Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28th...

The summer continues to fly by with the days counting down until harvest starts.  We have been busy scouting our fields for diseases and insects and in some cases as the picture below shows we have been spraying certain corn and soybean fields as needed.  Summer work continues with mowing roadsides and emptying the last of the grain from the bins. To date we have experienced unbelievably cool weather which is wonderful for the corn. This allows the corn to pack weight in the kernels giving the fields extra yield and heavier test weights.  Although the cool weather is great for people and the corn, it is delaying harvest by not allowing us to gain all the growing degree days we are accustomed to. Originally we had planned to begin harvest immediately following Labor Day; now it appears like it may be the middle of September before we ever start.  This enjoyable weather is also doing a wonderful job of masking how dry we are in our area. While we did catch a general rain last week, we are still somewhat dry.  

The jury is still out on our soybean crop. They are tall and lush, but we've seen tall beans yield poorly in the past too. Beans typically like warmer and drier weather and early on they had to withstand wet soil conditions. Despite all my comments about the weather, we currently have the highest yield potential of any corn crop we've ever raised. The traders on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange have certainly figured that out too and have lowered both corn and bean prices significantly.  

Other projects around the farm have been hauling limestone and piling it in fields where we plan to spread it this fall. We used to be able to have lime hauled in after we harvested the fields, but due to new demand and lower margins in crushing rock into fine powder we are finding that it is very beneficial to stock-pile the lime in the summer months and have it ready for spreading come fall.  We've also been hauling rock for driveways and other projects as we start getting ready for harvest.  Today we winterized the sprayer and water trailer with hopes of getting them put away in the back of shed later this week.  

I'm still getting the hang of operating our drone so still not too many pictures from it yet.  I actually crashed it a couple weeks ago when it got too low to the soybeans.  Between flying it and figuring out how to operate the camera it's like learning to ride a bicycle all over again.  Until next time... 

Aerially applying fungicide and insecticide on our soybeans.

20" rows of tasseled corn going up the hill on the Elkhart farm.

Stock-piling limestone on our Williamsville farm.

Aerial shot from our drone where we removed a couple fingers of trees prior to planting.  No nitrogen was applied in these spots and you can certainly tell that by the yellow corn.  This is on our farm South of Nortonville.

Owen & Max's first Cardinals game of the year.

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