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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A picture on the ladder of the combine
This is a picture of our kids and Kristi’s brother’s son as he got to explore the farm yesterday. They live in the city and this was his first chance to come to the farm for a tractor ride, explore the combine, and take a ride in the Rangers
Taking a ride in the ranger on our farm
Corn growing quickly here.
The corn is growing quickly here and has hidden the pivot tires from view. We are around 10 days away from tasseling. The sweetcorn we planted tasseled a few days ago here.
Soybeans almost canopying the row. These soybeans are planted in 30 inch rows.