Monday, October 25, 2010

Jeff Moss running the 9630 & BlueJet on the Williamsville Farm

Another good week of tillage. We encountered a few breakdowns this past week, which did not allow us to finish all our tillage like I had hoped. However, we only lack 200 acres of chiseling corn stalks and any additional in-line BlueJet ripping would be above and beyond what we anticipated completing. As I mentioned in previous posts the soils are pulling very hard this year due to all the rains the last few years and lack of good tillage last fall. The hard ground is rough on the tillage equipment as well as the tillage tractors. We have repeatedly had to replace ripper points and wear bars along with a few other items that needed the attention of a welder, but tilling the soil while it is dry is the best thing to get it back into condition for the 2011 crop. Dad also took advantage of the good weather and spent a few days trimming trees alongside fields and making surface drains on some of our poorly drained fields. A few anhydrous ammonia toolbars could be seen late last week in our area despite the dry soil conditions and warm weather. Thankfully a rain Saturday morning along with another Sunday evening gave the ground ample moisture for us to begin putting on anhydrous as soon as the soils dry.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week ending October 17th...

Harvesting soybeans on the Alderson Farm

Two combines in the night

Lincoln Land FS spreading lime on the Williamsville Farm

Tearing out fence rows in Greenfield

The fence row demolition crew - from left; Jim Black, Mark Twitchell, & JL Ford
What a week! We wrapped up our 2010 harvest on Friday afternoon. The harvest this year was completed in 45 days, but more importantly we are done 53 days earlier than last year. Corn yields were somewhat disappointing, but soybean yields were fantastic across the board.
We continue to work on tillage and spreading lime. We also are taking advantage of the great weather and working on projects that we planned to get completed last fall/winter. On Saturday I traveled to our Greene County farms and helped remove old fence rows with a few neighbors. What a great crew! A big thanks goes out to Mark Twitchell, JL Ford, and Jim Black for all their help yesterday. With two skid-steers we tore out just over 3/4 of a mile of fence rows and now each neighbor will gain another two rows of crops in place of dilapidated fence and weeds.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Week ending October 10th...

Owen ready to go to the elevator in the semi.

Harvesting on the Elkhart farm.

Owen inspecting the corn to make sure it meets his standards.

Taking a cat nap in the combine.

The end of harvest is near - we hope to wrap up harvest this week. What a pleasant change from last year. While harvest may be coming to an end, our tillage operations still have plenty of acres to go. The ground is dry this fall and we are taking advantage of that by tilling our ground deeper than we have in the last two years. When the soils are dry they shatter better with each tillage pass, thus helping to remove compaction from previous years' crops. Unfortunately, going deeper does not always correlate to going faster so we are not able to cover the acres as quick as usual. Yields are still all over the board on corn, but soybean yields continue to impress. The USDA finally came to grips with this short crop on Friday's report. Look for volatile markets in the interim.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week ending October 3rd, 2010...

Harvesting soybeans on the Williamsville farm.

Another very good week of harvest at Johnson Family Farms. This week we mainly focused on soybeans, but a 20% chance of rain Friday evening that turned into two tenths of rain and clouds made us switch back to corn. To-date we have just under a third of our harvest left to complete. Our tillage operations progress nicely as we continue to chisel under corn stalks as well as run the MacFarlane Reel-till on a lot of acres sizing up corn residue. Diplodia was again an issue with our corn this year, so we are focusing on chopping up the residue and getting it buried early in hopes we've seen the last of the diplodia. The ten day forecast has no rain in sight, which should allow us to wrap up harvest in the upcoming weeks.