Week Ending August 30 This week we made a quick trip to visit South Dakota State with daughter Kristine. She is just entering her junior year in high school but the college visits start early. On the way there we tried to hit the Farm Progress Show in Iowa but like many other events this summer, it got rained out. We were able to see a few things at the show but not much given we were only in the gate for 20 minutes before they shut it down for weather.
We were able to take time to visit with the Keller family in Blairsburg, Iowa on the way through. The Keller's run a very nice farm operation. They are cousins of Sarah.
Below are some pictures from the trip.
The kids went back to school this week. Anther sign that fall is coming soon.
New Baby - August 19th Brad and Kelli welcomed new baby Dean Stewart into the world today. Brothers Vincent (6) and Joel (4), as well as sister Cecilia (2) are very exicited to get him home.
Week Ending August 16 It is usually after our farm party that we start setting our minds on getting ready for fall. This week we changed the narrow tracks back to wide tracks on the tractors for fall. We put narrow (18") tracks on for side-dressing and replanting. We also finished cleaning out the silos of last year's corn. The mowing crew made another round of mowing all the roadside ditches.
Annual Farm BBQ - August 11 Each year we hold a farm BBQ for many of the people we do business with. The event is catered by Fay's Barbecue. They cook their famous pork chops and BBQ chicken. This year we had over 120 people in attendance.
Heavy rains hit the party in the evening but that did not stop us from having a very nice evening. The kids enjoyed using the Lexion combine bounce house supplied by Claas.
We are thankful for all the great people that work with our family.
Week Ending August 10th We spent most of this week getting the farm cleaned up and ready for our annual BBQ. We cleaned out all the buildings, washed up the machinery, and spruce up the grounds. Getting the place cleaned up gets us ready for the party and ready for fall since much of the machinery gets polished up.
We also spent a day this week freezing sweet corn. We picked a pickup load of sweet corn in the morning and spent the rest of the day cooking, cutting, and bagging it up. We put up over 100 bags of corn this year which will keep our three families supplied most of the year.
Week Ending August 2nd We tackled a field tile project this week. We are installing a new tile main from the main farmstead to the drainage ditch. The 12 inch main will catch some of the farmyard surface water and catch some of the existing field tiles. We trenched in the tile with our old Vermeer pull type trencher.
We were hesitant to run the new tile through good looking soybeans but the work needed to be done and now was better time than the middle of the winter when we would be able to get to it after harvest.
Below are some pictures of the work.
Week Ending July 26 We spent the last week spraying fungicide on the corn and beans. The excessive height of the corn made spraying it a challenge with our Hagie sprayer. Given the amount of rain we have had we are concerned about the spread of stalk rot in the fields. The fungicide should give us better stalk health and keep the corn standing into the fall.
We traded for new CaseIH rippers for fall. Our dealer delivered the new ones this week, plenty early enough for fall work.
Week Ending July 19th We spent this week at the National High School Rodeo finals in Rock Springs, WY. Our daughter Kristine (16) qualified for the finals this year on the pole bending competition. It was a long drive out there but we were able to stop and see some sights in South Dakota and Wyoming on the way there. Below are some pictures from the trip. Kristine had some bad luck and knocked down a pole in one of her runs but she had some great run times. We are proud of her achievements and looking forward to a new rodeo season.
Week Ending July 12 Crops did better this week as we started to dry out from earlier rains. We are installing a GreenSeeker crop imaging system on the sprayer. It will help us determine the health of the crop. The cameras on the boom determine the darkness and health of the green vegetation. We will use the imagery to manage some of our fertilizer applications.
Week Ending July 5 Another week of rain and storms. We lost some areas in the fields to flooding this week. Our north fields took it the hardest. Winds twisted some of the crops up but they are slowly standing back up straight.
Week Ending June 29th We had over 4 inches of rain in many places early this week. Standing water took out crops in some of the low areas of the fields.
We were able to get back in the fields late in the week to spray soybeans. Most of the beans look good despite the heavy rains.
The rains and heat make the grass grow. We have been staying busy mowing yards and ditches as well as doing some summer landscaping projects.
Corn continues to be delivered to the river terminals. The corn coming out of the bins has stayed at a good quality and consistent moisture.
June 16 Videos Below are some good videos from the last couple of days. The first one is a video of side-dressing near Yorkville. The other videos were taken by our Pioneer dealer, Plunk Brothers, over our fields in Farmer City with their new remote controlled helicopter. The aerial videos show some of the crop damage from excessive rains in that area.
Week Ending June 8th We have been busy spraying corn and side dressing nitrogen on corn. By the end of the week Brad was nearly done spraying all of the corn and Efren was nearly done with all of the sidedness in the Farmer City area.
We are experimenting with sharing our combine with a farm we know well in North Carolina. The A. L. Baucom farm is using our Claas combine in wheat this spring. They started combining wheat this week. I went down for a couple of days to help them get started with the machine. They are using our machine with our 45ft draper head as well as several Deere machines with 40ft heads. They are trying to get their wheat harvested as soon as possible so they can plant soybeans into the wheat stubble.
We also continue to repair broken field tile and plant in some of the wet spots we could not get to earlier.
Below are some pictures from the week.
Tire/Track Changing Day - May 27 Switching over day. Now that all the crops are in we spend a day getting the machines switched over to running down the crop rows. We change the tires on the sprayer and tracks on one of the tractors to narrow tread. The narrow tracks (18 in) will be used to pull the side-dress bar.
Keith got to try out the new (to us) Toro mower. He enjoyed the fact that is more than twice as wide as the other machines.
Farm Update - May 26 We finished planting today, May 26tth. The past week as a busy one for us. We planted nearly all the corn and all the soybeans around our home area in less than one week. We caught a good dry week and we were able to make good progress in the fields.
We ran the CaseIH 24 row and Horsch 24 row planter in corn. When we switched to beans we used the CaseIH 36 row and the Horsch. At times the tillage crew was running 3 machines; the two 60 ft field cultivators and a 30 foot Horsch Joker. Brad was able to keep ahead of all the machines spraying both the corn and bean fields. We ran the new roller over all of the beans after the planter.
We are thankful to our part time helpers Chad and Chuck for stepping in and helping us get everything done last week.
We had a raccoon incident one morning. The raccoon decided to take up residence in the conveyor on the seed tender. When we fired it up he ended up inside the seed tank on the planter. He was fine but I was in no mood to wrestle him out of the seed tank so we put a ladder down to him. When we started up the planter fans he climbed out. The problem could have been much messier for both the raccoon and us.
The corn we planted early in the week was up already in less than 6 days. The warm/moist conditions have everything growing fast now.
We are now busy getting ready to start the next rounds which will be post spraying in corn and corn side-dressing off nitrogen.
Below are some picture from the week.
Week Ending May 17 We were able to get started on corn around the Yorkville area early this week before getting rained out. We had rain and cold conditions most of the week, keeping us out of the fields. We are getting all the machines ready to go for the next break in the weather.
We spotted a nice rainbow from the field. Hopefully a sign of good things to come.
We were able to get to some excavation projects. Brad and Kelli are building a new barn at their place. We moved the dirt for the new building pad there.
Week Ending May 10th We had a good week of running in Farmer City. We managed to get all of the soybeans planted and moved equipment home to start planting corn in the Yorkville area. We planted beans with the Horsch 24 row and the 36 row CaseIH planter. The Horsch did well in beans. We were able to run up to 9 mph.
We are using a roller in some of our soybean ground to level out the soil and push down any rocks. The roller is a 62 foot Roll-Rite roller. We are pulling it about 15 mph, running on the same traffic pattern as the other equipment. One of the objectives with the roller is to make the grain head run better in the fall an not be catching any rocks or dirt clods in the head. We are trying the roller both before and after the planter pass.
Below are some pictures from the week.
Week Ending May 3rd Rain and cold condisitons kept us out of the field this week. We moved some more machinery into Farmer City so we could go strong on soybean planting once the weather breaks. Field conditions remained too wet to start any work in the Yorkville area as well.
Week Ending April 26
Field conditions were very good this week. We were able to start and finish planting corn in Farmer City within the week.
The new 24 row Horsch planter ran up to 9mph, maintaining good seed placement and burning only 0.2 gallons per acre of fuel. We are planting corn at populations of 35,000-37,000 seeds per acre. The planter is equipped for liquid fertilizer. We applying liquid Force insecticide in the starter.
The tillage crew continues to stay ahead of the planter running the 60 foot cultivator. We are maintaining our controlled traffic patterns in the fields running the 60 foot planter behind the 60 foot cultivator and 120 foot sprayer in corn.
Brad is spraying Harness Extra and 28% liquid nitrogen on the corn ground.
We started planting soybeans Saturday, and look forward to when we can return to the field after the wet spell has paused.
Week Ending April 19th The guys started field work and spraying in Farmer City. Field conditions were dry, but soil temperatures were still too cold to plant. They plan to start planting corn next week down in Farmer City.
We installed Dawn GFX row cleaners on the new Horsch planter. The down pressure of the row cleaners is controlled hydraulically from the cab so that they can be adjusted for varying field conditions.