keep going…

Friday, May 19, 2017

Replanting of soybeans is still the agenda item of the day.  We are nearly ‘caught up’ to the flooded acres along White River.  It has been a very good week of #replant17.  Even though it is disappointing to see your ‘first planting’ not be successful, we must remind ourselves that it is still relatively early to plant soybeans. White River has receded within its banks, leaving some debris and pockets of standing water.   We will soon go to the river-flooded acres to survey what is possible.

Our main concern with the river is the place where the levee was breached at the Nellie farm, leaving major damage and sand deposits.   It will take some time to evaluate the situation, and determine the way forward for that location.

Ross did some replanting of corn yesterday, but there have been very few acres of corn damaged by the flooding.  He was not able to complete that because of some standing water at Huey, and he will return there to finish when it finally dries.

John is out in the sprayer today to put a post-emerge application of herbicide on corn acres.  He has been prevented from making spray progress by the recent days of high winds, but this morning, the window of opportunity is open.

John makes a pass on the Cox hill field. We hope this corn is “laid by”–which means all treatments are complete until harvest.

A rainy weekend is predicted, so we will monitor that.

Step by step, we keep pushing ahead.



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Check that off the list…

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We finished up our soybean planting on Monday evening, by working at the Lett farm.  I can admit to being a little surprised that the soil there was dry enough to plant soybeans.  But by 7pm, with the completion of that location, we could say that #plant17 was complete!

Yesterday morning I toured most of our soybean fields with an adjuster from crop insurance.  He was there to document the necessity of our replant claim.  They will assist with the cost of replanting…and it’s a good thing…we found more acres to replant than I had anticipated!

After completing Lett last night, I merely crossed the big ditch to the Watjen farm and began the replanting of soybeans at that farm.  I worked a little extra late, and got done there and moved the machine home.  There will be many upcoming days like that where I will be replanting soybeans.  The floods of the river have taken away a big chunk of acres, and the cold, and extremely wet past 2 weeks made a crust that baby beans can’t break through.  From April 21 to 28, I was planting soybeans in near-perfect conditions, but 3 periods of heavy rains (8.8″ altogether) along with the very cold nights, did them in.

Here’s the view from the seat of the JD 9330 tractor. Replanting soybeans is underway.

Looking back, you can even see some dust raised by the air drill. Surprising after that 2.3″ of rain last Wednesday night!

The White River is supposed to be back in its banks today at Edwardsport.  We are unsure just how long it will take for those flooded fields to dry enough for #replant17.  Hopefully, that will be this month.





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Great forecast!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

We are loving the weather forecast!  Looks like we’re in for a streak of warm and dry days!  And the baby corn and soybeans (the ones that survived the flooding) are loving that too.

The next several days are looking great! Maybe we can begin inching in on the replanting…

Had a late night last night.  Pat and I drove over to St. Louis for a Cardinals’ game.  We were guests of the Nat’l FFA organization, and we were fortunate enough to be hosted in the Monsanto suite.  It was a neat time.  We met a young farmer and his wife (@rmellenc on Twitter), some people who work at Monsanto, and  some folks with national farm organizations.

We enjoyed everything about the evening…except the final score of the game… the Cubs won 3-2.  Still, it was fun to be there, and the weather was perfect!

There was some excitement for Cards’ fans with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, as an error allowed Wong to reach 1st base, and the 2nd run to score… but the game ended before another run could come across the plate.

It was a long 3 hours home, but we made it across Illinois on US 50, with very light traffic!



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Another pause to #plant17

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Yes, it did it again!  Overnight, we received 1.9″  of rain, and by this afternoon, the rainfall totaled 2.2″ today (56mm).  The WASCoBs were filled again, but most have drained out by afternoon.  Field work is stopped again, after only one day (since April 29) of planting yesterday.  We will be looking toward next week to return to #plant17 or #replant17.

White River is slowing receding.  Today’s forecast has it back within its banks on Tuesday.

Have a great weekend!



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Back at it

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

It is now exactly one month to the day from when #plant17 began.  The corn planting wrapped up in 10 days.  On April 28, I was 1.5 days away from being done with soybean planting.  Then the big rains came, locally and across Indiana.   Now, we have some significant #replant17 to do!  The fields along White River are still flooded, so those will wait for many days.  Today was our first day back in the fields to plant.   I was able to ‘go’ on the Dunn farm, on those steep hillsides.  Only the Lett farm remains unplanted (the first time).

Chugging along at the Dunn farm. Parts of these fields are pretty steep. We think that’s why it dried out here before other locations.

I returned to do some replant at Roberson, Pond, and Cox.  44.7 acres replant altogether this afternoon.  So, it felt good to be in the tractor again, and the warm sunshine was a bonus.  We are hoping the return of warm temperatures will spur the un-emerged soybeans to come on out of the ground!  Some rain is predicted for tomorrow.

Our Grubb field, along US 50 near White River, still has significant flooding.

White River has started down, and should be out of this field by Saturday evening.  It is predicted to be completely back in its banks by next Tuesday.   It’ll take 5-6 days to dry out enough to reenter to replant…

C’mon sunshine!



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Sunny Monday

May 8, 2017

The sun is out this morning, even if the day started a bit cool (42F, 6C).

We filled the soybean drill, and then went to look for a patch dry enough to use it.  We toured the Dunn and Lett farms.  Because those locations are quite hilly, we were hopeful we could find a field that was ‘plant-able’.  Not today.  But John did find a couple fields that would support his sprayer– Holscher and Downen– and he is out there now putting down a layer of Warrant (a residual herbicide) tank-mixed with glyphosate (Roundup WeatherMax).   At least he can make a little bit of progress.  My estimation is that it might be possible to run the planter on Wednesday… but the weatherman is predicting more rain that day.

White River has dropped .2′ since Saturday, but the prediction is for it to very slowly recede.  It won’t be back in its banks until the 16th!  After that, in 4-5 days, we can reenter those fields for #replant17.   It won’t go as fast or as pleasant as the first time, for there will be water spots to plant around.  I guess it was just too easy in April!   But, if we can get the replant done this month, it will feel pretty timely.

Yeah, it’s gonna be a while before we get back into these fields!

I saw this quote on a Twitter page yesterday.

It encourages us replant, even if the conditions are less than perfect.

Have a great week!

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It goes without saying…

Friday, May 5, 2017

Since last Saturday, we’ve received 6 .5 inches (165mm) of rain.  It is safe to say the drought is over!  Before this rainy week, yes it was getting a little dry.  But those concerns have been replaced with #replant17 planning.

Office work is going on today in preparation for the spring installment of the property taxes.  There is some relief there this year, as the Governor and Legislature last year enacted a law to speed the process by which the assessment of farmland valuations follow the values.  The lag of the valuation used to be about 4 years, which is more pleasant when land values are increasing (as they did 09-15).  But the lag was particularly troubling now that farm incomes and land values are declining.   We were hopeful when this new law was enacted, (with unanimous support in the legislature), but we were uncertain how it would actually play out in the real world.  After tallying the bills into a spreadsheet (an annual task), we had the pleasant revelation that the final bill was 4.12% less than the same period last year!  Thank you, to Indiana’s former Governor Pence and the Legislature.

The other task is to prepare our Crop Production Services (CPS) bill. I must match the invoices to the stack of pink and yellow papers that we receive with each load of fertilizer or chemicals.  Then, the allocation of prepaid and new purchase items must be matched.  Sometimes, there are returns, and those have to matched to the prepay account or new purchase, too.  It only took two calls today to Melissa at CPS, to get it worked out.   The process is a bit complicated, but Melissa is very methodical and thorough.  After calculating the process here in our spreadsheet, we came up with the same number that Melissa had in her computer!

It was also the day to reconcile the bank account with our QuickBooks.  It is very satisfying when it balances on the first time to check off the checks and deposits.   No typing errors this month!

Planting or replanting is still several days away.  They keep revising the White River flood crest upward, now up to 25 feet on Monday through Wednesday.   Our return to those fields will not be as soon as we may have hoped, but it is still likely we can get back in there in May.

Have a nice weekend.



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