December Projects We had a couple of projects going on in the month of December. We finished up fall tillage work which was stopped and restarted several times as the frost set in and went away. Several 24 hour shifts were ran to get the work done. The wet and frozen conditions made for a challenging tillage season. We were able to get the work done on the fields we wanted to get over.
We were able to get a lot of limestone spread on the fields before the snows set in. We used a John Deere spreader and tractor from our brother John to spread fields in the north. We would like to get some more spread this winter but it will depend on the weather.
We did some ditch maintenance work on some of the farms, cleaning out the ditches and cleaning culverts. We used a mini skid steer to clean out one of the culverts. It was a little scary to drive the machine in the culvert under the drive but it worked well. It took about 3 feet of silt out of the bottom of the culvert.
Below are some pictures and videos of this months work.
Week Ending November 17th We finished harvest on November 17th. It is good to be done. The corn continued to stand well until the end. But the blowing snow flurries say it is time to be done. Corn moisture levels stayed in the lower 20% range until the end of harvest. The cool weather late in the harvest season did not help much with the dry down.
The weather continues to look more like winter than fall. Several days of temperatures in the 20's have frozen the ground enough that we had to shut down the tillage machines.
We continue to haul limestone to the fields for spreading. Hopefully we will get caught up on spreading before the real winter weather hits.
We had some visitors to the field this week including Karoline who recently broke her arm after falling from her barrel racing horse.
Below are some pictures from the week.
Week Ending November 9th We continue to run hard in corn around the Yorkville area. Yields are good but variable. Field averages are 200 to 230 bushels per acre. There continue to be a lot of variability in the fields due to excessive water throughout the growing season. Yields are off sharply where any water stood during the year.
We added a second 16 row corn head this past week so we could run both machines in corn. The two machines keep the carts and trucks busy. We were able to get over 80,000 bushels delivered on a single day with the two machines. All the corn from the north farms goes to our own drying facility.
We had a team of white Percheron horsese stay at the farm this week who are in a movie being filmed down the road.
Below are some pictures and videos from the week.
Week Ending November 1st We were able to run in soybeans around the Yorkville area this week. We finished soybeans and started on corn. Soybean yields were good (70-80 bushels per acre). The soybean stems were dry following the frosts we have had in the area. The dry stems allowed us to make good time in the beans. The soybeans were dry by the end of the week, down to 11% moisture. We are very glad to be done with soybean harvest.
Week Ending October 25th We were able to run in soybeans again this week in Farmer City. Yields continue to be good with some fields averaging over 84 bushels per acre. Stems continue to be green which makes for tough going. Moisture levels have been good at 12 to 15%.
We were able to finish soybeans in Farm City by the end of the week and start moving machines home.
Tillage and limestone spreading resumed again this week with the return of dry weather.
Week Ending October 19th Rain and wet field conditions kept us from harvesting soybeans this week. Since we could not be in the combines we started some drainage tile projects. We hauled our tile plow and tractor to Farmer City and started installing tile.
One of the wet fields we have in Farmer City is tiled on 100 foot centers with 4 inch plastic tile. We are splitting the existing tile runs twice at 33 feet to get the field to drain better. We are able to hook into an existing main so the work is going quickly. We are using 4 inch plastic tile and installing the runs with the tile plow.
We are using RTK GPS to control the grade of the tile plow. We are able to run over 3 mph with the plow.
Below are some pictures and videos of the work.
Week Ending October 12 We were able to get started on soybean harvest in the Farmer City area this week. Frequent rain showers made it hard to string together may days in a row of good harvesting weather.
We are running two Lexion combines in soybeans: a 595R and a 780. Both machines are running 45' MacDon draper heads.
Yields so far in soybeans have been very good. We have had field averages in the upper 70's. The yield monitors have bumped above 100 bushels per acre in some areas of the fields which is first for us.
Green stems in the beans have made for tough slow conditions. Hopefully we will get a break in this wet weather and get some sunshine to run in next week.
Week Ending October 5th We finished up all the corn in the Farmer City area this week other than a 5 acre patch that is surrounded by soybeans. We will start on soybeans this coming week.
Yields continue to be very good. We have hit some patches in the fields that reach over 300 bushels per acre but those are rare. Most of our fields continue to have field averages of 230 to 270 bushels per acre.
We were able to get started on tillage work this week. We are running 22 foot CaseIH 875 disk rippers this year. The machines were able to run in tillage early in the week before rain hit late in the week.
We continue to haul in limestone to spread on the fields. We are hauling from quarries in Joliet which is nearly a 100 mile on-way trip.
We added another combine and draper head to the fleet this week. We bought a used Lexion 595R. This is a track machine with similar capacity to our current 780. The main difference is the 595 has less horsepower. We will be running the 595 in soybeans with a 45' MacDon draper head.
Below are some pictures from this week's work.
Week Ending September 28 We started harvesting corn in the Farmer City area on Monday September 22. We had a good week of running with warm/dry conditions each day. The first corn we picked was 109 day corn. The moisture was around 24%. By mid week we were into full season 113 day corn which had a moisture of 25%. By the end of the week the moisture had fallen to 20% on even the full season hybrids.
Yields have been very good. Field averages have ranged from 230 to 250 bushels per acre. Yields across the fields have been varying considerably based on where water stood during the growing season. The low areas typically fall to less than 200 while higher areas can reach 280 to 300.
Field conditions continue to be on the wet side. Some of our fields still have standing water from the recent rains. Total rainfall for some of the fields since we planted them was 36 inches which is about twice the 10 year average.
We have a good crew of guys helping us with harvest this year including Efren Real, Randy Wilkening, Jim Naughton, Phil Aulis, and Bergen Nelson as well as our immediate family.
The corn in Farmer City is going to the ADM facility there. The elevator was able to keep up well. By the end of the week we were running 6 trucks to keep up with the corn coming out of the field.
We hope to finish corn in Farmer City next week and get on to soybeans.
Below are some pictures and videos from this week.
Week Ending September 13 We continue to get machinery ready for the upcoming harvest season. Harvest is still atlases a week away for us. Our corn is still testing around 30% moisture. We will likely wait until the moisture levels fall to the mid-20s. Our soybeans are still very green. They will probably not go for another month.
Truck Painting Project - September 10 We bought two additional used trucks to add to the trucking fleet a week ago. They are Freightliner Classic trucks and match our other trucks in terms of engines, transmissions, and body style. As with our other trucks they were white when we bought them. We spent the last week cleaning them up, polishing the aluminum, and painting the bodies. It took some work but they look good in the end.