Friday, July 26, 2013
Even though field work is at a standstill, with only some spraying to be done next week, the work around the shop and farm lot continues. Brandon made a list yesterday of the maintenance tasks that need attention over the next several days–posting it on the board in the shop.
By my reckoning, this list could take 7-10 work days. Plus, not shown there is the hot and tiring job of scooping and sweeping out the remaining wheat bushels from bins 4 and 7. Then, the wheat will be delivered to market. The approximately 7-acres of farm lots must be mowed each week. We will go out with the Gator and spray johnsongrass along roadsides, and we could mow those same roadsides with the bush-hog. I mowed along 241 yesterday afternoon to improve the appearance of the corn on the Steen farm. It certainly looks better today!
In good news, Ben has secured a short-term job in Lafayette, Indiana doing some aerial surveying. This will give him some income, but best of all, he will accumulate some flight hours he sorely needs. He flies a Cessna 172 equipped with some GPS guided photography equipment. He goes in a specific flight path at a specified altitude and the system records the images. The recording equipment gave some problems early in the week, but they have those bugs worked out, and he is now on-task. He is very happy to be in the air once again. And it’s a good weather day to be doing that job… cooler with clear skies. I think he’s in northern Indiana somewhere today. ‘Way to go, Ben.. have fun up there!
The crops are improving. A short tour of double-crop soybean (DCB) fields yesterday showed a really good stand emerging from the wheat stubble. I am fairly pleased with the way the new air drill worked this year. The frame of this new and larger 2013-model 1890 no-till air drill weighs almost double the previous one, so it permits me to put increased down-pressure on the row units, helping them cut through the straw and getting the seed into the soil more accurately. The soybeans that have been planted and replanted are now growing rapidly, blooming, and setting pods. They will probably nearly double in height before harvest.
The corn seems extra-tall this year. The process of pollination is essentially complete, and it went very well. One of the special things I appreciate greatly is the fragrance of the corn during pollination. Do you like the smell of a fresh-cut lawn? Well, the corn pollination aroma is even sweeter and more pleasant–one of the best things about mid-summer!
There is lingering damage to the corn from the wet months of May and June, and the later-planted and replanted soybeans have less yield potential due to their delayed start. No, this won’t be a record yield year, but a big, big improvement over 2012.