Week Ending December 1 We had another stretch of good weather to finish up some outdoor projects this week. We now have most of the fall harvest and tillage equipment cleaned up and put away. Pressure washing the equipment outside when it is 55 degrees is much more enjoyable than when it is 35.
We started leveling off some fields that we worked earlier this fall. We are running a field cultivator over the fields to level them off. Typically we would not run the cultivator until spring. However, the dry conditions have allowed us to get a jump on spring work. Plus we hope to plant straight into the current conditions and not work it again in the spring. With the continued risk of a drought continuing into the spring it may be a good thing to conserve soil moisture next spring ahead of planting.
Farm Update - November 24
We finished up fall tillage work the on November 21, the day before Thanksgiving. We had a good stretch of weather in mid-November to get the tillage work done with dry soil conditions. The pictures below show some of the field work being finished up.
We have been working on taking out some old tree lines and cleaning up fence lines on fields in Farmer City over the last couple of weeks. The big excavator with a hydraulic thumb makes quick work out of cleaning out trees. The excavator has been one of the best additions to our machinery line this year. We are going to get to some drainage projects for it over the next couple of weeks.
We have also been working on cleaning up the fall machinery over the last couple of weeks. This is a dirty job but much more enjoyable to do while the weather is still good. We rented a diesel powered air compressor to clean up the first layers of dirt off the machines. This did a great job on the combine and heads.
Hopefully winter holds off for a few more weeks so we can get a few more outdoor projects done before winter sets in.
Week Ending November 3 We finished up the 2012 harvest on October 31. It is good to have the 2012 crop season behind us. We were able to make good progress over the last couple of weeks of harvest with favorable weather conditions.
We are now working on fall tillage work. Soil conditions have improved over the last week with some good drying weather. The soil is working up nicely now. With another good week of weather forecasted, we should get over most of the fields in a week or so.
We are also busy cleaning up the harvest equipment and getting it put away. This can be a dirty job but at least it is still nice enough outside to clean the machinery up outside in the open air.
Below are some pictures from the last week of harvest.
Week Ending October 20th We had a shortened work week after frequent rain showers set in on Wednesday and lasted the rest of the week. However, with as dry as it is we are happy to see it rain. We are going to need a lot of rain over the late fall and winter to recharge the soils. Nearly all of our drainage ditches are still completely dry.
Monday October 15 We purchased a farm today from the Harshbarger family. We are excited about this addition of highly productive farmland to our farming operation. Thanks to realtor Tim Greene for his help with this purchase.
Week Ending October 13 We had a productive week of harvesting corn in the Yorkville area. We continue to find highly variable yields. Within the same field (and even same row) we have seen yield variations of up to 180 bushels per acre. Low areas of the fields continue to do well while high areas barely have any ears due to the weather stress.
The tillage crew made good progress in Farmer City this week running with two rippers. They are now caught up with the limestone applications yet to be made in that area.
Below are some photos from the week. Note the sleepy combine rider who is ready for the season to be over. Also notice the cart driver (my Dad) who has time for a rest in the grass on the edge of the field while waiting for a load -- a sign that the corn is not very good. Most years our carts are non-stop busy getting loads.
Week Ending October 6 We were able to finish up corn and soybean harvest in the Farmer City area this week. We had some help from the Birky custom harvest combines for a couple of days. With three machines running, we were able to get the beans out before rains set in by the middle of the week.
We moved our machines home to the Yorkville area and started on corn there on Friday. Yields in the north are again highly variable depending on summer rainfall and soils. Low areas in the fields that had some reserve soil moisture are yielding over 200 bushels per acre while high areas are less than 50. Soil conditions in the north remain very dry. Our drainage ditches still do not have any water in them.
It is good to be back home and one step closer to putting this drought year behind us.
Week Ending September 29 We were able to get started on soybeans this week in the Farmer City area. Field average yields have been 45 to 62 bushels per acre so far. Similar to the corn, there is a lot of variability in the yields depending on rainfall and the quality of the soil.
We are running a 45 foot MacDon draper head in soybeans this year. It is doing a nice job. The feeding system on the draper head is helping reduce the shatter lose which is significant this year.
Harvest progress was limited this week by heavy rain during the week. We had over 1.5 inches of rain the Farmer City area. We were not able to run strong in the fields until late in the week.
We had our share of mishaps in the field this week including a run in with some power poles, flat tires, auto-pilot problems, and other issues. Hopefully we have those issues behind us now and we are set for a better week to come.
Week Ending September 15 We started corn harvest this past week. Corn moisture levels were still fairly wet at 22 to 25%. Yields are variable ranging from nearly 200 bushels per acre in the good spots of the fields to less than 100 in the poor spots. Where the corn yields are good, the corn is still very green. Poor spots have been dead for a while.
We will likely switch over to soybeans this next week. The soybeans are turning quickly and they should be dry enough to get going on by mid week. We are hopeful that our soybean yields will be good but soybean yields are hard to estimate before the combines run.
We spent some time cleaning up tree lines and fixing field entrances this week as well. Efren got all of the roadside ditches mowed up early in the week as we waited for the corn to dry down.
The Nabor House Fraternity building project that we are helping out with at the University of Illinois is coming along well. The guys should be able to move into the new house this next week.
Week Ending September 22 We had a good week of harvesting corn this week. We are now past half way done with our corn in the Farmer City area. I have been telling people the good news is that we can drive the combine at 6 mph and the bad news is that we can drive at 6 mph. In good corn we would normally be around 5 mph. We are getting over the ground fast but we are not getting as much corn as normal. So far field averages have been less than 100 to 150 bushels per acre on fields that have the potential to easily make 200. Yields are coming in at about the level we expected after the extreme heat and dryness this summer.
We have been hauling limestone and working ground behind the combine. The fields are working up nicely following some of the recent rains.
Brad's wife and kids visited the fields on Saturday of this week. They enjoyed riding along and learning more about what corn harvest is all about. The picture of Vincent seen falling asleep in the combine sums up our energy levels by the end of the week. We were all tired and ready for a nap.
The pictures below highlight some of the work for the week.
See details on the spring and summer 2012 seaons here.