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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