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?”.
JOKE DAY. SHARE A JOKE OR TALK ABOUT BABY ANIMALS