July 13, 2011

Another rain last night, 1.6″ to be exact.  This is helping make my replanting decision.  I have been perplexed for many days about how long to wait for the soils to dry in the areas that have been flood-damaged.  I originally thought the window of opportunity closed on the 15th of July, but I have received advice that I should stop on the 10th, and another friend said that he would plant until the 20th.  Last night’s rain effectively shuts me out until after the 15th, so I am content to have the guys clean up the drill, and get it ready for storage.   John evaluated the soybeans as he has sprayed over the top of them, and has reported that the acres lost are less than we expected.  On the day after the flooding, I thought we may lose up to 120 acres, but now it appears that some of those areas will recover.  Therefore, the replanting that needs to be done today is in the 25- to 30-acre range.  I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by the resurgence of the water-soaked acres by White River.  John tells me that those soybeans are smaller, a little less robust-looking, but are showing new growth. 

Brandon has started to clean the drill, John and Ben have worked on it today.  The seed openers were coated with mud during the last two days of planting in the wheat stubble.  It looks much better now, and the wheels are clean and yellow once again.  I will wait until Brandon can grease the bearings, and then I will take that air cart and drill down to the quonset building on the Huey farm, and place it into storage until next spring!  Every March, I am eager to get the drill connected to the tractor and be ready for April planting….then I this time of the year, I am eager to put it away!   And this year, in particular, it seems like the planting season lasted an even longer time. 

Yesterday, while John made a trip to the dentist, I rode with Ben in the sprayer, giving him some instruction on operating the 4720.  It was his first time to be at the controls, and it was a perfect place to learn… a large, flat field of soybeans with few obstacles.  He did quite well, and remarked that he appreciated the “Autotrac” system and actually drives the sprayer across the field.  I will attach a small movie showing Ben’s driving experience.  One interesting view, right at the end of the movie, is how the ‘swath control’ shuts off each of the five sections of the spray boom, as they come across the end-rows.   You can also see in the movie, areas of the field that have been flood-damaged.  You will see some water still standing where the sprayer makes a turn-around. 

This afternoon, Ben is helping John and me to prepare our parts in a skit for VBS at church.  It’s fun!  -Dennis

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