Saturday, June 14, 2014
It’s a rather cool morning… in the high 50sF to start the day. It should warm to the 80s by afternoon. It has been a less-hectic week on the farm, but many things are happening.
Pat and I used Wednesday and Thursday to show some interesting sights to our French guest Nicolas. We took him to Purdue for a tour of the main university and specifically the ag campus. It was a long day, but we got an in-depth look at Purdue Agriculture.
Alyssa made sure we saw the new Neil Armstrong building and Purdue’s chunk of rock from the moon!
As we were preparing to leave, we met Purdue’s Dean of Agriculture, Jay Akridge on the shady sidewalk. We had a pleasant conversation. After introducing Nicolas to the Dean, it was no surprise that Jay had some experience with Nicolas’s French ag college, ESA in Angers. What a gentleman to serve as the Dean! Thanks, Jay.
We spent the night in Indianapolis, and devoted our Thursday to racing. We visited the new Dallara race car factory, where Nicolas took a ride in a 2-seater around the streets of Speedway, Indiana. Then we visited the Indy 500 museum. Out on the track, we saw famous driver Arie Luyendike driving 200+mph on the famous 2.5 mile oval.
We had a nice meal at the Hard Rock Café before traveling back home.
On Friday, it was more normal farm day. We had Jason and Ray here from our JD dealer, Wright-Stemle. We mounted the new 640FD header on the new S680 combine in order to do the calibrations…we were making certain that this machine was completely set-up and ready for the wheat harvest, which we hope will begin late next week. Haley was out on the suntan machine, performing maintenance on some ditches to minimize the invasiveness of wood species.
Later, we mowed the yard with me on the JD X340 and Nicolas on the Exmark.
Nicolas is off to Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana today with Megan Schaefer. He was really looking forward to the roller coasters (montagne russe in French) and the water park.
We have examined the wheat almost daily for the past week, and it is slowly ripening. Seems like it will be a few days delayed from ‘normal’, but we are hopeful for an above-average yield. We will begin harvest when the wheat grain moisture level is a little higher at 18-20% (13% is the standard for “dry” and proper). We then run the wheat through our dryer. This gives us two benefits: 1. Earlier harvest, and thus the double-crop soybeans can be planted sooner. 2. The “test weight” or density of the grain is higher than if the grain dries naturally in the field.
All in all, a good week, to see the end of planting, and turning our attention to crop monitoring and harvest preparation.
Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads out there. We miss our dad here, next July 31 would have been his 101st birthday. Such beautiful weather yesterday and today… as the poet says, “There is nothing so rare as a day in June”.