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Our Farm In Pictures: Baseball, John Deere, Flipped Pivot and a New Home

Well, after quite a bit of time off from the blog, here we go again.  Been a busy 2013 so far.  All of our crops are in the ground for this year and have all emerged.  We will be raising popcorn, white corn, yellow corn, alfalfa and prairie hay this year.

Our color scheme change.  first planted corn field in the background
Our color scheme change. first planted corn field in the background

 

 

We welcomed a full time employee to our operation this year.  Mason is a graduate of Hastings College and had worked for us part time while attending college and playing college football.  He graduated in December and started work for us at the beginning of the year.  We are happy to have him helping us.

Hastings Brickyard Bombers 8u
Hastings Brickyard Bombers 8u

I have spent a lot of time this year coaching a USSSA 8u Hastings Brickyard Bombers baseball team.  Coaching 8 year old kid pitch baseball has been a great experience.  To see where the kids are now compared to the beginning of the year and to see them start to have some success has been very gratifying. It has been a year of fundamentals and learning how to play the game the right way.  The main thing we want out of our team is for them to look at us at the end of the year and say they can’t wait to play next year.

We broke from our color scheme on the farm this year and bought a John Deere tractor which has brought me much joy(sarcasm) in the form of all the ribbing I have taken from friends and neighbors.

Weather has created some interesting situations this year also.  We have had a flipped pivot, some minor hail, gone from dry to wet and experienced relatively cool temperatures so far outside of one 100 degree day.

We have also decided after two years of subdivision living that it is time to be back on the farm and will start the construction of our new house in the next couple weeks.  The mailbox is up, plans are done and we are off and running with it.  I spend a lot of time talking about the disconnect from agriculture in our society and we felt like we were contributing to that with our children.  There are many benefits of subdivision living like neighbors, kids for our kids to play with, socialization, etc, but we also enjoy the peace, family, responsibility, work ethic, freedom and privacy living on the farm provides us.  So, back to the home place we go!  Wishing you a safe and prosperous spring and summer season.  The Weeks Family

 

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The beginnings of our new house at the farm.

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Everything ready to go for 2013 planting season
Everything ready to go for 2013 planting season
Flipped pivot
Flipped pivot

Catching Up on the Happenings On Our Family Farm

Many things are going on here at our farm this winter. We are spending time doing crop planning, receiving seed corn, booking chemicals, repairing equipment, building a few things and the list goes on and on.

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Seed corn being unloaded at the Producers Hybrids facility in Battle Creek, NE. All seed corn is harvested on the ear, unlike commercial corn, popcorn, or white corn. This is the seed we will plant in 2013.

We have hired a full time employee this year. Mason just graduated from Hastings College in December and started full time with us on January 1st. He has worked part time for us the last year and we welcome him and are very happy to have him on board.

We have worked with Producers Hybrids as a dealer for the better part of two decades and they have worked really hard this year to make sure we have the tools necessary to succeed. To that end we took an extensive tour this year during the seed corn harvest and saw our products as they came out of the field and headed to the bags that we will deliver this spring for planting. Producers is a part of the Ag Reliant family and is independent in the fact that we are not owned by a chemical company which makes them a different kind of seed company.

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Myself on the right with fellow dealer and friend Doug Luther in the middle and our District Sales Manager Jason Fryda. This was taken during lunch after visiting Ag Reliant’s Research facility on the southern side of Puerto Rico.

As part of equipping us with more knowledge of our company and our facilities, I am just returning from a visit with Producers to Puerto Rico where we toured our research facility there. They have the benefit of a climate which literally can allow three crop seasons in one year. They plant on most days and harvest on most days. This ability coupled with a dihaploid breeding process allows us to bring products to market faster than anyone in the industry. It was very beneficial to see what we have coming down the pipeline and have an opportunity to see the excitement that the people have for what is going on with our seed corn company.

The coming weeks will bring more prep work for the 2013 crop, my first meeting as a school board member at Adams Central, a meeting with the Dow Grower Technology Group, a vacation as a couple, and some basketball games the kids are playing in.

From our farm to yours, we all hope you had a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Irrigation Season on Our Farm.

Water flowing down a row on our gravity irrigated fields 

 

It has been a very busy summer here as we have been in one of the worst droughts I have seen. We have caught a few timely rains here that other areas of the state have not. Our non-irrigated corn is just barely hanging on. We will have a crop from it, but it will be less than expected. Our irrigated fields look great and yield projections for those will most likely be record yields the way it looks now as we are way ahead on Growing Degree Units and have very minimal disease and insect pressure.

The popcorn looks good this year as do all of the soybeans also. I have included a few pictures of gravity irrigation and pictures of the crops to catch you all up with what is going on. Hope to get back to posting a little more often, but mother nature and kids activities dictate my free time this time of year.

 

 

a pipeline on one of our gravity irrigated fields. The water flows through the pipe and out individual gates for every row that we open manually. It is a labor intensive irrigation process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the lower end of the field that the water flows to and we check to make sure the rows flow through to the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are thankful to have the irrigation on our farms as much of this country’s ag producers are not so fortunate!

Our corn is nearing roasting ear stage and it looks like harvest will be around two weeks early this year.

This is a book we use to keep track of the rows that water reaches the end. This particular field has over 600 rows.

A Quick Pic for #TacoTuesday. This Is Where Your Beef Comes From!

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With the nice weather this week we are hauling some of our commodities to the local feed yard. Today we are hauling some alfalfa and hauled some corn also. We will also haul them the majority of our prairie hay production. Animal agriculture is the number one economic engine in Nebraska and they are my number one customer as a grain farmer. Ironically since I have Taco Tuesday in the title, these cattle will eventually become the burger in your Tacos at Taco Johns. Happy Ag Week to you all.

Our Farm Week In Pictures 10-16-2011

Just a few pictures to catch you up with what we have going this time of year.  We are currently very busy with yellow corn harvest and have seen some very good yields.  We finished soybeans a few days ago.  The corn is still a little too wet to go to the elevator with it so we are putting it in bins to dry it down and store.

Also included is a short video of how I taught my black lab Coal to jump up to the combine platform to ride along.  I apologize for the video being sideways as I held my phone that way.   Tilt your head a little to the left and you will never notice!!!

This is a picture of our computer which logs yield, moisture, work rate, time, date, etc. while going though the field. We use this data along with soil maps, soil sampling, and previous years application data and yield data to make decisions regarding nutrient application and cropping plans for the next year.
This is a picture of the stover left over after harvesting a yellow corn field. The red parts are the cob that the kernels were on. The combine take the ear in, shells it, and spits everything else out of the rear of the machine. This stover becomes an organism in itself as it decays and provides nutrients for next years crop and helps control soil and water erosion in our no-till system.
This is a sunrise this week as we were preparing the combine for the day. I tried to catch the Hunters moon in the evening, but the iPhone camera would not do it justice.
My son and I taking a picture from the top of the combine while we were greasing it to get it ready for the day. It was a very brisk morning! I really enjoy the time he spends with me in the combine. The iPad has also made it a time when he can get a little learning in while riding along with me. We use apps such as Smarty Pants and a Phonics app.

Our Farm Week in Pictures 9-8-2011

The last couple weeks we have been busy with State Fair, incorporating manure for next years corn crop, readying harvest equipment and making decisions for the 2012 crop year such as seed, fertilizer, cropping system, etc.

The new Nebraska State fair in Grand Island, NE continues to put Agriculture and its focus as active environmentalists, not environmental activists front and center as it should be.
These are the moisture sensors we place in the fields to measure saturation of the soil and schedule irrigation. This is the second year we have used these and I believe it is saving us two to three irrigation passes per year with the pivot which equates to savings of 500 gallons of diesel, 145 hours of operation on the motor, and 22.68 million gallons of water.
These are the moisture sensors when they are out of the ground. We put them at one, two and three foot depths to guage the water saturation of the soil.
This is a fertilizer map on the computer. As you can see, we vary the rate of fertilizer based on soil type, soil sample, yield potential based on historical data, and type of crop. This is just another way we have continued to build efficiency into our operation over the years with technology. We have been collecting data by GPS now for 10 years and variable rate applying fertilizer and seed for 6-7 years.

Farm Week In Pictures 7/31/2011

This is a quick update of what we have going on right now.  We have been super busy with irrigation, spraying, mowing, etc.        
This is a view from the end of a corner tower pivot. It was stuck at the time and I was running it from the top as we got it out of the creek bed.
This is one of our wells powered by electricity. It runs on 480 volts. We pump around 1100 gallons per minute on this well. It is a gravity farm where we run the water in between the rows to the end of the field.
This is the water running down those rows of corn.
My son and his two buddies in our soybean field on our home place. For perspective they are all around 4 foot tall.