Cold and Wet

Weather has taken a definite turn toward fall. We got 1.72” Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Been seeing geese formation flying South. Rochester used to be famous for the thousands of Canada Geese. Then a few years ago goose poop got a bad rap, and the power plant closed so Silver Lake froze over, and they planted the shorelines to weeds, I mean “Native Vegetation” (some call it weeds) and the gathering of geese is discouraged. So there’s a handful that hang around, but not the thousands there used to be.

I had other stuff to do all week (work), but I took time off Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning so I could work on putting the new gearbox on the brush mower.

I got it installed, pounded out a dent and welded a crack in the ‘big round thing’ (the stump jumper) that goes underneath, added oil to the gearbox, pulled it outside, and had it idle for 20 seconds and then there was a CLUNK and the whole thing started to wobble. I was out of time; I parked it back in the shed and walked away.

The next day neighbor Dave needed to use the tractor so before I unhooked the mower, I crawled underneath it once more and I think I just got the washers on the wrong side of the bolts holding the blades, so they aren’t loose enough to swing. Therefore, one blade is stuck ‘in’ and one ‘out’ and it’s out of  balance and it’s all wobbling. At least I hope that’s the issue. It looks like that’s really the only obvious issue.

As luck would have it, neighbors Craig and Darryl got our corn harvested Wednesday afternoon. I was busy all day and never got home to see them doing it. But that doesn’t matter; it’s done! The local co-op, where I have it taken, recently merged with another co-op and their website, which was pretty good, is even better! I can get information on the loads, minutes after they’re delivered! Other years I had to wait until it was all delivered, then call up there and have them look it up and give me all the details. Now I can see each load as it’s delivered and get all the details.

This photo shows the details of one load; Gross weight is the truck and corn, Tare is the weight of the truck, Net weight then is the actual corn. Converted to bushels (based on Test Weight) gives us gross units, then after taking into account moisture, damage, and foreign material gives us Net Units and that’s what we get paid for. Test weight is 60, which is really good because the standard for corn is 56. They need the moisture to be 15% to store long term and I pay drying costs for anything over that. The fact it’s 15.5% is really amazing! Most years it’s anywhere from 18% – 25% coming out of the field. The wetter, the more it costs to dry. This cost me $0.025 / bushel. And one load was even 14% so no drying costs. Plus price is really pretty good this year! Somewhere around $5 / bushel. It’s been $3 / the last several years. And the corn was wet so I was lucky to get $2.50 / bushel to take home.

Considering the low stand population this spring, the hot weather, the dry weather, and I really didn’t expect much of a yield. Turns out it was about average. Which is really surprising all things considered. And raises some interesting questions: was it the lack of competition of plants that allowed me to get an average yield? If that’s the case, shouldn’t I plant at a lower population every year? What if this year had better weather? I should try it next year I suppose, but given the changes in the weather year to year it’s still hard to compare. But it sure is interesting! I even put some corn in storage at the elevator to sell next spring. Maybe price will be better? Course I’ll be paying about $0.30 / bushel / month for the co-op to store it so will the price go up enough to cover that? Either way it’s just some extra money in March.

It was starting to sprinkle Wednesday afternoon about 2:30. I got home about 4:30 and it was raining pretty steady. But that didn’t stop me getting the tractor out and hooking up the chisel plow and I got a couple fields worked up.

Bailey and I had some quality tractor time. You can see the rain in the headlights. There’s a lot of mud on the steps and frame. It’s not really that muddy on the tires because the cornstalks make so much surface trash it gives me traction. But it was getting pretty soft by the time I quit. Actually, I was surprised it went as well as it did. I hope I have time to get things washed up before it really gets cold. Last week I mentioned waiting for the co-op to do soil samples and apply lime. Still waiting on that and they didn’t want me to plow until that was done. Too bad, so sad. I will just wait to lime this ground until next year. I wanted these fields plowed up this fall because it’s low ground, because it could be wet come spring, and because conditions may not be suitable to plow this in the spring, I always like to get this worked up in the fall. The new LED lights I put on the tractor are awesome! I only switched half of them, I should do the other half next spring. When plowing cornstalks with a minimum till implement, we go diagonal to the rows. My Dad and Clyde could just follow the row with the moldboard plow, but with minimum till, we go about 30° across the rows.

Neighbors Dave and Parm hauled out their beef cows Thursday.

Yesterday Dave hauled in a bunch of fence panels and left a load of silage in the cow yard and got all the cows and calves locked in the yard Wednesday afternoon. Then Thursday it was pretty easy for the guys to get them locked over in one section, back the trailer in, and haul them out. Took four trips to get them all. See the chicken in this photo? She’s been laying eggs out in the pole barn. But this morning she wasn’t sure if she could get there. I went out later and found her spot in the bales in the back corner and collected 2 eggs. As the weather gets colder, one of us will get tired of making the trek out there.

I spent some time looking up custom farm rates. I’ll be settling up with the neighbors at the end of the year so I’m trying to find rates for baling small square bales and the price of round bales of oat straw. And rates for combining corn and soybeans and hauling. Generally those rates come from the Iowa Extension service. Maybe they’ll be helpful for some of you. tim.  

As always, ask if you have questions.What’s your favorite reference website? Have you looked for something that didn’t have a website yet?  

52 thoughts on “Cold and Wet”

  1. There’s a new bakery (well relatively new) in the Hub shopping center called Dessertopia. They have a Facebook page and they’re working on their website but it’s not done yet. Kind of wish they did because I’d love to see a menu.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That reminds me of the story about college roommates talking to each other by texting, although they are sitting in the same room. And it reminds me of the two girls who got trapped in caves under Saint Paul. But they had their phones with them, so they posted on Facebook to tell the outside world they were in danger.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Glad to see my alma mater is doing its job. And I love this:
    “As the weather gets colder, one of us will get tired of making the trek out there.” I just don’t see how you get all this done, Ben, on top of all your college/theater work.

    I go to Wiki for almost everything informational, and I donate to them yearly. Youtube to find specific music…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I like Wiki. I type in the day of the month with events in history tab.
    As Baboon Serendipity (BS) would have it, November 12, 1990 is the recognized birthdate of the World Wide Web. I won’t pretend to understand it but Tim Berners-Lee did something with HTTP.
    I do understand what happened in Oregon November 12, 1970. Officials attempted to remove from a beach a dead whale by using explosives.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Reference sites:
    StarTrib (local news and events)
    538 (politics and polls)
    Washington Post (National news)
    Google Scholar (gardening info)

    I am sure I will be thinking of more as the day goes on.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Word Press is being a pill today—it won’t let me like the Post (which I do like the post) or comments.

      This is similar to when I discovered my Iowa birth certificate was “insufficient.” I felt like a non person. And now I cannot like. 😳😤🤨

      Liked by 5 people

  5. Thanks, Ben, for another excellent and informative post. I love how you roll with the punches. As our mutual “friend,” Brent, reminded us this morning, “there’s a price to pay for being in a tizzy about everything. Among other things, it can’t be good for your blood pressure.” Sometimes you just have to walk away.

    Don’t really have a favorite reference website, though I generally find Wikipedia a good place to start. I, too, contribute to it on a yearly basis. To Snopes, too. There is so much information out there, and some of it isn’t accurate or true, so you have to be diligent in vetting where the information comes from.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. OT – I’m a little giddy this morning. My massage therapist is coming to my house at 11 AM to give a 90 minutes massage. I haven’t had one in a year-and-a-half, and I’m hoping she can work out some of the knots I have tied myself into in the interim. To slightly paraphrase Lewis Carroll: “O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” She chortled in her joy.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I feel like I have a new lease on life. Ninety minutes of deep tissue massage by strong, warm hands that know what they’re doing. Such a luxury. Vicki is truly a skilled masseuse. She lives in Eden Prairie if anyone out that way is looking for a good massage.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. i just google everything and pick from the offerings
    i like ultimate guitar for songs to play
    rock auto for car parts
    amazon for shopping
    and i fake it on everything else

    i am trying to figure out how to stick my head in on the trail before it disappears but my schedule makes it hard some days
    yesterday my brain came up with james bond peter pan and winnie the poo as my characters i’d like to be for a week but i never got to post it
    bens farm update not on saturday is disturbing but if that’s my challange for the week so be it
    yep winters next
    all the leaves are down except those pun oak that hang on til february
    here comes the next stretch
    ready or not here we go

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Here at the college, the instructors warn everyone not to use Wikipedia for reference because their information can be changed and not fact checked. I use it for a good general source of information, and then go back and double check other sources if whatever I’m looking up is critical.

    There’s a site called ” ” and tells you how to glue ANYTHING together! Their website has changed since I was last there and they even have a page on ‘glue philosophy’.

    I use the John Deere website to order parts online.
    Last night I was looking up topographical maps for our area. Partly as reference for a paper, and then just for fun.
    I use Google maps a lot and using Google Earth more and more. The Geology teacher uses Google earth for land profiles, earthquake zones and things I have no idea how he does it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree on Wikipedia, it’s a good place to start, but you need to do you own fact checking. On lots of things I find it helpful to check the references. What were the sources of information and are they reliable.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am at home today with a mild stomach bug. That means I get to lie on the sofa and do the crosswords in the New Yorkers in the magazine basket. I cheat and look up really impossible clues on Google.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Well, since I have accrued 700 hours of sick leave over 22 years of public service, and since this bug has been running rampant all over town, I figure I am saving the State money by staying home and not infecting my coworkers 🙃

        Liked by 6 people

  10. I look at the National Day Calendar.
    The site operates out of Mandan, North Dakota.
    It’s mostly for advertising purposes. They often make up their own National Day and put it down to “still researching the origins”. Who knew that North Dakotans would make up stories?!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. As with most of you, I use Google and often Wikipedia for quick reference to questions I might have. Since I’m not using that reference to write a paper, complete accuracy is seldom a concern. Since I’m not researching something I already know, I’m unlikely to detect an inaccuracy anyway.
    I keep a book search site,, which aggregates several used and rare bookseller’s marketplaces, on an open tab for ready reference.

    I use my Ancestry account sometimes for references outside of family tree research. For example, often when I buy an old book that has a previous owner’s name written in, I use Ancestry to try to research that former owner. The results are sometimes fascinating.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. I like for forecasts and historical weather data. is a nice rhyming dictionary, and also functions as a pretty good thesaurus. IMDB for movies, allmusic for music, for genealogy. is a good way to find out whether an address really exists and what its zip code is. Truepeoplesearch gets you info on names, addresses, and phone numbers, and has a reverse phone lookup tool. All these are free sites, because I’m pretty cheap and don’t like to pay. I do send a few bucks to Wikipedia occasionally though.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks, Linda, for the tip on Truepeoplesearch. One of the most maddening things about the internet is that it sometimes promises to be helpful and then demands that you pay for information. A common example is web sites the promise to show you song lyrics, and then do not. I’ve wasted an enormous amount of time researching people’s contact information. What usually happens is that the free information is not useful except to confirm that they have the data you need . . . if you pay. Some sites are so duplicitous they make me nostalgic about those days we had phone books!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Ditto to Steve’s thank you for the true people search. Like you I never cough up cash for somebody’s address or phone number and like Steve I spend way too much time trying to figure some of these things out.

      Liked by 3 people

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