Monthly Archives: April 2010

I am exhausted, for some reason.  Well, I know the reason(s):  Fighting my computer again, trying to get all the important things off that “to do list” done before the monsoons hit tonight and trying to secure and put back all the equipment I took last weekend on the FTX (field training exercise).

I am really trying to get the video(s) done and the pictures posted but the darn media players etc. on this computer are just making my life so hard.  So last night I deleted them all and reinstalled a few and things seem to be some what better, but not much yet.  Hopefully this weekend…………

However I do have a corn update:  This morning the Agrometer showed 138 GDUs since I planted the last field of corn on 19 April.  So a look to see if the corn was up and YES, minus a few places where the seed was a little deeper or where water stood from the last rain.  So I took the time to play with my camera after Tyler showed me some tricks with it and took this picture, its the best of the bunch, but I am learning a new game to play when taking pictures.


Wheat Update:  I also noted that I have ignored the wheat crop in favor of the Canola with regular updates.  So here is the status of the wheat crop.  We are heading and looking pretty good right now…………but with wheat or “poverty grass” as Marty Richardson called it, all is subject to change with one rain.

U of Illinois research farm out of Dixon Springs also got their fertilizer strips on their research plots yesterday.  Steve Ebelhar and the guys were putting out some different treatments and then they will come back and plant right over the treatments to see what gets the biggest bang for the buck.  I have to admit, their small plot equipment is something to look at, I love their combine!  Pictures of that later this year. 


It has been a very good and productive week here on the farm.  Ready for a restful weekend.  However I got the feeling that we will be doing some storm spotting and chasing instead of resting much………….


Got this today with the subject line that city people should stay in the city and not move to the country.  I agree with that even if this picture isn’t true…………

OK I have another major issue with my computer and media files.  I don’t know why, maybe because I want to edit and upload a bunch of videos and pictures and my computer knows how to get me fired up.  If so, It has………….

Anyway here are some thoughts on corn this morning. 

I spent the afternoon pulling some available N samples in the Nashville, IL area and the soil was very uniform and for the most part dry down to 12 inches.  By the time I got done with my sampling there were a few tractors in the field doing some tillage down the road from where I was.  It was a bit heavy for me but maybe they had a lot to do, don’t know.

Anyway the corn was just peeking through the soil in the field I was in.  Uniformity of emergence was pretty good and the color was right on target for what I would expect having been through the last week of wet and cooler weather.  But the ground is still warm.

I fired up the Agrometer after planting my last field here at home and this morning it is showing 98 GDU’s for the last 8 days, so my last field of corn should be coming through the ground shortly.  I like this device.  It keeps things local where some of the other GDU calculators rely on weather stations that are not to close.  It also shows me the average plus or minus from the multi year average. In this case we are +30 ahead of “normal”, what ever that is in Southern Illinois!

The NK Agrometer was used to report GDU’s in the Illinois Agrinews when I was a “From the Fields” reporter for them a few years ago. After a couple of years they rotate new folks on for a different perspective, or they have in the past but I cant confirm that because I don’t get the Agrinews anymore.  And I don’t know why…….

Anyway the corn that is in the ground has a real test comming this weekend.  Our local weather guessers are calling for upwards of 5 inches of rain over the coming weekend.  By the bullseye we are more in the 2-3 inch range here in Southern Illinois…………but some people already have had 2-3 inches last weekend. 

Saturated soils don’t make for good corn crops………….

On the “to do list” for the next week:  (in no particular order)

  • Pull some available N test.
  • Split the pile of wood up that has been in the back yard all winter to get it out of the way
  • Clean out the camper that I took on the field exercise this weekend
  • Clean out my office and find all the stuff I have missed the last two weeks during planting.
  • Get the anhydrous parts I need and get the tool bar ready to side dress
  • Go through all my vacation pictures and video and edit/post them to the website as promised
  • Same thing for Knob Creek pics and video
  • Make a video of the Auto Steer on the planter.
  • Clean up my office and shop, again
  • Begin to get ready to pull a few soils samples
  • Clean up the junk about the barns, clean out one of the barns, fix one of the barns, tear down one of the barns, paint the barns and bins. 
  • Sharpen the blades on the lawn mower and bush hog
  • Install the chopper on my combine
  • fix the leaky cylinder on the field cultivator
  • go shoot my guns and practice a little for one of the upcoming Appleseeds
  • Spray, Spray, Spray, Spray.
  • Do some general maintenance on the grain truck, get it inspected and haul the remaining beans out of the bin.
  • Go to a long drawn-out and possibly redundant Extension Council meeting.
  • Get ready to fix and renovate a couple of waterways, if it quits raining.

That is the short list……..most of which wont get done this week.  None of the outside stuff if it rains again.

More severe weather is forecast for this weekend……………………………yea.

Heck, I spent all day yesterday trying to get my check book to balance and am still not there yet……………………

The canola got sprayed with fungicide last week before the rains set in.  Things are looking good for this crop right now.  Just don’t need much rain, wind or hail!

Spent the weekend at Pere Marquette State Park north of Grafton, IL with the Civil Air Patrol on a field training exercise. I was running the radios, so I was for the most part high and dry all weekend. However it did rain, and rain and rain and rain and blow with the storms that went thought on Saturday afternoon.

First lesson, is to make sure you get your tent staked down!

Second thing is make sure you get your stakes in the ground good!


I hate to guess how much rain we had there. But here at the farm it look like a total for the weekend of 1.5 inches. Not bad, no water standing and it doesn’t look like it rained hard this morning.

Now to dry out all the equipment……….

Rain last night late.  Best I can tell about half an inch.  I say best I can tell as the ground under the truck isn’t wet but the gauge showed one inch.  Upon investigation by looking at various containers out in the yard, about half an inch.  So……..stormy weather predicted for the next few days. 

Sorry but it is going to be little short post for the next day or so, busy and tired………….whats new?

John “MACK” Mackson has a great picture and post on his blog on fertilizer separation.  Check it out here at 

And the corn planted on April 13 here on the farm is UP!  You could row it last evening. 

And speaking of that corn field, the video I made when we worked it and planted it has been featured on a couple of websites:  AgWired and Corn Comentary.  Thanks for the recognition guys!!!

And last but not least, or maybe the least, still waiting on the Benton Evening News to show up to take pictures and do a story on the Canola, said they would be right out two days ago……………….but then again, I haven’t had time to deal with them anyway.

To busy to make a post last night or this morning for today, spraying, spraying, spraying. 

But for fun…………here is one of the photos that professional Tyler Sink took of our family the other day……..he did a good job.  Visit for more examples of the great work he does.


Now Tyler, can we get a discount on our pictures???

I think I have said it before on this website but I will say it again: I LOVE ANDERSON POWERPOLES!

They make life so easy and make my electronics so happy! After fighting the cigarette plug on my ATV for running my sprayer controller and guidance, I spent an hour making up a three way plug direct to the battery. Got to fuse it tomorrow so I can start spraying!

Drawback is that I now need to wire up my GPS and IPAQ for powerpoles.  Not a drawback, just a time consumer!


Got done planting corn today.  Four days earlier than the earliest I have ever started here at home.  Kind of scary.

Ground is worked good but is a bit cool.  But the seed corn bag says “store in a cool dry place” so that is what we did by planting it.  First corn planted last Tuesday is spiking through.  Now to start spraying.

I got the following email from Dianne Jenkins.  Dianne and Joe own Jenkins Consulting in Tennessee and are good friends of mine.  You have to know Joe and Dianne’s soft heart and gentle southern ways, along with both their accents, to maybe get the whole picture here, but I will bet if your in the consulting or advisory business, you feel their pain. 

Pictured is Joe, though I asked for a picture of both of them………Dianne only sent Joe’s picture.  They were also recently featured in an article in the March/April 2010 issue of FarmGate magazine.  I have a PDF of the great story if your interested……..

So without further delay, used by permission:   A Day in the Life of Jenkins Consulting.

Life with Jenkins Consulting

April 14, 2010

Up at 5:15 AM

In office at 6:30 AM

On the road at 7:30 AM

  • Vited 3 farms 30 miles away
  • Picked up 4 Wheeler at shop
  • Back at office by 2:30 PM

Went to funeral home at 5:00 PM

Eating supper at 6:30 PM

  • Helena Chemical called about scripts (KR note: VRT fertilier files)

Back in office at 7:45 PM   

  • Resending Helena scripts—

7:45 PM         Farmer calls

  • Co-op cannot spread a blend and vary a product –too complicated (KR Note:  Been there done that)


9:00-9:45  PM   at co-op discussing why they cannot do it the way it is laid out and scripts made for them.


10:00 PM  Stopped at vendors house and got his card for his spreader —so can put scripts on it

  •  He does not know how to  do  that  (KR note:  Been there done that also!)

10:45 PM  Back in office re-doing scripts for co-op and emailing them so they can have them by 5:00AM

1:15 AM  Closed office doors

1:30 AM  Good Night

April 15

Arise at 5:30

If you have a “Day in the Life” story you would like to share or vent about, please sent it to me, if its good enough, I will post it up for all the world to see!

Matthew got his new nitro RC car so I posted this today so he wont try this at home!

OK, it’s late on Thursday night and I am typing up this now as I doubt I will be coherent enough in the morning to do it.  Here are some deep thoughts from the last week.  And, as I have shown pictures of, nearly every day this week, there will not be an out-the-back door picture today.  Besides, it is still pretty dark when I roll out…….

Remember, I was tired when I typed this, so it really isn’t me saying all these things………..

1.  Why oh why does the equipment dealership stock the $500 part you need, but has to special order the two $50 parts needed to hook up the $500 part and make it work? 

2.  Why is the COOPS ability to do anything, related to how busy they are?  In other words, what was a no-brainer yesterday when they “weren’t busy” can’t be done and is not possible because “we’re busy”?

3.  Its CANola not GRANola……………cooking oil and diesel fuel, not breakfast cereal and snack bars……..gee whizz.

4.  After listening to the radio in the tractor the last few days, I have come to a conclusion:  Not all politicians are crooks, liers and child molesters, just the elected ones are. 

5.  Speed kills EXCEPT when your spraying herbicide.  A lesson that the drivers at the various chemical dealerships that have passed by here the last few days need to learn.  SLOW DOWN!  Most of what you have applied to my neighbors fields is now on mine!

6.  IF you say it’s too wet to plant, then IT IS ALSO to wet to preplant anhydrous.  Those water holes you are driving around to pre plant that anhydrous will not suddenly suck in the needed nitrogen when you plant through them later when “its dry”.

7.  Everyone who knows how to “fix the State of Illinois problems” seem to have never had a real job, run a business or had to work for a living.  Exhibit A:  The Democratic candidate for Lt Governor.  Exhibit B:  All the rest of the candidates for all the State offices.

And last of all……

8.  It was announced this week that the Governor was going to cut the Illinois State Police Motorcycle gang out of the budget and put them back in their cars.  The reaction from the ISP is that they were cutting the ISP out all together.  I think this is great news.  Now, if they can get their big heads through the doors and back in their squad cars without having to buy new ones, the State might save some money. 

And a little something we brought back from Knob Creek……….

Current Farm Weather


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