Two surprises.

Tuesday evening, March 21, 2017

This morning, we were out with Mr. Olan Worland to survey and discuss and plan and prioritize the spring conservation repairs that he will be doing soon.   We discovered an unanticipated problem.  A rather large culvert that is the basis for crossing into a remote field (and the only way of access to it) was found to be decaying (Surprise One) and the soil covering it was cracking and subsiding.  This culvert is over 30 years old, and apparently at the end of its useful life.  It is a rather urgent repair, and we set about to locate a replacement culvert.  It is of a size (10 feet in diameter and 50 feet in length) that will be difficult to get delivered to the site.  A few phone calls later, we found a supplier that can deliver the needed culvert in about a week.   Mr. Worland has more than enough ‘projects’ to keep him occupied until its arrival, for we settled on work at 13 field locations.   Some ditch levees will be built up, another field entrance will have a new 48″ x 40′ culvert installed, some WASCoBs will be cleaned out and repaired, and various other conservation improvements will be made ahead of planting.  Our many years of experience with Mr. Worland makes us confident he will complete each project in a timely manner.   In fact, he started this afternoon on the terrace repair at the Huey farm, so progress is already being made!

Most of the seed corn was delivered today.  We will likely be picking up a semi-trailer load of bulk soybean seed at the CPS plant where it will be coated with a fungicide seed treatment.  By picking it up there, it will reduce the number of times the seed must go through a conveyor, and make for more convenient operations for our seed dealer-neighbor.  That could happen this week!  John plans to begin spraying soybean acres late this week (weather permitting), so that planting can begin the first week of April.  The plan for nitrogen application has us beginning that next week.  Somehow it will all begin to fall into place, and that seems very soon.

It was cooler today, in the low 60sF, but felt much cooler than yesterday’s mid-70s sunshine-filled day.  The soil in most field locations is fairly dry for this time of year.  It was not a problem to drive in the pickup around all morning with Mr. Worland to devise a plan for the conservation repairs.

Ross was able to make arrangements today with OmniStar for the higher-accuracy XP signal for his planter tractor (CIH MX290).  We purchase this for a 3-month period of time during corn planting, the remainder of the year, this tractor works on the no-cost WAAS signal.  Our JD tractors and combines utilize JD’s Starfire 2 signal for all operations.

I ran the lawn mower a little bit at home this afternoon.  There is a small area near the front door that we mow with the push mower.  I was delighted when I touched the start key on that mower, it (Surprise Two) started instantly!  I also used the new JD Z970R in another area   of the yard.  I guess I just had to try out that new machine!  It is not unusual to run the lawn mowers in March.  Typically, we mow once or twice in March, and that will continue until early November.


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