Hot…and smelly…

Friday, June 15, 2012

This afternoon, Ben and Philip are ‘cleaning the pit’.  This is our most ‘glamorous’ job on the farm; one that Mike Rowe would not want to do on “Dirty Jobs”.  It involves climbing down under the older truck dump pit, scraping up a layer of dusty, smelly, spoiled grain (this time wheat), and placing the stuff in 5-gallon buckets.  Topside, Ben receives the buckets and dumps them into the front loader bucket of the backhoe.  When the backhoe is filled with this wonderful elixer, it is taken to a nearby field and spread on the ground to completly decompose.  Since it has not been very long since the last pit cleaning, this will probably only fill the backhoe loader bucket one time.  This lovely task must be done 3-4 times per year, and today is one of those lucky days!

Ben empties a bucket into the backhoe’s loader bucket. Near the orange grain leg at the rear of the picture, he lowers the 5-gallon buckets through the floor down to Philip, who fills them with the refuse of dust, dirt, and spoiled grain, and then sends them up to Ben. This would be a good task for Mike Rowe on “Dirty Jobs”!

Brandon finished sweeping out bin #4 with stored wheat, and now he is delivering it to Robinson Grain Elevator, just across US 50 from the farm.  We will be officially empty of grain today.  It is a happy thing, and a sad thing, all at the same time…. to run out of grain to sell.

There is some repair and upgrade work to be done on the bins before fall harvest, and we expect Jake Gingerich, Montgomery Welding some time soon to begin the repairs.  His work will repair the unloading auger system that is shared by or our biggest bin, #10A (50,000 bushels) and our smallest bin #1B (10,000 bushels).  He will also install a new rooftop loading system for bins 10A and 10.  After that loading change, we will be able to fill 10 and 10A from either grain leg, and it will be faster.

John has done some concrete repair work today to the wash pad outside the shop.  I did some roadside spraying at VanVleet, Downen, Holscher, and Huey this morning.  The Gator sure is a handy tool for that task.

My concern is growing again about the double-crop soybeans (DCB).  I think the rain last Monday (.28″ or 7mm) was just enough to sprout many of them, and then this hot week (94F today) has dried out the soil around the tiny sprouts, leaving them without enough moisture to survive.  It would not make sense to replant today, for the replanted soybeans would not have a chance to sprout until a rain comes.  So, we wait for a rain to see what kind of stand we will have…

I am ready for a weekend, and it’s Fathers’ Day to celebrate.  Have a great weekend.  Pray for a good rain.


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