Crop Update

Today’s post comes from Ben

Crops are in. Finished up Monday, Memorial day. Just had a few acres left so I got to run the big tractor myself. Of course with Bailey; she never misses a ride. Got a flat tire on the digger, won’t be too hard to get off and fixed.

I went up to plant and had Kelly meet me later with more seed. There was a little confusion about where she was meeting me. All my fields have numbers and I have maps of the fields in the tractors and a photo of the map on my phone. And she knows I was going up the road to start planting, but I would be ‘Above the barn’ when I was ready for seed. I texted her something about meeting me at the gates, which, I knew was a pretty vague statement as there are gates all over the farm and the one I meant hadn’t exactly been a gate for 15 years, so I shouldn’t have even called it that. To add to the confusion, the FSA office numbers the fields one way, and the Co-op has decided to number them a different way. So, I have two maps to keep track of who’s calling what field what number. Anyway, we found each other. Here’s the last pass of beans to plant.

Corn is all emerged, soybeans are coming. I’m worried about the first field I planted because we got a hard rain after that and it really crusted over. Some beans were coming up, but the fields planted a week later look about the same as this one. I finally made the decision to drag that first field. Last week I mentioned how I like to drag them, but I knew these beans would be coming and I wouldn’t want to risk breaking them off with the drag. Well, it seemed like less than 50% had emerged, so if dragging it breaks up the crust and the rest emerge, I’d be ahead, right? We’ll see what happens or if I need to replant.

Now’s the time we’re watching all the fields closely to be sure everything is emerging. If there’s any issues and we need to replant, it needs to happen as soon as possible. It’s already late for most crops. The Co-op has been out scouting for weeds in order to  know what to treat for. I’m looking at germination and seed placement in the corn. At the rate I plant corn, a planting population of 35,000 seeds per acre (determined by which gears I install on the planter- to adjust the speed of the row units), in 30” rows, there should be a plant about every 6”. And if there’s not, why not? Did the seed not germinate? Did the planter miss it or drop a double at the next place? Seed placement and germination are critically important to the final yield. In the perfect world, all the kernels would emerge within 36 hours of each other. A kernel that comes out 4 days later than its neighbors will be behind all year and will not make as much grain as the others. There are examples of flagging and marking the plants from emergence to harvest, and the plants that come out later never amount to as much as the rest. It’s fascinating! Next week I’ll measure out 17’6” (that’s 1/1000ths of an acre) and count the plants to get final stand populations.

Remember, the corn grows out of the kernel, which remains in the ground. Soybeans, the seed comes up as it emerges. I just geek out over all this!

GDU’s are 487 to date, +71 over normal. Won’t be gaining many this coming week… rather cool forecast.

Oats is growing well and the rows are filling in.

Had another oil leak, this one in a hose in the tractor. All I could tell was it was dripping underneath. And if I got down there, not sure I’d be able to get back up. And you can’t see anything anyway. I called John Deere and a nice mechanic named ‘Cutter’ came and fixed it. A hose for the power steering. From the hydraulic pump in the rear of the tractor, under the cab, up the dash to the steering wheel. He pulled up the cab floor and removed a lot of other stuff to get it done. Haven’t seen the bill yet. Somewhere between $100 and $10,000 I predict.

I have two, 250 gallon bulk oil containers: One holds hydraulic oil and one holds 15W40 engine oil. I just ordered another 100 gallons of hydraulic oil. That will last me a couple years. Didn’t ask the price of that either. It just is what it is.

Chicks are really enjoying being outside. Ducks are still hanging in there although one of the black ones has a sore foot. And there’s one of the creamy white ones trying to hook up with a female mallard. She already has a mate and he dutifully tries to chase the other guy off. This creamy one, he does have a mate; she’s sitting on the nest. Hmmm, little inter-breeding going on there in the first place. Wonder if he’ll be a good father?

We have ducklings! Mama (one of the mama’s. It seems to be a community nest) was out in the yard with 9 ducklings this morning. Kelly had a good idea to just put her in the pen with the chicks.
The kids are so small they can get through the holes in the snow fence for now, but they also won’t go too far from momma, so they should be OK. This protects them from dogs, Or falling in a hole, or whatever momma might get into. So we’ll see.

Meanwhile there’s STILL a white duck and brown duck sitting on a nest so I don’t know what’s up or who’s hatching next.

There was a dead raccoon in the field the other day. Turkey vultures were circling. And the next day, a dead turkey vulture was there. They may be vultures, but they’re not cannibals. Which reminds me of a joke. Two actually. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other, “Does this taste funny to you?”.


46 thoughts on “Crop Update”

  1. A farmer thought his rooster was looking a bit droopy so he added some viagra to his morning feed. Right after that he started running after all the hens. An hour later the farmer noticed the rooster was working on the ducks. An hour later the geese. Then right before lunch he was after the turkeys. When the farmer came out after eating, the rooster was lying on his back, feet in the air, three vultures circling overhead. The farmer looked down at the rooster and apologized for overdoing the viagra. The rooster sssh and pointed up at the vultures.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This weekend is the first weekend warm enough to put in the garden. Friends of ours in the country planted early, and they lost their garden Thursday night to frost.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks Ben for this weekend’s farm update. I have to say, having now been to the farm, it really makes a difference reading the update because I know exactly what and where you’re talking about now!!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. What do you call a cow with a twitch?

    Beef jerky.
    Where do you find a cow with no legs?

    Right where you left it.


    Liked by 5 people

  5. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, then doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. By that same token, a woman shorn would be distressed, a young woman undergoing gender reassignment would be dismissed, and an Asian immigrant would be disoriented. If I were stable, assured, and well-grounded could you say I was combobulated?

      Liked by 5 people

        1. Curiously, I tried twice to answer in the affirmative and WP both times lost my reply and then told me I had already posted. If at some point my other responses show up, you’ll know why.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I cannot remember jokes, so I will enjoy yours. We have teen-aged rabbits in our yard, eyeing the garden. They were baby bunnies just weeks ago. There are goslings and ducklings all over town, crossing the streets and jamming up traffic. But I love living in a place where the cause of slow/stopped traffic is baby fowl. The baby turkeys are, well, so unattractive.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I’ve been thinking of the PHC joke shows. They were always fun.

    Did you hear about the cannibal that passed his brother in the woods?
    I went fishing with Salvador Dali. He used a dotted line. He caught every other fish.
    (That is my all time favorite joke ever)

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Sven is sitting on his front porch enjoying the late afternoon sun when Ole walks by pushing a wheelbarrow full of stuff. Sven waves at Ole and shouts “Hi, how’s it going, Ole?” Ole waves back, letting go of one handle of the wheelbarrow which promptly tips over, spilling all of the contents. “Sorry about that,” hollers Sven, “I’d come help you shovel all of your stuff back in the wheelbarrow, but my supper is just about ready. Say, why don’t come join me for a bite to eat, and I’ll help you after we’re done?” “That sounds real nice,” says Ole, “but Lena won’t like it.” “Oh, forget about Lena,” replies Sven, “we haven’t talked in a long while.” “Oh, OK then,” says Ole, and joins Sven on the porch.

    After a nice meal and a good chat, Sven and Ole head toward the wheelbarrow. Halfway across the front yard, Sven says “By the way, Ole, where’s Lena?” Ole, looking a little sheepish, responds: “She’s under the wheelbarrow.”

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Our crop update: this morning we laid down some soaker hoses and planted the peas, pole beans (Hidatsa Red, Hidatsa Shield Figure, Arikara Red, and Seychelles green beans), canteloupe plants, Italian parsley, kohlrabi, parsely root, butternut squash, and Swiss chard. It started to rain as soon as we finished. Tonight we plant the church garden with summer squash, butternut squash, beans, and peas. Cabbages go in next weekend as they got started late and are still too small for outside.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It proceeded to rain .55 just after we got the seeds in. We haven’t had a rain like that for a long time. It was perfect for the garden seeds.

      Liked by 5 people

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