Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Work continued on the JD 1890 soybean air drill today. The guys did the difficult task of greasing the zerks on all 60 rows, plus the wheels, frame-folding hinges, and the bearings on the 1910 air cart. That’s a lot of greasing. It’ll take about 3 more of those sessions through the planting season to properly care for this machine.
Another task was checking and correcting the pressure in the drill’s tires. It has 20 tires, plus a spare. Each one needed some air pumped to bring the pressure up to spec — 70 psi in most and 60 psi on the eight big tires on the main frame. Took a while to get that task done!
I spent the morning gathering information to send to our banker for our L/C renewal this summer. I try to get this task done in plenty of time. It’s more convenient to do this in March than May or June! It takes some effort to collect and assemble all the documentation they require, but it has a side effect of keeping me more adequately ‘tuned in’ to the financial health of our farm business. It’s also a good thing that we view our relationship with our banker as a partner, not an adversary. Transparency is a key attribute. We often long for the simple days back in the 1960s and 70s when it was much less complex, but those days are history. It takes some focused concentration to get the needed information arranged in the proper format. The computer sure makes (most of) that easier!
Tomorrow, it is supposed to be rainy and quite windy. The temperature is supposedly going to get near 70º. But the rain and wind will make for a good day to work in the farm office. I think I can knock out the soybean planting prescriptions tomorrow, if I am diligent about it. We have been experimenting with lower soybean planting populations over the past several years. With a rate of 140,000 seeds per acre on the best soils, we may nearly have found an optimum minimum number — for our 10-inch rows. After reviewing past performance, we may up that just a little. The germination of the 2019 seed is lower, so that will also require a marginal increase in planting population to maintain our target. Planting populations for soybeans are created counter-intuitively; in other words, the better the soil, the thinner you plant the beans.
We’ve been watching the reports of the storm out west. Have mercy! Strong winds and heavy rains and in some places heavy snow are creating hazardous travel conditions. Many cattle operations are calving in this treacherous weather. Also think of the law enforcement, the linemen, the highway crews, and the emergency workers who must brave the conditions to perform their necessary work. Pray for them.
Have great rest of your week.