Pretty soggy again.

Friday, October 15, 2021

It’s a beautiful, sunny morning, but we got another rain overnight.  1.8 to 2.2″ (46-56 mm).  So, the progress of #harvest21 is stopped again.  Of course, the trucks are busy today, delivering grain to markets at GPC and ADM.  We are running low on room in the bins, and we still have fall delivery contracts to fill.  GPC recently closed deliveries for a week, receiving only non-GMO corn during that time.  That has slowed our corn hauling, but the trucks kept busy going to ADM in Newburgh, Indiana, and to Robinson Grain, just across US 50 from us.   Because of this bottleneck we have experienced now for a few years, we are contemplating the construction of another storage bin in time for #harvest22.

We took every possible opportunity to run the combines in the field during this week.  Monday night’s rain made us switch to corn for Tuesday, then late that evening, we cut some soybeans.   We were run from the soybean field with rain Wednesday morning, and we moved to another location to harvest corn once again.  We got done with that farm last night, and moved the combines home to the shed–we were watching the forecast.  Sure enough, we got a big rain overnight, and we are not sure we will return to the fields until Monday at the earliest!  It’s been a more challenging fall, with frequent rains, making us switch back and forth between corn and soybeans more often than we’ve seen for several years.  I guess we’ve been kinda spoiled with dry fall weather for a few years.  It’s been a long time since we’ve worked in very much mud.  Today, as we view many of the fields that we have already harvested, we see standing water– that makes us grateful those fields are finished!

We still have about 25% of our corn crop to bring in, and about 15% of the soybeans.  Then, there are the double-crop soybeans (DCB) which will take about 3 good days to cut.  They look like they are almost ready to go, too.  So, we are praying for a string of sunny and dry days to allow us to march the rest of the way through #harvest 21.

As the fields are ‘cleared off’ from the 2021 crop, Nutrien is soil sampling, and applying the 2022 granular fertilizer products, mostly for P, K, plus S and B and other micronutrients.   The price of this fertility is significantly, shockingly higher than for 2021, which causes us to scrutinize our practices even more closely.   So, even after the combines leave the fields, there is still a lot of activity going on!

We have built some new WASCoBs, and just yesterday got the cover-crop planted over them.  Those got tested in a big way last night!    But it is good to know they will greatly reduce water erosion where they’ve been built.

One good thing… this rain will allow me to go for a sorely-needed haircut!  Thanks to Darlene for working me in today!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Some pictures and video from the week…

The camera in the grain tank helps me prevent #cabcorn

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Field work on Sunday

Monday, October 11, 2021

After last week’s rainy spell, we were able to get some corn harvest in on Friday evening and Saturday.   Today, the weather forecast is telling us some significant storms are coming this afternoon.  Because of that, we put in an afternoon of field work yesterday.  We don’t usually work on Sundays, but it with the forecast, it felt a bit urgent to use yesterday’s good weather to cut some soybeans.  With a rain likely coming in, we should be able to go again a bit earlier this morning, and work until the rain comes.

We got to work a bit later last night.

There is and old saying in these parts, “work on Sunday, fix on Monday”.  Let’s hope we don’t have to do much ‘fixing’ today!

Have a great week, everyone.

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Another rainy day

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

It’s raining again this morning.  A gray, drippy day.  Harvest is stopped because of it, but the trucks are going out delivering corn to market at GPC and at ADM in Newburgh, Indiana.  The weekend’s rain kept us outta the field on Monday, but we ran in corn all day on yesterday (Tuesday).   The yields are pretty good, and the moisture was running 16.5-17.9%.  A couple loads of corn could go directly into storage, bypassing the dryer!  So, we are making progress… just not field progress today.  IF the rains stop by noon (as predicted) we could go back to corn this afternoon.  We will see… it may be tomorrow.   By the weekend, several days of warm sunshine are predicted, and we are eager to get back to soybeans.  They are all ready to cut, and the double-crop soybeans (DCB) will be ready in a couple weeks–they’re going fast.

Some pictures from yesterday.

SE Knox County Indiana sunset, October 5.

Had to replace the slip clutch on the auger drive on the 712FC corn head. It was a bigger job than I expected!

So, it is busy here today, just not in the field harvesting.

Larry departs for Newburgh with a load of corn.

An finally, we are beginning to see the 2022 wheat crop emerge.  Soon, we should have a beautiful, green covering on these fields!

The Soft Red Winter wheat is sprouting up.

Got a notice yesterday that fertilizer prices took another jump.  We are grateful for what we’ve already applied, and we will be examining closely what is left to do.  Suppliers are already beginning to claim there could be shortages of our herbicides and other pesticides for next spring.   Supply chains are quite a mess right now.  The costs are a concern, too.  But we will not despair, we will work to figure it out, and trust that it will all work out… in some satisfactory fashion.  This old song is probably appropriate:  “The Lord will make a way somehow…”

Enjoy your day!

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Bean week

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The weather has been quite cooperative this week, and we have lotsa soybeans ready to cut.  We are using these sunny and hot days to harvest ’em.  We had fog this morning, so we won’t be getting quite as early a start as on Monday and Tuesday.  But, once we get going, it should be another good day.   The soybeans are leaning over somewhat…they’re not standing perfectly straight as we have been accustomed for the past several years.  A big rainstorm in August pushed them over.  But… good news… the MacDon FD75c and the JD RD40F headers are doing a great job capturing them…the fields have that ‘shaved’ or manicured look after the combines pass over them.

And every dry and warm day that we use to harvest soybeans is allowing the ‘solar dryer’ to work on the remaining corn crop.  Perhaps it will get dry enough in the field so that the dryer will not be needed!   That has happened in the past, maybe again this fall.

We are using the time while the fog clears away to fuel and DEF the combines.

 

The ThunderCreek fuel service trailer simplifies and speeds the process this morning.

Really good days of soybean cutting

We could work a little later last night, but eventually it got ‘tough’.

Lots of construction activity going on here, too.    Shepards have nearly finished the reconstruction of that grass waterway; they will be seeding it and covering it with a protective mesh very soon.  They are also performing maintenance on several WASCoBs while they are here, and building one new one.  They should complete their work today.   Olan Worland is over at the two hills and he is doing some conservation work also.  He will be building two new WASCoBs, and shaping up some existing terraces.   He will also soon push out the sediment in some WASCoBs at the Dunn farm.  These earthen structures just require some periodic maintenance.  Once his work is complete, we will drill some cover crop rye over the fresh earthwork to protect it from erosion this winter.

Building a new WASCoB by Shepard Construction.  The new tile with riser was installed, and now they build the terrace behind it.  

And, Larry has begun to disk in the wheat crop.  Nutrien has applied the wheat-fertilizer blend to some of the fields, and Larry works it into the soil.  He has been planting our wheat crop for many years now, maybe 40 or more.  Nutrien will apply more just ahead of Larry’s progress.

Gary from the nearby Nutrien plant applies the blend of granular fertilizer and wheat seed.  

Larry Corn runs this disk over the applied fertilizer-seed mixture to incorporate it into the soil.

Soil testing is going on as we clear off the harvested fields, and recommendations will be received for each one for next year’s planned corn or soybeans.  As we harvest and watch the yields, we are mentally developing a list of which seed to buy for 2022.

It’s a beehive of activity here right now.  #harvest21

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Sun is out!

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The sun is out again after a few days of gray and rainy skies.   The day started relatively chilly, 46ºF (8C).  So, it is ‘get on a sweatshirt’ day.  I miss wearing my shorts to work, but maybe those days will return by the weekend.  The forecast is for about 10 days of sunshine, with temps in the low 80s!   That will be great.  We may get to return to harvesting tomorrow– the fields are pretty soft after the recent 1″+ (27mm) of rain.   We will start again with corn, but switch to soybeans as soon as the fields will support the combines and the soybeans are dry enough to thresh.   We are looking forward to the next push of #harvest21.

Today started with a pretty sunrise.

We almost have our September corn contracts filled.  The ‘delivery by appointment’ system at nearby GPC is a great benefit to us.  It eliminates the hours of waiting in line at the elevator.  I wish other businesses would adopt a version of this incoming grain system.

During this rainy period, we’ve made arrangements for the installation of some drainage tile and the building of some new terraces and WASCoBs.    Brandon has brought in most of the components, and the work will commence as soon as soil conditions allow.   Shepard Construction is also rebuilding a grass waterway here at the main farm.   It has been there about 20 years, and after that length of time, any waterway needs re-shaped.  They dig out the sedimentation, and re-contour the incoming drainage paths.  They will seed it to fescue and apply netting and straw to protect it until the grass is re-established.  It will be beautiful and functional again when they finish.

Shepards do great work…

Here are some components for the building of new WASCoBs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Normally, we try to begin the planting of  wheat on September 25.   It’s just too wet to do that now, but hopefully next week’s weather will allow us to begin.   ASAP is the word.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Drippy, rainy day

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The rain is a comin’ down.   It’s not cold, but the gray skies are not a happy thing today.   Rain wasn’t supposed to hit until about 1 pm, but here it is at 830 am.  We do have some grain moving to market from our storage, but no field work again today.   Sunday’s rain stopped any soybean harvest yesterday, but we did go pick corn in the afternoon.    Now, all field work will be stopped for the day.  And, if the forecast is correct, we may have several days this week with the combines in the shed!

Rain is coming down this morning…

It’s a gray, drizzly rainy day.

The combines sit tucked away in the shed waiting for some dry weather.

What we’ve harvested so far has been quite good.  So, we are pleased with the results we’re seeing.  Let’s hope dry days return soon… it is not much fun to harvest in a soft or muddy field.  And, if your machines create ruts with their wheels, those damage the soil for the next few years.

Wheat planting could begin as early as Saturday.  But it appears we will not have the fields completely harvested by then in order to begin.  And the fields may not be dry enough.  We will do as much as the weather allows!

Have a great week!

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A good first week of #harvest21

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Garrison Keillor used to say on his radio show, “It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, my hometown…”   Well, it has not been a quiet week here.  We started fall #harvest 21 on Monday.  We began with corn, because we had some September contracts to fill.  We moved our way through the Harry farm, and finished there in the late afternoon on Tuesday.  We switched the heads on the combines, and went out to cut soybeans right here at the main farm.  Because a rain was coming in late that night (you could see the flashes of lightning lighting up the sky in the west), the dew did not accumulate and we got 3 truckloads of beans cut that evening.  Rain came Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, stopping the harvest.  We returned to soybean cutting on Thursday afternoon and worked through Friday evening.  It is extremely foggy on this Saturday morning, and it will delay the start of soybean harvest today until early afternoon.  Oh, well… that’ll give us some time to deliver some soybeans to market at Newburgh, and to fix the truck that has a coolant hose leak!

Here are some pictures from the week.

Friday morning, the combines wait for the day’s action.

Tuesday evening’s soybean cutting. 

Thursday evening sunset

It will take some hours to burn off this morning’s fog!

All in all, a great first week.  We are pleased with the yields so far.  As always, we attribute the good yields to the blessing from God.  We can do everything we know to do to produce a good crop, but without His providing favorable weather, it does not amount to much.

Have a lovely weekend.

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It’s a start

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Yesterday afternoon we inched our way into corn harvest.  We went over to our “Harry” farm location and got several loads.  We caught up to our dryer just before dark, so we stopped for the night.  The corn moisture was running 23-26%, a bit wetter than we’d like.  Ideally, the grain moisture would run <23, but not quite there yet.  So, we hope to harvest enough to fill our September delivery corn contracts, and then switch over to harvest some  soybeans.  Some pictures from the first day’s corn harvest.

On the road, following Ross to the field.

Ross eases his way into the initial rows of #harvest21

Ross opens a new strip down the hill from me.

We try to keep the combines as close together as possible for the ease of the grain cart driver–Brandon. He’s pretty good at it. Keeps him busy to serve two 12-row combines!  He is operating a CIH 420 RowTrac tractor and Demco 1322 grain cart.

I must add a little video of unloading on-the-go!

Have a good week.

 

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Check that off the pre-harvest list

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Well, the mowing of roadsides went very well.  After 6 solid days of running the John Deere 6130R tractor and R15 rotary cutter, the roadside mowing is ‘caught up’.  After completing that task late this morning, I washed up the cutter and put it into storage.  We may get it back out for a few days after harvest has moved along… in order to mow around the perimeter of some fields–to clean up the appearance.  Time will tell if/when that will get done.  But for now, it is a good thing to have another important task completed.

Mowing the waterway at Huey

I’ve really been wanting to get this stretch of US 50 near Wheatland shaped up…

Mowing the lay-out hillside at Lett. The beans down in that main field look very nice right now.

…and now the tractor is clean again!

Here is the JD 6130R tractor, all clean on the new wash-pad. This was the first machine to get a wash job on the new concrete.

The headers came into the shop today for final adjustments.  The lock-up bolts were removed from the JD RD40F.  The MacDon was inspected and lubricated.  Brandon installed the corn head on the CIH 8250 combine.   The JD S780 combine needs a service call from the dealer for an engine ECU (electronic control unit).  That’s supposed to happen tomorrow.   Little by little, we are getting ready for some harvest coming next week.  #harvest21 is on the way.

We began today with some very preliminary thinking about the 2022 crops.  We are certain  of how many acres of wheat we will be planting this fall.  We have decided which farm locations will be planted to wheat.  In essence, we will be planting nearly the same number of acres as we harvested in 2021.  We also have consulted with our fertilizer supplier and have some preliminary cost figures for the fertility plans for 2022.  The increases in cost are significant!  Shockingly high, really.  Not doubled, but not too far from that!  So we have begun our work with the crop budgeting for ’22, and we will refine our numbers as we get more firm cost figures.   It will help to determine the allocation of acres between corn and soybeans.   The most important number for us to define is our cost per bushel.   From that, it makes our marketing much easier.   So, in our minds, 2022 is already on our radar!

Such a beautiful day here in SWIN today.  The temperature is a perfect 79ºF (26C).  The sky is a brilliant, bright blue with scattered “Andy’s room” clouds.

Puffy white clouds dot the sky

Have a great weekend, everyone.

 

 

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Labor Day along US 50

Monday, September 6, 2021

Making US 50 look a little better today.

US 50 is not very busy on this Labor Day

A pleasant task when all is working well on a sunny day like today.

I’m working closer to home today.  Tomorrow, I’ll work at locations more distant.   This will be a busy week with the rotary cutter.

Ross thinks we can start with corn harvest next Monday, the 13th.  We will do some hand sampling late in the week to see if that’s really gonna happen.  Ross’ estimates are usually pretty close; he never misses it by much…

Welcome to September!

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