Sunday, September 19, 2010

2010 Corn Finished, Started Beans

Corn harvest went so fast it still seems like we should be starting. Corn yields were a bit disappointing-about 30 bushel per acre below last year. So I was kind of ready to get that behind us and start beans.

We have only been going in beans for 2 days-but so far the yields look fantastic! Undoubtedly the best we have ever had.
Julie got these pics from top of the grain bin.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Harvest well under way, is it only Sept 10?

I can't believe it is only Sept 10. We are about 70% complete with harvest-with a little cooperation from the weather we will be done early next week. I check last years records-last year we took our first load of corn in on Sept 30! By that time this year we will be done with corn and probably well into beans-if not completed. I have been talking with several neighbors who farm much more than I do that are also about 1/2 done.

Yields have been disappointing, but not a disaster. Overall average is about 155, about 30-40 bushels per acre what we were expecting.

Getting started earlier has really been nice. We have been able to slow down a bit-get some visitors out for combine rides, and actually get some sleep during harvest. No breakdowns of anything so far. Hopefully this string of blessings will continue as we finish corn and move into beans next week.

Making this a doubly good week prices are the highest they have been all year, that is very unusual for prices to peak during harvest. I am usually guilty of waiting too long to sell much of my crop, but it looks like my procrastination may pay off this year.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

2010 Harvest Started-Grain In Bin

We have completed about 15 acres of early corn. The yeilds were pretty disappointing, under 150 bushel per acre on ground I thought would go over 200. I was warned not to plant that early of corn here-but it was nice to get new combine and bin all tested out early, take my time, and not be doing little fixes when we need to be going full steam.

I will try to post some more harvest pics and videos in the next couple weeks.

Although the yeilds have been disappoining (hopefully only the early stuff) this has already been a special harvest. I have stepped up about 2 decades with the new combine and it is a real joy to run!! So quiet and comfortable-going to make the long days a LOT easiers.

We finished the grain bin construction last week and were able to put a couple loads into the bin and take them back out. This might not seem like a big deal to most people but it was really a big deal to me. First I realized how much easier it is going to make harvest on our farm. Had a couple glitches-broke shear pins, couple small spills and such-as we learned how fast it will take grain in-and some minor adjustment on unloading equipment-but all in all it went well-and we will really be ready to roll in a couple weeks.

Second, as I dumped that first load in I heard the sound of the grain hitting the walls from the spreader-and the sound of the auger banging away and realized I had not put grain into a bin since my grandfather retired from farming in 1978-when I was 12 years old. As I stood there watching the grain flow out of the truck I felt like I haven't felt since the first day I started farming 7 years ago. Really a special moment-felt very much like a kid again.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the business part of farming and numbers, or get so hurried during planting and harvest to get things done I miss the best part. Yesterday was a BIG reminder of why I started farming. My main goal this fall is to slow down 20% and enjoy it 100% more!

Oh yea-I learned 2 more lessons. 1) I need to get a dust mast. 2) Do NOT crawl up on a bin in sunny 90 degree weather wearing shorts!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Time Flies This Time of Year

I can't believe how long it has been since I last blogged anything-the last few weeks have been really crazy. We took advantage of summer and spent about 3 weekends out of town, then when I got back it was panic time as this is going to be the earliers harvest in my liftime. We are planning on starting early corn next Thursday-August 26. Usual time around here is Mid-September, earliest I can recall is around the 10th. At least the air conditioners in tractor and combine are up to snuff.

Besides vacations I have spent ever possible moment in the shed working on the combine. As usual the little things turned into a few bigger ones, or many little ones. The grain bin was completed a month ago but getting electrical work completed was a hassle, we are going to be right at the wire on getting it ready and inspected so we can use it for later corn.

The corn looks spectacular, and the beans not too bad-so hopefully a good harvest with an early start will go smooth and I will have more time to post some harvest pictures soon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

So much more to farming than farming

I think a lot of people have the idea that farming just involves planting the crop, harvesting it, and sitting in the coffee shop, while that sounds pretty good I found myself realizing how much time I spend on the farm doing other things besides farming.

In reality I would say that it is a safe bet that for every 1 hour I spend in the tractor or combine seat I spend two hours either working on equipment, running for parts, chemicals, etc. And for every I spend running equipment I am sure that I spent 3 hours paying bills, financial planning, crop planning, seed and chemical research-and on and on.

This past weekend was 4th of July-so I decided to use the long weekend to catch up on farm work-both inside and out. I decided to keep track of hours. In the last week I spent 36 hours on the farm, that included 3 hours paperwork, 3 hours of marketing research and corn sales, 4 hours running for parts and supplies, 4 hours mowing ditches and field edges, 2 hours touchup spraying with ATV, and 20 hours in the shop working on planter and combine and rebuilding a lift pump for spray tractor. 36 hours and the only REAL fun butt in tractor seat part was mowing...and calling mowing fun is a bit of a stretch.
Not that I don't enjoy working in the shop, the worst day working in shop is better than the best day in the office.....although I may have changed that story while working in the hopper of combine last night in top of shed with no air movement, 90% humdity, and about 90 degrees. And I do enjoy marketing research and paperword...well that is a necessary evil.
I do enjoy almost all aspects of farming-but there sure are times where planting, harvesting, and drinking coffee sounds pretty good.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tassles on Corn on June 25

Are you kidding me? June 25 and we have tassles on Corn? I know that is common south of here but never in my lifetime have I seen tassles on June 25 here except on sweetcorn! I need to get busy working on the combine, at this rate we are going to be needing it by Labor Day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grain Bin Completed

Not much to say, getting bin completed was the biggest thing this week. I have some crop progress pics I will post this weekend-so much rain here don't expect to do any spraying before mid next week-but probably better off waiting a little longer anyway.

Lots more pictures of Bin construction here: