March 8, 2012

It’s a rainy Thursday, cooler than recent days, so there is a chill to the air.  I’ve been huddled in the office for 3 days now, catching up the paperwork from my 2-week vacation in sunny Florida.  This afternoon, I’m feeling a little bit more ‘on top’ of things.  I had an elders’ meeting at 630 this morning, followed by a officers’ meeting of the Farmers Home Insurance Company ( I was recently elected VP), and then this afternoon I’ve been working on a grant from the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) that will help offset the up-front cost of our proposed new grain dryer.

Yesterday morning, I reported the 2011 corn and soybean yields to our crop insurance agent, Lee Tuggle at McCormick Insurance.  That went pretty well, for I use an Excel sheet developed in-house to compile the proper information from harvesttime.  It calculates and reports the total production in bushels and the yield in bushels/acre for each “unit”.  A unit for crop insurance purposes is a grouping of fields with similar geographic location.  Our 32 farm locations are grouped into 19 units.   This spreadsheet is a valuable one that can also compile a report for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) that segregates the production and yields for each of their farm numbers and “tracts”.  These do not match directly the crop insurance units, but when I input the field information from harvesttime, Excel has been designed to allocate the bushels in the proper place for each report.  By doing some extra homework with the spreadsheets, it makes the reporting to each agency easier and faster.

Philip and John have taken today to go to Indianapolis to see the first day of the Big 10’s mens’ basketball tournament.  They will see four games today, and return home tonight.  This week begins one of best periods of the year, at least if you’re a basketball fan.  If you cannot get your fill of college basketball over the next 4 weeks, you’re not really trying!  I’m sure hoping the Boilermakers can do well this week, and go a ways in the NCAA tourney.   I’m especially rooting for Robbie Hummel, who is my ( and many others’ ) Purdue favorite player.

The Shepard brothers have been working on the Waldo farm, removing a small row of trees so that some erosion can be controlled.  They will build a ‘rock chute’ and some WASCOBS and a special terrace- waterway that will improve the movement of surface water across and from the upper field.   

We expect the delivery of the new 9360R tractor late next week.  As soon as it arrives, John must install some cables and control boxes so that it can operate the new ammonia application machine.  The timing will be just right, for by then we will want to commence field work, starting with ammonia application.    Just think, it’ll be planting season soon!

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