Snow? Well, kinda…

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Well, you can say we did get snow overnight, but it wasn’t much.  You can only see it in little patches on the roof, or in patches on the concrete.  It’s a thin dusting.  But it is welcome.  There isn’t enough to cause any travel problems, and the roads won’t even be messy.  I was hoping for that ‘white blanket’, but that will have to come another day.

There is a little dusting of snow on the driveway this morning…

Should be a quiet weekend at home.

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Chilly Friday

December 8, 2017

It was a frosty morning.  The day began about 10 degrees colder than yesterday.  But even with that, it feels better today, because there is no wind.  Yes, it is the wind that makes the cold harder to take in SWIN.

Brandon has a very busy day today with delivering loads of corn to GPC at Washington, IN.  He has 6 appointments to keep today.  My task is to keep the overhead load-out bin ready for him, and drive the truck as he operates the filling gate.

There goes Brandon in the Pete with another load of corn to GPC.

We had a visit from granddaughter Molly this morning, and she was able to ride the old pedal tractor.  This old tractor, on its 3rd restoration, was the one I rode as a kid.  Now almost 60 years later, my granddaughters are enjoying it!

Molly can now ride the old Farmall 400 pedal tractor.

This was the temperature here on Monday.

Contrast the temp from this morning!





These two pictures from the dashboard of the pickup show how the weather can change here in SWIN.


Have a great weekend, everyone!


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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Snow!  The first flakes of this winter season are coming down this morning!   Of course, there’s no accumulation– you have to look hard to see the sparse flakes… but it is correct to say it’s snowing.  The temperature has gone down considerably from the 60º+ of early this week.  Today we have 27º with a 17º wind chill.  What a contrast in just a few days.  Even so, it is December after all– snow and cold are okay with me.

The weather station in the farm office shows how chilly it really is this morning. What you can’t see on this device are the snowflakes in the air.

The new tractor has received the initial attention from John.  He has a couple coats of wax on it, and put a few spots of touch-up paint on the wheels.  It gleams like a new machine should!  He used all day Tuesday to install the wiring harnesses for the video feeds and the rate controller for the JD 2510H applicator.  It is now ready to operate the N-Ject NH3 system with its section control apparatus.  It is also going to be the tractor that pulls the soybean air drill.

It is interesting to me that my initial experience driving a tractor as a little kid was on a JD 520… one of those old two-cylinder “putt-putt” tractors.  I preferred this tractor…it had a hand-operated clutch that I could work… foot clutches were too hard for me to push down, but I could do the 520!  I ran the rake in the hay field, and later operated the baler, too.  So, my first tractor-driving experience was on a 520 over 50 years ago.  Next spring, I will be operating a 520 again… a 9520R tractor.   Just a little difference in the horsepower!

More than 50 years ago, I learned to drive a tractor on a John Deere like this one. I loved the hand clutch, and the power steering.

Next spring, I’ll be driving this 520… a 9520R! Looking forward to it, too.

Brandon is delivering soybeans to market at ADM in Newburgh, Indiana.  Takes about 3 hours to make that round-trip.  He says he wants to sweep a corn bin this afternoon… but it is so cold!

This cold spell is predicted to last into the foreseeable future.  It feels like basketball season in Indiana for sure!


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December is here

Monday, December 4, 2017

Oh, how the calendar flies by!  Here we are, already into the final month of the year.  It has gone fast, huh?

It has been a busy week or so at Carnahan & Sons.  We had a flurry of paperwork and meetings to finalize the end of our fiscal year on 11-30.  Those strategies are interesting for me as together we try to figure it out.  Then I must determine how to then enter the transactions into the books.  End-of-the-year takes a bigger effort from all of us.  The inventory numbers of grain in storage are precisely important.

Brandon has been delivering corn to GPC at Washington, and will also be taking some soybeans down to ADM at Newburgh, IN.  He and the “Pete” will be quite busy this month.

A couple farm improvements took place this past week, too.  The components of the replacement grain leg arrived.  Those parts came much quicker than we expected; the Creamer Metal Products company got right on our order, and voila!   Here it is.  We look forward to the greater capacity.  The transition from old to new will likely take place in Feb-Mar.  We will see…

Here is the stainless steel boot and the galvanized trunking for the new grain leg.

Under this 10-hole 10″ distributor is a motorized control box. The current distributor has such a control box, and we felt the new one should have a powered distributor, too. It really works pretty slick.

Also, we have been on the lookout for an affordable way to move up to a bigger tractor.  We priced new ones, of course, and the sticker shock this time was a ‘wow’ moment.  With corn <$4 it made more sense to find a good used one.  So, after months of looking, we were told about a 2016 trade-in from Kentucky that was equipped almost exactly as we specified.  The only box that didn’t get checked was the Michelin tires, this one has Firestones.  We went to see it in July, and the negotiations began.  The deal was acceptable, and now this JD 9520R (520 HP) has arrived at the farm.  Gotta admit, even though it has just under 500 hours on it, it looks new.  We traded in the 2010 JD 9330 (375 HP).  This should pull around our 60′ 2510H applicator and the 50′ no-till drill and cart quite well.   The hills shouldn’t be quite as intimidating this spring.

Here is the 9520R as it is still on Hutson’s delivery truck. Couldn’t ask for a better delivery day. It stayed clean as a whistle.

The new tractor is just about to hit the ground here at Carnahan & Sons.

The 9330 is on Hutson’s trailer and ready to leave the farm for the final time. It has been a good one…

John has already got a coat of wax on this baby!

I guess we’re like little boys over this stuff.  Anytime a new machine comes to the farm, we get excited about it!  Yes, it’s just stuff, but we’re looking forward to what this tractor will do for us for the next several years.

We watched the Boilermakers win a hard-fought contest over Northwestern yesterday evening.  The pregame projection show on the Mackey Arena floor was spectacular!  Look for it on YouTube.  It was part of the celebration of Mackey’s 50th birthday.  Mackey Arena (it was called Purdue Arena in ’67) opened on December 2, 1967 with a game against Purdue great John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins.  Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) was their star, and our star was Rick Mount.  We lost that game by 2 points.  How do I remember that so well?  I was there.  Our neighbor, Mr. Richard Dutton asked if we’d like to go to the game at the new Purdue Arena.  My dad scoffed, and said the Governor couldn’t get a ticket to that one!  Well, the King (as we affectionately called him) had 4 seats, and gave me one of them!   What a thrill.  And what a good neighbor he was.

Have a wonderful December.  It is supposed to get to 62º today.  By Wednesday, the highs will be in the 30s!  Welcome to Indiana weather.  Really, down deep I hope we get some snow…



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Blue Sky Day

Saturday, November 25, 2017

You couldn’t ask for a nicer late-November morning.  The sky is a brilliant, clear blue with no clouds and a gentle breeze.  The temperature is supposed to get up to the mid 50s… not bad at all.

Can you believe how deep blue is the sky today?

It was just the same yesterday, and I used the afternoon to put up the outdoor Christmas decorations.  Yesterday morning was spent putting up the tree and adorning it with lights and ornaments.  We drag the boxes up from the basement, and the box with the tree is quite a sight to see… seemingly held together with more packaging tape than there is cardboard!  Ben was home and he helped with the box-carrying.

Our tree is old, over 25 years now. It takes a couple hours to build it and attach the decorations. But the result is nice.

We also put up the Christmas tree in the farm office today.  It is a “Charlie Brown” tree, like in the classic TV special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.  Simple but cool.

The special tree adorns the office conference table.

Thanksgiving was a small, quiet celebration this year.  But it was a pleasant time.  And we did express our gratitude to our Maker for how He cares for us and for the hope He brings to our lives.

I had an appointment with a USDA survey-taker this morning.  Roberta was the name of the survey-taker, and we met in the farm office.  I had sorta dreaded this one; it seems like I’m always on the list to do these surveys.  But the representative was pleasant and patient.  So, it went faster than I expected, and was not quite as intrusive as I had imagined.  But, you know, I just filled out another USDA survey online a few days ago.  And the nice lady this morning told me there is another Census of Ag coming in January!   No wonder that there are more employees in USDA than there are farmers!

The new JD GPS receivers arrived this week.  They will be more accurate, and they will acquire (or connect to) the satellites faster.  This should make our AutoTrac driving more uniform, and our machine-generated records more accurate.  We will go from using the SF2 signal to a bit more accurate SF3.

One of the new JD StarFire 6000 receivers. Shiny.

We stayed up a bit later last night to watch the Boilermakers play Arizona in the “Battle for Atlantis” tournament.  It was a game we had been eagerly anticipating, but we had planned that it would be for the championship, not 7th place!  The big win last night sorta made up for the disappointment of the previous two games.

We continue our preparations for the 2018 crop year.  And the 2017 crops continue to go out the driveway to market.

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Thanksgiving week

Monday, November 20, 2017

We woke up to 29ºF (-2C) this morning.   As the day progresses, the sunshine is abundant, and we will top out at 52ºF (11C).  The sunny day brightens your outlook.

Corn is going to market today.  Brandon is on his 3rd trip to GPC.  Not a bad day.  With the week shortened by the holiday, there are fewer unload appointments available.  Brandon often checks those out as they come online at midnight.   That gives him good position to find unload times that fit his schedule.

Brandon and Ross’ son Dirk had a very successful time at the AQHA World show in Oklahoma City last week.  They had the top two places in their “Pole Bending” event!  They continue the tradition of success that Ross has had in OKC for all those years.

We hope you have a wonderful celebration on Thursday, and that you have many reasons and opportunities to express your gratitude.

Have a good week.

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Conservation work

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

We are building a new WASCoB terrace at our Steen farm, on the south side of Wheatland.  This addition should improve the performance of the erosion-reduction efforts at that location.  This new terrace will be over 1000 feet long, and will be drained with two tile risers.  One riser is in a older 6″ tile line; the other is in a line we added more recently, and 8″ in capacity.  Uphill from this construction, there are already 6 long terraces across the slope of the Steen Big field, and this one is the 7th.  This work should complete the conservation plans in this field.

Our long-time contractor, Olan Worland is performing this work.  He has increased his use of technology.  No longer does he look through a ‘scope’ (similar to a scope on a rifle) to find the slope and dimensions of the project.  He now uses a laser beam generator to determine the precise location and size of the structure we’ve asked him to build.

Soil is moved from both sides to create the new terrace, but more is moved from the upper slope.

Even though it is a chilly day, Mr. Worland works in shirtsleeve comfort in his dozer. Can you spot his laser-beam generator on the tripod behind his pickup?

Here is the a long view, looking south. Water from a heavy rain will be gently diverted by this terrace to the orange riser pipes, through which it will run underground to the outlet in a ditch. This stops the runoff from creating a gully down the slope of the field.

Often, farmers partner with the local Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) to acquire some cost-sharing for such projects.  We’ve partnered with those good people for projects in the past and we will again in the future, but this one is solely designed and funded by us.

These pictures were taken yesterday, when the weather was cool but sunny.  The project is now about 2/3 complete, but today’s rain has stopped the work on this project.  They will be able to finish it up as soon as the soil is sufficiently dry again.  That drying out takes longer in November than in September or October!

We enjoyed last night’s Purdue basketball game vs Marquette!   Feels good to earn a solid win on the road.   We hope to make it to a home game or two this winter.   It’s a great feeling to be in Mackey Arena.



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