Saturday, July 2, 2016

Happy 4th of July...!!!

Happy 4th of July everyone! We continue to remain dry. Our saving grace while our corn pollinates is that the temperatures have moderated to the lower 80's with evening temperatures down in the 50's. We are simply buying time for our corn crop until it can rain again. 

All our roadsides have been mowed and are looking good for the long weekend. Automated Ag has started putting up our two new grain bins and we have begun working on harvest equipment. After the holiday we will spend a lot of time scouting our corn for leaf diseases such as grey leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, and rust. We will then make the decision on whether or not to call the air plane to spray the field.  

Many pictures with this update, but not a lot of commentary as the summer rolls on. Hope you and your family have a great and safe 4th of July!
Making a late nitrogen application to our corn.


Our 24 inch tram lines are barely noticeable in tasseling corn, but they work great to allow us to apply nitrogen late into the season.




Adding a bin to the existing two along Rt. 125 outside of Pleasant Plains.

We are also putting up a replacement bin near our shop.

This is not my picture, but I saw it on Twitter and thought it was too good not to post on our blog. Amazing the power of a soybean plant.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Heat....

Hot and dry would be an understatement for our area right now. In fact, the last three weeks have been unusually hot and dry and it's starting to feel like a repeat of the 2012 crop year. We've received rains on a few farms, but not enough to keep up with the 90-100 degree temperatures. Our corn crop looks good and could possibly be a 'bin buster,' but it needs to starting raining soon and I mean an inch a week with these temperatures. We are currently mowing roadsides and finishing up the last of the soybean herbicide applications. We planned to Y-Drop nitrogen on +/-700 corn acres, but it has been so dry there is not enough moisture to move the nitrogen into the soil and down to the roots and thus we've decided wait and see if we can get sustained rains before we either resume this practice or just quit for the year. Otherwise, the kids baseball games have consumed most week night's and weekends.

Send rain. 

Spraying beans on the Daubard Farm.

Some wind damage with a recent storm.
The corn righted itself within a week, but has a slight 'curve' in the stalk.

This bin served us well for 42 years, but it was becoming structurally compromised so we decided to take it down and will be replacing it with a new bin in the exact same location.



The bin folded up like a blanket and on the semi.
Next stop, the junk yard.

One of the nice Northern Pike we caught on an early June fly-out trip to Northwest Ontario. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Soybeans are in the ground...

We were fortunate to wrap up planting our 2016 soybean crop on Sunday, May 22nd. While most of our beans went in the ground in excellent conditions we have a couple fields that worked up very cloddy and will need continued rains to ensure all the beans we planted emerge. Since completing our plantings we have moved on to spraying the final herbicide pass on corn, side-dressing corn, mowing roadsides, and returning seed boxes. Sangamon County Real Estate taxes along with State of Illinois license plate renewals have also been on the end of the month to do list. Our corn has gone through its usual yellow stage where it transitions from living off the seedling to the new plant roots and is now a beautiful dark green color. It is quickly closing the rows with the recent 80+ degree temperatures we've experienced in the last week. School is out for the year and the boys have started summer vacation. Baseball consumes most evenings whether it be a game, practice or just playing in the yard. The four dollar plus corn market is a welcomed sign that 2016 could be a good year. 

Happy Memorial Day everyone. Be sure to display your American flag to honor those who have served our Country.

Applying Sulfur, Calcium, and more Nitrogen to our National Corn Growers Association Yield contest entry.

The fertilizer on our NCGA yield entry after it is spread on the corn. The rain later degrades the fertilizer and moves it down through the soil into the plant roots.

24" wide tram rows on 120" centers are very tight for machines to get fertilizer, herbicides, and fungicides applied on our corn. We decided to switch to tram lines this year instead of spreading at an angle and running over the corn as we had done in years past.

Uncle Bob side-dressing anhydrous ammonia on his corn today.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Corn planting is complete...

After a couple breaks due to rains, we were finally able to complete our 2016 corn planting on Saturday, May 7th. All of our corn planted ahead of this last round of planting has emerged. A week ago the corn went through its yellow stage where is transitions from living off the seed to its own root system. During that time we also experienced cooler and wetter weather. Now the corn has begun rooting down and has turned a very beautiful green color and is off to the races. We will soon begin spraying our last pass of herbicide. We continue to work on planting our soybeans, and if given a five day window we will wrap those up. 

A picture of our National Corn Growers Yield Contest entry on one of our Morgan County fields. This was planted in 20 inch rows at 48,200 seeds per acre. It is off to a very good start.

A close up shot of our V1 corn.
Installing tile on a newly acquired farm outside of Pleasant Plains.


Making a tile riser connection in the new tile line.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Corn planting has begun...

Corn planting began for us Thursday, April 14th. In the course of a short week we are right at 50% planted and are receiving some beneficial rains. We have a few acres left to plant around our home area and then will have to decide whether we go North or South to our farms in those areas. The soil is working beautifully and warmer temperatures have arrived and appear to be here to stay. Our first planted corn should be emerging soon.




Filling up with another load of starter fertilizer.

Filling the seed tender with another load of seed corn.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Corn planting is near...

The farm has been a very busy place since my last blog post. Spring and pre-planting activities have consumed our time. We've been getting planters ready, leveling ground ahead of the corn planters, hauling out soybeans, fixing and installing new tile, and doing some dirt work where the post Christmas ten inch rains eroded some field edges and surface drains. Up until the last 48 hours, we were very dry and growing concerned about how dry we had become. In the last 48 hours we received anywhere from 1-2" of rain.

There has been a little corn planted in Central Illinois that we are aware of, but we are patiently waiting for the next opportunity. Next week they are forecasting more rain on Wednesday, but we may dry out ahead of that and get an opportunity to test the planters on Tuesday. The cooler daytime temperatures concern us and we are keeping a watchful eye on the ever changing forecast to make our planting decision. Today the USDA dropped a bombshell on everyone by claiming the US Farmers will plant 93.6 million acres of corn in 2016. While we disagree with these projections, unfortunately the market will use them to trade the next few weeks until weather is the sole focus.

On another note, we extend our best wishes for a quick recovery for David Younkers and Ron Brown who both work on our team. Between the two of them they broke their leg and had a knee replacement surgery. We look forward to seeing their smiling faces around the farm as soon as the doctor's clear them.

Leveling Fall chiseled plowed ground down ahead the planter.  

Andy Shireman replacing a 10" tile run on our University of Illinois Hunter #3 Farm.

Replacing a tile outlet on our U of I Farm.

Hauling some of the last soybeans we stored on the farm out to the Illinois River terminal.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday, March 4th...

We had an extremely rare stretch of warm winter weather that has allowed our soils to dry out from the winter and gave us an opportunity to get our final anhydrous ammonia applied. This past fall we seeded a few fields with a cereal rye cover crop and on those fields we waited until now to apply the nitrogen. We also waited to apply our South farm with spring nitrogen. Typically, we get all our ammonia applied in the fall, but with the current agricultural recession we are experiencing, we decided to wait and let the markets tell us which crop would be more profitable to plant. According to our budgets, corn is still king and thus we switched a few more acres away from soybeans. Now that our preplant nitrogen is complete we will shift our focus towards spring activities and soon corn planting season. 

Applying Anhydrous Ammonia Nitrogen fertilizer in 20" strips on a field that was planted to cereal rye in the late fall. Now that the Nitrogen has been applied, we will kill off the rye cover crop as soon as it begins to green up and come back to life. 




Taking another load of seed corn in preparation for our 2016 corn crop.