Today brings us brilliant blue skies, and light wind. It is a beautiful January day in SWIN. But the weather forecasters tell us that rain (a very big rain) is coming tomorrow. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is supposed to bring 4+inches (102+mm) of rain across Indiana. When a big rain event comes to central Indiana, it brings with it flooding threats all along the West Fork of White River (WFWR). All that run-off must eventually come to the east and south sides of Knox County. A forecast for this much rain brings concern about our levee that protects the Nellie farm, which is directly along the west bank of the WFWR, just north of US 50. The levee looked like it needed a bit of refurbishment last fall, but there has not been a suitable period of time to get in there and do some repair work. Now, it appears that a major ‘test’ is coming.
Brandon has been taking soybeans and some corn to market, to fill some contracted delivery obligations. The grain has been emerging from the bins in good condition. We like to move grain out regularly, in order to know precisely what is going on inside each bin. So far, so good.
We have a small stockpile of crushed stone here at the farmstead. I took a few backhoe-bucket-fulls out of it today to spread on a couple spots in the lane. In this wet post-harvest period, the aggregate has all but disappeared in those spots, and the vehicles get pretty messy. Today, the lane is nice and dry, but the predicted rainy spell will soon change that. Today’s work is merely a ‘patch’, until spring gets here and we do a complete refresh of the lane by spreading 5-6 truckloads of #53 stone from the farmstead all the way out to East Wheatland Road.
There is a lot of flu going around SWIN. The local hospital has put strong visitor restrictions in place. Our school returned to session this week, but there are many absences among the students and staff. Church attendance is also down a little bit. I took a flu shot for this first time this year; I don’t know for sure if that is why I haven’t been down with the flu, but I’ll guess that is the reason.
Our wheat crop is looking pretty nice for January. It has good, healthy green color. It has ’tillered’ well. We will have a nitrogen ‘top dress‘ applied as soon as the field conditions permit. The window of application can be January to mid-March, but the closer to March 1, the better. There are many other factors that determine the optimum timing. We will consult with our agronomy advisor from Nutrien, and together we will determine when and what to use for this nitrogen application. Typically we use a blend of urea and ESN, the exact ratio will be determined at the application time. Later, in early spring, we will apply a herbicide, and subsequently an application of fungicide will be ‘flown on’ by an airplane.
Basketball is is full swing again, the local HS girls’ team is doing quite well, but the boys’ team is having a tougher time. The schedule is a difficult one for each, with both the boys and girls playing many games against teams from much larger schools. Even so, we take in as many games as we can. Our Purdue Boilermakers have been up-and-down this season… looking quite impressive at home, and often unimpressive at away contests. Even though Purdue has more Big Ten basketball championships than any other university, and are the reigning champion (co-champ with Michigan State)… another one may not be in the cards for 2020. Like most years, you cannot be ‘wimpy’ and be a Purdue fan. When you go to a Purdue game, and you sing the school song, there is a line in there that says, “ever grateful, ever true.” That’s what we intend to be.
We hope you have gotten off to a good start for the new year.