CRP & Seed

Our Farm Report is from Ben.

Mid May and the corn is struggling to emerge through the crust that was created on the soil from the quick heavy rain we got back in late April. Beans haven’t emerged yet. Oats is looking good. Haven’t gotten our garden going either yet.

Back in blogworld…

I have 11 acres of CRP, Conservation Reserve Program, ground planted to wildflowers. I have it burned about every 5 or 6 years. I hire a local prairie restoration company to do that. I was in town when they started. Kelly said it was pretty interesting to watch them get going; A lot of prep work and back burning first. There was one guy with small tractor and water tank, then 5 or 6 other guys with shovels and backpack sprayers.   I could see the smoke from a few miles away.

Last fall I mowed around the edges so that makes a good buffer for this and it went well. I had 3 fiberglass markers in the middle of one piece to designate a line. I wasn’t sure if I had to move them or not. I knew the fire really wouldn’t get that hot. The boss, Jon, came to tell me I lost one flag because he wasn’t willing to throw his body on it. He said it’s not the flames, but the residual heat that gets it. I expected to find an orange puddle of plastic, but nope, just 6” of the fiberglass pole melted, which, in fiberglass, just leaves “strings” and the rest of the pole laying there. I cut that part off and put it back in the ground. Good as new, just 3’ shorter. (The part underground and the melted part.)

I picked up soybean seed from my dealer, Meyers Seed. They were busy unloading a semi of seed. A pallet had tipped over inside and was leaning against the wall. Plus, it had punched a hole in the bottom of a bag. So, they had to strap the leaning tower of beans to the forklift, and carefully drag it out. The hole making a trail of soybeans… they said it’s not the first time that’s happen and it’s always a pain to deal with.

I get 60 bags of seed on two pallets. It’s 30 bags of ‘treated’ seed and 30 untreated. (more on treated seed in a later blog) The guys are a little concerned with how tall my stack is, I should have used a trailer; which comes with its own issues because my trailer has short railings on the sides, so they have to push them in from the back. And with the pickup, even a full bed, two pallets won’t fit end to end so they’re stacked. I didn’t really think of all this at the time. I got home with no issues and used the forks on my tractor loader to take the pallets off and stack on my seed wagon.

Meyers have not started planting yet, ground is too cold. I have seen a few people planting. Really, it’s early yet.

I have found 3 deer antlers this year. ‘Sheds’ they’re called when the male deer shed their antlers. These are three separate deer, not any matched. They can poke a hole in a tractor tire, so you don’t want to run over one. Many years I don’t find any so kind of unusual to find three this year.

Next up; we start planting corn.

What have you seen leaning? What mess have you cleaned up lately?

29 thoughts on “CRP & Seed”

  1. i just got back from chicago yesterday
    over the last year or so i wisconsin has been installing new monster power lines on poles that look like they are made for windmills or radar dishes they are 4 or 5 timed the height of regular telephone poles so the giant steel base is about king size mattress size at the base.

    the power line people came by and cut down lots of trees along the freeway and cleared the path then poured the big concrete footing to set the pole on. they put giant threaded rods in the concrete and set the pole on there and screw it down tight the pole itself is 3 or 4 sections that get bolted together. i’d be interested to see if they do that before the put it up or after
    as you drive along this series of poles ticks by with the wires taut and doing their gentle raise and sag between poles and occasionally crossing over the freeway so they are on the other side of the street.
    they’re pretty close so it may just be an optical illusion but it appears to me that there are a couple that aren’t straight . they just lean a little. between the bolts on the bottom the concrete footings and the hillside they are planted in a 1/4” difference gets bigger 150’ in the air. i suppose stuff settles and shifts especially the first few years after you put it up
    the leaning tower of pisa is on thing
    the leaning power lines of wisconsin not so much
    i’ll keep my eye on it

    Liked by 5 people

    1. WElcome home from Chicago. Yesterday, there was commentary about BBC on Sunday afternoon at your house. Please confirm the meeting because we are planning to be there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes to the BBC at my house on Sunday 2 o’clock is fine I think I had listed three but 2 o’clock is probably the normal BBC time so we can do it then the address is 11695 Mount Curve Rd., Eden Prairie MN 55347 see you then Linda had remembered the book his Majesty is something I had remembered the book all the light you cannot see and I had also suggested if you want to do a Seth Godin that would be good

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Ben, I really love these posts about farming that you are doing. Some days I have had little time to comment, but I want you to know I appreciate your reports. During my childhood, farm reports were a daily, maybe hourly, part of my life. The methods and events you are reporting on remind me how much farming has changed due to specialization, computerization and mechanization. The burning and wildfire planting is of special interest to me. I did not know that there were companies that you could hire to burn off a field. Grandpa used to head out to the field with a gas can and a match. When I drive to Iowa now, I see fields burning for miles. It is a relief to know this is done with more care than in the past.

    I went to Home Depot for top soil to mix into my potting soil to make it heavier. Top solid holds water better. Somebody in the packaging department of the manufacturing company goofed. The plastic holding the dirt in the bags was breaking and sliding everywhere. What a mess. On top of this error, the bags got wet. They were marked as 40 pounds, but I can lift 40 pounds, and these were too heavy. They took 2 people to lift them, and then they broke. There was mud and broken bags everywhere. It was not quite a leaning tower; rather more of a sodden pile.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you Jacque.
      I plant one field for a neighbor; it’s not harvested; it’s a food plot and he hunts on it. But in the spring, the corn stalks left over are a problem. And for whatever reason, this spring, some of the cornstalks would NOT break up; they just stayed long and plug everything up. I ended up dragging them with the machinery into piles and dumping all the stalks in three different places on the edge of the field. He’s going to have to burn them; I don’t know what else to do with it. It will take a couple years to fully break down if he just leaves them.
      I think it was a different variety but why they didn’t get brittle and break up when I plowed or disc’d them is very interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We put up the wooden frames for our peas last Saturday. We made them last year with the help of our neighbor children. The frames have poultry netting stapled to them for the pea vines to grow on. As they are in the front yard, I was real concerned that they be straight and not lean. That would bother me every time I looked at them. We secure them in the ground with 4-foot tall stakes and bungee cords. I am happy to report the are straight and not leaning or tippy. Now the peas need to germinate.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Well, what is wrong with those folks? They can’t even put up a straight pea fence. Good thing they aren’t farming—all their rows would be crooked.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. You should see our snowfence posts; looks like we were following the contour or something. I figure it catches more snow that way…

          Liked by 3 people

  4. Jim Brandenburg has a tall grass prairie outside of Luverne that they burn every year to get rid of the unwanted plants and to maintain the tall grass. It is called Touch The Sky Prairie and it is open to the public.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Corn/bushel is going through the roof. International droughts etc.
    I think Ben should take all Baboons on a cruise next year.
    Cleaning up the hallways of my apartment building.
    7 AM fire alarms brought the Department. Faulty detector but lots of traffic. Some mudprints. Could be worse.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You’re right; corn and bean price is WAY up! Cash price today for corn at my local elevators is $6.53 / bushel. More than twice what I got last fall of $3.21/ bushel!
      October price is $4.93.
      If only I had some corn to sell…sold it all last fall.
      Soybeans today locally are $15.51 / bushel. Fall price is $13.34.
      I think I got $8 last fall. Again, none in storage.
      I got a pond if you’d all like to come out and walk around — or through– that. The ducks will move.

      I know some farmers changed their plans and are planting more corn than they had anticipated this spring because of the price of corn.
      And they’ll contract now for that fall price. It’s not often corn makes it to $5.00… So it’s probably a pretty good bet. There’s a chance it will go up a bit more. Or it might go down some too. I didn’t change what I had figured on planting; I don’t have enough acres to matter; a 1000 bushels sounds like a lot until you figure that’s one truck load and some guys are selling millions of bushels.
      I might have 5000 bushels of corn this fall. I’m willing to take my chances and watch the market a while longer.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. OT
    Vax-A-Million registration opened today in Ohio. First drawing is May 28. Please direct positive brainwave thoughts my direction.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. The garden shovel is leaning against the garage, and some trellis pieces leaning against the fence. Other than the weeds in a few garden beds, I haven’t run into any messes lately as good as the stories here, however!

    Two ash trees were cut down at our neighbor’s house this morning, and the crew cleaned up the mess. They were not leaning – just probably got infected by ash borers – I miss them already, but not as much as the squirrels and the birds will, or the neighbor whose cooling bill will be more this summer.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. There are several very old farm buildings along the interstate that we have watched start to lean over the years. They are weathered and some have eventually collapsed. They are the remnants of buildings on farm yards that had to be relocated after the interstate went through.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have an ash tree on the boulevard. The city has been treating it and the other ash trees on my street. Only some streets get to keep their ash trees though – just a couple of blocks away, they have been cut. I guess the city couldn’t budget enough to vaccinate them all.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I shall spare you the stinky details of the last mess I cleaned up. Suffice it to say it was my friend Philip’s apartment last Sunday. It confirmed what I’ve known for a long time: I would not make a good nurse.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. You have, I think, heard the tale of the 16′ square by 1′ deep hole in my back yard that started as Husband’s desire to provide a flat place for the above-ground pool that has since been given away… the dirt from that giant hole got moved under the swingset/climber to make a raised bed, so not easily moved back. Those of you who contributed annuals last fall helped to fill in the raised bed, which is a work in progress, but looks a lot less like a lumpy mud pile thanks to your generosity (and extra plants). The muddy pit has mostly been filled in with help from my brother, a friend of his, and a couple of my daughter’s friends willing to move dirt by the wheelbarrowfull for cold hard cash (or, well, a Venmo transfer). I have somewhere around another yard and a half or so of dirt that needs to be purchased to level things off and make it all slightly less lumpy in the middle. And then I can try to get it filled in with something other than weeds.

    …and then next summer I will tackle more than maintenance and a little more filling in on the raised bed. Like making something sort of like window boxes to hang off the center tower of the climber set to make it look more like this was all a master plan… (the tower is very straight and tall, not at all leaning – also set in cement, so not going anywhere anytime soon).

    Liked by 4 people

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