Our Farm Week In Pictures 10-16-2011

Just a few pictures to catch you up with what we have going this time of year.  We are currently very busy with yellow corn harvest and have seen some very good yields.  We finished soybeans a few days ago.  The corn is still a little too wet to go to the elevator with it so we are putting it in bins to dry it down and store.

Also included is a short video of how I taught my black lab Coal to jump up to the combine platform to ride along.  I apologize for the video being sideways as I held my phone that way.   Tilt your head a little to the left and you will never notice!!!

This is a picture of our computer which logs yield, moisture, work rate, time, date, etc. while going though the field. We use this data along with soil maps, soil sampling, and previous years application data and yield data to make decisions regarding nutrient application and cropping plans for the next year.
This is a picture of the stover left over after harvesting a yellow corn field. The red parts are the cob that the kernels were on. The combine take the ear in, shells it, and spits everything else out of the rear of the machine. This stover becomes an organism in itself as it decays and provides nutrients for next years crop and helps control soil and water erosion in our no-till system.
This is a sunrise this week as we were preparing the combine for the day. I tried to catch the Hunters moon in the evening, but the iPhone camera would not do it justice.
My son and I taking a picture from the top of the combine while we were greasing it to get it ready for the day. It was a very brisk morning! I really enjoy the time he spends with me in the combine. The iPad has also made it a time when he can get a little learning in while riding along with me. We use apps such as Smarty Pants and a Phonics app.

Our Farm Week In Pictures 10-6-2011

We have been very busy around here.  Harvest is in full swing.  We will finish with soybeans by tomorrow and switch to corn.  The yields on the soybeans have been very good, but there are some larger varietal differences than I would like to see.  Sounds like a front moving in will bring rain by Friday evening and we will head to Lincoln Saturday to watch the Huskers play Ohio State.  We did get in a few days of goofing around before we got into harvest though.

Sailing with my Uncle Gary at Lake Hastings. The kids really enjoyed it and learned a lot about sailing.
Shooting pop cans with the bb gun a couple days before harvest started
My son and some of his buddies having a refreshment on the shop deck after an afternoon shooting pop cans with the bb gun. Shooting cans with 3 boys is a great chance to teach safety with firearms to prepare them for hunting season.
Area that the sprayer missed. What a mess.
Doing some welding on the flex head we use to harvest soybeans. It is an older head and requires quite a bit on maintenance and fixing during harvest

Our Farm Week in Pictures

This is a stuck pivot we are pulling out in the middle of a soybean field with a tactor
This is our local 4-h auction at the county fair. We always have great support for our youth in Adams County 4-h at this event.
My son had some silly string along with us when we were irrigating so we had a little fun. fun

Everyday Is Take Your Children To Work Day On The Farm

One of the things we are blessed with being in agriculture is the ability to take our children to work with us whenever we please. All of our kids grow up working with me on the farm. This summer I have had our son out irrigating, laying out irrigation pipe, fetching tools from the toolbox while I work on something, and many other tasks around the farm. What I have begun to realize is that we instill a work ethic early in life in most of our children on the farm.

Now, don’t think farm kids are unlike other kids and don’t like to sleep in when they get the chance, but for the most part we were and my kids are expected to get up in the mornings and help out. Although, we have 7 and 4 year olds who always wake up at 6:30. What brought me to this blog post is observing my cousins sons who are spending the summer up here. You do not go to work with Mom or Dad, so you do not have that modeling of hard physical labor and work ethic instilled in you every day. It doesn’t take long for them to figure out that agriculture is hard work. Sweating, getting dirty, working in 100 degree heat and high humidity is not in their context of normal. When I tell my 7 year old to shut off 100 gates on a pipeline, he does it no questions asked. To them, it is hot, you have to get your shoes muddy, and it is not fun, why should I do it? I am pretty sure production agriculture is not going to be a career they will choose. However, what they learn and experience while here on the farm is very important.

They have learned where their food comes from, how it is produced, the labor it takes to produce it and even at such a young age, they have learned why the farm is important both from a family standpoint and in the production of what they eat. The other thing they have learned is that the farm is fun! You get to ride and drive XUV’s, ride in tractors, drink irrigation water fresh from the aquifer, get sprayed by a pivot, mud down a pivot road in a pickup, get dirty, eat fresh sweet corn, pick that sweetcorn yourself, learn how to run weedeaters, call cows, kick mud at each other off of your shoes, powerwash those tennis shoes to like new condition, and may other things on the farm.

You see, I take these things for granted with my kids because we do them everyday and it is part of our job. Everyday is take your kids to work day. I am glad to see these boys experience the farm and learn what we do. Even though we don’t get a lot of work out of them (we do get some) they have a positive view of agriculture and can share the experiences they have with their friends and hopefully when they hear something negative about agriculture they have a little bit to say in defense.


Farm Week In Pictures 7/31/2011

This is a quick update of what we have going on right now.  We have been super busy with irrigation, spraying, mowing, etc.        
This is a view from the end of a corner tower pivot. It was stuck at the time and I was running it from the top as we got it out of the creek bed.
This is one of our wells powered by electricity. It runs on 480 volts. We pump around 1100 gallons per minute on this well. It is a gravity farm where we run the water in between the rows to the end of the field.
This is the water running down those rows of corn.
My son and his two buddies in our soybean field on our home place. For perspective they are all around 4 foot tall.

Farm Week In Pictures 7/7/2011

THis is

A picture on the ladder of the combine

This is a picture of our kids and Kristi’s brother’s son as he got to explore the farm yesterday. They live in the city and this was his first chance to come to the farm for a tractor ride, explore the combine, and take a ride in the Rangers

Ranger Rides

Taking a ride in the ranger on our farm

Corn growing quickly here.

The corn is growing quickly here and has hidden the pivot tires from view. We are around 10 days away from tasseling. The sweetcorn we planted tasseled a few days ago here.


Soybeans almost canopying the row. These soybeans are planted in 30 inch rows.

Our Farm Week in Pictures

This is a picture of my son out in one of our earliest planted fields last week.  The pivot irrigation system is in the background.

This corn is just beginning to canopy the row which will help conserve moisture and control weeds access to sunlight.

Cleaning up the planter to put it away for the season.  We try to store most high dollar equipment in the buildings to reduce wear on them.  Who needs a Ferrari when you have $130,000 planter you use one month a year, or a $$300,000 combine you use the same amount of time?  Production agriculture is a very capital intensive business.

Wordless Wednesday: Ridging corn for gravity irrigation


Our Farm Week In Pictures 6/16/2011

Just a few pictures to get everyone updated on the happenings around our farm lately.  We are just finishing side-dressing the nitrogen on the corn.  We are currently cultivating and ridging the corn for gravity irrigation.  We are also in the process of getting irrigation motors ready for irrigation season and hauling some of last years corn to our local elevator to sell.

Newly side-dressed corn that is about to canopy the row. We will ridge this corn next week and be gravity irrigating it in about 2 weeks if no rain between now and then.
Unloading corn at our local elevator.
My son waiting patiently while we load the truck with corn to deliver to the local elevator. This is one of the few times he was not running the air horn on the semi.
My Father and My Son waiting while we are loading corn out of the bins. My son is really into doing the bunny ears during pictures theses days.

Growing Your Own Food

Sometimes I think Farmers get a bad rap and are accused of being

against the whole locavore, grow your own food movement.  I personally do not think anything could be further from the truth.  Fact is that Farmers like to grow

things.  I know, ironic isn’t it, a farmer likes to get down and plant things in the dirt, nurture it, and then eat it.

We have had a garden as long as I can remember and will always continue to do so.  I remember as a kid helping plant the garden and eventually, it became my little farm as I grew up.   I have always loved having fresh vegetable to eat, I just wish there w

as a way to grow them in the winter when the wind chill is -20.  See, I am a whateverisavailablethatisgoodforyouavore.  I grow the garden in the summer and my wife sometimes goes to the local farmers market, then in the winter I rely on the southern and western US to grow the vegetables and fruits that we enjoy during that time of year.

So, since we are talking about gardening and growing your own food, what have you done this year to grow your own food?  In our garden this year we have 4 varieties of tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, green beans, yellow waxy beans, asparagus, broccoli, pickling cucumbers, burpless cucumbers, acorn squash, butternut squash, butttercup squash, zucchini, yellow zucchini, gourds, pumpkins, and some sweetcorn.  Let us know what you have growing and why you grow it.  What do you do in the months you don’t have fresh vegetables and fruit to pick?  By all means, during theses months that the farmers market are open, go for it and go local.  In the middle of winter, let’s be thankful we are blessed with a phenomenal agricultural and transpor

tation system that allows us to enjoy all of these things year round no matter where we are located.   Count our blessing that we are a country that can feed itself and feed itself well.

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