Week Ending June 19th We finished planting corn (the first time) on June 4th. We then quickly turned to replanting wet spots, side-dressing nitrogen and spraying. Side-dressing was completed on June 15th. We still have some wet holes we would like to get replanted but those areas have not yet dried out.
Our crops are again highly variable in height and condition depending on planting date and soil moisture levels. The best corn was knee high on the 4th of June, other corn was still small and some was drowned out.
June 3 We finished planting corn in Farmer City on Saturday, May 30th. We then changed over to soybeans in Farmer City with two of the planters and sent the other one on to plant corn in Wapella, IL. By Monday the beans were planted in Farmer City and we moved all the machinery to farms near Illiopolis where we have more corn yet to plant. Field conditions have been wet there all spring. Conditions were dry enough for us to start field work there on Monday. We started planting corn at Illiopolis on Monday but we were only able to plant portions of individual fields that were dry enough. We were rained out again on Tuesday but the rains were spotty and we hope to get back in by Thursday.
Below are some pictures from this week's planting progress. Not surprisingly, many of them have the machines being chased by rain clouds.
May 28 We have all the machinery back in postion in Farmer City now. Wet conditions have kept us from hitting the fields today. We hope to be able to run again tomorrow.
Below are some pictures of the good and bad from last weekend. The good was the progress we made on planting. The bad was getting the sprayer stuck in our first field in the north. Luckily the sprayer did not go down too far. We were able to pump out the water from the tank and pull it out without much trouble.
May 26 We finished planting corn around home (Yorkville) on Monday, May 25th. We had a good run of weather and luck with the machinery from Thursday through Monday, getting over 3,300 acres planted. Today we started moving machinery back down to central Illinois to get back into the field we left behind last week that were too wet. We are also going over the machinery and making minor repairs.
Rain moved into the Yorkville area this afternoon and we had received 0.7 inches of rain by tonight. The rain is somewhat welcomed here since we have some corn put in ground conditions that were less than favorable. The rain should help the corn get off to a good start.
Week Ending May 23 We started out the week in FarmerCity fixing field tiles and waiting on the ground to dry out from the previous weeks 3 inches of rain. On Wednesday we reluctantly decided to pull up camp and move all of the machines home to northern Illinois where field conditions were drier. This was not an easy decision given that we will have to move everything back down to central Illinois to finish planting and we may get caught in more rain in the north. However the season is getting late and we need to make some progress somewhere so move home we did.
We were back up and running with all the machines by Thursday at noon. Field conditions were OK but still damp under the surface. But again, given the date, we are going.
We are running 3 planters and 2 60-foot field cultivators. Brad, Dad, and I (Bob) are running planters while Jim Hill and Efren Real are running the cultivators. Our excellent support team of Gavin Hatch, Lee Hage, and Chad Norquist are keeping us fueled up and running smoothly.
I am typing this as I am running the planter so forgive my typing skills. Luckily I am in 1 mile rounds so I do not have to turn too often.
Below are some pictures of this week’s activities.
Week starting May 11 We were able to get back in the fields at Farmer City on Monday May 10th. We started back up in the afternoon and conditions were OK. By Tuesday conditions were very good and we ran all day. We had a good day on Tuesday getting nearly 1000 acres planted. We were rained out at about 1 am on Wednesday morning. We received about 1 inch of rain in Farmer City on Wednesday morning, shutting us down for a while again.
Brad made good progress spraying on Tuesday. He was able to get 1400 acres sprayed and nearly catch up with the planters. He is spraying Harness Xtra which is a will hold the weeds back on the planted corn until he returns with RoundUp later in the summer.
We are adding another CaseIH 24 row planter and 60 foot field cultivator to the equipment line this week. With all of the rain and delays we were getting concerned about getting all the crops in timely. With the help of our friends at Central Illinois Ag (CaseIH) we will hopefully have the additional equipment ready to run when the fields dry out again.
Below are some pictures from this weeks activities. Our first planted corn is up and looking pretty good.
May 7 We were able to get back in the fields in Farmer City this afternoon. Soil conditions were still damp but workable. We were able to get about 2 hours of work in before the rains returned at about 5pm. Now we wait for dry conditions again.
Heavy rains hit the Yorkville area yesterday. We had nearly 1 inch of rains on most fields there.
So now we go back to fixing drainage tiles and working on building projects.
May 3 It is still too wet in the field for planting activities. Conditions may be fit by mid week if we do not get additional rains.
We have been doing some dirt work on one of the farms in Plainfield. We are leveling out a black dirt berm left from the installation of a sewer line. The berm is about 3/4 of a mile long and 8 feet high so it is taking some time to level out. Leveling the berm will make the field easier to farm since it cuts a field in half and relieve some drainage problems we have had on that farm. We are using a Cat D8 from KR&G Excavating to do the work. See picture below.
April 30 The rain has continued to fall most of the week. We have had another 1 to 2 inches of rain at the various farms since Monday.
April 27 We started planting corn in Farmer City on Saturday April 25th. Field conditions were good but still a little wet. As is the case every year, it takes a little time when we start planting to get the bugs worked out of the planters. It is hard to make sure everything is working right until you hit the field. By Saturday afternoon both planters were running well. We are still having some issues with the air clutches that shut off the individual row units on one of the planters. Working out those types of minor problems can wait until a rainy day.
We planted through the weekend and by Monday morning we had 1500 acres planted. We worked all night Sunday night which seemed a little extreme given we were only on day 2 of the season but it worked out OK given the rains that were on their way. We were rained out on Monday afternoon. Monday night we had 1.5 inches of rain in Farmer City so we will be out of the field again for a while.
April 23 We moved machinery to Farmer City today. With forecasts for rain in northern Illinois and expectations that we will find better field conditions in central Illinois, we took the leap and moved machines to the south. All but one of the tractors is now in position in Farmer City.
We were getting rain in Yorkville by late Thursday night so for now maybe we made the right move.
Below are some pictures of the machines headed south to hopefully start planting.
Week Ending April 18 Still too wet and cold to start planting this week. We spent the week working in the shop and fixing field drainage tile.
Spring Preparations We have been busy this winter getting spring equipment ready for the upcoming season. As of April 1st most of the spring equipment was ready to go. We are now waiting on the soils to dry out and warm up following the excessive rains we have had early this spring.
We have made several equipment changes this winter to get us set up for the 2009 season. We traded in our STS12 Hagie crop sprayer with a 90 foot boom for a STS14 Hagie sprayer with a 120 foot boom. This will allow us to get over the fields faster. The sprayer is equipped with a automatic boom leveling system and a direct chemical injector that allows us to change chemical mixes as we go through the field. As with the other sprayer, it is equipped with auto steering and GPS driven boom shut-offs.
We are currently building a new sprayer trailer to haul the new sprayer. The old trailer was too small to haul the new sprayer. The new trailer will allow us to haul more water and the sprayer as well as give us the ability to quickly remove the water tanks and haul other machinery as needed.
We traded our Challenger 875B in on an Challenger 875C model this winter. It has some new features including a steerable hitch that we are looking forward to testing out this spring.
We also added a mini-excavator to the fleet this spring. It will be useful in fixing field tile and doing other small dirt work projects.
Below are some pictures of the various activities we have been up to this winter getting things ready for the 2009 season.