Across the finish line.

Tuesday, October 29, 2014

It’s a rainy morning today… over half an inch so far.  But this rain event is not causing us any concern because we finished our harvest on Sunday evening.  We went back to work Sunday afternoon on the DCB at the Harry farm, and finished there about 5pm.  It was quite a relief, having that milestone reached.  The day was beautiful, warm and sunny 74ºF.

We felt like this fall harvest was a bit of a marathon, especially when we went through those muddy days in mid-October.  We used every day possible, even when we had to park the trucks on some distant paved road.  We only missed 5 days when fields were just too muddy for the combines.

We attribute this timely finish of the harvest to many things:  1.  The blessing of God– mostly good weather.  2.  The new combines have a bigger appetite, enabling us to accomplish more bushels and acres per day. 3.  The  new grain cart, with its increased capacity– able to completely load a semi-truck at one approach.  4.  The addition of the fall work of Larry and Bill– just having some additional drivers on corn harvesting days speeds the process.  5.  The big break-down we experienced came during a time when we could harvest soybeans and deliver them directly to market.  This allowed us to bypass unloading at the farm; instead we were able to work at filling our forward contracts.  This gave the guys from Montgomery Welding a several-day window to get the repair accomplished.  6.  Very few mechanical breakdowns in the field with the combines, trucks, tractors, or grain cart.

When we got done on Sunday afternoon, the 4 trucks remained loaded… we had no place to unload them here…we had run out of room in our storage bins.  The corn had a good yield this year, and the soybeans had a very good yield.  Yes, we needed more space… our forward contracts we not enough this year to accommodate such an abundant crop.

It goes without saying (almost) that we are especially grateful for the bountiful and safe harvest.   Yes, we work hard and try to be good stewards and managers, but without the favorable growing season of 2014, there would be no feeling of success.  We have learned to trust our Maker.. through thick and thin.

Harvests like this one can make the drought of 2012 seem like a distant memory.

We used the 84ºF day yesterday to run the bush-hog around many fields and groom the levee at Burke.  It was also a day to deliver grain to market (get those trucks emptied from Sunday afternoon!)  The disk and crumbler were stored and the tractors and combines were placed inside.

Now, begins the big clean-up.  One by one, every header, combine, tractor, and truck will come to the wash pad and receive a thorough cleaning.  We want them to “look like new” before they’re put away for the winter.  That muddy period created some extra work for the clean-up crew, but they will surround it without a doubt.  Let’s hope the weather remains warm enough to make the wash process tolerable!

The cover crops are looking good here at the home farm.

Plans for the corn and soybeans of 2015 will  go in more depth beginning today.  The cash flow document will be refined.  The crop budgets will be scrutinized and made more accurate.  We will be purchasing seed soon.  There is on-going conservation construction projects at Roberson and the new Dunlap farms.  The drainage tile project at Burke has been wrapped up.   John will use the available days to perform some fall spraying.   We go now from the singular focus on harvest to the multi-focus of many projects!

But today, it’s okay to watch it rain.  And be thankful.

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