This week’s farm update is from our Ben.

This week’s farm update comes to us from Ben.

Into May and corn is all planted and working on beans. Things are going well. Back in blog world I’ve finished oats and working on anhydrous nitrogen for corn.

How good are you at details? Do you pay attention to your surroundings? I think I’m pretty good at that. And yet… I miss the most obvious things sometimes. We still laugh about the truck parked on the driveway with the naked guy asleep inside. And somehow, I missed the naked women sleeping beside him. Huh. I was just so shocked by the man being naked I walked away at that point.

And my previous post about the fertilizer spreader PTO shaft breaking; how did I not notice that? I’m looking right there to be sure the apron is still moving and 12” away is the PTO shaft and I never noticed it break or wobble or whatever it was doing when it broke.

A few years ago, I finished planting oats and was heading back home with the grain drill. Got home, turned to back it into the shed and I have no drill. Huh! Well, it must have come unhooked just up around the corner and…. Nope. Not there. It was ½ mile back up the road. Hitch pin had come out and, thankfully, it’s not a complicated machine so just two hydraulic hoses that pulled out and the hitch dropped and it just rolled to a stop. Thank Goodness it was level there and, on our driveway, and not up on the highway or something. How did I not notice that?? Still can’t believe it. However, I have started using locking hitch pins on everything since then.

My dad made a big point of looking behind and watching the machine to be sure it’s working properly. It was a bit easier on the open tractors and smaller machinery. Nowadays with cabs, monitors, and mirrors, it’s easier to pay attention to all those things and not turn around and look behind me so much. I do watch behind me! Honest! But I still miss something plugging up and suddenly I’ve made a full round and there’s a big trench behind me because I picked up a tree branch or something. Man… how did I miss that?

Sometimes I’m not good at details. Ask Kelly; she could have told you that. Maybe it’s just overload; I’m so busy watching that one thing, I miss the other.

We got a decent rain finally, .4 inches. Definitely too muddy to work in the field. Which is OK because I have straw to deliver to Northfield and made the straw and poo delivery to some of you in the Twin Cities.

Got 45 baby chicks delivered the next week. Was able to use my favorite line at the post office. “I’m here to pick up chicks.” I can hear them ‘cheep cheep cheep’-ing in the back room there. People always look and smile as I carry them out. Sometimes I crack the box open so they can look. 

Applying anhydrous nitrogen isn’t hard, but one has to be extra careful hooking up hoses and dealing with it. It’s nasty stuff so I take a lot of safety precautions and make sure I know what I’m doing. Too add to it, the coop where I get the tanks decided farmers have to pick up and return the tanks ourselves (rather than the coop delivering)  which means my truck has to have a DOT inspection, so that was an extra expense this year, plus the time it takes to go and pick up the tank. However, Kelly and I got a road trip date out of the deal. (Plus the dogs)

I always thought the tanks held 5000 lbs. Turns out it only had 3800 lbs in it, which messed up my math for how far one tank should go at the rate of 150 lbs / acre. Assumptions were made. I should know better.

Saw a pretty cool sunset too.

The sandhill crane pair that had been hanging around for a month finally moved on.

Next up: Burning CRP ground

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever gotten in the mail?

33 thoughts on “NEVER LOOK BACK”

  1. Well, the first thing that comes to mind is 100 lbs of flour. We ordered 50 lbs of Sir Galahad artisan flour and 50 lbs of Swany White bread flour. They both arrived on the same day. I felt sorry for the delivery guy. We order stuff quite a bit. I shall have to think about other odd things we received.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. A friend at work told me her very elderly 95 year old Aunt Rose was a “mail order bride” from Iowa, but I don’t think she arrived in a box.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I had 3 varieties; Black Australorp, Sapphire Gem and Sapphire Splash. I order from Hoovers Hatchery in Rudd Iowa. They’ve been real good; been using them ever since I started getting chickens 20 years ago.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Another work friend told me about having to drive from our town to her farm 40 miles away with the heater going full blast because they had chicks in the car they got at the farm store.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They’re pretty cozy in the shipping box so I don’t worry too much about heating them until I get them home in the pen. This spring has been so cool… I have a screen door I will put on the pen eventually, but gee whiz, they need more than 50 degrees for that. But the sunshine will be nice.
      I tried doing chicks in the fall one year. Figured that would give me eggs in March, rather than November. But they missed out on the grass and summer so I’ll stick with springtime chicks.

      Once I get this batch out on their own I’m going to order ducklings.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. ‘s been a busy day. I can’t think of anything very extraordinary…
    Husband belongs to the Arbor Society an we used to get these tiny trees to plan each year when he re-joined – amazing to think that this little slip of organic matter will be one of those tall trees.

    I recently re-joined MPR after a lapsed membership, and inadvertently signed up for a premium gift, which came in the mail a few weeks later – REALLY, they went to the expense to send me a ___________… because now I can’t even remember what it was.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Barefoot plants really are weird, aren’t they? They sure don’t look like much, just a dried up stick, and then they become a plant. Voila.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Better Late than Never, Baboons,

    Well, no routine yet today. I can’t think of anything really unusual I have received in the mail. I ordered a large area rug in AZ and that arrived when I did not want it to arrive (we were away) and blocked the door for two days so the dogsitter could hardly get in and out. Other than that I can’t think of anything. Certainly no chicks, which must be delightful to get. I have heard stories of people mailing puppies. Can that be? I cannot stand to think about that. It sounds cruel.

    While we were getting ready to re-model I ordered a cast iron sink which is incredibly heavy, for which the contractor gave me all kinds of grief. But I will say, I just love that sink. Apparently getting into the house was a chore. We ordered light fixtures, bar stools, cabinet hardware, and on and on. It was great to have it delivered at the door, no matter where I was.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I just ordered a couple sinks for the theater remodeling. I wasn’t sure about shipping sinks, but my plumbing contractor retired and the new guy isn’t returning my phone calls so well. Harumph.
      And I got countertops coming on the 18th and they’d install the sinks if I have them…
      If it’s UPS, can I still call it “mail”?
      I love getting the mail. It’s the highlight of my day. (when it’s something good). We get the daily email saying what’s in the mail.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Who’s to judge what’s unusual? I’ve received plenty of unusual books in the mail—unusual not because they were books but because they were books that few other people would know of them or be interested in them if they knew. Many of my ebay purchases would qualify as unusual. When I first became aware of ebay, I was buying vintage viewmasters and viewmaster reels, like coronation of Queen Elizabeth and the mermaids of Weeki Watchi. Over the years, I’ve purchased (and received by mail) numerous photographic images of theatrical personalities and authors from the nineteenth century.

    Robin’s interest and engagement in fiber arts of various kinds mean that, in addition to books of techniques, she has ordered and received books about sheep breeds and the attributes of their wool as well as dyestuffs and dyeing chemicals from California, wool yarn from the British Isles, and carved wooden stamps and vintage saari material from India.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Love seeing the photos that go with these stories, Ben – esp. that sunset one and the sky one below it…

    Probably a week from now I’ll remember some very unusual thing I got in the mail that I could have related here..

    Liked by 2 people

  8. When I was a kid I liked to order things that were not terribly expensive, just because it was fun to get something in the mail. You used to be able to order sample teaspoons from Oneida for 50 cents. You would pick out a pattern and tape two quarters to an index card and mail it off, and they would send you a spoon. I still have a collection of Oneida teaspoons in various patterns. I use them when I make tea and add honey.

    I also ordered coins from foreign countries. I think I still have those in a box somewhere.

    I’ve always heard of mail order brides, but how does that work. really?

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Busy day here as well. In addition to work, this afternoon we planted the bales and the flower pots. It’s going to be warm enough at night now that I’m not too worried about things. And then of course as usual we had to have a fire in the fire pit. Like others, while I get plenty of stuff in the mail, I can’t think of anything that’s all that unusual. And the last 10 months I’ve gotten more Medicare junk mail then you can shake a stick at. I’d actually like to get a lot less of that. Is it going to stop when I hit 65 this summer?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It does not entirely stop, but it slows down a lot after you choose your supplement. After that, you just get the junk in October during the season to choose the supplements.

      If you need the name of a really competent insurance navigator, I can give you one. She helped me choose a great supplement that I only had one shot at getting. After several surgeries I have been very satisfied. I pay a bit more up front, and much less ever after.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks. I do actually have “a guy” who has already been very helpful. Before I got in touch with him, I was saving all of this mail in case I needed it. By the time I talked to him it was probably an inch high. Now I know that I can just transfer it directly from the mailbox to the trash bin.


  10. I recently got an old-fashioned thank you note in the mail. You just don’t see those anymore. It was for the Iowa State 4H Foundation scholarship given for September, 2021. Those 4Hers know how to do it right.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. Back when I was in high school, I used to send away for catalogs from the Murray McMurray Hatchery in Webster City Iowa. I wasn’t planning to order any chicks, but how could you resist a name like Murray McMurray? And the catalog carried comments and running endorsements from Murray McMurray despite the fact that he was dead at the time. The Murray McMurray hatchery is still in business:

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I used to get the J Peterman catalog for the same reason. The little snippets that they write for each item on sale are hysterical. But these days I don’t order anything from them because the one inexpensive item that I really liked has doubled in price.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.