Week Ending April 4 Field conditions were dry enough this week that we were able to get back to some waterway maintenance and tiling work. We installed a 12 inch tile main on the home farm, replacing an older tile.
We continued to get the planters ready to go. We will be running two Horsch 24 row/30 inch planters this year. We will likely run one in corn and one in soybeans. Both will be controlled with an AgLeader Integra monitor. We are looking forward to hitting the fields with them soon.
By the end of the week it was tempting to start field work. However, the forecast for wet/cool conditions held us back from starting.
Week Ending March 29 This week started off with a cross country tour of potential colleges for our daughter Kristine. She is interested in studying agronomy. We visited Texas A&M, Kansas State, and Iowa State. We put on about 3500 miles in 4 days. The visits went well. Hoping to get her in for an official visit at our college home, the University of Illinois later this spring.
Work on the machinery continued this week. We replaced the bearing assembly on the rear drive axle on two of the tractors. Previous oil samples had shown some wear and it was time to replace the bearings.
We are switching some of our GPS systems on the machines to AgLeader. We were able to get the systems installed on perform the necessary in-field calibrations now that the fields are drying off.
We traded one of our CaseIH planters on another Horsch planter this week. The Horsch planter is a used machine out of Canada. It matches the Horsch we bought last year. This machine also has electric drives, hydraulic down pressure, and liquid fertilizer. We were happy with the performance of our Horsch last year and decided to run another one.
Week Ending March 22 We had some more good early spring weather this week. We continue to get machinery ready for spring work, haul grain, and work on cleaning up building sites with the excavator. The frost has now totally left so we are able to do some maintenance work on the drainage ditches including tree removal and ditch straightening.
A question was asked recently regarding our web site that is worth sharing. Someone asked who maintained our site and how much it costs. I (Bob Stewart) maintain the web site myself. I am also one of the partners doing the day to day farm work and management of the farm. We do not have web site developer. I spend an hour or so each week updating the site. We pay an internet service provider (Network Solutions) $400 per year to host our site. This is the only cash expense we have for our site. The site has been a very low cost way to share information about our farming operation with other people.
Week Ending March 15th Spring temperatures finally hit our area this past week. We had several days in the 60's with plenty of sunshine. It was a welcome change from the long cold winter.
With the break in the weather we have been able to start doing some cleanup projects with the excavator. We took down a couple of grain bins and cleaned off the foundations on one of our farms.
Shop projects this week included getting the field cultivators checked over and ready to go. We also continue to work on the planters and sprayer as spring work approaches. Randy started moving equipment south to Farmer City to get it in position for spring work.
Below are some pictures from this weeks work.
January Projects We have been staying busy this winter hauling grain to market and working on equipment in the shop. We have now gotten all of the tractors through the shop for their winter maintenance.
Brad upgraded his Hagie sprayer. We traded for an STS16 which is a 1600 gallon tank machine with a 120' boom. We are getting it outfitted with GPS and injection system.
We upgraded our skid steer to a Bobcat with tracks. We found a used one with only 50 hours on it. The cab and tracks are a good addition which we did not have before.
Keith (11) continues to expand his cow heard. Cow and heifer are breed with a due date of September.
The occasional snows have kept Efren busy plowing out drives for land owners. This last snow on January 31/February 1 dropped about 18 inches of snow. We brought out the snow blower to tackle that one.
The snows have given us the chance to have some winter time fun with the kids. The Cat / farm made bob sled was revamped again this winter and got some good use during the last snow days.
Below are some pictures and videos of the recent activities.
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.