Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lost a friend today

I haven't heard it "officially", but it appears we lost a friend today. 

I didn't know him that well, but he and Aman were close.  He bought an old pickup from me back in April and was one of Aman's seed customers.  From what we are hearing Paul had gotten his grain truck safety tested and was on the way home when he had a heart attack.

I heard the ambulance call earlier today.  Driver of a grain truck a mile or so from the elevator was gasping for air.  Local first responder was on scene and called for ambulance.  Then we heard CPR was in progress.  The responding ambulance began transport and asked for a paramedic intercept.  We could tell from the traffic it was not a good situation and wondered if it was anyone we knew?

A mutual friend made a comment on Facebook about him, then one of his friend responded with this:
"I was talking to him on the phone when it happened he was laughing and jokin' till the end ,then he said ''I'm gettin' light headed as fu#*'',...then he laid the phone down I could hear the ol grain truck driving down into the ditch,..."

I guess it shouldn't  have been a big surprise.  He had a heart attack earlier this year (late last year?) and had been a bit concerned about being able to farm this Spring.  Still, you're never really ready.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Been down to ROC

ROC's a kind of interesting place.  There isn't much Ralph and Curt can't do.  As Dad used to say, they can weld a **** to a shingle if you can hold it there.  They put our blue truck together for us.
 it had a few problems
But it turned out pretty good
 When someone who shall remain nameless stuck the Bush Hog wheel in a culvert and literally ripped it off, ROC put it back together so well Aman forgot it had been broken.
(darn, forgot to take any pictures)

They also do field repair.  This is what they started with for us a couple years ago
Yes, that motor is on the wrong side of the frame.  It broke the mounts and flopped over instead of falling off.  Nothing like welding in an irrigated bean field in the mud and water and heat all at the same time.  When they got done you have to look really close to tell it isn't OEM.

 Ralph has gotten good at Bush Hog repair this summer. He's put wheels back on, rebuilt drive shafts, changed blades ... had one in this week I'd have hauled to the scrap yard
(I decided not to embarass any one by taking pictures of it).

The other day I was getting a battery (they sell Interstate batteries as well)
 and this was setting in the middle of the floor.
Curt had built 3 of them.  No, it isn't a form for building scale models of pyramids.  Ralph calls them trash cutters.  You put them over the auger sump in a grain bin, and it keeps trash and chunks from plugging the auger.  They seem to get a lot of interest in them in January and February.

Oh, how's farming going?  We've cut about 70 acres of beans.  Been figuring scale tickets. Field averages so far 39.87, 38.68, 46.88. Not bad for sand beans. Before we started I'd have sold you the whole lot for 30 and smiled all the way to the bank.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I agreed to spend some money

Well, I agreed to spend some money today. I listed the bulk seed tender in an earlier post on AgTalk Classifieds and sold it with one phone call. The second guy that called was a bit disappointed, and I mentioned we had a Pro-Box tender we were thinking of selling.
He bought it! 
Aman and I looked seed tenders the National Farm Machinery Show, at the Gordyville Farm Show, and the Farm Progress Show, so it isn't like we're jumping into this. We both really liked the looks of Clark's Easiload.  Here is their 2 box low profile version
It has a poly auger instead of a belt conveyor, but our experience with them has been pretty good.  At least as good as the air systems we have been using.  The poly auger is a lot less bulky than the belt conveyors we have  After pondering a bit I made a big leap and ordered the 4 box trailer shown above. 3 boxes just barely fill the drill twice.  if you have to stop filling to go load the trailer you haven't gained anything.
 I declined the optional aluminum wheels

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Selling the bulk seed tender

I've listed the bulk seed tender on 3 different online classifieds, AgTalk, Machinery Marketplace, and Craig's List

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Aren't you going a bit overboard ?

We have taken a "pro-active approach" to waterhemp control.Maybe I need to explain just a little.  One of our weed problems for years and years has been pigweed.

Everyone has them.  It is just another weed, a bit of a problem but fairly well controlled.  Down in the river bottom we have had a "high powered" pigweed.

It has smaller leaves, and several years ago we found it was actually called waterhemp.  But was also "just another weed".  We were wrong. It and it's cousin the Palmer amaranth
are the most potentially devasting weeds out there.

Yeah, I know, Mikey has fallen for some chemical company hype.

Not this time.

The big problems with these weeds (and I am going to lump them all together) is three-fold:

1) They germinate almost any time.  Some weeds are early season problems, others  are late season problems.  These will take off and grow just about any time there isn't a frost in the ground.

2)  They are extremely prolific. How prolific?  Here is what Missouri Extension says: Waterhemp is a prolific seed producer, capable of producing about one-and-a-half times more seed than most other pigweed species. Waterhemp plants generally produce about 250,000 seeds per plant, although some plants can produce as many as 1 million seeds when growing under optimal conditions

Let's go low end, a quarter million seeds per plant. I see you shaking your head.  Here is one seed
You remember Jesus parable of the mustard seed?  It hasn't got much on waterhemp.  And that seed can lay in the soil for a decade and still be viable.  But like I said, we've had this for years. It's been an irritant, but not a problem.  Until something new came along
Yes, Roundup came along.  It controlled something like 99% of all weeds.   There's where the numbers get us. Let's say you have 100 plants per acre.  If you control 99% of them, and each can conservatively produce 250,000 seeds, that leaves 250,000 seeds per acre.  Now. combine that with number 3.

3)  These things have a natural resistance to Roundup.

So let's add all these up.  They germinate all season long, they produce horrific amounts of seed, and they have a natural resistance to the most widely used herbicide on the market.

Aman and I are getting a bit proactive.  I am afraid not enough, but we're ahead if a lot of folks.  I walked .. I don't know, maybe 100 feet through the field to the irrigator pivot for Neal's some seed production.  Coming back I got to pulling waterhemp.  I had seen 2-3 larger plants gong in and pulled them.  As I came back I pulled some smaller ones. Not too many.
This was in a place where you really had to be looking to find them.  And if each of these just produced 2500 seeds
I know, it's a poor photo.  But that one tiny little seed is in OUR field, not some online photograph In a field that had pre-emergence herbicide, post-emergence herbicide, was cultivated, and sprayed with glyphosate and 2,4-D a couple days before  .Yes, it is scary.

Aman and I went to a Becks Seed field day, where a "weed guy" from Arkansas talked about what has developed in the south.  Basically he put photos and experience in place of things we had just been contemplating.  Or to put it another way he just scared the **** out of us.

So what are we doing about it?

We have  been rotating our herbicide program, using a "conventional pre-plant" system in corn and a Roundup Ready system in beans. We are going to be more aggressive in a couple areas.  The big change is next year we are planting all Liberty-Link soybeans.

What does that mean?  It means more management needed, a hassle spraying, some very different weed issues.  But hopefully it will help us to keep the amaranth family of weeds under control.  Because by the time it gets to this, it's too late

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How many months can we plant in ?

Let's see, we planted in April,
 and now August. 
Our August planting was CRP reseeding.  I don't try to understand the government logic, I just follow their plan.  We had a pretty good stand of cover crop. So we were told to spray it to kill it 
and reseed it.
I told Aman not to calculate how many passes with a 7 1/2 ft drill it would take to do 18 acres.

The2 acres of "pollinators" we agreed to plant seem to be coming along
In 3 years our mid-contract maintenance plan calls for us to burn the field.

We still have September and October to plant in.  That would mean we planted something in each of 7 months.