Week Ending April 5 Based on the calendar I should probably switch the name of my post this week over to spring but it still feels like winter. We at least go rid of most of the frost this week and we had a couple of days of sunshine.
We were able to get back into the field where we had left of a tiling project back in December. We finished installing a 15 inch tile main. It was good to be back in the dirt again after the long frozen winter.
The majority of our seed has now been delivered but it still may be a while before we start planting. We are going to need some sun and heat to dry things out. We had about 2 inches of rain for the week so we are fairly wet in the fields.
Week Ending March 29 We continued to get equipment ready for spring this week and deliver corn to the river elevators. The weather remains cold and wet. No sign of spring yet.
Week Ending March 22
We picked up our new planter this week. We are going to run a Horsch 24r30 planter this year. We tested one last year and liked how it performed. The Horsch planter has electric drives on the seed meter, bulk fill, hydraulic down pressure, it holds 140 units of seed and 1000 gallons of liquid fertilizer. We were able to run over 8 mph last year and maintain good seed placement. We are looking forward to running it over more of our acres this year. We will still be running two CaseIH planters as well.
My immediate family and I traveled to Disney World / Florida for a quick spring break this past week. The parks were very crowded but it was nice to get away for a few days.
Week Ending March 16th Winter continues to hold on to us in northern Illinois. We had 4-5 inches of snow last Wednesday. Several 40 degree days since then have gotten rid of most of the snow but we still have some snow piles and ice. The melting snow has caused some localized flooding.
We have been working on equipment in the shop. The flotation tires got put on the Hagie and the guys are going over the planters.
I made a quick trip over the weekend to the Rea family farm operation in Walla Walla, Washington. The Rea's are part of the Centrec Consulting Groups peer group that we are proud to be associated with as well. I enjoyed learning about their farming operation and getting to know their family better. They have an impressive diversifield farming operation in the beautifull Walla Walla valley.
Below are some pictures of this weeks work and some of my photos from Washington state.
Week Ending March 7th Winter continues here in northern Illinois. We still have snow cover and cold temperatures. It has been a long winter and we are hopeful that spring is around the corner.
We did have one sure sign that spring is coming soon. Our seed corn deliveries started coming in this week.
We continue to work on shop projects. This week we rebuilt the undercarriage on one of the grain carts. The rebuilt included new tracks, lubrication, and resurfacing of the pivot points.
Below are some pictures from the week.
Week Ending February 28th More wintry weather this week. Keith and friend Drew did some bobsledding in the snow.
We got our tender trailer ready to deliver dry fertilizer. We switched out our seed box holders on the trailer for stainless steel bulk boxes to be used for dry fertilizer. Once the snow cover is gone we will start applying dry phosphate and potash to the fields. At planting time we will switch the trailer back over to the seed box holders.
Some pictures from the week are below.
Week Ending 2/15/2013 By Kristine Stewart
This week, the guys have been continuing to detail the tractors in the shop. Also, soybeans hauling is now done. The bins are cleaned out for the year. Bob and Brad, spent time at the Farm Machinery Show, researching planters and other equipment for the upcoming growing season.
Week Ending 2/15/2014 - From the Stewart Littles By Kristine Stewart
This week, besides the usual Cats getting trapped in the shop, we had an additional feline visitor. Cupcake, one of us kids' favorite kittens born this summer, got herself into quite a predicament. Behind the tool bench in the "office" (warm and cozy) section of the shop, there is a small gap, just wide enough for a spooked, mildly stupid kitten. Karoline -- the official cat whisperer -- implemented every trick in the book, from horse lounging whips to food to running water -- Cupcake's greatest weakness. Yes, that attraction has gotten her in trouble before, thankfully before is was about -20 below...
Even as a last resort, Dad finally got to use his special scope camera (usually for engines, not kitten rescue) he received for Christmas. With an attached, bright light, one could accurately assume that it did not deflect the cat, but she just came closer to Dad's camera located in a small, impermeable crevice, and farther from freedom. Oh, and all you could see form the camera was dirt and dust, so the camera was ultimately not all it was cracked up to be.
After about a half hour of luring, Karoline finally got Cupcake out from behind the bench, and transplanted back into the barn. And there was much rejoicing.
Week Ending 1/26/2014 By Kristine Stewart
After the Stewart Rodeo Team "Shop Crew" regrouped after the long weekend, the corn and grain heads were brought into the shop. The guys blew off, washed, lubricated, repainted both of the heads... with a little bit of help form Karoline and myself.
Much to dad's chagrin, it has been too cold to pull the sled lately, with super strong winds, accentuating the term "Windy City."
Week Ending 1/26/2014 - From the Stewart Littles By Kristine Stewart
Lately, the buzz words in our house have been "Keith's Cuddle Cows." Yes. It is exactly what it sounds like. For Christmas, Keith was gifted an older cow and her little baby heifer. Yikes. In all actuality, however, he is always willing to do his cow chores... and clean up after them. Lately, he has been working on teaching the calf, lovingly called "Noel," how to lead. It's all well and good until the calf decides to run - with or without Keith holding on. Then, it's pretty much a calf roping run gone wrong. Thankfully, no one has gotten hurt, and the little sucker has calmed down and doesn't go on quite as many "joy runs."
Week Ending 1/19/2014 This week, the guys hauled approximately 30,000 bushels of beans to Cargill in Morris and are still in the process of getting the machinery ready for the spring. Besides these two main tasks, Efren and Randy spent lots of time, elbow grease, and chrome polish to detail one of the semi-trucks. You can see the masterpiece below.
Week Ending 1/19/14 - From the Stewart Littles
By Kristine Stewart
This week, Brad and Kelli were on a Pioneer Seed "field trip" of sorts, leaving Vince, Joel and Cecilia at home with the tag-team grandmas - Grandma Diane and Grandma Dawn. From new phone apps, to macaroni necklaces, to Vince's "Gun Show," to rogue rangers... it was quite the week.
Keith was involved with an Ellis Island simulation at school, making him dress up like a Russian young boy from about 1905. Oh, and he couldn't speak English either... Karoline traveled to a youth retreat in Indiana through Cross's Youth Group she is involved in. I was also in Indiana for the 3rd rodeo in the Midwest Youth Rodeo Association Winter Series Rodeos along with Mom, Grandma, and the Super Chaffer, Grandpa Craig. Next time you see him - and you have adequate time - make sure to ask him about his rig. He will be more than happy to tell you all about it!
Week Ending 1/12/2014
By Kristine Stewart
We have been experiencing typical Northern Illinois weather - except to a bit of an extreme. Monday started off below -20°, and by Friday, it was 40°! Multiple inches of snow accompanied the bitter cold, so one of the jobs done was pushing the snow. Also, we took time analyzing yield maps and planning important inputs for 2014 such as fertilizer, chemicals, and seed.
Week Ending 1/5/2014
By Kristine Stewart
In the shop, we have been cleaning the machinery up from the fall, putting new breaks on the semis, and pushing and blowing the 8 inches of snow from this week. When the temperatures are not too extreme, we have even pulled the sled behind the Ranger through some of the large snow drifts on the farm.
For the first time in 2 years, we have finally had enough snow to pull the bobsled behind the tractor. Here's a video: