Getting dry

Saturday, August 12, 2017

We missed another opportunity for a rain last night.  We did get .1″ at 5 farm fields (according to Climate.com), but it has been several days since our last soaker.  One saving circumstance is that the daily high temps have been in the low 80s or even some days in the 70s.   Just yesterday, I began to notice some signs of moisture stress in a couple soybean fields.  It is not yet urgent or ‘crisis’ time, but a good rain would be welcome.

Ross and Brandon have had a few days away, down at the Kentucky State Fair.  They are competing in the horse show there.  Ross has been participating there for many years.  In fact, Ross tells me the first time he won a class at KSF was in 1966–51 years ago!

Brandon and Ross have had a few days away from the farm this week.

We took some time to drive around to check on the progress of the crops this week.  It is encouraging (mostly), and we look forward to harvest.  The damage from the July flooding along White River left some damaged and destroyed strips through those fields.  But most of the fields are coming along well.

In my opinion, there is nothing nicer than a field of clean soybeans during early August.

A view of the main farm from East Wheatland Road.

Here is what you’d see if your were driving into Carnahan & Sons this week. Soybeans all around.

 

Have a super weekend, everyone.  Looks like it will be another beautiful one–nothing but blue skies!

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Recent drone pictures- corn

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Here are some recent pictures of the corn fields at the Harry farm.  These were taken by John with the DJI Phantom 4 UAV.  The picture clarity and detail are quite nice, and can help us to recognize disease pressure within the crop canopy.  If you zoom in on these pictures, you can see the precision of the photograph.

Curt’s Hill Field at the Harry Farm.  Pretty good corn on this steep hillside.

Zoom in to observe the relative health of the corn leaves.

The view from above is always more accurate and revealing than what you can see just by driving by.

These corn plants at the Harry farm appear pretty healthy.

We are also experimenting with Drone Deploy.  Using their technology in connection with our Phantom 4, we are trying to determine what value their system brings to our operation.  To get a whole-field view of any crop location, the DD software imports our field boundary from Apex, and then uses that to construct of specific flight pattern over the field.  It is neat to watch the DD take control of the drone and pilot it precisely over the field.  During its flight, the camera takes images at specific intervals.  Those images are uploaded to DD, and they ‘stitch’ them together  to make a composite of the whole field.  From that composite, a NDVI map is generated that will indicate relative plant health across the field.  This can indicate where we need to examine more directly and precisely for a problem.

 

 

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Odd jobs

Monday, August 7, 2017

We continue to nibble at little tasks that keep us busy.  Pre-harvest servicing of trucks continues.  This truck, the “Vision” needed a couple new batteries and a battery cable.

We mowed the yard over the weekend.  It was a very pleasant day to do so.

View from the seat of the little Z540M mower. The zero-turn design makes the mowing go faster than when I was using a little tractor-type mower.

The guys from Montgomery Welding have nearly wrapped up the new bin floor installation!

This new flooring has one unloading port or well in the center, with 3 additional auxiliary wells. This will vastly improve air circulation through the corn in storage here.

This view of the soybeans here at the home farm is very favorable. Not every field is this nice, but we are mostly optimistic at this point in time about the upcoming harvest.

I’m looking forward to my granddaughter’s birthday party on Saturday.  She will be 5… wow, she is growing up so fast… bet that sounds like a grandpa, huh?  She had some time at grandma and grandpa’s house over the weekend, and her daddy brought her Gator to drive around the yard!

Ella is a very good driver!

Have a great week, everyone.

 

 

 

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Is this really August?

Friday, August 4, 2017

We started the day cool and dry, with no dew.  The temperature is predicted to ‘soar’ to 75F (24C) today.  So, it was a good time to mow the  yard this morning, and do a little trim work on some shrubbery.  It certainly does not feel like a typical August day in SWIN, but we will take it!

The Gator hauls the tools and hauls away the clippings.

Other tasks that have taken place this week:

Truck servicing has begun.

Brandon polishes the wheels on the Pete, and services the bearings.

Aerial images of some corn fields have been taken.  Those are sent off to Drone Deploy, to be ‘stitched together’, and then an NDVI image can be generated.  These are helpful for analysis of the general health of the crop.  This summer is our initial experience with NDVI and Drone Deploy, and we are examining it to determine its value to our operation.

John prepares to launch the Phantom 4 on its latest mission.  When complete, it returns to its starting point… at least it has every time so far!

Washed the pickup.

Always feels better to drive a clean pickup.

A little bush hog work.

Working this riparian strip at Burke, the levee now has a cleaner appearance.

We performed the ‘set-up’ of the information systems for the JD S680 and the CIH 8230 combines.  Those should be ready to collect the harvest information into digital files.  We will also tie those into Climate Corp’s FieldView with a Bluetooth device that reads the proprietary info from the combine as it is generated, and then sends it to a waiting iPad in the cab of each combine.  That connects to FieldView, and we can see the harvest results of both combines almost in real time.  This FieldView is a simple way to blend together the information from both our CIH and JD systems.

Next week will likely see the first effort at preparing the combines for fall harvest.  That includes a cleaning, inspection, lubrication, and testing of the header control systems.

Have a nice weekend.  The weather in SWIN for our weekend will be spectacular!

 

 

 

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Turn the page

Monday, July 31, 2017

Another calendar page flips over tomorrow.  The past few days have felt like September, not July.  The weekend provided us with a respite from the heat and humidity.  When temps only reach into the low 80s rather than the mid-to-high 90s, it feels like a little bit of relief!

Routine maintenance jobs remain on the docket this week.  The “Suntan Machine” will be going out to spray the woody species in a couple of our ditches.  Brandon has been performing pressure washing and touch-up painting on the shop and the big LP gas tank.

Brandon pressure washes our big LP gas tank, and then he painted the spots that needed a fresh touch of white enamel.

I’ve been out with the bush-hog, cleaning up the appearance of some fields’ roadsides.  John is putting the finishing touches on some herbicide application in some of the later-planted (replanted) soybean fields.  He is eager to ‘wrap up’ the spraying for 2017.  Our experience with the new dicamba resistant Xtend technology has been pretty good for the fields where we used it.  That will likely increase in importance in 2018.

John sent in this photo of the Freddie farm, our largest field. He is pleased with the weed control there. This field was replanted in June following a White River flood event. The Asgrow Xtend seed technology of dicamba resistance is helping us keep this field clean of weeds.

Early last week, we toured the fields near White River to evaluate them for possible replanting after the July flood event.  We deemed the damage insufficient for a super-late replant effort.  We have some neighbors who are very good farmers who have replanted soybeans in August–and that seemed successful for them, so we considered it, too.

Soon, fall harvest preparation will begin.  The combines will come into the shop for an inspection, cleaning, and pre-harvest adjustments.  The semi-trucks will come in for an oil change, lubrication, and any other needed service.  The grain dryer will be serviced with lubrication and it will receive a thorough inspection.  The grain legs (elevators) will be lubricated and inspected.  This maintenance will provide many days’ worth of shop work.  It’s all part of the annual preventive maintenance program we practice, in order to minimize down-time during harvest.   The fall harvesting of corn and soybeans could be as little as 5-6 weeks away!

Last Thursday brought us another nice rain event, and we are grateful.  There is not any drought stress on our crops right now.

Tomorrow brings the annual tour of the fields with our banker.  We do not view this as intrusive or bothersome.  We consider it as another way to improve communication, and build the relationship.  It’s good to think of your banker as a partner, not a nosy intruder.

Schools are starting here, with our school, South Knox, being one of the last to begin — on August 8.  Good thing those buildings are air conditioned these days!

As we turn the calendar page tomorrow, we remember our dad’s birthday.  W. Lowell Carnahan, for whom the farm is named, would have had his 104th birthday today.  We often wish we could ask him some question, but we know that his influence still guides much (if not most) of what we do.   He passed away in 1999, but we think (and hope) that he would be pleased to return and observe the farm today.  I even think he’d enjoy taking a turn at flying the drone…

Have a wonderful week.

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Another nice rain

Monday, July 24, 2017

Yesterday morning, as the alarm went off, you could hear the sound of thunder in the distance.  I walked out to the box for the morning newspaper, and I could see the gray ‘wall of water’ coming in from the west.  Soon, I could hear and feel the big drops falling all around me, just as I made it back to the front door.  This was a refreshing sound and a great feeling.   There were some concerning moments during the rain, as there were 60mph gusts of wind accompanying the storm.  The rain lasted a little over an hour.

Our previous rain was 10 days ago, and our corn was just beginning to “roll”–showing signs of moisture stress in the hot afternoons.  This rain event came on all our fields, and brought us from 1.3 to 2.2 inches of rain (33 to 56mm), depending on the farm’s location.  We were very pleased and grateful for this rain.

This is today’s email rainfall report from Climate Corp.

We have some damage from last week’s small flood event on White River.  After the crest at 20.8 feet, the river level dropped dramatically.

We are close to being MT (empty) of corn from the 2016 crop.  We are sending some loads to GPC this week, and soon we’ll be down to the final load.  It’s a mixed bag of emotions… it’s always sad to go MT, but good to have the bins cleaned out, too.

Jake and his crew from Montgomery Welding are making good progress on the new aeration floor in our bin 10A.

Here, you see the vertical galvanized steel supports that will hold up the new flooring.

This is the new under-floor unloading auger.

There will be more mowing this week, first my yard, and then some roadsides.

We are appreciating a small break from last week’s temps in the 90s.  This week, they are telling us highs in the mid-to-upper 80s.   It is amazing how different that feels!  Not only do we like it, but the corn and soybeans like the 80s better, too.

 

 

 

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Various jobs on a fairly hot week

Friday, July 21, 2017

There has been some variety in our tasks this week.  The temperatures have been running in the 90s, and the heat is a topic of conversation everywhere.  The weather folks tell us it will get back into the 80s next week.  It has now been 8 days since our last good rain, and another inch would be welcome.

We took the drone out to fly over some fields. We used the Drone Deploy system to stitch together images of whole fields.

John is showing me the location of the drone as it automatically flies a pattern over the field at 330′ above us

Progress is being made on the installation of the aeration floor in our bin #10A

Here are some of the floor support components. You can see a row of them standing around the perimeter.

And, of course, we are doing some bush hog work to make the roadsides look better.  The state has stopped mowing the full right-of-way along US 50, so to prevent the weeds and brush from taking over, many farmers mow along their fields… between the fence and the road.

Yes, it’s steep, but do-able.

The ‘after’ picture at our Cox farm along US 50

The bush hog work will take several more days.

We had another small flood event along White River this week.  The fields along US 50 received some significant damage, but those farther down stream seemed to fare better.

Here at the Grubb field, the 20.8 foot flood crest got into our soybeans. Not quite as big a flood as the one in early May, but we are less likely to replant now.

 

We hope your weekend is a happy one.

 

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