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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
This is a picture of my son out in one of our earliest planted fields last week. The pivot irrigation system is in the background.
Cleaning up the planter to put it away for the season. We try to store most high dollar equipment in the buildings to reduce wear on them. Who needs a Ferrari when you have $130,000 planter you use one month a year, or a $$300,000 combine you use the same amount of time? Production agriculture is a very capital intensive business.
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.
Sometimes I think Farmers get a bad rap and are accused of being
against the whole locavore, grow your own food movement. I personally do not think anything could be further from the truth. Fact is that Farmers like to grow
things. I know, ironic isn’t it, a farmer likes to get down and plant things in the dirt, nurture it, and then eat it.
We have had a garden as long as I can remember and will always continue to do so. I remember as a kid helping plant the garden and eventually, it became my little farm as I grew up. I have always loved having fresh vegetable to eat, I just wish there w
as a way to grow them in the winter when the wind chill is -20. See, I am a whateverisavailablethatisgoodforyouavore. I grow the garden in the summer and my wife sometimes goes to the local farmers market, then in the winter I rely on the southern and western US to grow the vegetables and fruits that we enjoy during that time of year.
So, since we are talking about gardening and growing your own food, what have you done this year to grow your own food? In our garden this year we have 4 varieties of tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, green beans, yellow waxy beans, asparagus, broccoli, pickling cucumbers, burpless cucumbers, acorn squash, butternut squash, butttercup squash, zucchini, yellow zucchini, gourds, pumpkins, and some sweetcorn. Let us know what you have growing and why you grow it. What do you do in the months you don’t have fresh vegetables and fruit to pick? By all means, during theses months that the farmers market are open, go for it and go local. In the middle of winter, let’s be thankful we are blessed with a phenomenal agricultural and transpor
tation system that allows us to enjoy all of these things year round no matter where we are located. Count our blessing that we are a country that can feed itself and feed itself well.
Here is a few photos showing the progress of our crops this week. The one crop I did not include is the alfalfa which is ready for the first cutting to be put down.
The last picture is of our electrical controls at our bin site that were blown down in the wind a few nights ago. We were lucky as the storm weakened by the time it hit us. There were pivot irrigation systems and bins destroyed by the same storm to the north, south, and west of us.
Spring is always a time of re-newal and new beginnings on the farm as we plant crops and wait for them to grow and mature into harvest, but this year we have a new beginning in the addition of our third child.
It has been quite a year for us. New house before Christmas, finishing the basement in it, and now adding another piece to our family puzzle. Delaney was born Monday morning and came in at a just perfect 7 lbs 3 ounces. Big brother and big sister are both thrilled. It is nice to have them fighting over holding a baby, than the normal brother/sister fighting. It is almost like our 6 yr old grew up overnight when you see him settle down to sit and hold the baby. There are not many times in life you see him sitting and not moving unless he is sleeping. Our daughter of course is a minnie mom, hovering over the baby every second and talking to her just like the conversations she would have with mom’s tummy before Delaney was born.
We have received quite a little rain lately and it rained all day Monday which allowed me to focus on the moment of having our third child instead of worrying about getting the corn and soybeans in the ground. It is amazing how quickly our moisture has changed around here. In Early April we had been put back in a drought, and have now had over 6 inches of rain in the last couple weeks.
We put 500 acres of corn in the ground before the rain which is sitting in the ground waiting for the sunshine. So, on our farm this week will have the new beginning of a new baby and the new beginning of another crop year. May you all be blessed this season as we proceed through another crop year and another year of life!
This is a view from the tractor. We are currently planting corn into last years soybean stubble. This is a no-till field. We are using GPS guidance on the tractor to steer through the field. All seed is prescription based on prior years data and our ability to irrigate.
Irrigated ground is planted at 34,000 plants per acre and non-irrigated is at 24,000 plants per acre.
We plant around 28 acres per hour when running. When you take into account fill time that drops to around 25.
Happy planting season to everyone!