Thursday, April 11, 2013
During the night, we received another .8″ (20mm) of rain. That was less than we expected, considering how the storm looked on the radar. But the fields are soaked this morning. The previous rain, Sunday night, was highly localized. Areas south of our main farm were mostly dry. We discovered yesterday that locations south and east of Wheatland were drier, and the new Burke farm and the Freddie farm were dry.
Yesterday afternoon, we were able to find a location dry enough to apply NH3. Ross and John moved to the Huey farm, and worked the Flat L field, 215 acres. After that, they found the remaining fields too wet to apply NH3. It must have been a good afternoon, for they left here around 2pm, and returned before dark.
I spent the morning burning piled-up cornstalks from the new Burke farm. I took the 9330 and ‘scratcher’ to make sure the burn took place only on the windrowed stalks and did not spread to other areas of the farm. The fires did their job. This is a task that has increased since our move to no-till. In areas of flood plains near creeks and the river, flood events float the crop residue into a windrow, sometimes several inches thick. Under that mat of residue, the soil just will not dry out. So, it has become common practice to burn those piles. In fact, this week you could see the smoky evidence of those fires across the neighborhood.
After that successful clean-up at Burke, I had to get a flat tire repaired. We typically keep a spare of every size implement tire, but this one on the new scratcher is a heavier 8-bolt wheel that we do not yet have in inventory.
It was much too windy to spray, 20+ mph.
Upon getting that scratcher tire fixed at Best One Tire in Vincennes, I went out in the backhoe to remove logs and sticks from the fields at the Burke, Freddie, Grubb, and Commer farms. These logs and sticks float out into the fields during flooding events. Other times, a strong wind can knock down a tree at the border of a field. These obstacles must be removed. This is one of our more glamorous jobs, removing the debris. The small ones must be picked by hand, thrown into the backhoe loader bucket, and hauled out. The bigger ones can be hauled or pushed with the front-end bucket. I was in and out of the cab countless times, especially on the Freddie farm. But those fields are now ready for spring operations!
I’ll spend the day in the office, catching up entering invoices into the online QuickBooks. I’ll make a trip to the bank. There’s an elder meeting this evening. Even on rainy days, the tasks don’t let up much. But I’ll admit, I slept a little later this morning….