Return to corn

Tuesday morning, October 16, 2018

Gonna go back to the corn field today.  It’s not gonna be ideal; the field will be soft, and we will have to park the trucks on a road.  Wow.  We are in the last field of 2018 corn harvest, and we could get all done (with corn) tomorrow.  Will be ‘slow going’ today, but hopefully, it will dry enough to park the trucks closer to the combines by evening.

We have a couple days’ worth of wheat planting yet to do, and hope that can happen yet this week.

After corn, we may have a few days (if the weather cooperates) to use the bush hog around the edges of fields, and run a field cultivator over the Burke Main field.  Soon, the fall fertilization passes for 2019 crops will commence.  We’ve already had some of the lime applied.   We pretty much finalized our ‘crop plan 19’, so now we just have to get the fertility applied.  We will be increasing corn acres and decreasing soybean acres in response to the current and anticipated market conditions.

We have the DCB to cut, and a few acres of replant soybeans scattered across 7 fields; those are just not quite ready for the combines.

The sun is trying to peek through some thin clouds now, and we hope that full sun comes soon!  The weather report for the next two weeks shows a little chance of rain on Friday, but dry other than that.  Good.

Have a nice week.



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Rainy day

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Random thoughts.

We got some rain today, starting about 6 am, and lasting most of the day.  We received about .7″ (18mm).  We finished the work day yesterday down at the Freddie farm, our most distant location, about 12 miles from home base.  We went down there this morning and placed the headers on the transport wagons, and brought the combines home.   We also used this day to haul more corn out… making some room in our storage.  We had several bushels of corn and soybeans sold for fall delivery, and this rainy spell is allowing us the opportunity to catch up those deliveries.

On our auger wagon, we had a little bogey wheel (mid-roller) on which a bearing went out yesterday, and we used the rain delay to repair that.  We found a source to get that bearing and  hub overnighted to us, and after the rain let up, we went to the Huey farm and did that repair.

We toured 5 farm locations yesterday that had some ‘replanted’ soybeans… little patches we had to drive around when we were initially harvesting those fields.  That’s a lot of “moving” with the combines.  Well, we got those cut yesterday, and now  those fields are ready for the wheat to be planted.  We still have 7 other fields to return to cut replant soybeans.  In two locations, we have soybeans growing under dusk-to-dawn lights…. those semi-circles of beans will never mature until there is a frost.  The artificial light prevents the beans from sensing the shortening day-length and therefore they just keep growing until frost!   So, if a frost comes soon, that’ll help!

As of today, we’re about 3/4 of the way through the fall harvest.   We are getting a little bit weary, and so an early-to-home evening will feel pretty good.

Also, the weatherman is predicting much cooler temperatures, even some nights in the 30s!  Highs in the 60s will be a lot different… I’ll probably have to stop wearing shorts (and flip flops) to work.

The double-crop soybeans (DCB) are maturing rapidly, they are mostly brown with little patches of yellow leaves still clinging.  Hopefully, we will be able to cut those by the end of the month.

We have been grateful for the help of our friend Bill Berry.  He has worked extra numbers of hours to keep the grain deliveries as current as possible.  Early-morning runs to Newburgh are his specialty.  We really appreciate his dedication and endurance.  He especially likes our Vision truck, and he has been in in uite a lot this fall!   Thank you, Bill, for what you’re doing to make things work smoother here.

Larry Corn is also here to plant our wheat crop.  He has been doing that for many years.  He is also helping with the trucking, and he will be planting our cover crop strips.

We think of the folks, and especially the farmers, who will be impacted by Hurricane Michael.



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Visitors from Australia!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Last Thursday and Friday, we were honored to host the Hinck Family.  They operate a grain farm and cattle ranch near the town of Hyden in Western Australia.  Craig and Lauren, with their children Emily and Sam, spent an overnight with us.  The kids enjoyed the respite from car seats and airplanes, and they enjoyed the toys we had on hand.   Lauren also enjoyed some down-time.  Craig did make a trip out to the field with us at the Crook location to observe our soybean harvest.  Of course, being in a combine was nothing new for Craig, but harvesting soybeans was something new.    We were part of a couple weeks’ travel for the Hincks.  They had traveled to  Alberta, Canada the previous weekend for a wedding, and then they continued their travels in the US Midwest.

Lauren, Emily, Sam, and Craig Hinck.

Craig with me in the combine.

Emily had some play time with our granddaughter Molly.

We had become acquainted through Craig’s observation of this website.  He visited us briefly last summer.  In our situation with our son Philip’s illness last year, we were limited in what we could do for/with him, but we did arrange for Craig to meet some local  agricultural leaders.  He had a productive day in this area with Troy Clawson, regional Monsanto rep, and with area farmer Don Villwock, a nationally-recognized farm leader.  It sure seemed to us that he felt ‘at home’ here, and vowed to return with his family.  He did just that last week!

Craig is quite a world traveler, and he and Lauren have experienced many places across the globe from Singapore to Italy and many points in between.  This was Lauren’s first experience outside a city in the USA, and she seemed relaxed to be in our rural setting.  We think they all were.

It was a treat to host this wonderful family.

I think they are planning on another trip to the Midwest and SWIN next year!



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Rain keeps comin’

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Yesterday would have been the start to planting of 2019 wheat crop.  It was a rainy day, with a heavier amount, that will be delaying that start.  Depending on the farm location, we received just yesterday, .8 to 1.4″ (20 to 35 mm).   That will take a while to ‘settle up’ and allow a return to #harvest18 and to begin the planting of wheat.    Maybe Friday the soil will be firm enough to get back at it…

Some good news.  The parts have arrived for our Demco grain cart tracks.  The folks from JL Farm Equipment will be coming tomorrow morning to finish off that repair.  It has been down for several days, while we waited for the proper parts.   We rented another cart to use until we get ours repaired.

Bill and Brandon continue their dedicated runs to deliver corn and soybeans to market.  Corn is going by appointment to GPC at Washington, and soybeans to the Ohio River market of ADM at Newburgh, IN.  The trucks have been busy, even during this rainy spell when we cannot work in the harvest field.

The forecast is for cooler, but dry days, beginning today.  That’ll be good.

Have a great Wednesday!



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Fall arrives, with rain.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Well, as autumn arrived in SWIN today, it came with a light rain.  And as the day wears on, the light rain gets heavier and heavier.   This will cause us to hit the ‘pause button’ today.  There were a number of things that occupied our morning and early afternoon.

We used this rainy day to catch up some needed tasks.  John had to weld a broken pipe from a section of the grate on the top of the unload pit.  These were made in 1973 when we installed the first unload pit here.  The grate holds up the truck traffic, while allowing the grain to fall through to the pit.

You can see the rain on the pad in front of the fuel building

Took the Pete to town early this morning, to get new tires mounted on its trailer. They had rolled as far as they could go.

Bill, Brandon, and John examine a bearing on the 8230

John used part of this rainy morning to bring a section of pit grate into the shop to weld a broken pipe.

We brought the combines home to get out of the rain.

We had been working down at the Burke farm, and had planned to continue there this morning… after all, there was only a 20% chance of rain today.   Now, the Weather Channel app is showing us a 100% chance of rain on Monday and Tuesday.   We won’t complain; we are all feeling some weariness from the past week’s long harvest time hours.

Today is John’s 32nd birthday.  Maybe, with the rainy day, he will get to spend some quality time with his family this evening.

Congratulations to our Purdue Boilermakers on winning their first football game this year, with a convincing win over ranked Boston College.  It feels good to finally get a win!

We are about 20% into #harvest18.  As dad used to say, “We’ve got a lot of rows to run down yet.”

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A nice visit

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Yesterday evening, our sister Sheila and BIL John came by for a quick visit.  They had been out visiting with friends in western Indiana, and they made their way here, too.  They took a quick ride in each combine as we were finishing up at the Harry farm.  They accompanied us back to the main farm, and stayed just a little longer before making the trip back to Rising Sun, in the SE corner of Indiana.   It was a great visit, even if a short one.

Ross, Sheila, and John

We fueled and serviced the combines.  Brandon made sure to blow out the air filters.

S680 gets fueled up.

Here is a final report on the recent White River flood event.  It was so much different from what we could have expected… a huge rainfall all across the river’s basin from Knox County northeast to Indy and beyond…made us think we would see a 23 or 24 foot river crest.  That number would have wiped out our crop in the bottoms.  But it never quite made it to 19 feet… and that is a number that gives us only a little damage.

The river report from last weekend, was a mostly happy one for us. And see how the river dropped almost as fast as it came up. Now, it’s back down to about 2 feet.

More soybeans today, and for the next several days.  The dew of the mornings seem to take a long time to dry off, making the field starts happen about noon!  But there is plenty of things to do in the mornings to prepare for the day.  Starting tomorrow, we will add another morning task–filling the fuel wagon to take to the field for servicing the combines.  We don’t bring them home every night, just when it’s convenient.

This week has been quite hot, with daytime temps 90+ degrees.  No cool down is expected until the weekend, and then, temps in the 80s next week.  And there is only a slight chance for rain on Friday.  Looks like good ‘bean harvesting weather’.

#harvest18 moves along…


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A good first day of #harvest18

Thursday, September 13, 2018

We got started on corn harvest yesterday.  We worked at the home farm, and got out a couple fields.  The soil was a little softer than we would have preferred, but it was to be expected after the 8.24-inch rain we got last Saturday.  The bottoms of the WASCoBs were the softest, but we got along okay.

The moisture levels were not uniform; we saw numbers from 18.8 to 24.1, but the average moisture was about 21.4.    The yield was pretty good, maybe even above expectations, with the numbers running above 200, about 220 average.   That makes us pretty happy, even when prices are depressed, you feel better with higher yields.

Ross makes the first pass of #harvest18 along the lane at the mailbox field

Unloading on the go makes for a better day.

A view to the main farm from the corn field in the afternoon

At day’s end, we were treated to a spectacular sunset!

The only glitch to our first day was a broken chain link in a drag conveyor under our ‘wet’ bin.  That occurred about dark yesterday, but John and Brandon’s diligence got it repaired in less than an hour… the dryer was going again.  It ran out of wet grain about 8:30 this morning.

Today, we received more good news.   The White River crest at Edwardsport has been lowered to a tick to under 19 feet.  That certainly is a plus for us, and we are pleased that number is lower than the once-predicted 22 feet.

We will have much more of our soybean crop survive at sub-19 feet rather than the full destruction we expected at 22 feet.

We are prepared to pick corn again today.  The Bill and Brandon have returned from their early-morning delivery run to ADM in Newburgh, Indiana.   The dust will be flying again soon!  Soybeans are still about 10 days from being ready.

This morning we fueled up the S680 for another day’s harvest work.

The weather forecast is good for the next several days.  It’s time to bring in more corn.

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