Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week ending August 27th...

Not much new to report. We continue to prepare the machines for the harvest season which will soon be upon us as well as wrap up mowing the last of the roadsides. Friday, David and Tom finished hauling the last of our 2010 corn crop from the bins and now our facilities are ready to receive the 2011 crop. We tested our earliest planted field of corn which was planted on April 6th. It hand-tested around 30%, but if you were to actually harvest it with a combine it would come out closer to 32-33% moisture. If the weather cooperates this should continue to dry the corn down to 20-21% by the Tuesday after Labor Day which we have slated to begin harvest. One of our neighbors took out a field of earlier maturity corn this week, which excited the neighborhood. We plan to visit the Farm Progress Show this week in nearby Decatur where John Deere is rolling out there brand new series of combines for 2012. Be safe.

Installing a new "feeder" belt on the MacDon head.

Bob mowing roadsides on the Atwood Farm.

A neighbor's freshly harvested corn field.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week ending August 20th...

What a week - I got to see the President of the United States of America speak at Wyffels Hybrids and on Saturday our little Max celebrated his first birthday.

Whether you are a fan of our current President or not, it was impressive to watch everything that happens when he arrives for a "town hall meeting." I was one of 300 people that had a ticket to listen to him speak and then take questions from the audience on Wednesday. One question posed him from a farmer in the audience was on new EPA regulations about noise and dust pollution. He suggested we as farmers shouldn't jump to conclusions about supposed new regulations, but rather wait and see what really comes out of Washington. He also encouraged all to contact the US Dept. of Agriculture if we had any concerns regarding these regulations. Another question asked of the President was about Ethanol and his thoughts on keeping the Ethanol industry viable. He touted his past and present support about corn based ethanol, but also informed the crowd that he would like more ethanol to come from cellulosic sources such as wood chips and switch grass. That response did not go over well with the corn friendly crowd. Either way it was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.

Later in the week we hosted our families for Max's First birthday party. Everyone had a great time from the pinata and the "pin the tail on the steer" game to the giant inflatable bounce house that keep the kids busy and out of our house for the most part... Max didn't like everyone singing "Happy Birthday" to him, but calmed down once everyone left him alone to enjoy his own personal chocolate birthday cake. A good time was had by all.

As for the farm this past week more equipment preparation for harvest took place along with hauling the remaining corn from the grain bins. This week we will begin the last round of road bank mowing and continue work on the grain bins and augers. Some of our friends in the Southern part of the county have begun harvest. Yield reports have been as low as 100 bushels per acre all the way to 220 - and that's just in one pass through the field... Harvest for us will most likely begin after Labor Day.

Make it a great week!

Max enjoying his birthday cake.

The Johnson Boys - trouble...

President Obama at Wyffels Hybrids

Monday, August 15, 2011

Week ending August 13th...

One of the signs that harvest is almost upon us the arrival of the State Fair. This week we took in the opening days and walked all over the fairgrounds. The boys especially enjoy the animals, since at our farm we have more dogs than livestock. One of the great things about our State Fair is Agriculture's presence amongst all the other exhibits. Besides the animals, local businesses and Commodity Associations have joined together to create an "Ag" area just inside the front gate of the fairgrounds. This area has the usual large farm equipment on display, but also contains a seudo "field trip" of the different aspects of agriculture in our state. Kids and parents have the unique opportunity to walk through small barns that contain themes of sheep, cattle, horses, grain bin safety, produce, soybeans, corn, and others. Each of these stops has story boards as to what the product looks like all the way through the value-chain to what consumers enjoy from the the product. It's a very nice way to promote our industry!

Around the farm this week we wrapped up assembly on the new chisel plow and brought the semi's into the shop for inspections, cleaning, and general maintenance. While temperatures have moderated, the rain has still missed the majority of our farms. We still anticipate corn yields to be "average," but soybeans yields are too early to establish, however they will need a rain soon in order to be average.

Owen's height relative to a corn plant's

Milking a cow

Digging for "soybean bucks"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


We are selling our 2006 Case IH strip-till bar and dry fertilizer cart. It is a 16-row 5310 model toolbar with an eight ton ADX dry fertilizer cart. It is equipped to place dry fertilizer and anhydrous ammonia all in one pass right in the row. The toolbar has mole knives, residue managers, rolling baskets and double Raven super-coolers. It has always been shedded and we have not used it the last two years due to purchasing a larger unit. We are selling it as one unit with the monitors and dry fertilizer plumbing selling with the unit. We asking $76,000 but would entertain any reasonable offers. Please contact Tom Johnson at (217) 652-1266 if you are interested. This unit is field ready and in excellent condition.