Planting Fescue… and some HS basketball

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Yesterday I finished the task of cranking on some fescue seed on the refurbished ditch banks down at the Steen and Newman farms near Wheatland.   I loaded the bed of the Gator with a supply of seed, a hand scoop, and the hand-powered seeder.   The heated cabin of the Gator made it a comfortable ride to the field and back, and a place to warm back up between fills of fescue seed.  The soil was mostly frozen yesterday while I was working, making it easier to keep my footing in what might have otherwise been a bit muddy conditions.

My tools for scattering fescue seed on the ditch banks.

Looks like warmer days are predicted to return for the weekend, maybe up to 64ºF (18C) on Friday.  We had snow on the roof when the day began this morning!

We attended a basketball game at our local high school last night.  Our South Knox Spartans defeated our rival North Knox Warriors in a game that was a blowout early on, but got close at the end.  The gym was filled with fans.  Local doctor, Tom Thompson, was honored  before the varsity game for 40+ years of service to SK athletics.   Also in attendance was my old coach, Sam Alford (dad of Steve Alford) who coached the Spartans when SK was a new school 1968-1971.  It was great to see and visit with Coach Alford again.

The gym was pretty much filled with fans for the game vs. NK.

The ceremony for Dr. Thompson. L to R
SK Supt Tim Grove, Former Supt Brad Case, Coach Sam Alford, Dr. Tom and his wife Teri, and AD Chris Lancaster.

Even Buddy the Elf came to SK last night!

It was great to be out among all the SK fans last night.  Saw many old friends and shared some laughs.



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Ending the week on a high note

Friday, December 3, 2021

It’s 67 degrees out there!  (19C)  Yesterday and today we’ve had upper 60s for temperatures.  Who would have thought that December would begin with days like this?  Wednesday was a dreary, wet day, but that seems long ago now.

Brandon is making the KW look much better.  It got pretty messy on the highways on Wednesday, but he’s cleaning it up again this afternoon.  The Mack Vision that Bill likes to drive could use a good wash too.

Washing the K-dub on a really nice December afternoon.

John continues to make progress on the mixing system on the new Demco trailer.  The 2-inch fittings for the plumbing system have been delayed, but he’s been able to get most of the electrical gadgets he needs.  It is coming together.

He caught a bargain on some under-the-deck storage boxes, and they arrived today.


John now has the Demco trailer out of the shop.  He has kinda ‘caught up’ with what he can do until his plumbing fittings arrive.

So far, so good.

Brandon and Bill have been delivering some corn and soybeans to market… corn to GPC-Washington, IN,  and soybeans to ADM-Newburgh, IN.  The grain looks really nice as it drops into the trucks.

Loading Bill’s Mack Vision with soybeans.

Yes, it’s a little dusty, but the soybeans are beautiful as they fill the semi-trailer

Mr. Worland’s work on the ditch south of Wheatland is progressing nicely.  The part south of US 50 has been completed, and yesterday I was able to spread fescue seed on the banks.  He’s now working on the stretch between Wheatland and US 50.

The east side is nearly finished, and Mr. Worland said he hopes to finish this job tomorrow. Sure has been a nice couple days to do this conservation work.

We need to get the corn planter into the shop and replace the opener disk blades. Soon, we will move that planter inside and make that upgrade.  It will get a thorough inspection and any other part that is worn out will get replaced, too.

Big basketball game tonight:  Iowa at Purdue… If Purdue wins this one, they will likely be ranked first in the nation!   As we have learned, we won’t count our chickens before they’re hatched.  Experience as a Purdue fan tells us it’s best to remain humble.  But we are hopeful!  We have some tickets to the Nebraska game in January.  It will be fun to be in Mackey again!

Have a wonderful weekend.



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It’s December already?

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

December arrived with a chilly, gray, and rainy morning.  The rain departed about 3 pm this afternoon, and we had a few minutes of sunshine.  But the clouds gathered again making for a gray afternoon.  It looks like winter out there.

Bill and Brandon have been busy today taking grain to GPC at Washington, Indiana.  The trucks will stay busy for several days this month… we have contracts to deliver.

Getting Bill’s Vision loaded to go to GPC


The wheat crop is looking quite nice right now.   It is at a good stage of growth to enter freezing weather.  We will meet with our consultant on Friday to evaluate the fields and plan for the first application of nitrogen.

Wheat crop at the home farm looking pretty good.

We have some conservation work going on.  Mr. Worland is straightening a ditch that forms the boundary between the Newman and Steen farms.  After he is done we will spread fescue seed along the banks with the hope that a good sod will grow and protect the banks from erosion.  We will run a hand-cranked seeder to spread that seed.

Won’t be long until these ditch banks will be ready to seed.

The county highway department has been working on our road, to put down new blacktop paving.  It made for some inconvenience for a couple days, but it’s nice to have a smooth road again.  By doing this work at this time of year, it won’t get any tractor tires marking it up while it ‘cures’.

The paving crew on East Wheatland Road on Monday. (29 Nov)

After a lovely Thanksgiving holiday, we worked a couple days at home to set up some Christmas decorations.  Mainly two trees are the bulk of what we do these days.  They turned out nice.

We like clear or white lights on our Christmas trees.  The ornaments we have collected for over 43+ years.





It seems like December got here really fast.  I guess it goes with the old saying that “the days are often slow, but the years go fast”.  I hope to get to a basketball game soon.  (many, actually) After all, we are in Indiana!  Our South Knox Spartans HS team lost its season opener to Sullivan, but should still have a pretty successful season.  And Purdue has been doing pretty well so far!  I hoping to get to Mackey this season to cheer for the Boilermakers!

Sunset last Sunday evening was pretty nice.


Have a good rest of your week.












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Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 25, 2021

We have lots of reasons to be thankful.  Good crop.  Reasonably good health.  Great folks who make up the members of the team here that work together very well.  Families will be together for this holiday.   Brandon’s household grew last week with the arrival of new baby Hudson!  And the list goes on and on.

Thank you, Lord, for your goodness, your lovingkindness, and your graciousness to us.  We declare our dependence on you and our gratitude for your provision.

We love this truly American holiday.  May the attitude it encourages remain with us through the year.

Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving Day from all of us here at Carnahan & Sons!

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Back from WDW


Monday, November 22, 2021

We returned home Saturday evening from a nice week at Disney World.  The weather there was just about perfect– 78-80º each day!  We certainly enjoyed our time down there, and we were able to experience a few of the new things introduced for WDW’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.  We enjoyed the new fireworks at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and the Remy’s Ratatouille ride at Epcot.  We certainly walked a lot of miles each day.  A little rest is in order!

At Epcot

Part of the new HarmonioUS show at Epcot

At our favorite restaurant in Disney Springs… Art Smith’s Homecomin’.   This place salutes the farmers of Florida…and the food is great!

Cinderella Castle just before “Disney Enchantment” fireworks, all decked out for the 50th Anniversary of WDW

During the special Very Merriest After Hours event, the highlight of the Once Upon A Christmastime Parade… The Toy Soldiers!

The humongous lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort. That gingerbread house is 1-1/2 stories tall, with a candy shop inside!

We piloted the Millennium Falcon

We dropped by our favorite resort, the Wilderness Lodge… breathtaking as always…

One of our favorite rides, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Back now at home, Brandon has the combines washed and stored away, and John has begun his work to assemble the new blend/load system on the Demco sprayer tender trailer.  Brandon and Bill are delivering corn to market.

The new Demco sprayer tender trailer is in the shop to begin John’s customization

One of the main components is the hose reel. John is getting 12V power connected to it today.

It is a sunny day here in SWIN, but much cooler (by about 40 degrees!) than central Florida.

We are looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday.  It is not only the scrumptious food, but also the humble attitude of gratitude that makes it a special occasion.  It will be a specific time to ‘count your blessings’ and express our thankfulness to our Maker.  We hope this atmosphere of being thankful extends far beyond Thursday’s official holiday.


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Clean-up continues…

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Brandon has been quite busy with the clean-up.  He has given his touch to several machines so far.  He uses compressed air to blast off caked-on dirt along with loose dust and leaves.  Then, he uses a garden hose, bucket of suds and a long-handled brush to do the final cleaning.   The results are pretty good.  One could say it’s almost #Andyclean.  (Andyclean is one of the stars of AgTwitter).   The weather forecast tell us this will be the final warm day for quite a while, so the “washing’ part of the clean-up will probably move into the shop.

Here are some of items he’s made look almost ‘like new’.

First was the Demco 1322 grain cart


The CIH STX420 Rowtrac

The Mack Vision

The MacDon FD75

The JD RD40F

The Mack CH model we call “Vanna”

The combines will get the treatment soon.  First, with compressed air…

Fertilizer continues to be spread for the 2022 crops.  We are meeting with our Nutrien folks to nail down the costs for the herbicides, fungicides, and other treatments.  We did finalize our seed choices for corn and soybeans on Monday.  We are working diligently to develop a clear picture of the plans and costs for the 2022 crop year.  It is rather startling to discover how the input costs have dramatically risen over 2021.  My work on the crop budget has been more critical than ever.  But once we get that as accurate as we can, it does make us more confident marketers of our bushels.

John is deep into the design and execution of the chemical mixing and delivery system for the new Demco sprayer tender trailer.  It is quite a project, but he is thorough in his planning.  At least we have the experience of the previous system we built on the old water trailer to draw upon, as well as viewing various sophisticated and elaborate (and expensive) systems online.

Ross has been marketing more of the 2021 crop and early portions of the 2022 crop.  Bill has been delivering many of those loads to the markets at Washington and/or Newburgh, Indiana.

Loading the Vision for Bill to take to Newburgh

Bill Berry. He knows the road to Newburgh well. Says “he knows every bump in the road”.

I guess it may be easy for a person unfamiliar with the nature of grain farming to think that when the field work in caught up, there is nothing else to be done.  So, when someone asks, “Are ya done farmin’?” we say, “well, the crush of harvest is over, but the work goes on”.    At least after harvest, the pace lets up and we have a more ‘normal’ work day.  Home for supper, for example.

We will certainly enjoy the warmth of this day, and respond appropriately to whatever the next few days bring us.  As always we remain grateful for this privilege of being farmers in SWIN.

Gonna be an even more special Thanksgiving this year.


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#harvest21 is complete

Monday, November 8, 2021

Last week was a wonderful November weather week.  Even though there was frost each morning, the afternoons were beautiful!  The fields dried down enough by Wednesday that we could return to the DCB fields.   We were able to finish on Saturday afternoon.  It is a good feeling to have that bulk of work behind us, and reflect with gratitude for the good yields.   It took 54 days start-to-finish, not every day was field work, but every one was needed to deliver grain, repair machines, and keep the bookkeeping current.  We already are deep into the planning and beginning steps for the 2022 crops.  Much of the fertility for ’22 corn and soybeans has already been applied.   The folks at Nutrien continue to move ahead as we cleared off the fields of ’21 crops.  There are some challenges as we look ahead to the ’22 crop season, but today we will rejoice in the good harvest of 2021.   The Lord has blessed us (and the farmers of the region) with a harvest of bounty.

Here are some last-day-of-harvest pictures.

Nearly finished at the Steen farm, along Hwy 241 near Wheatland

Last pass of DCB

John spent some time with me on Saturday afternoon.

Here’s the team that leads this farm.
Dennis, John, Ross, and Brandon

Next Gen

Combines wait quietly in the shed for their turn on the wash pad!

It’s another beautiful November day today, and some clean-up will begin today.

Brandon’s already working on the Demco 1322 grain cart to prepare to be stored away. Since it stores behind all other things, it gets cleaned first.

We brought home a new Demco sprayer tender trailer this week.  It replaces a very old Fruehauf grain trailer with a home-made set up that we first utilized in 1989.  This one will have a bit more capacity, should speed the sprayer pit stops, and be safer and more convenient.  John will have a big project over the winter in order to get this fully set up ahead of next spring’s spraying.

out with the old…

…in with the new

We meet this morning with our seed reps to figure out the hybrid/variety mix for ’22.  As the old Sonny and Cher song says…”the beat goes on”.    I guess that shows my age, huh?  In other words, we stay engaged in the management of Carnahan & Sons grain farm.  But now, the pace will be more like normal life, since we have #harvest21 in the rear-view-mirror.

Have a great week.  Keep looking forward to Thanksgiving Day.  We have many reasons to be thankful.



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Frosty morn

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

This morning we had our first frost of the season.  You could see it sparkling on the grass as the pickup lights shone across it.  The sun is coming up rosy today.  The forecast has us kinda hopeful that we can return to the DCB field today.  We have no rain in the forecast for about 9 days, so that should allow us the opportunity to get our double-crop soybeans finished.   The work days may be shortened with the frosty mornings, making for a later start to the harvest work.  But we are thinking we may be looking at the last few days of #harvest21.

C’mon, sunshine!


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Some fixin’

Friday, October 29, 2021

Yesterday afternoon, we had a busy time with some repairs.  Mechanics from both our CIH and JD dealers came by to do some fixin’.  On the CIH 8250 combine, Brad worked on the programming of the engine, to make it run smoother in ‘road mode’.  He also assisted in replacing a sensor on the grain loss monitor.

For the JD, I had been experiencing some uneven lift on the reel of the new RD40F.  The reel is the black, rotating cage-like device on the top-front of the header whose fingers rake the crop into the cutterbar and move it onto the draper belts.  The broad draper belts move the crop toward the center of the header to be fed up into the combine.  Merely bleeding the master/slave cylinders did not keep it level.  So, Devin replaced the little valve block that controls the oil flow on the reel.  It is working well now, and we will see if it stays that way.

This was not a difficult repair, but I’m glad the header is still under warranty!

Devin replaced that silver valve block right at eye level. The block came with the color-coded fittings already installed. They connected back to the color-coded hoses very quickly and easily. Then he bled the end cylinders to re-phase them with the masters. The reel is lifting evenly now.

Before we return to the DCB field, Ross intends to swap out the spare knife in the MacDon header.  It will take sharper cutting parts to cut through the straw from this summer’s wheat crop.   That will make the remaining days of #harvest21 go more smoothly for him.

We had both corn and soybeans going to market yesterday.  Some to Robinson Grain, the local elevator, and some to ADM in Newburgh, Indiana. (on the Ohio River).  The trucks are busy again today.

It’s a weird looking, gray and overcast day today.  When you still have DCB to cut, this is not what you’re looking for!  But the forecast is improving, and the first week of November looks to be colder but clearer.  It’ll take a few dry days before we can return to the DCB harvest, and then 2.5-3 field work days to finish them off.  This will be the first year in several now that we will not complete harvest in October.  I guess we’ve been a little spoiled in the past few years with dry October days!

Gray skies, damp, a bit foggy. Reminds me of some of the days I experienced in Oregon when my son Philip lived out there.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Two outta three

Thursday, October 28, 2021

It’s raining again this morning.  Only .14″ (3.6mm) so far, but it looks and feels like more.  After the weekend heavy rain, we were able to return to corn harvesting yesterday, and we finished off the final field of 2021 corn.  That felt good to check that task off the list.  But, rather than celebrate, we switched the combines over and moved over to Wheatland and started on some of the DCB (double-crop soybeans).  We used the rest of the day into the evening.   Cutting went better than I expected with the beans running 13.4 down to 12.9 moisture… a pleasant surprise.  After completing two fields, we moved the combines back home and placed them in the shed ahead of today’s predicted rain.  They are situated there now, waiting patiently for the next opportunity to cut more DCB.

These were the last rows of corn for the fall harvest

Working in a DCB field on the east edge of Wheatland

DCB on the Steen farm.

The rain total so far this morning. It’s predicted to rain off-and-on through today and tomorrow.

It’s a gray, drizzly, Oregon-like day here in SWIN… but the wheat crop looks great!

The combines are tucked away in the shed, awaiting dry conditions to finish off DCB harvest.  Yes, it’s gonna take some effort to get them clean again!

So, of the 3 crops we harvest in the fall… corn, soybeans, and DCB… two of them are complete!



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