Saturday, May 30, 2009

Busy again...

Since Memorial Day the farm has been busy with activity. We have been hauling corn to ADM in Beardstown, spraying the remaining corn acres and we started spraying burndown on the no-till acres of soybeans. Friday afternoon we installed new 60' entrances on a few of our fields in Greenfield and later in the day Bob got the bean planter started again; finishing the Railroad field. This morning everyone is busy planting beans, working ground, and trying to plant the remaining wet holes of corn we have left around Ashland. Light showers have went through both the Ashland & Greenfield areas, but we are still hopeful we can get the remaining corn acres planted on Monday down in Greene County.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Moving back to Ashland...

Yesterday we were lucky enough to finish planting the remaining 15 acres of corn west of Lincoln; just ahead of more rain. I am pleased to report that all tractors and machinery are operational once again and have made it back to our base of operations in Ashland.

Rainfall - the majority of our farms received between 0.7 and 1.0" of rain since Memorial Day, while our Greene County farms had 1.2." Our hope is that the newly installed tile system starts working immediately. Grandma Mears reports that the corn we rotary hoed is up and looks good in Greenfield. Our first planted soybeans have emerged as well and are looking good too.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The end is in sight...

Since my last update we have planted a significant amount of corn & soybeans. We are currently 92% done with corn planting and almost 40% done with soybeans. Recent mechanical challenges with a few pieces of machinery have prevented us from finishing corn west of Lincoln last night and now the annual Memorial Day rain has arrived.

Thank you to all who helped us during our recent planting marathon. From keeping the employees "fueled" to helping us move all of the vehicles and tractors to the various locations, your help is appreciated. The picture above is of David working ground Northwest of the Elkhart Hill.

Enjoy your Memorial Day...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Busy week...

Wednesday we started planting soybeans around Ashland. Late Thursday afternoon we were able to get back in the fields planting a few more acres of corn around Ashland. We planted everything that was dry and then moved up to Elkhart. Yesterday we finished the Elkhart farm and have since moved to the Williamsville farm. To-date we have not had to leave many acres because it was too wet, but today we will have to go around a dozen or so wet holes that have not dried.

The next significant chance of rain is Monday and we hope to have all the corn acres that are dry enough to plant completed. Precision Drainage has finished pattern-tiling the 100 acres down in Greene County and it is ready to plant after we work it a few times to try and size the dirt clods down.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today the farm is busy with activities; Tom & David are hauling corn and Bob is rotary hoeing the corn we planted last Tuesday down in Greene County. We anticipate working some ground around the Ashland area tomorrow in order to start planting beans later tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, we can work some of the ground that we still plan to go to corn on Thursday.

Precision Drainage Systems got started tiling on our Emerald Acres farm in Greene County yesterday. We are pattern-tiling a 100 acres with 4" laterals every 60' to drain our Muscatine & Virden soils. They are hoping to complete the project before we get back down there with the corn planter later this week.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

This is the week...

The week ahead looks promising to wrap up corn planting and to get a good start on planting soybeans. The current forecast calls for an abundance of sunshine and light winds all week; just what we need to get back in the fields. After all of last week's rain the fields are drying nicely. Our hope is to get back in the fields on Tuesday afternoon, but it will probably be more like Wednesday unless we decide to plant around the wet holes.

We are closely monitoring our corn planted on May 11th & 12th as we anticipate the soil to crust with all the heavy rains last week followed by this week's rapid drying. If we start to see a crust forming in the top 2" of soil we will be forced to rotary hoe those acres to try and help the corn reach the soil surface before the seedling runs out of energy. I hope we don't have to do this, but the way this year is going you never know.

About the only nice thing about all this wet weather is it gives us an opportunity to discover tile holes that we may not have otherwise found. The picture above is what we believe to be an exposed tile on our Williamsville farm. This area is usually wet after rains, but when you can drive by and water is boiling up out of the ground and ducks are swimming in it - it usually indicates you have a problem.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Making progress...

Since the last update we were able to plant a few more acres of corn. We planted another 90 acres around Ashland and then decided to move south to Greenfield where the soil was a little more dry. Despite a breakdown with our tillage tool on Monday evening, we were able to plant 35 acres of the Emerald Acres farm and the entire Mears Land Trust on Tuesday.

Thank you to Mark Twitchell who rented us his tractor and field cultivator on Tuesday which allowed us to get the ground opened up and drying ahead of the planter and the approaching storm - we really appreciated it!

Even though we are rained out again, we are still optimistic about our 2009 corn crop. Recent rains have dumped as much as 2" on our farms to the north, but forecasts are calling for over a week of drier weather next week.

As of this morning we are 66% complete with corn planting.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Rain Thursday evening and Friday morning dashed our hopes of planting corn this weekend. Rainfall totals ranged from 0.5" to 0.9" in places. The fields are now saturated and have standing water in them as the picture above illustrates.

Despite the wet end to the week we were able to get a few more items accomplished. Uncle Bob finished planting his 2009 corn on the Whiznat farm and Dad & David were able to spray the majority of corn that is now emerged.

While most of the corn is up and looking good, we still do not have much corn up in areas that were and continue to be wet. After digging, it appears that the corn seedling and its roots ran out of oxygen due to all the rain and is now rotting in the ground. Despite the fact that we know we will have a little replanting to do, we have decided to switch one planter over and get ready to plant soybeans the next chance we get.

Thank you to all the Mom's out there!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Waiting for things to dry...

Since my last update all farms have received between 1.5" & 2.9" of rain. Although we are still optimistic about wrapping up corn planting, I believe Mother Nature has other plans. If we miss the forecasted rains for Tuesday & Wednesday we would be able to get back in the fields around Ashland and start planting again Friday.

Even though it is not dry enough to plant corn, it is dry enough to spray. Most all of the corn we have planted has emerged and it is time to get the herbicides sprayed as the weeds are growing as fast as the yards.