Monday, April 26, 2010

What weather....

A birds-eye view of the planter as seen from the tractor seat.
We apply 3 gallons of 10-34-0 starter fertilizer along with additional zinc to all our corn acres.

Dad making a pass on the University of Illinois Farm - Hunter #3

We also planted our corn test plot during this last stretch of good weather. This year we had 32 entries. Thanks to Jeff Cosner (on the left) who is our local Pioneer Seed Specialist for helping us plant the plot.

The planter rolling across the hills of the Lehmann Farm.

What great weather! For the past 18 days we have been able to be in the fields applying Nh3 and planting corn. We have now completed the vast majority of our corn acres and lack one day of planting before we wrap up our corn acres. Recent rains have brought welcomed precipitation with our farms receiving between 1.0 & 2.0" of rain over the course of the last three days. The rains were good to help germinate the corn seedlings as well as give everyone time to recuperate from the long and productive days in the fields.

Our first planted corn is now up and you can easily row it due to its bright and brilliant color against the dark soil. We hope to wrap up corn planting this week and get as many acres of corn sprayed before the next rain. The early part of this week will be spent performing general maintenance on machinery as well as taking delivery of our soybean seed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Planting corn...

Tom & David loading the planter at the Lehmann Farm

Bob working ground on the Robinson 80

It has been a busy two weeks since I last posted. Since my last update we have completed our anhydrous ammonia applications and have begun planting corn. We are quickly approaching the 50% completion level with our corn planting.

This spring and the recent weather have been a welcomed change compared to last year. For the last two years we have started planting corn on today's date and both year's have been cool and on the wetter side. Quite the contrary for this spring - recent warm temperatures and daily 10-20 mph winds have dried out our soils quickly. We are now keeping a close eye on our soil moisture and doing everything within reason to plant our corn seeds in moisture to ensure even emergence.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Back in the fields...

What great progress we made this week! On Wednesday afternoon we were able to get back in the fields. Two toolbars allowed us to cover many, many acres in this 2.25 day weather window before the rains came again last night. Many long and late hours were spent pulling tanks and operating tractors. We thank all those who kept us running; both with product as well as food. A few corn planters were running in our area, but mostly everyone was out working ground and putting on Nh3.

Typically, we try to apply as much Nh3 as the weather will allow in the fall. Due to the late and wet harvest, almost zero anhydrous ammonia was applied in our area. Once the soils dried enough, everyone was trying to get caught up which caused a strain or bottleneck in the supply system. We pulled tanks from both Sunrise FS in Virginia as well as Lincoln Land FS in both Prentice and New Berlin. Many times there was a waiting line to get your tanks refilled. All things considered, all of our suppliers did a good job of staying ahead of the demand. Only once did we have to stop because we were out of product.

Happy Easter everyone from Johnson Family Farms!

Tom running the CAT beside the shop.

Bob applying Nh3 on the Clearview farm.

The 3 hr. wait at Sunrise FS in Virginia to get anhydrous tanks refilled. The line wrapped around the bins for quite a ways.