Sunday, August 30, 2009

Picking up...

Yesterday we picked up debris from the tornado at our Williamsville farm. Our fantastic crew consisted of Tom Johnson (Dad), Steve Schilling (father-in-law), and Ryan Aupperle (brother-in-law). We were able to pick up everything we could see from the trailer in just under a half day. A big thanks goes out to each one of them for helping us out!

Traveling across the field while picking up debris also gave us a good opportunity to evaluate what is left of the corn and start working on a game plan to harvest this mess. I should mention that we met with the Crop Insurance adjuster on Friday morning and yes, we will have to try and combine this.

Our prep work for harvesting this has already started as we ordered a Kelderman corn reel for our 12 row corn head through our local Pioneer dealer (Jeff Cosner). Thank you to Jeff for thinking of us and giving us an opportunity to pool our order with other farmers who will be needing a reel for their corn head this fall.

See you all at the Farm Progress Show this week!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Aerial view...

Today I had the opportunity to fly over our field at Williamsville that had the tornado damage from Wednesday's storm. While this was good in the fact that I was able to see how much debris is laying in our field, it was bad from the standpoint that my vantage point showed me that my initial estimation of 50% damage was wrong. From the air I could see that the flat corn encompasses more like 85-90% of the entire field...

Thank you to Mike & Steve Pfister for taking me up this afternoon. Click on the photos to enlarge.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tornado damage...

Late this afternoon a tornado ripped through our Williamsville farm. Luckily, none of the neighboring home owners were affected although the town of Williamsville is in pretty bad shape. My estimate is that over 200 acres of the 415 field was leveled by the tornado. Some of the corn is laid over and some is snapped about 2' off the ground. Time will tell what the end results will be. Many power poles were snapped and we will have plenty of debris to pick up before we can even think about harvesting.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tiling in the summer...

Pictures from today's tiling project at the Williamsville farm. The ground was so saturated that as soon as the tile was laid, water started draining towards the ditch. Thanks to Steve Jurgens and David Younkers today for their hard work!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Another week...

This week we continued to haul corn from our bins to the Illinois River terminals in Beardstown. We also spent time spraying 2,4-D around field borders to clean up the morning glory vines that crept in from the roadsides.

Today we again teamed up with Steve Jurgens from Precision Drainage to explore why we continue to have a water seep in one of our fields at Williamsville. After digging with the backhoe we discovered two separate 4" clay tile lines that had been crushed and were only half a foot below the surface. We quickly developed a plan and tomorrow Precision Drainage will lay a new 6" plastic tile through the wet area to the neighboring ditch. The picture is of Steve digging above the old clay tile; notice the darkness of our good prairie soils.

Bob reports that we have some corn starting to dent. The June planted corn down in Greenfield could use a rain...

Friday, August 7, 2009

More spraying...

While Dad enjoyed the week in the Ozarks fishing and relaxing this week; activities at the farm remained numerous. The majority of the week's events were spent hauling corn to the Illinois River and mowing roadsides. We also spent time spraying around field borders to kill any remaining weeds and those persistent morning glory vines. We did manage to get all the road banks and filter strips mowed in Greene County as well; thanks to Mark Twitchell for helping us out down there again!

While the foliar diseases on both the corn and the soybeans have almost ground to a halt with the recent cool temperatures, we again sprayed more corn with Stratego fungicide this week. What we sprayed already had numerous lesions and we felt that with this weekend's upcoming high temperatures and humidity that conditions will be perfect for the fungus to expand further in the tops of the corn plants. The pictures are of the aerial applicator spraying the corn at our University of Illinois Hunter #3 farm near New Berlin. Bob lives on this farm and was awakened early that morning by the plane flying right over his house.

This weekend we will be celebrating two events; 1) my sister Lindsay who is saying goodbye and moving to England where she will teach Math & Science for a year & 2) the passing of my great uncle, Albert Kapik. He was a great role model, friend, and husband and will be truly missed by our family.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Nice rain...tough winds

This morning a cold front passed through the area bringing with it much needed rains. However, as the front moved through it brought with it tremendous winds. It appears that the later the corn was planted the worse it was affected. Our largest area of impact was along Rt. 125 just east of Ashland.

Rainfall totals:
Ashland/Pleasant Plains - 1.25"
Williamsville/Elkhart - 0.8"
Greenfield - 0.1"

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Yesterday we spent the day mowing and trimming around the Elkhart & Williamsville farms.

Luckily, it was just dry enough to mow an area in one of the fields that we were not able to plant. Since the planter couldn't make it through the wet area, neither could the sprayer and thus we had a great crop of giant ragweeds. The second picture is of 12' tall giant ragweeds off the nose of the tractor as we were mowing them. Now that the area is dry enough and the weeds have been mowed we plan to get the backhoe in and find out where our moisture keeps coming from.