Friday, September 28, 2012

Hard decisions

One of the things this year has forced me to do is look closer at some of my decisions. Did I do that correctly?  Was this the thing to do?  How can I do better?

I made a difficult decision this week and acted on it.  A friend commented one time if I ever decided to sell the Ford F-550 he was interested in buying it.  I called him earlier this week and asked "Just how interested are you?"

Thursday I delivered his new used Ford F-550

This was not an act of desperation, more one of strategy.  It isn't that we didn't use it.  It was handy for a lot of things. It pulled, hauled, carried, even just sat around and let us walk on it.
It's just that looking at my current condition after this year, I could generate some cash and reduce expenses at the same time by selling it.  I may replace it if I can find the right semi trailer at the right price.  Something along the line of this would do everything we need and more
And probably cost quite a bit less to own.  Like I said, this was not an act of desperation, more one of strategy.  And I may have to make a few more.  Looking around, there may be a lot of guys doing this over the winter.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ronnie, I KNOW what the rope is for

We bought a 34 ft Jet semi trailer last winter.  It came with a rope tied in both hoppers.
There has been speculation over what it was for.

"It's so you know how many bushels are in it."

"It keeps the corn from bridging over"

"It's so you can grab something if you are inside while unloading and start to go under."

I can now tell you what the rope is for.  In a minute. The explanation takes some background.

We finished with corn, and I decided we would paint some Slip Plate paint in the corners of the Maurer trailer so grain would run out of the corners a bit better.  Like usual I didn't fully explain what I wanted, so Aman did what he understood me to want and painted the bottom slopes.  So Wednesday afternoon I climbed in the Maurer and finished the painting.
Oh, BTW if you are in the bottom of a hopper trailer leaning up on the slope holding a gallon paint can and lose your balance ... well, I have a shirt that has a graphite black sleeve and we have one corner painted really well.

Anyway, I got done and had paint left over so I decided to see if the Jet needed a little slick paint anyplace.

No, it does not.

I got in the front hopper on the Jet and started down to look at it when the next thing I know I'm in the bottom of the trailer looking up at the roof.  It doesn't need any more slickness to it.

 Fortunately I landed on my head.  After I laid there a couple minutes doing a self-evaluation I decided there probably wasn't anything broken.   And THIS is when I found what the rope is there for.

Ronnie was mostly right.  The rope is so you can get out when you end up in the bottom of the trailer all by yourself.

It's a great rope.  But a ladder might be nice.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Over half done with corn

Actually I think closer to 2/3 done.  We put 9000 bushels on one semi today.  OK, we put the corn off 46 acres on one semi today ... should have been 9000 bushels or so.

Like everyone else we are running scared of aflatoxin. What is it?  Here's an excerpt from a University of Missouri article:

Aflatoxin is a term generally used to refer to a group of extremely toxic chemicals produced by two molds. The toxins can be produced when these molds attack and grow on certain plants and plant products.. Most of the aflatoxin problems on corn in the United States are caused by Aspergillus flavus, and the most potent toxin produced by this mold is called aflatoxin B1 . Drought, extreme heat and corn ear injury from insect feeding stress the corn and create an environment favorable to these molds and to aflatoxin production

Aflatoxin poses a low level threat to the human food supply in the United States because existing regulations and testing by federal agencies and industry exclude contaminated products from the food chain. Generally, these programs have been successful in protecting U.S. consumers from aflatoxin contaminated food.

We have been fortunate so far.  We had one load rejected at one elevator, yet it passed with flying colors at another.  That attached ticket show .07 parts per billion of aflatoxin.

We do not plan to put any corn in our bins this fall.  That may change as the local elevators are filling up rapidly with wet corn.  This year anything over 13% needs dried.