Tag Archives: food

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

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.

The Start of Spring Work and Documentation On Our Farm

Spring work is in full swing at our farm theses days. This is probbly the earliest we have been able to get field work done that I can remember. It was a very mild winter and that in turn will present its own set of problems this year.

One of the problems we will see is that our compaction zones in the soild were not broke by the natural freeze and thaw that we usually experience. Another issue we will deal with may be heavier than normal disease and pest pressures in our crops. This is going to mean increased costs for our farm most likely and the use of fungicides and some insecticides which we have not had to use for quite a few years, at least on our conventional corn.

We do use both fungicides and insecticides on all of our popcorn acres as the popcorn plant is a much more susceptible plant than our yellow commercial corns. Popcorn in general has weak scores when it comes to plant diseases and pest like corn borer and rootworm as all of our popcorn is non-GMO. Much of our popcorn ends up in export channels and it is a requirement that it is non-GMO. It is all source verified and can be traced all the way back to individual fields it was rasied in. We also document every single thing we do in that field regarding application, and what is put on the crop regarding fertilier, chemicals, etc.

The one thing I think a lot of people do not realize is that we do this same documentation for all of our crops. It is a requirement of the federal government and we can be audited at any time for compliance. The majority of the yellow corn that we grow is GMO corn and requires little to no fungicides or insecticides as the plant has a natural resistance to most of our major concerns. On our farm we use GPS technology and computers to document everything we do with a time stamp. We can telll you exactly what time of day we were in a certain spot in the field, how fast we were traveling, amounts applied, wind direction, and its speed. This keeps us in compliance and also provides us documentation regarding potential drift, etc. should there be a concern with a neighbors field or farm.

So, spring work has begun, but so has the task of documenting all that we do to ensure a safe, abundant food source for all.

Did You Know McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Sonic All Support HSUS?

This is a great blog post by Chris Chinn, a farmer from Missouri.  Her number one concern is the welfare of her animals!

Did You Know McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Sonic All Support HSUS?.

Chris does a great job of explaining her family’s reasons for adopting modern pork production practices!!!

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.

Farming, Kids, Golfing, Wine, Country Music, Leadership, Community, Networking, College Football and Sushi

One of the things I really came to the realization of this weekend at the Agchat Foundation Conference is that as hard as you try to be yourself in your online conversations, the real you doesn’t get across until you have those in person conversations not limited by 140 characters or the time we spend in our endeavours to promote agriculture. So, in light of that, this is a blog post to introduce you to me. This is not our farm, what happens on our farm, or an agvocating post! It is a post about all of those things in the title that are me and create the fire inside.  In short, how do all of the words in this post title fit together?

Many on here know and have experienced my intense passion for the occupation in which I work, but there is much more that lays the foundation for who I am. I view my interests as rather diverse for a country kid raised on the farm. I am equally comfortable in Wranglers as I am in a Business Suit. I enoy being covered in grease, sweat, and mud while working but enjoy an evening of golf with my wife or friends at the country club. There is nothing better than charburgers on the grill and fresh sweetcorn, although to me equally good is great sushi and a Sapporo.

I love Country Music, but a little Eminem now and then with some Nickleback suits me also. Taste testing different local beers is something I love to do, and I also enjoy the experience with wine. Leadership roles come naturally to me, but I can serve in structure of an organization effectively. I can carry a hard edge when working, but have three kids that soften me more with age. I love college football, parrticulary the Nebraska Cornhuskers and also have an artsy side that appreciates greatly the gifts

artists have as I don’t play an instument and the only drawing I can do is a picture of Snoopy!  I like to Hunt and Fish, but also enjoy a night on the town with my wife.  I have a strong feeling that all need to serve their commuity in some kind of volunteer capactiy as working for something besides money is satisfying to me. I used to love politics, now it infuriates me!  I believe strongly in the community in which I live and will continue to fight to preserve it for my kids. But most of all I just want to be a good Husband, Father, and Friend!So while this gives you a glimpse of the things that drive my passion and are parts of my life, the one thing I realized and heard over and over this weekend was how important your real life connections are and that you must find a balance.  I am very fortunate to have a very diverse group of friends and family in my life.

Future blog posts are going to try to reflect our lives as a whole on this farm and not just the agvocating that we do.  In order to effectively communicate our thoughts and ideas relating to agriculture, you must know who we are also.

Farm Week In Pictures 7/7/2011

THis is

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

Ranger Rides

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

Soybeans almost canopying the row. These soybeans are planted in 30 inch rows.

Our Farm Week In Pictures 6/16/2011

Just a few pictures to get everyone updated on the happenings around our farm lately.  We are just finishing side-dressing the nitrogen on the corn.  We are currently cultivating and ridging the corn for gravity irrigation.  We are also in the process of getting irrigation motors ready for irrigation season and hauling some of last years corn to our local elevator to sell.

Newly side-dressed corn that is about to canopy the row. We will ridge this corn next week and be gravity irrigating it in about 2 weeks if no rain between now and then.
Unloading corn at our local elevator.
My son waiting patiently while we load the truck with corn to deliver to the local elevator. This is one of the few times he was not running the air horn on the semi.
My Father and My Son waiting while we are loading corn out of the bins. My son is really into doing the bunny ears during pictures theses days.