A French Connection, and other stuff…

Friday the 13th

I’ve been watching off-an-on the Tour de France.  Well, the winner of Stage 8 on Sunday was Thibault Pinot.  His distant relative, potato farmer Jean-Baptiste Pinot, was here at the farm visiting back on 31 January!  Being acquainted with J-B has caused me to watch with increased interest this year.  I usually just watch to see the french countryside, the farms and fields, corn and wheat.  But this year, I’ve got a new guy to ‘root for’.  Allez, Thibault!

Brandon and Nick will be painting the roof of the fuel storage building, as soon as the dew burns off.

Brandon and Nick make good progress today

Philip will do some roadside spraying of johnsongrass from the Gator, and a little roadside work with the bush-hog.  Not a large list for today’s work.  John is spraying small areas of johnsongrass in a few soybean fields.

We met this morning with Tony Halter and David Flint, our Pioneer seed guys.  We discussed the planting of the 2013 wheat crop, and made arrangements for that seed.  They were also curious about how the drought may affect our planting intentions for next year’s corn and soybeans.  If we had to decide today, we would increase soybeans and cut back on corn… but there are too many variables to make such a decision now.  As we get closer to October-November, we should have a clearer picture of our 2013 costs, and a better handle on overall 2012 production with its effect on commodity prices.  There’s never a time when you cannot be “paying attention”.

Soon, I’ll be meeting with our crop insurance agent to try to understand again how that process is going to work this fall, and to determine an estimate of how that will affect our cash flow going into 2013.

Ross did a tour of the corn fields yesterday, to evaluate how the pollination went, and judge a little about the propects for fall harvest.  He brought in one ear as a sample of what he found.  It’s not big, but more than a ‘nubbin’.   He may be able to estimate the yield, but I am never sure about what that’s going to be until I run the 9770 over a few acres!  You would think that by now (I’m 59 years old, with 37 years of full-time farming experience) I would be able to accurately predict corn yields.

Here is a sample ear of corn Ross brought in from his tour of the fields yesterday. It’s a little slimmer, and maybe a little shorter, than typical, but the pollination was pretty good.  16 rows of kernels down the length of the ear, not bad!

Jake Gingerich has made progress on the improvements to the grain system, the filling conveyor for bins 10 and 10A.  We are pretty sure he will have that ready to go before harvest.  John has met with our new electrician, Russell Lashley, to plan for the electrical connections on the new skyway and conveyor.  There will be a 15-hp motor for the conveyor, some lighting, and some electrical outlets up there when completed.

A view of our grain system, showing the new GSI 2326 dryer. You can see that the fill conveyor for 10 and 10A remains to be installed.

We missed the predicted rain yesterday, but perhaps our chances are better today!

Good weekend, everyone.  Looks like the weather will be more favorable the the local Wheatland WheatFest!

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