Saturday, September 12, 2020
There has been some activity here at Carnahan & Sons since the end of August.
Final preparations for fall harvest are now complete. The grain bins and the dryer have been serviced. Each machine and truck needed for harvest has been inspected, adjusted, and lubricated. We have made an improvement to the trailer we use to haul fuel to the field. We had a small crisis in the office, with the computer going on the fritz. And, for the first week of September, Pat and I went down to Disney for some fun.
When the computer hard drive started to go bad, it was very unsettling. We didn’t lose much data–just some pictures. Most vital information I had backed up on an external hard drive. Whew! I am told it may be possible to extract some of the missing files from the old hard drive. Hope so.
One project remains; we are modifying our disk to add an integral rolling harrow. This will eliminate our need for a separate, pull-type harrow. This should simplify the use of the disk. We expected this attachment to be delivered yesterday, but it has not arrived yet.
We check the fields often for the maturity of the grain. One hand sample of corn on Wednesday gave us a 26% moisture level; our rule of thumb is that when you take the combine you’ll find a moisture level +2 points above a hand sample. We’d prefer the corn to be 23% or better to start. Soybeans need to be at 13% moisture. Often they get below that (9-10%) as we move through the harvest.
During the first week of September, Pat and I went down to Disney World. We enjoy our times there, and this time it was a little different — no evening hours, no fireworks, no personal character greetings. The days were very hot and humid, in the mid-to-high 90s each day. Yeah, we had to wear masks. There was hardly any waiting in any queue, and we noticed the guests were pretty good about that social distancing thing when there was a short waiting line. All in all, we had a lovely time, and made some great memories.
This was a fun week, even through the hot and humid days. We walked a lot, typically 6-7 miles a day. That helped burn off those calories from the great meals!
We will likely be starting in the fall harvest Monday or Tuesday. As always, we will likely discover some unforeseen bug on that first day as we begin. But if the weather cooperates, we will move through #harvest2020 in 6-7 weeks. We are looking forward to the corn and soybean harvest.
Beginning (about) September 25, we will be planting wheat for harvest next June. It’s always neat to see those wheat fields turn a nice shade of green, as the trees turn red, orange, yellow, and then eventually brown. Green is my favorite color.
It has been dry for a few weeks now, and a rain would be welcome to boost the double-crop soybeans (DCB). It is too late for a rain to benefit the corn or soybeans. The dry period may have hurt the corn and soybean yields a little bit, but we will know for sure very soon.
There are lots of moving parts to managing this farm during the fall. We are concerned with marketing, logistics of moving the grain from the fields to the dryer and/or storage, as well as to the elevators to fill our sales contracts. There are decisions about 2021 hybrids and varieties. There are soil tests to be made, and the resulting application maps guide the fertility applications for 2021 crops. And we are managing our finances for the fiscal year end on 11-30. It is a buzz of activity. Challenging and interesting all at the same time.
Here we go!