Wednesday, October 19

It’s raining off and on again today.  This morning, John and Philip are unloading the 4 trucks from Monday night.  The wet storage was full on Monday night, and yesterday’s rain prevented unloading them.  So, in between showers, the truck loads of corn are going into the ‘wet bin’.  This is a special storage bin, built up on tall legs, and it has a funnel-shaped bottom.  It serves as the bin to feed the wet corn to the dryer.  I’m sure Ross will fire up the dryer as soon as the rain passes.  He and John are the dryer experts.  That wet corn needs to be dried asap.

I went to the crop insurance office this morning to report the production of the 2011 wheat, and the planted acres of the 2012 wheat.  The local agent is very helpful, and is our point-of-contact with the insurance company, Rain & Hail, LLC.  I also checked on some of the replanted soybeans, and I think that when the weather gives us an appropriate day, we can cut them.  The DCB (double-crop beans) are not quite there yet.

I spent most of yesterday entering the unload information into the office computer from the corn that has been brought here to the dryer.  The Excel sheet then calculates the net bushels, allowing for the shrinkage caused by the removal of moisture from the grain.

As the corn comes in from the field and is unloaded, the truck drivers test the grain for moisture content and test weight, then they write down many facts about each load:  Date, Time, Farm (location from which the grain came), Truck (which truck brought the grain in) , Moisture, Test Weight, Number of Bushels, and the Destination Bin.   From this information, I can determine the actual production from each farm/field location.  This information is very helpful to us as managers, but is also required by crop insurance and Farm Service Agency (FSA) officials.   This production history over time sets the basis for our crop insurance and for the ACRE programs at FSA.  I have been thinking about placing a laptop in the grain receiving building so that the above information will be entered directly into an Excel sheet, rather than hand-written on a yellow legal pad.  I’ve been reluctant for a couple reasons; will the laptop be okay in that dusty environment, and will the truck drivers be able to enter the information properly each time?   So far, I’m more comfortable with the written paper, no danger of deletion or dust hazard.   But if the laptop would work out, it would reduce my data transfer time by many hours!

There are two special events that this rainy period will permit us to experience.  The first thing is a Gold Key trip at the John Deere Des Moines Works.  Our new JD 4730 sprayer will be built on Wednesday, October 26, and we will go see it come together on that day.   It’s an exciting thing to interact with the workers as they build your machine.   And at the end of the event, you are presented with a gold-colored key as a souvenir.   Yes, it will start the sprayer, but we’ll keep it on display in the office.  The other neat thing that is an upside of this rainy time is that Philip and John are going to the World Series game in St. Louis tonight.  They are really excited to be a part of the Cardinals‘ late-season run.  Philip especially is a baseball fan, and a Cardinal fan in particular.  He is really enjoying their past several weeks of unexpected success.

Go Cardinals!

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