Summer Jobs

Friday, July 7, 2017

Weekly mowing is among the many summer tasks that must take place.  We have about 10 acres of lawn, plus around the barns and bins and other farmstead lots that need weekly attention.  That mowing is one of the tasks that keeps us occupied during July.  We also use the bush hog on the roadsides at most farm locations, and we have to spot-spray johnsongrass and woody sprouts in ditches and roadsides/fencerows.   The Gator started acting up — running poorly yesterday — so Brandon is out on a little 4-wheeler with the spray tank tied on behind his seat.  The Gator will go to the dealer’s shop on Monday.

Mowing this hillside patch at the Lett farm with the 7130 and the bush hog.

Here at the Watjen farm, this little strip is too narrow for our planters, so we mow it each summer.

This is the rig Brandon was using today to spot spray at the fields near Wheatland.

The big rear tires on the JD 7130 tractor were giving trouble, with one of them having a very slow leak, and both of them were very worn down, with little tread.  So, we made the decision to replace those old tires… and that happened today.

This is the ‘before’ picture

And ‘after’, the 7130 tractor has much improved, brand-new tires on the back.

I mowed the yard at home today, and tried to get done before it got too hot.  Ben is home and he helped me today by doing the sanding on the front door of the house.  It needs a now coat of sealer to protect it from the weather.  That’s on my Saturday “to do” list now.

The weed battle vs. waterhemp and marestail has been extra fierce this summer.  John and Brandon have been out there on many mornings with a ‘weed hook’ to cut down some of the bigger weeds in the worst patches.  There’s just too many to think we would cut them all.   Since the introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans many years ago, we have become accustomed to very weed-free soybean fields.  With the no-till system, this has selected for different species of weeds, and some species have adapted with resistance.  So, weed-free is more difficult to achieve these days.  Still, there is some new technology available this year, and we are learning how to manage that technology– dicamba resistant soybeans added to the RR traits.  There is no “magic silver bullet”, and our management efforts must ramp up again to achieve the results we desire.

Ross and I worked together today to analyze the stronger wheat market and what that means for us for 2018.  I re-worked the preliminary crop budget for 2018, and discovered that the wheat prices have indeed risen above our cost/bushel.  Therefore, Ross sold some new-crop 2018 wheat for next June/July delivery.  Looks like we’re going to be back in the soft red winter wheat business again!   That’s good news for us, because it balances out our work load across more months, and better still, gives us a small amount of income in mid-summer!   Of course, we will plant double-crop soybeans (DCB) immediately behind the combines next June.  I’m looking forward to having some wheat/DCB again.

A nice inch rain would be quite welcome.

Knox County Fair (Indiana’s oldest farm fair) arrives in 10 days.

Have a very happy weekend.






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