Today’s post is from Ben.
Kinda quiet around our farm. The neighbors are all busy and working like crazy, but it’s quiet at our place.
The stuff I write about our farm, it is exactly that, just ‘Our’ farm, it’s certainly not how everyone is doing things or the way anyone else does things. I had someone at the theater comment that they figured I’d be busy farming. No, since I have the neighbors combine my crops, I just wait for them to get here. I try not to get impatient about it. That works best when we have these nice fall days. If the weather starts to crash I have to work harder to stay patient and remind myself it’s out of my control. The neighbors have been doing this for years; they’ll get to it when they get to it. Might be a couple weeks yet if the weather stays nice. Might be November if it’s not.
Corn can stand out there for months without too much damage. Oh, the deer and raccoons get more, but some guys leave it stand until Spring (if they don’t have the animal pressure). But soybeans aren’t so tough. They need to be harvested before we get too much snow. The stalks will break and, depending on the weather, they may not dry out again. The big farmers are going hard on soybeans now, and I know some have already finished and moved into corn. Because you never know when this nice weather will end.
Soybeans go fast; yields are generally 40 – 80 bushels / acre. They don’t need to be dried, so two combines in a field, one dump cart, a couple trucks, haul, dump it in the bin, back to the field. Nothing too it. (Fingers crossed and it all goes well).
Corn takes longer; yields might be over 250 bu / acre. More trucks, more hauling, usually drying time and expense, and it’s just more involved. And if it’s raining or the fields are muddy or something breaks down, it takes longer yet. You just never know. And that’s why the big guys are rushing now even though it seems early.
I have so few acres, they’ll finish my beans one day and corn another. Sometimes my guys fill all their stuff at home, then come over to my place late in the day, fill all the trucks and carts, and finish the next morning.
Sometimes I wonder if I should have my own combine. I saw one at an auction once that sold for $2000. But I’d still need a bean head and a corn head and trucks or wagons. And time. That’s the biggest thing, time. So, I’m really OK waiting for the neighbors to get it. They’ve never missed a crop. One year it was so wet and muddy they had to wait for a freezing cold day to come back and get into one field which was too muddy otherwise. But they always get it. Good neighbors’ matter. (I saw three combines sell at an online auction this past week; a 2005 model sold for $36,500, a 2000 for $34,000, and an older, well used one for $7,600. No heads included. Those sold for $15,000 for the corn head and $12,500 for the bean head. Add another zero at the end for brand new stuff. Roughly.)
As we were talking about enjoy fall on the blog, lately Kelly and I spend some time in the evening sitting on the steps outside the garage. We play with the dogs, watch the chickens settling in, watch the ducks, and just generally enjoy the quiet and the smells and the time.
Kelly tries to get a walk in after work. It’s getting harder as the daylight shortens. The dogs though, they love the walks more than Kelly does. Just once she’d like a walk by herself. The three dogs go nuts when she starts off. Barking, fighting (playing), knocking over the little old Granny dog, Allie. It’s a little bit crazy they’re so excited. And if Kelly lets them out the front door, then she sneaks out the back door, it’s only a matter of time before they sniff her out. She could be up around the corner and out of sight, but they’ll find her. Last night they were circling the house making sure they didn’t miss her. She said it was like being stalked by wolves.
Anything you’re anticipating?
Do you like to walk? What’s the farthest you’ve walked? Got the app showing your steps?