Saturday, September 30, 2017
Another month in the books! Wow, the calendar pages are flipping over pretty quick. This month has been a flurry of harvest activity, since we began on the 11th. It has been quite dry, and the results in the soybean field are showing the effects of the dry July and August. If the soil does not have a high water-holding capacity, there seems to be an upper limit on yields in those areas. But where the fields often drown with too much water, those soils have a higher water-holding capacity, and the soybean yields are higher. My estimate is that final soybean results will be right at average.
We have had visitors this weekend from Oregon. Three of Philip’s close friends have come to visit him. Jeremy, his wife Annie, and another friend Markus arrived yesterday. (Jeremy and Annie actually live in northern California, Markus in Portland. They all met during their University of Oregon days) They came to visit Philip. Apart from that, they also came to the field to observe the soybean harvest Friday evening. Jeremy and Markus had some passenger seat-time in the JD S680 combine. These folks are quite polite and easy to have around. Their thoughtful questions about the process and our management were interesting. John also had some time to show them around the grain storage facilities and the farm office. It is always a good time to have visitors on the farm, and especially nice with these pleasant young people. Thanks to this great group for coming all this way to see Philip, and then using some of their time to check out the farm, too.
Jeremy rode a while with me in the combine. As I have learned from #AgTwitter, anytime you take this kind of picture with a farmer, it’s called a ‘felfie’, not a ‘selfie’.
Thanks to the perpetually dry September weather, we are marching through the soybean crop at a good pace. We have about 1/3 of the soybean acres yet to harvest. It has been complicated a bit by the replanted spots, and we’ve had to move in and out of those fields as the different planting date beans matured. This slows the harvest process a bit with the extra ‘moves’ and driving around the wet beans and returning later to cut the ones we cut around earlier. But, it’s what we must do to harvest good quality, dry (<13% moisture) soybeans in 2017. You can check a short video I took from the seat of the combine as we were harvesting soybeans last Tuesday at Burke. That was probably the most fun day of fall so far. Just click on the YouTube icon at the upper right of this page, and it’ll take you right there. It’s less than a minute, but shows a fun time.
Our thinking is that by the time we catch up with all the harvest-ready soybeans, we can return to corn… and that the corn will be dry enough then to move directly to the market or to our storage.
We have several truckloads of contracted corn to deliver beginning October 2. If the corn is dry (15.5% moisture) in the field, that will make those deliveries more convenient. I guess that having the corn dry enough not to need the dryer is one benefit of the drought-like July to September.
This is the latest USDA Drought Monitor Map. It shows Knox County, Indiana in the ‘abnormally dry’ category, but the dry days continue.
Also, GPC at Washington, IN–where we will deliver most of those October loads, has a unique inbound system. They schedule appointments every 4 minutes during their operating hours, and this results in NO waiting for hours in one of those interminable truck lines. Brandon visits their online site to make those appointments. It is a very popular system, and I cannot understand why it has not ‘taken off’ in other locations. Thanks, GPC, for your innovation.
There has been a lot of interest in our neighbor’s combine fire. The pictures were stark, and a reminder to blow-clean our machines every evening. We worked in our adjoining field yesterday, and it is sad to see the blackened remains of that machine still spewing smoke from Wednesday’s fire. These neighbors are terrific farmers, and our heart goes out to them as they have replaced this vital farm tool. Still, it’s just a ‘thing’ and there was no one hurt in the blaze. Perspective.
We hope you have a happy and safe weekend. It’s a happy one here.