Monthly Archives: November 2010

Well its that time of year again when the seed salesmen are out in force making their rounds trying to get those seed sales locked in before the last early prepay deadline of the year.  I had nearly forgot about it until I saw a post by @cornwuff and @darrenheafty on Twitter today.  From the looks of their Tweets, they are doing it right. 

Why had I forgot about this looming deadline?  Well because I did mine about a month ago.

Two interesting things about seed selection and purchasing from this fall still have me wondering.  To be politically correct I will just use Company A and Company B in my discussion.  I buy 99.999% of my seed from Company A.  I do plant a bag or two of other companies give-me seed for side by sides or just as research to see what is on the other side of the fence.  Please note I am very happy with Company A and the job their “numbers” do here on the farm.  I am in no way looking to change, so save your emails.  I am open though to knowing if something is better, which is why I experiment.

Last year after some listening to some of my customers on the consulting side I purchased some seed from Company B to try.  And yes it did quite well.  With the dry weather we had from August up until we harvested I wasn’t going gung-ho on anything until the combine got done and and had hard numbers in hand.  Upon leaving the field I called Company B to tell them I wanted some of that seed.  Their answer surprised me:  Were sold out.  What?  Its September and your sold out?  WT?  I still don’t really understand how someone could be sold out of seed when the combines haven’t even stopped rolling.  But they are sold out I was told. 

I shared my experience with some friends of mine in the consulting business and then got a phone call a few days later asking why I was unhappy with Company B.  Unhappy?  Not at all, just mystified that they could be sold out in September, that’s all.  Now if its a marketing plan then it works.  If its a supply issue, then it doesn’t work.  If its growing pains in the Company, then they have problems.  No not mad, not unhappy, not anything but mystified that for three months they have nothing to sell, yet everyone else is out banging on doors left and right, with plenty of seed to go around.

The result of this is that I appreciate Company A a little more this fall, they take care of me, I am in the loop with their sales force and agronomist.  They make good recommendations for my farm.  They let me know whats going on to insure I have a supply and the opportunity to get the biggest savings with their discount program.  In short I see that they value me as a customer and we have a one on one relationship. 

So every day a new seed book shows up in the mail from some seed company, and every day it gets thrown in the trash.  Seed books just lack the personal touch that a one on one relationship does with you seed supplier.

I recently purchased the MAGPUL DVD set The Art of the Tactical Carbine.  For those of us who are fans of the black rifle I would highly recommend it for any rifleman’s library.  Very, very well done instructional video in my opinion. 

In the first DVD there is a point where they are working on some fundamentals when one of the students has a small problem.  While one of the instructors is helping him fix the problem the instructor says something, while not an exact quote, to the effect of “I rode the little bus to school and didn’t see you on it, should you have been on the little bus with me?”  I found this funny to say the least as well as a unique way to get a point across with some humor. It wasn’t a put down it was a way of saying that I have made the same mistakes.  I liked it.  I liked it so much; I am stealing it and using it myself!  

Well anyway I have two days to put together or finish a presentation that needs to be to the meeting organizers for publishing in the program packet.  Then maps to be done for some soil testing, some soil test to deliver, some bills to send out, some bills to pay, and then the county Farm Bureau annual meeting tonight.  That is just today.  

The rest of the week doesn’t look any slower either and at some point I have to get some of these CCA credits out of the way.  They are such a pain anymore.

This, while intended to be funny, shows just how out of touch our AG is.

Well, after about a three month dry spell, its raining.  We have had an inch and a half in the last 24 hours. Two inches in the last 48 hours.  Plus, there is another storm front coming tonight.

The rain has help lift my grumpy spirits, but the cold air is keeping them from getting too high.  The cold air and wind go right through me anymore.  But I am grateful for the rain.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  We have a lot to be thankful for this year.  Good crops, good prices, no major sickness, no major breakdowns or disasters, and that is just the big blessings, it doesn’t count the smaller everyday blessings we have had this year.

I hope to spend some time this weekend working on my Farm Futures speech and getting ready to hit the CCA self study classes to get my points out of the way. 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Last night I saw where Obama is pulling the National Guard off the Mexican border where they have been trying to help stop the illegal immigrants and drug runners cross the border illegally.  Remember that, illegally cross the border.  Illegally.  Illegal.  As in against our laws……….

This morning I watched as Obama TSA chief said that we have to feel up grandma at the airport to prevent another act of terrorism.  That we have to give up some of our rights to be safe.  Law abiding citizens of this country have to give up their rights to be safe.  Legal people living within the law have to give up their rights………


Well I think I really know what is going on.  Illegal Hispanic “non residents” vote Democratic.  Oh yes, they can vote, get drivers license and go to school and get in state tuition.  These Democratic voters get all the perks.

Meanwhile some horny TSA agent is feeling up your grandma, wife or daughter at the airport in the name of security.  What laws did they break?  Oh yes, they wanted to fly……………

2012 cant come quick enough.

OK, no deer.  Saw one nice buck about 200 yards away, too far to shoot at.  Here in the “Peoples Republic” of Illinois you have to use a shotgun with slugs to deer hunt.  So 200 is a bit far for a kill.

Didn’t see another thing until Sunday afternoon, a smallish doe who was wired about something.  Then after we quit and were leaving for church a small four pointer almost ran in front of the car at the end of our driveway. 

Well two weeks and we can do it again……………we will see what happens.

Well that fall right of passage, the first of the three big fall holidays begins today.  Shotgun Deer season in Illinois.  Or as a lot of farmers refer to it, the great thinning of the Government Goat Herd.  Deer are both an economic boom and economic loss for a lot of farmers.  Some have turned into outfitters and charge for people to come hunt a big buck on their land as a way to try to regain all the crops they have ate and tore up. 

To be fair, deer are like Canada Geese in my opinion.  They are not that destructive and tend to be a non issue except for isolated cases.  They are pretty smart animals, they eat only what they need, don’t necessarily tear up large acreage or areas doing it because they want to come back and eat again in that area.  Turkeys on the other hand are like Snow Geese, or Sky Carp as a lot of people call them, very destructive and just plain mean when it comes to crops.  They dig and pull and eat and just flat out leave a mess where ever they go.  The last thing you want is turkeys or snow geese to find your farm.  They will pick it clean. 

So be careful out there this weekend if you hunt and be careful out there if you don’t hunt.  The hunters drive the deer to the roads it seems…………..

Well I have been pretty slow about posting anything on the site as of late. A couple of things have me in a rut and I cant seem to shake them.

First while I can find a lot to blog about, none of it seem that interesting right now and I am not and have not been in a position to take a lot of pictures. I mean I guess I could do as one guy I follow on Twitter has come to: Posting everything I do to some detail. I mean this guy is down to telling us when he eats, what he eats and when he eats it. Next he will Tweet that he is walking……… I don’t want this blog to turn into one of those blogs where I just throw anything up to stick on the wall and expect you to read it and come back for more.

Second is that I have been pretty busy. OK real busy. Maybe to busy for my liking and I keep hoping it will rain and things will slow back down to a regular pace. With this dry fall it just seems like things wont get to the point where things get the normal pace. I mean that there are some guys if it they work a field again or the temps get back up a little bit they might plant corn. So with so much activity going on, I just am tired at the end of the day and posting something that is coherent and makes sense is a real test.

And last, I am not done myself. I cant seem to get anything finished up here. I still have tillage to do, but cant do it because it is so dry. I have equipment to put up but cant do it until I get somethings done and out of the way. I have a couple of projects with some volunteer organizations that I cant get done because no one will answer email or keep me in the loop because they are as busy as I am.

Now its getting cold. I don’t mind cold, but the wind is killing me. Cold wind goes right through me. I hate cold wind.

Plus the endless CCA meeting or credit chase that I haven’t started on yet and a meeting presentation that has to be done……that I haven’t even started.

I am tired just typing about all the stuff I have to do………

The dry hard ground is making the old tractor huff and puff. Pulled a point clean off a shank today.

Like this song a lot…………

I had mentioned the other day on Twitter that I had gone to Tennessee to visit Joe and Dianne Jenkins and see their soil sampler.  Well I broke down and got one of the 2024 Amity Soil Samplers.  Pretty much had to do something; between the rock hard dry ground and my shoulders I wasn’t able to get a thing done sampling-wise anymore with just a regular soil probe in these dry conditions.  I couldn’t push it in, couldn’t hammer it in, and sure couldn’t step it in.  And my cordless drill was burnt up. 

The Amity Soil Sampler, if you don’t know, is a hydraulic drill basically.  It has a collection bucket and a 3/4 inch drill bit that drills into the soil and collects the sample.  It works pretty slick once you get everything set up.  The drill passes through a hole in the bottom of the collection bucket and the soils is augured into the bucket by the drill bit.  Very similar to the cordless drill set up I have used in the past with a few exceptions:  First, I don’t have to get off the ATV to sample and Two, I don’t have to dump every “probe” but third, and the biggest, is that it has the power to go ahead and drill out the sample on these tough clay pan soils and I don’t have to go to the truck after every 40 acres and get a new battery. 

The soil sampler arrived via Fed-Ex Ground, and comes in what is best described as a coffin but once unboxed all one has to do is mount the hydraulic motor on the ATV and then the sampling mast.  That is the hardest part.  Generic brackets are shipped with the sampler, but each ATV is different and one must make their own mount work.  This is what took the longest for me.  If you have a shop and some basic tools, it is no problem, just time consuming. 

Once the sampler is mounted, go to the field and calibrate it to the sampling depth and soil conditions you will be working in.  I found yesterday that on CRP ground I had to run the motor at more than half throttle to get good penetration.  But on soybean stubble I could run it a less than half throttle.  It just becomes a learning game at this point on operation.  I have had one big help in beating the learning curve on this: Joe Jenkins.  He has sure helped me with his tips and tricks he has learned after running it for the last month or so, which made my first full day running it a snap.  THANKS JOE!

With harvest over, I seem to have a million things to do.  None of which seem to allow me the time to post a lot of things I want to post at the depth I want to post them………..

So I will be a bit slower between post for a while.  But I will get back up to speed in a week or so when things calm down!

Tuesday is election day. After looking over the field of candidates, both local and state, I just came close to missing old Blago. Almost, but not quite. Man what a messed up bunch of people……..

I think I will go vote first thing in the morning and then come home and take a shower. I don’t think I will feel clean the rest of the day if I shower before I vote.

And then there is this………..
If you are a frequent reader of this site, you know I am a licensed Ham Radio operator. You all know my call sign is KC9FVK. I use my call sign as my screen name/avatar name or alias all the time on various websites and chat boards. So it surprised me to find out that last night, while trying to register as a user on a website, and using my call for my screen name, that website considered my call sign as pornography / inappropriate content and warned me that if I tried using it again I would be banned. ????? I don’t get it. Really, I don’t.

For a minute I thought it was the “thought police” again from CAPTALK. The BORG of stupid people. But it was only a momentary illusion……….

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