Week Ending December 7th Our fall tillage work season came to an end this week with the onset of the cold weather and frost. We finished working all of the corn stalks and most of the soybean stubble that we wanted to run the rippers through. By this weekend we have 3-4 inches of frost in the ground and snow expected. Winter is here.
We continue to run the scraper to reshape waterways washed by this spring and summer flooding. Most of the problem areas have now been repaired.
We took advantage of the last of the warm days (50 degrees) this week to get the combine cleaned up and put away. Keith enjoyed cleaning the mud off of one of the rippers in the shop. There are always plenty of clean up jobs to keep everyone busy this time of year.
Below are some pictures from the week. The kids were enjoying the snow this weekend as we took out the Cat sled for a spin.
Week Ending November 29th We finished our last small patches of soybeans this week on the day before Thanksgiving. The ground was frozen and the beans were down to 14-15% moisture. Our replant soybeans planted in mid July did better than expected making it worth our time to plant and harvest them. It is a great feeling to have all the crops out now.
We continue to do tillage work in the frost. We are thankful that this season is coming to an end.
Below are some pictures from the week including the last crop rows from 2013.
Week Ending November 24th Despite some mid week rains we got a lot of fall tillage work done this week. We ran both rippers as much as we could. Once the field conditions were fit we ran for over 24 hours straight to get caught up. The pictures and videos below show some of the work. Efren and Randy did a great job of keeping the machines up and running. The machines are doing and nice job and staying together. We are able to run them at nearly 7 mph at a depth of 11-12 inches.
We were not able to make any progress on our small field of soybeans that we have left. We tried some soybeans on Tuesday and they were still 18% moisture. We have not had any good bean drying days for a while.
We have started cleaning up some of the harvest equipment including the grain dryer which is a big dirty job. We also got started on some drainge ditch maintenance work.
Week Ending November 17th We finished up corn this week and most of our soybeans before storms set in on Saturday, November 16th. The last of the corn yielded well, above 230 bushels per acre. We did have to fight some snow plugging up our sieves towards the end but we made it.
We were able to get switched back to beans by Thursday. The remaining beans were finally fit and we went after them with 2 Claas 780 combines. We ran until 3 am on Saturday morning trying to finish up the soybeans when light rain shut us down with about 80 acres to go.
The tillage crew continued to make good progress this week as well.
Week Ending November 10 We started off the week with some good progress on corn harvest. Mid week brought some heavy rains to the area again. During the rain delays we took care of some maintenance issues. One of the 3 fan motors on the drier went down last week. We had it rebuilt and got it back into the drier. It is a fairly large undertaking to get the 850 lb motor back into the drier but with the help of the excavator and a boom we got it back together.
The heavy rains made it impossible to load trucks in the field at some field locations so we spent one afternoon installing a new culvert and stone in a field entrance so we could load out trucks on the stone.
Clear weather returned later in the week and we were able to get a lot of corn done. Field conditions were still wet but thanks to the tracks on the combine and carts we were able to run without a problem.
Corn yield continue to be variable depending on where the water from the spring floods sat on the fields.
This weekend we were able to get some more of our next generation farm workers out to the field for some training. Kristine (16) and Karoline (13) tried running the combine and found out that there is more to it than just driving straight down the rows.
Some pictures and videos of this week are below.
Week Ending November 2 The week started out dry and we made some good progress on soybeans. The middle of the week turned wet. We had nearly 3 inches of rain in some places which brought harvest to a standstill for a couple of days.
We had some bad luck in soybeans with equipment. We ingested a discarded tire into the combine. The tire made it all the way through the threshing cylinder and got caught as it was entering the rotors. After about 5 hours of disassembling the machine we were able to pull out the tire. Luckily there was no damage to the machine. Some pictures of the tire problem including the torn down machine are below.
Soybean yields continue to be good while corn yields have been variable in the north. Fields that caught the late season rains are doing ok.
Week Ending October 26 We had a good harvest week. We harvested several good fields of corn early in the week and got back to soybeans later in the week.
Kelli was on grain cart duty for several days. She did a great job. She had several junior farmers come ride along with her.
The tillage crew finished up tillage work in Farmer City. Efren will be moving the machines back up north to run up this way next week.
Limestone applciations have started in the north.
Week Ending October 20 Rain and wet conditions slowed up harvest progress this week. We were able to get some corn out but no soybeans. Corn yields in the north have been highly variable depending on where water stood on the fields back during the flooding in May and June. Fields with drainage issues are again performing below the better drained fields.
Corn moisture levels remain relatively high for this time of year. We are seeing moisture levels still in the range of 22 to 25%.
We continue to work on hauling in limestone and do fall tillage work. We have also started doing some surface drainage work in the fields that are now harvested.
Keith (9) started running a grain cart this week. He did a great job for his first time running the machine by himself. Him and Grandpa Craig were on duty with the carts for a day.
Below are some pictures from the week.
Week Ending October 15 We had another good harvest week. We finished up both corn and soybean harvest in the Farmer City area. Corn yields were good and soybeans were excellent. We had several fields make almost 80 bushels per acre. Yields were better than expected given the lack of rain in that area during July-September.
We had Birky custom harvesting help us with the last of the soybeans in Farmer City. For the last couple of days we had three Lexion combines running. We were able to knock out a lot of soybeans and get done ahead of the rain that hit on October 15.
We got the machinery moved back home on October 15 to get ready to harvest again in the north. We have both corn and soybeans to harvest here yet.
The tillage and limestone crews are making good progress in Farmer City. They are nearly half done.
Below are some photos from the week including one of daughter Kristine in her new/used car. She just turned 16 and is hitting the roads.
Week Ending October 5th Harvest is now in full swing. We made good progress this week on both corn and soybean harvest. Early in the week we harvested our early maturity soybeans in the Yorkville area. Yields were good at over 60 bushels per acre. We finished up the early beans by mid week just ahead of some rains and then we moved the machinery south to the Farmer City area to start corn harvest there. The Farmer City corn yields have been highly variable depending on which fields caught some crucial August rains. So far field averages have ranged from 170 to over 200 bushels per acre. These yields are better than expected given the general lack of rain in that area from July through August. Corn moisture levels have been in the 22 to 25% range.
This next week we hope to finish corn in the Farmer City area and start soybeans there. The weather forecast is calling for a nice clear harvest week.
Our tillage crew is making good progress. We are again using CaseIH 870 rippers this year. Efren has been busy working all of the seed corn acres that have already been harvested.
Limestone applications to manage soil acidity have started. We stockpiled limestone this summer and those piles are now being spread.
Below are some pictures from this week's work.
Harvest update October 2 We started harvestng this week in the Yorkville area. We first tried some corn but quickly determined it was still too wet at 30%. We went to our early maturity soybeans which were dry on September 30th. The beans have been harvesting well and yielding above expectations at about 62 bushels per acre.
We are running a new Lexion 780 combine this year. This is a class 10 machine with 600 hp. So far it has been working well. It handles the 45 ft draper head easily in tough soybeans.
DeKalb has harvest some of our seed corn fields already. We started limestone applications and tillage work on those fields this week.
We have now finished up our early maturity soybeans in the north and will move down to start corn in the south later this week.