March 17, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day!  It is a time to recall that our Carnahan ancestors came to America from Ireland.  John has done some research about the previous generations, and we think that the first to arrive here in Indiana from Ireland was John Carnahan, my great- great-grandfather.   John was the father of Enoch, then Welker, Lowell, and me.  John has discovered that there still exists a village in Northern Ireland with the name of “Carnaghan”,  we think that’s how the name was spelled, until it was ‘american-ized’ at John Carnahan’s arrival here.

Another pleasant fact about today is that the weather is very nice.  Temperatures in the 70s, and lots of sunshine.  We are seeing some blooming flowers around the house, and you can just see a hint of green on the trees as they begin to bud out.  The forsythia is brilliant yellow.  It is easy to see that spring is just a few days away!

Just yesterday, I finished the task of writing prescriptions for the ammonia applicator, the corn planter, and the soybean drill.   The most time-consuming task is writing those things for the soybean drill, because it requires 4 to 6 prescriptions for each field–one for each variety that could potentially be planted.  I spent a chunk of 4 days writing those prescriptions, and it can become a bit tedious, but it is well worth it.  For example, in our experience, using prescriptions allows us to save 12 % of our nitrogen costs for corn and 10% for seed costs for soybeans.

Another task was to get set up the GreenStar information into the tractors and sprayer.  Once the information is completed in Apex, it is saved to a USB thumb-drive, and then loaded into the GS3 screen in the machines.  We also got the StarFire2 signals connected and the XP signal purchased and loaded into the MX290 tractor.  Now, Ross will be able to have a more-accurate system for Autotrac in his planting tractor.  There were updates to download from the John Deere StellarSupport website, and transfer to the GS3s.  It is not terribly complicated, but just requires logical and deliberate thinking.

We are monitoring the grain markets closely.  The price for 2012 corn is declining, but the price for 2012 soybeans is increasing… therefore, using our proprietary crop budget computer program, we have determined to change our planting intentions a bit, by moving one 125-acre field from the corn column to the soybean column.  If this price trend persists, we may move another hundred-or-so…  flexibility is important to respond to the leading of the markets.  There remains 20 or 30 loads of 2011-crop corn to deliver, 10 of those will be going out Monday.

It is basketball heyday also.  I don’t think it’s just because we live in Indiana that we are basketball addicts, but it is a very popular activity.  And, this weekend, the Indiana HS semi-state tourneys are happening, too!  I think we will be able to satisfy our basketball cravings here for a few days.  Congratulations to our Purdue Boilermakers for their first-round win over St. Mary’s.  Next game will be very challenging against the Kansas Jayhawks.

So, as the time approaches to plant yet another crop, we look forward in hope and anticipation  to the challenges and rewards of life on this farm.

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