to apply the mixture to the field.  Then, Larry comes along with a disk to work the stuff into the soil.  We’ve used this ‘broadcast’ method for planting wheat for more years than I can remember.

Some pictures from the week.

Here are our trucks lined up in the early morning at ADM Newburgh

Nutrien spreads the wheat and fertilizer blend…

…and Larry disks it into the soil

Harvesting soybeans this week at the Burke farm.

A nice sunset on Wednesday.

We’ve been waiting for months on this new mower.  We figured it would not come until next spring.  It arrived this morning!

Have a pleasant weekend everyone!

 

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Pretty good first week

Monday, September 26, 2022

We got started with #harvest22 last Tuesday.  We began harvesting corn, and ran in that for a couple days.  By Thursday, we found some soybeans that were dry enough to cut, and switched over to those.  On Saturday, we had cut all the soybean fields that were ready, so we moved back to corn.  We’ll run more corn today, and the plan is to go back to soybeans tomorrow (Tuesday).  Yes, the field conditions dictate our harvest pattern and work.

The yields of the corn are running pretty good.  Not quite up to last year’s record numbers, but very satisfying.  PTL!  We have not encountered any of our fields that were flood-damaged…yet.  Yes, in those fields there will be some acres with no crop to harvest, but for what we have been through so far, we are grateful.

Larry will begin the planting of our 2023 wheat crop today.  We don’t have all the prospective wheat fields ‘uncovered’ from soybeans just yet, but we should make some more progress on those beginning tomorrow.  Here, we prefer to begin wheat planting on September 25,  (if field conditions permit), and by starting today, we’re not missing the target by much.

I’ll add some pictures from our work last week.

Unloading on-the-go adds to our productivity.

This sample is of some DeKalb 63-57, a 113-day corn. It shells pretty nice at 22% moisture.

John adds fuel and DEF to the CIH 8250 combine

A view from the seat of the JD S780 combine.

While the dew of the morning dries off, we service and fuel up the combines.

We are looking forward to another week of #harvest22 progress.  The weather forecast is pretty favorable.  Of course, that can change.  For example, just yesterday morning, we were awakened by thunder.  We got a little rain to start the day, and that was not in the forecast!  As of today, it appears that the remnants of Hurricane Ian will not reach us here in SWIN.  We are hoping for more sunny and dry days.

So, in summary, a good week in the books.  Yes, it had some challenges, but we look back on it with gratitude, and ahead in hope.

Have a great week.

 

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First day delay.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Today would have seen the start of #harvest22.   But since about 3 am, we have received .7″ (18mm) rain.  By 10 am it stopped, and the sun broke through the clouds.  We now have a brilliant blue sky, and the temperature is climbing from the 60s.  They predict a high temp of 88F (31C) this afternoon.  That will help dry out the soil once more.   Our best prediction now is that the combines will begin tomorrow afternoon.  Could be a bit tricky with truck placement for a day or so, but the forecast is for hot and sunny days.   That will speed the crop’s maturity and help field conditions improve.

The calendar tells us that we need to get going… but the crop condition and weather dictate our moves.

Also, we are hoping after a few days in the corn field we will have some soybeans ready to cut.  A few fields with 3.o maturities are getting close to being ready!

Have a great week.

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Check another one off the list.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Another important task was finished yesterday evening.   The new grain bin is now done!  The electricians wrapped up their work, and tested every component that they wired.  All the augers and conveyors that are supposed to ‘move’ grain in and out will operate.   The fans move a mountain of air.  And all the new lighting– from top to bottom — blast out their LED illumination when the switch is flipped.

This completes a months-long project.  We began in November with negotiations with bin builders.  We signed a contract for the new construction in late December.  Most of the bin’s  steel components arrived in March.  Other accessories that fill and unload the bin were delivered in June.  The builders began with the concrete foundation in May, the steel construction on June 24.   The final touch was completed yesterday with the electrical work.

We were very pleased with the quality of the work done by this contractor, Keisel Enterprises of Princeton, Indiana.  They did it all, from foundation to electrical!   The only part that was not in their scope of work, was the concrete aprons that surround this new bin site.  That work was done by Hendrixson Concrete of Vincennes, and that was done with excellence, too.

All in all…just in the nick of time.  #harvest22 begins on Monday!

Other news… I finished off the roadside and waterway mowing this afternoon.  The JD R15 rotary cutter (commonly called a bush-hog) has been air-cleaned, washed, and placed into storage.  We may use it a little bit post-harvest, to mow around some fields to improve their appearance for winter.  That will happen if the weather permits.  And the NTU JD 6145R tractor worked very, very well.

Mowing the grass road at the Huey farm

Please pray that our harvest operations begin smoothly.  This first fall harvest without Ross will certainly be different.   But, Larry and Bill are coming every day we need them, and Jake is now part of team, so we are hopeful that it’ll all work out.

Have a great weekend.

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One last mowing before harvest.

Monday, September 12, 2022

I’m trying to get around to all the fields one last time with the bush-hog before we begin the fall harvest.  We took delivery of the NTU JD 6145R tractor on Friday morning, and I used it Friday afternoon and all day Saturday.  I got our fields along US 50 looking better, and I hope to get to the other fields before the end of the week.  Probably won’t be mowing today, after yesterday’s rain.

Here are some views of the recent mowing work.

The NTU 6145R hooked to the R15 bush-hog. John Deere calls this machine a ‘rotary cutter’.

 

Looks like #harvest22 will likely begin on Monday the 19th… a little later start than a typical year.   As we reflected on the significant date of 9-11 yesterday, we recalled that we were harvesting corn at the Harry farm that day, and it was not the first day of harvest that fall.  And as we survey the fields today, we may have some soybeans ready by next Monday, so it is a toss-up on where we will start…at least that’s the way it looks today.

Have a good week!

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Other news bits

Thursday, September 8, 2022

We are just about as ready for harvest as we can get.  One prepares as best he can, but you almost always discover some unforeseen ‘bug’ in the works on that first day out in the field.   One big remaining thing, but it’s out of our control, is that the new bin needs its electrical work.  We expect that to begin ‘any day now’.  The bin construction work wrapped up weeks ago, and the concrete aprons were finished last week. Of course, we can start harvest without that bin, but we sure need that to work before long!

So, we are waiting until mid-month to begin #harvest22.  We will allow that ‘solar dryer’ to help as much as possible.

Jake is spraying around the bins and buildings one last time before harvest hits.

A little mixture of Roundup and Liberty will wilt these weeds right down.

We expect delivery right away on a NTU (new-to-us) 2021 JD 6145R tractor, trading in the 6130R.  They are preparing it at the dealer, tweaking it to our specific needs:  i.e. wheel tread spacing, wheel weights, cab appointments, and other small details.  Once it arrives, I will use it to mow the roadsides once again, or as much of them as I can get done ahead of harvest.

Jake has washed up the grain cart and the 9360R tractor.

Jake washes up the JD 9360R. Looks good for a 10-year-old tractor!

We had some fog in the valleys the past few mornings.  Tuesday morning, the fog was pretty thick all over.  Those kind of mornings are not good during soybean harvest!

Viewing the fog this morning

 

Had a long-time friend stop by yesterday afternoon.  Hadn’t seen him in several years.  Mike Manning (not related to Payton!) was here for a visit, and we had a great conversation.  Mike grew up here, but had a career in NW Indiana with Purdue Extension Service.  We shared a common experience years ago when we were both in the Class VII of the Indiana Ag Leadership Program.  (now called AgrIInstitute).   So glad Mike came by!

Mike Manning came to visit.

Have a nice weekend.  #harvest22 about a week away!

 

 

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More harvest prep

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Hope you had a nice Labor Day weekend.  It was restful and calm here.

Today, we are doing some final tasks of harvest machine preparations.  Put the corn header on the JD S780, and checked the gearboxes.  Performed some tests, too, that confirmed the proper operation of the height and tilt controls.  Lubricated the gathering chains, and every grease zerk.  It’s as ready as we can make it.

Brandon checks each row unit’s gearbox to see if the oil level is adequate. Had to add oil to two rows.

The grain cart is now hooked up and is getting cleaned and serviced.

Washing the grain cart, then it will be serviced.

John is spreading some stone on the areas of the driveway that were disturbed when the concrete guys were here.

New stone to cover the driveway that goes to our unload pits.

And, the sprayer’s water nurse trailer has been disconnected to allow the Mack truck to be hooked to its Wilson hopper bottom trailer for harvesttime.

Parking the Demco liquid tender trailer. We need the Mack hooked to its Wilson trailer for harvest time.

Little tasks, but important to get ready for #harvest22.

 

Pat and I did a ‘drive by’ of several fields yesterday afternoon to check on the crops’ maturation progress.  Found 2 soybean fields that are not far off.  Will likely begin harvest with corn, at least for a few days until we have some soybeans ready.

Soybeans at the Dunn farm on Labor Day. We think these are about 2 or so weeks of warm days away from being ready to cut.

We are looking forward to this harvest.

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A little time away…

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Pat and I took a few days this week to do a little traveling and sightseeing.  We were gone from Sunday afternoon to Thursday evening.  We drove up to Dyersville, Iowa to see the ‘Field of Dreams’, and then on the return trip, we spent a couple days at Springfield, Illinois to take in some of the special sites about Abraham Lincoln.

We stopped by the John Deere Pavilion in Moline

Field of Dreams

Played ‘catch’ and admired the beautiful DeKalb corn

Took the house tour at FoD

Visited the National Farm Toy Museum. I spent a lotta hours on a 560. This scale model caught my eye among the thousands of toy tractors there

The Iowa countryside was spectacularly beautiful to a farmer’s eyes.

In Springfield, we visited Lincoln’s Tomb. Impressive.

The Lincoln Museum was amazing.

A mock-up of Lincoln’s boyhood home in southern Indiana, inside the Museum.

In Springfield, we toured the only house Lincoln ever owned.

We met up with friends Lance and Vera Panzier in Dix, Illinois to enjoy some ice cream and a great visit.

While we were away, the guys from Hendrixson Concrete came to pave areas around the new grain bin.  They do excellent work, and the result was very nice.  It will be much cleaner around the bins and dryer now.

Preparing for and pouring the concrete is a hard job

They did a very good job building the new concrete areas.

… and, of course, the finishing touch to any concrete pour… the date.

The guys here got the remainder of the preparation of the corn heads completed and the trucks are serviced and ready for harvest.  That’ll probably come in about 2 weeks.

 

 

 

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Nice weather week

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The weather this week has been pretty nice.  The mornings are cool, in the high 50s or low 60s.  Daytime highs have been mid-80s.  Really comfortable.  It’s a topic of conversation anywhere you go.

Fall preparations continue here.  The CIH 8250 had some more post-inspection work done to it.  It should now be completely ready for the upcoming harvest season.  Wheat continues to be delivered down the the ADM locations on the Ohio River.   And a few other repairs are happening.

Trucks are ready to head out this morning.

Grain tank loading auger gets replaced

Brandon and Jake go out this morning with loads of wheat

John is making some repairs to our backhoe…there is a wire causing a short in there somewhere, and he is tracking it down to fix it.

John will certainly find the problem wire and get it repaired

John also used some stockpiles of stone here at the farm to fill some potholes in the farm lane.  He has it looking much better, and it is easier and smoother to drive in and out of here.

After fixing the backhoe, John leaves late this morning to spray some Roundup on targeted areas of some double-crop soybeans (DCB).

Looking forward to corn and soybean harvest, probably to begin in about 3 weeks.    It will likely be in a corn field where we will begin.   You can see a slight, faint hint of the earliest-planted fields beginning to “turn” (change color from deep green to gold).

 

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New member of the team

Monday, August 22, 2022

Today we welcome Jake Clark to the team at Carnahan & Sons.

We have been searching for several weeks to add a full-time team member in advance of the fall harvest.  We have been ‘getting by’ all during 2022 even  though we were a ‘man down’ with Ross’s health difficulties.  Now that Ross has passed on, we really needed another person to make this farm run as it should.   We had four different candidates to interview, but once we crossed paths with Jake, it seemed that our search had come to an end.  He impressed us right away with his pleasant personality and eagerness.  He brings a spirit of cooperation.  So, with those qualities, we hope he has found a new home here at the farm.

We started this morning with one of our less glamorous jobs, sweeping a grain bin.  He dove right in and kept his cheerful demeanor throughout the first task.   Brandon has been grateful to have a partner in that bin-sweeping job!

As we prepare for fall harvest, Jake will get acquainted with many more kinds of operations, and we look forward to his contributions to our team.

Welcome, Jake!

Welcome to the Carnahan & Sons team, Jake!

 

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