Sunday, March 31, 2013


12-18 inches of snow a week ago and now 60 degrees on Easter.  Isn't the weather in Central Illinois interesting?  Mostly a week of watching the snow melt and working inside on the spring equipment.  A few more trees were cut and burned along with lots of winter fun sledding in the snow.  On Friday the weather was much warmer which allowed us to deliver some seed corn to customers who are thinking planting season may soon be approaching. 

The forecast is calling for high's in the upper 50's and lower 60's towards the weekend which I believe will cause some field cultivators to hit the fields this week.  If the forecasts don't change, I think we will see a few try planting some corn the week of April 8th...

Enjoying the fresh snow sledding 

Snow planter 

Biggest snow we have received in years 

David shining up the planter tractor 

Remember dying Easter eggs....?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Week ending March 23rd...

Spring is here...only according to the calendar.  It may officially be spring, but the weather outside says it's still winter.  As I type, we are experiencing our heaviest snow storm of the winter with 8" already on the ground and more yet to come.  Yesterday it was in the mid 50's and the ground was just getting dry enough to think about working with the field cultivator.  Despite the snow, the promise of spring planting appears to be near as the 10 day forecast finally has a day or two in it with 60 degree temperatures.  Although most in our area believe it will be April 15th or 20th before the ground is warm enough to plant.

This past week we wrapped up work on our new planter and moved it outside.  We calibrated the Force CS system, checked for leaks and got it set up in our JD 2630 display.  We also began work on re-spacing the front duals on the planter tractor, changing the oil and cleaning it up after it was in the mud all winter working with the grain cart.  We also spent a little time burning off road ditches and waterways along with trimming trees along field borders.  It was also a good opportunity to check the usual spots for newly unearthed rocks, bricks, etc. that show themselves after fall tillage and winter weather. 

Calibrating the Force CS system and checking for leaks 

Configuring the front duals on the planter tractor to accommodate 20" rows 

A good time of year to find obstacles Mother Nature has uncovered over the winter 

The new owner of our 1st strip-till bar and dry cart came to pick up his new purchase.  We still have the 10 ton poly dry cart for sale - $47,500.
Select "air-seeders"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Week ending March 16th...

No corn planting here.  Winter continues to blanket our area with cold temperatures and the occasional snow flakes.  Last year at this time we had applied the last of our anhydrous ammonia and a few of our neighbors had even planted some corn.  A year ago the high temperatures were in the 80's.  The recent 10 day forecast doesn't show any day time highs above 50 degrees, so we continue to get machinery ready and take delivery of the last of our seed corn. 

We have all but wrapped up hauling corn to the elevator from our bins until the markets respond with better prices.  Recent rains have replenished our soils and all of our tiles are running.  There is a little wiring left to be done on the planter and a few calibrations, but otherwise we are ready to pull the planter out of the shop.  Crop insurance decisions have been made and we are ready to get started on the 2013 growing season. 

Installing the Force CS insecticide system

In order to plant 20" rows, we had to widen the tires out on the planter tractor

David washing off the truck and trailer

Loading the semi for another trip to the CG&B at Naples

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Work continues on the planter; adding the starter fertilizer system and liquid Force.  Last year at this time we were applying spring anhydrous ammonia...  Farmers over in Western IL even started planting March 7th. 2012.  Don't believe that will happen this year as we have a small amount of snow on the ground and the temperatures remain cold. 
 David has the starter tank mounted and planter plumbed with hoses
 A little early, but our new head cart trailers have already arrived.  Guess we will use these in six months...
Time to upgrade the office safe.  Notice the machine underneath the gun safe.  This machine allowed two guys to take this 750# safe down the basement stairs with ease. 

Owen and Max and their snowman earlier in the week