Wheat in the rear-view mirror

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Late last night, we completed our harvest of our 2019 wheat crop.  As we were working after dark at our Crook farm, you could see flashes of lightning all around.  I wondered if we would get rained out before we could finish.  There seemed to be reports of rain and storms all around Knox County, but it remained dry.  Whew!

Wheat harvest 2019 was a challenge for sure, with the fields a little soft…and the fields at the Huey place were downright sloppy.  But we powered through, and ran most of the wheat through the grain dryer.  The test weight (a measure of the density of the grain) was lower for this wheat crop, we think it was related to the incessant rain it had to endure after the heads matured.  It was not our best ever wheat yield, but it was not bad–considering the wet and cold months of April, May and most of June.

We did not spread the straw back on to the field, but dropped it out the back of the combines into windrows.  A neighbor is baling the straw.  The new combines performed very well.

I’ll be planting double-crop soybeans (DCB) into the wheat stubble as soon as the soil is dry in each field to do so.  It may work tomorrow at VanVleet or Holscher or Crook, but definitely we will need more dry days before we can plant at Huey.  We also have some replanting to do of soybeans that succumbed to flooding.  And for those corn fields that were taken out by White River, we are permitted to replant soybeans there… if the fields dry down enough in time to plant.

I was thinking I’d stop the soybean planter at July 5th, Ross thinks plant/replant until July 10th and some farmers think planting soybeans until July 15 will be okay.  We will just make those calls as we monitor the soil condition in each field as the water goes away.  White River is falling now, down a good 2 feet from the crest.  Some soil is beginning to emerge from the flood waters.

I’ll share some pictures of wheat harvest.

Brandon loads the Peterbilt. It had to stay on the blacktop!

The trailer fills pretty fast

Looking east from the VanVleet farm, you can see the White River’s flood waters.

Header removed, ready to move to the next location. It was a beautiful, sunny and hot day. This was on Tuesday.


View from the seat.

As darkness approached yesterday evening, ominous-looking clouds circled the field where we were harvesting. Bolts of lightning lit up the sky. But the rain we anticipated?    Never came!


With the fields firming up, John was able to get back in the sprayer today.  He used the “drops” to apply post herbicide to some corn today.  “Drops” are an addition to the spray boom that places the nozzles at a point a couple feet below the boom. Using drops, you can apply the chemical below the top of the corn crop ‘canopy’, closer to the weeds.

Now, at the end of the day, John is cleaning out his sprayer’s tank and boom, preparing to spray some soybeans tomorrow.  He is quite diligent to precisely apply the herbicides.  He is feeling some pressure to get across a number of acres that are now at the proper stage of crop and weed growth for this application.  Once he gets across the corn acres, I think we will declare those fields ‘laid by’, meaning they will require no more ‘tending’ until harvest.

It has been nice to see the sunshine now for a few days.


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