Today’s post comes from Ben.
There was supposed to be a hard freeze Thursday night. Only got to 35°. We’re down in a valley so whatever the TV says the low will be, we’re going to be about 10° colder. It’s coming. Sooner or later. Minor cold spells, I unhook the hoses and put the pressure washer in the barn. Once it gets seriously cold, I’ll have to get more things picked up and put somewhere warm.
Driving to Plainview for parts last week showed a lot of farmers harvesting soybeans. Sounds like they might get to mine in the next few days. Good to hear. It was fun to see all the different combines. Some John Deere’s, some Case IH, even one Claas. You don’t see many of them in this area. I’m not even sure who the dealer is for Claas. That’s a big thing when buying equipment; who’s going to support it when needed. I really liked the Deutz tractor I bought back in 1986. But eventually it was hard to find mechanics or parts locally. There was a shop over in Wells MN that did good work on Deutz tractors, but 86 miles is a long ways to go for parts or service.
I’m bummed all the sweetcorn froze last week so that’s done for the season. What a shame; one cold night and that’s it. Glad we got some froze a month ago. It felt early when we did it, but this is why I guess.
We drove to Plainview so I could pick up some oil filters for the lawn mower and gator. My local dealer has most of my equipment in their records, but they didn’t have the gator for some reason, and I have a hard time remembering all the equipment model numbers. I knew it was an 835, but was it an “E”, “M” or “R”? And there’s a serial number break that uses different oil filters… shucks. I don’t remember. Eventually I found an email on my phone from the insurance company that had the VIN number so we got the right one. I wrote it down. In my phone where I have a file of oil changes on equipment.
All the tractors and machinery have model numbers. I know a lot of them but sometimes I forget. Is the soil finisher a 714 or 716? Wait, it’s a 724. The chisel plow is a 714. Or 716… Know there’s a 7 in there. Maybe this weekend I can get the oil and fuel filters changed in the truck too.
We quit filling the bird feeders this summer when the avian flu was going around. I filled them again this week, but so far nothing has come back.
Rosie and Guildy are still fine. The chickens seem to think those two have better food than they do. It’s all the same food, but it’s inside a pen so it must be better. One of those ‘grass is greener’ things. Right up until this happens.
See what happens when you do things you shouldn’t be doing? You get hung up and need to be rescued. She wasn’t there long. Kelly and I were out picking pears and then having a gator date when we spotted her. Once rescued she ran off to the pen and didn’t even appear too dizzy.
I haven’t seen anyone harvesting corn yet. The kernels are probably a little too wet yet and it’s early enough no one wants to pay for drying the corn yet if they don’t have too. Shelled corn (really, any crop) must be 15% or less moisture to store without spoiling. I’m guessing most corn is still upper 20’s. The ears are mostly still standing upright. The old timers used to wait until the ear had tipped down, then it was ready to harvest. I was just reading that corn on the stalk loses about .5% moisture / day. Course that depends on the weather. It dries a lot more at 70° than it does at 40° of course.
This is a good looking ear because of how it’s filled all the way to the tip. If the plant had any stress it would abort the kernels at the upper end. And there are some ears in the field that are not filled. But it’s neat to see this ear and know the crop had everything it needed to make good ears. Enough rain, the right nutrients, and no stresses. Think about how we could all do if we had no stresses and everything we needed to prosper?
DRUMSTICK OR BREAST?