Sunday, January 18, 2015

Week ending Sunday, January 18th...

Winter continues to drag on, but the occasional spike in temperatures allows us to get outside and get a few jobs completed. We continue to haul corn from our bin sites to local terminal delivery points. Also the continued cleaning up of fall harvest and tillage equipment rolls on. Most all of our 2015 cropping plans and inputs have been laid out and put in place. Lately, we have spent a fair amount of time attending Farm Service Agency and Farm Bureau meetings regarding the latest Farm Bill. Digging back through records and updating yields along with deciding which Farm program to choose over the course of the next five years continues to be a heavy decision. Discussions with land owners and farm managers regarding these decisions have also encompassed a lot of time. Otherwise, we spend time at night attending kids basketball and indoor soccer games. 

I hope you enjoy the pictures below of a friend of mine, Ant Bowker who farms in South Africa. We met via this blog and have become modern day "pen pals" if you will. They farm the opposite months we do and I am fortunate that he sends me pictures of his family's farming operation and allows me to post them. You will notice it is very modern and similar to that of grain farms in the United States. 

We are hopeful the warmer weather stays and we miss any future rain showers as we would like to begin applying anhydrous ammonia so the work load isn't so large come this spring's planting season. Typically we get this fertilizer applied in the fall, but the cold and wet weather last fall didn't permit us to get many acres covered.

Removing a large beaver dam on a farm we operate near Jacksonville.
This particular beaver dam was holding back seven feet of water and spanned over 25 feet.  It was backing water up and into our field.
Removing the 2nd smaller beaver dam we discovered down stream.


Replacing the muffler on the forklift. 
The matriarch of our family, Lucile Walbaum Johnson at her 90th birthday party.
Our friend Ant Bowker, who farms in South Africa planting corn on his farm in November.

Ant Bowker side-dressing his corn in South Africa during the month of December.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday, December 14th...

The year is quickly coming to a close with just 16 days until the 1st day of 2015. We have been catching up on year end tax planning and book work along with washing harvest and tillage machinery. We were fortunate that the farms in Greenfield were dry enough for Precision Drainage to arrive and completely install the 160 acres of pattern tile we had planned. From our farm trials, tile continually pays and each year we try to install more acres. We have hauled most of our corn that was sold for December delivery when the weather cooperated. Otherwise, our time has been spent going to meetings and the kids ball games.

From our family to you and yours - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Brent

The big tile plow putting in some of the 4" laterals

Getting some help plowing through a wet spot in the field

The smaller tile plow putting in 4" laterals

The new tile outlet started running as soon as it was connected

Freshly dug ditch for our tile project

160 acres of newly installed tile on one of our Greenfield farms

Washing & winterizing the sprayer

Working on year end tax planning

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Harvest ends...

I am happy to report that we finished our 2014 harvest on Saturday night, November 15th. The last hour we combined in falling snow. It is a great feeling to be done! Our harvest this year lasted 72 days. It was filled with rainy days, mud, snow, hot weather, cold weather and everything in between. After all was said and done, it was our most successful harvest ever. Our yields this year were the best we have ever produced. We feel very blessed and fortunate to have experienced this. And most importantly we couldn't have done it with out the help of all our family and employees. Everyone played an instrumental part in our business' success.  

In the coming days we will be washing machinery, taking down augers, catching up in the office and hopefully starting a large tile project. I'll try to grab more pictures for the next update.  

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



Snow starting to fall while we were harvesting our last 10 acres.
Finished!  Through the falling snow headed back home.
FOR SALE: 2013 Demco 1150 grain cart. Tracks, tarp, and scales were all added brand new this fall.  These are the new design Camoplast tracks just released; 36" by 10' foot print.

$75,000

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 4th...

Harvest continues to roll on. We are down to our last 40 acres of soybeans and a mere 700 acres of corn.  Mother Nature continues to pound us with rains we don't need this time of year. Due to the wet field conditions we have added tracks to the combine and added a tracked grain cart. This allows our machinery to somewhat "float" on top of the mud and not sink in as bad as traditional tires.  

Yields remain good and moisture levels in our corn have dropped to where we no longer need the dryer and can put the grain directly in our bins. Unfortunately, due to the wet field conditions there are a lot of machinery ruts in many, many fields in our geography. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate where farmers can get out and till the ruts so as to level them up for the winter's freeze and thaw.

I'm hopeful my next post will be soon and I can proclaim that we have wrapped up our 2014 harvest...


Trying out the tracks on the combine on our Nortonville farm.




Sunday, October 12, 2014

Week ending October 12th...

We were able to sneak out a good week of harvest despite cloudy and occasionally rainy weather. We had one down day due to adding Rear Wheel Drive to the combine to help combat the wet harvest conditions. Finally, as we approached Saturday afternoon we were able to switch over from corn and work on harvesting soybeans. We had six hours of bean cutting and knocked out 118 acres adjacent to the town of Ashland. The good weather window was short-lived as today brought constant drizzle and enough sloppy weather to keep us out of the fields. Yields remain good. We are 53% complete on corn and 38% on soybeans. The most recent forecast is calling for another 1-2" of rain early this week. We are making more additions/changes to deal with the mud and try to get the remainder of our 2014 crop of the fields.  







Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday, September 28th...

Harvest continues to roll on.  After the heavy rains from early September soaked in we were able to get back into the fields on the 17th.  Since then we have been covering acres harvesting corn. Yields are still excellent. Our soybeans are maturing so we will be making the switch over to the platform head very soon. The recent warm temperatures of our Indian Summer have dried corn quickly in the fields and we are now harvesting 16-18% moisture corn with the occasional later maturity hybrid still holding at 20% moisture. We plan to begin our tillage, lime and fertilizer operations this week as well. All our man power of recent has been used to haul wet corn into our dryer site and then haul dry corn back out to our local grain bins or various elevators.  

While we were waiting for the soils to dry and corn to drop in moisture content, we harvested our 20" corn plot. The highest yielding entry made 281 bpa with a plot average of 257 bpa. We were pleased, but hopeful we might have an entry break the 300 bpa ceiling. We also harvested our 20" row vs. 30" row comparison which was planted adjacent to the big hybrid plot. The populations were 36,000 ppa for the 30" rows and 40,000 ppa for the 20" rows. The end result was a 24.3 bu advantage to the 20" rows.  While we are happy to see these results, we plan to replicate this test again next year.  


Unloading the combine "on the go" on the Davin field
Weighing an entry from our plot
Unloading another truck load of corn at our dryer site

Tom operating the combine as it comes to the end of the field

The grain cart unloading into a semi at sunset

Grandpa Tom and Max getting ready to take a combine ride after lunch

Owen wrapping up the baseball season with his Tigers team

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Harvest on hold...

Harvest on our farm began on Saturday, September 6th.  Unfortunately, the harvest activity was short-lived as the rains set in early Tuesday morning and did not stop until Wednesday evening.  Over the course of those 36 hours we received six inches of rainfall. As you might imagine, this was not welcomed since harvest had started. 

Prior to the rains we were able to take out a 120 acre field and were very pleased with the yields.  When we began the corn moisture was around 25%.  Two days later the moisture's had dropped almost four points to 21%.  That quick dry down is good for corn and it also means we hopefully can use less propane to dry it down to 15%.  The rain delay will set us back more than we would like because the corn has a variety of stalks diseases and with each and every rain and wind event more stalks collapse.  So the race is on once it dries up to allow for more field activity.  In the coming weeks many of our soybean acres will also be ready.  

Be safe out there and please use patience and caution when passing or meeting farm equipment this fall!

Harvest has begun!

6" of rain in 30 hours provides for a lot of excess water

Aerial view of our scale project

Setting the last section of the scale with the crane

Ed from Southern IL Scale driving the weight cart to calibrate the scale

Ron Brown welding on the auger cart