Monthly Archives: August 2011

Monday night and Wednesday nights are my two nights of TV so to speak.  In other words if I want to watch TV anymore, its on these two night because its “gun” night those two nights on Sportsman and Outdoor channels.

I have to admit that “Wednesday Night at the Range” on Outdoor channel is my favorite of the two nights and has my new favorite show “Midways USA’s Gun Stories”.  I really have been enjoying this show.  The production quality is excellent with the use of slow motion capturing the operation of the firearms, the host Joe Mantegna adds not only some class but the acting helps with the presentation of the topics and the experts that are interviewed add many different angles and perspectives to the gun or topic being discussed.

Really the show is, in my opinion, a significant step up in gun/hunting/outdoor show presentation and quality.  Matter of fact, it makes a few of the other shows on these channels look pretty amateurish.  That’s not a put down but just a statement on how much of a leap this show makes in production quality.

To be fair some of the other shows on these two nights are a presentation of technical issues, some are of competitions and some are instructional.  The type of production in Gun Stories would not lend its self well to these shows.  However I think that in the end that Gun Stories will only help to elevate the quality of the other shows.  That makes us that watch gun TV winners in the end.

I also really enjoy Shooting USA which has a very high production quality as well and has a good mix to topics from one week to the next.  I remember watching Shooting USA on the TNN network on Sundays after church many, many years ago now and thought at the time how well it was produced and shot.  Two other shows I enjoy are Guns and Ammo TV and Gallery of Guns.  The other shows are done well but depending on the topic of the night either hold or dont hold my attention long.

One show I miss is Tactical Impact.  Dont know what happened to it but its gone.  I like it better than Tactical Arms and so far thought it was better than the new Tac TV.  To be fair to Tac TV I have not got to see it very regularly but again there was something about the production quality and flow of Tactical Impact that I really liked.


Corn harvest has started to a lot less fan fare than in the past.  Several reasons attribute to the lack of a blasting trumpet and angelic voices calling attention to the combines pulling into the fields and collecting the bounty of yellow gold that awaits.  The biggest reason is the lack of yellow gold that awaits.  Yield estimates are way down from last year but can almost be tracked by planting date.

Early, provided it didn’t drowned out or run of out N, is better and from April you can just subtract off a reasonable amount until you get to the June planting.  Then you have all the replant and spot in that is in just about every field causing all kinds of havoc for those with early contracts to fill.  For the most part early moisture numbers indicated anywhere from 16% through 32% in the same field.  Even those fields that didn’t get a replant or spot show the bottom of the hills and swags are still very very green compared to the flat ground and the hill sides/tops.

Then there is also standability which is about gone no matter what bag you planted.  These plants have robbed everything they had from the stalk to try and fill what they could and it shows up quickly in a drive around the country side.  Lots of plants have just died and they wont take a big rain of wind event at this point.

Yield estimates for Franklin Co came in at 119 bu/ac.  That was a scaled back estimate that I think is still 9 bu to high.  Early harvest numbers are coming in at 130-140 bu/ac so far that I am hearing.  Like I said that’s the April corn.  There isn’t enough April corn to combat the much lower yields of the late May and June corn in my opinion.  A couple of farmers I have talked to say they think they might have shelled some of their better corn at this point.  They know what awaits them as they move on down the planting calendar.

I hope for all of us I am wrong on my pessimistic prediction.  I need all the $7 corn I can get to balance out those cheaper contracts I have!!

I realize I am pretty simple minded, or at least I think I am.  So it mystifies my simple mind when every year about this time we have a panic attack initiated by the fertilizer dealers.

Prices are going up, buy now before we run out, I dont know what its going to cost me to replace what I have in inventory, we dont know about the supply.  Panic Panic Panic.  The sky is falling.

I realize in some years that these statements might be true.  But as with the little boy who cried wolf, I aint buying it anymore.  I mean I am buying fall fertilizer, but I am not going to make a panic or impulse buy.  For some reason I dont think the big dealers think you are going to make an impulse buy either.  I think its just a way to lock in your business and not let you shop around for better prices or service.

I mean lets review:  Dealers know what the crop outlook is for the area, they know how big the crop is or isnt and how likely you will be to buy based on yield.  They know what the supply outlook is and delivery outlook is and they are going to buy and fill up based on this.  They know what the outlooks are for financing and carry in the market.  They know how much we buy based on economic factors, yield, new equipment cost etc..  In other words every dealers has a very good idea of how much they are going to sell and need to buy so there is really no need to panic to hurry up and make a purchase based on any of the above mentioned factors of why the salesman says you should buy.

So where is the panic?  I don’t see it.  Unless they are such poor managers that they don’t look at all these factors.  If that’s the case, then they don’t need to be in the fertilizer business.

The only thing that the dealer doesnt know and we dont know is what the fall weather is going to be like.  THAT will have an impact on what gets spread and what doesnt a much as yield and cost.

To be fair, my dealer hasn’t pushed the panic button on me yet and I don’t expect him to either.  Its just funny watching the big Coops and big dealers sales people run around like chickens with their heads cut off yelling ” the sky is falling the sky is falling”.



Nothing like rewiring a sweep motor on a hot August day, in the middle of the afternoon and in the middle of the wheat bin.  Well I say nothing……….

My wife took this picture.  I am using it as proof that I do work contrary to what she might say………

It was a good day despite the overheating auger motor and the rewiring job.



Been a while since I have posted a humorous video on here.  Time to correct that error………I found this and for all my Ham Radio friends, you should recognize some of these exchanges between the two characters.  I found it to be very funny.  Anyway ENJOY!

Waiting on trucks……….

Pioneer says they are on their way.  Truckers say its will be two hours yet.  Just hope they show up and get rolling before it gets hot and the sweep has to go in!!!

I keep asking but no one will volunteer:  Anyone want to help?

Garrison Keillor says “its been quite week in Lake Wobegon” as he gives his monologue on his radio show each week.  Well we have been so busy here the last two weeks that I have not taken due time to make an account of what has happened.  Really I have spent to much time reacting to the stupidity in Springfield, Washington DC and up the road so to speak.


It been a busy two weeks here at Robertson Farms.  I dare say from just the stand point of getting things marked off  “the list of things to do” we accomplished more in the last 10 days than we did all spring.  All things are relative so to speak so what seems like a real busy week for one might not seem so busy for others.  But we have been busy.

Some of the highlights………

Matthew got the prevented planting ground mowed with the bushhog, I opted to mow instead of spray or work the ground because I just didnt want to spray it or work it up in the middle of the summer to do it again later this fall.  While he was at it a neighbor wanted his pasture mowed, so Matthew got to make some back to school money for his efforts while he was in the neighborhood.

After mowing we hauled out the remaining 2010 corn from the bins and worked on getting the wheat bin drawn down.  Matthew got to learn how to clean out a bin and complained bitterly that it was hot in there.  Hey, as least the outside air temp was in the 80’s and not 100+ like it was a few weeks ago.  (Please save your OSHA comments on the lack of shield for another time, yes I know its missing and is needed)

In the process of cleaning out the bins we also transferred seed wheat to the seed wagon in preparation for seeding later this fall.  In our operation that means moving seed from one wagon to another as the need arises.  Here Matthew and his great grandpa Roy monitor the flow from the holding wagon to the seed tender.

We have been mowing water ways and right of ways trying to get weeds killed and make access easier for harvest.  This mowing has showed that the 50 plus inches of rain up to August has made some real washouts and gullies that will need to be fixed next summer.

Now we are getting ready for Pioneer, who will show up Friday to start hauling out the seed wheat we grew for them.  At that point its time to clean out and clean up around the bins to get ready for bin inspections before we fill them up with seed production soybeans!  And I hope that we get the drill and the combine washed up this week as well.

So its been a very busy week here at Robertson Farms, and it looks to stay that way for a while………

After watching the news shows this morning I have decided that our country is no longer in the toilet.  Its in the septic tank.

I really like this song this morning.  No, its not all Obama’s fault, its both parties and all three branches of government. But then again folks, you voted for them so your at fault for our countries demise.

And if you live in Illinois, well, your getting a double screwing, one by the Feds and one by your good ole Chicago political machine and your local elected official who has sold his sole for money and backing from Chicago.

Think about that today………..

As for me, I am not investing in gold or silver, just brass and lead.

Two years ago, quite by accident, I found the Project Appleseed run by a group who call themselves the Revolutionary War Veterans Association or RWVA.  You can read my write-up on that experience here as a blog entry and here on the main page where I have promoted the Appleseed shoots.  I must say again that Matthew and I had one of the best times shooting at the Carmi event.  It was so professionaly run and executed and, as I have said many times over, the kids were treated with such respect and coached so well it was incredible.

A fire was lit in me for more Appleseed and I even had an interest in putting in the time to get a “hat” or be in instructor/shoot boss because I felt so highly of the program, but there is/were/are a few problems that I encountered.  First was that here in Southern Illinois there are few Appleseed shoots.  Most all are several hours north of here which for us is a problem.  Second was that the shoots close by in neighboring states were on bad weekends for us.  So I kept close tabs and monitored until in 2010 there was a shoot just down the road in Marion (my blog report here).  Problem was that I could only go for one day…again schedule conflicts.  OK, we will start 2011 afresh and make an effort to go.  Well, if your a regular follower of this site, you know what 2011 has been like for the Robertson Family.  I did attempt to get to a shoot in Boaz, KY but those dates fell through for me when I had family come in during that weekend.

OK that gets us up to today or to the last several days.  Time is now on my side so to speak and so is opportunity.  After being out of touch with Appleseed for the better part of a year I was set to get to one and take the whole family.  As luck would have it, there is a shoot in Carmi and one in Marion in the next two months.  On to the Appleseed board to get some more info, look around at discussion topics and to sign us up.  But what did I see when I got there?  I hardly know how to describe it.  Apparently there has been problems in Illinois Appleseed.  Its hard to say what, whom, why or how based on message board and social media comments from those involved and not involved.  There are two sides to every story, in reality four or five sides and somewhere in between it all is the truth.

The problem with public organizations and their public problems that air their dirty laundry, or more accurately try not to air their laundry, is that the public never really knows what the problem is or is not and is always left wondering.  Folks have strong feelings for or against the other “side” and then there are the fence sitters who try to phrase everything in such a way not to offend or come down on one side or the other.  All the while in this public age of message boards, Facebook and Twitter the public can read and wonder……..and never know what is fact from fiction, truth or half truth and if the problems is a hiccup or a heart attack for the organization.  The sides communicate with themselves and against themselves in a public forum all the while oblivious as to the message or lack of a message they are communicating to the viewing public who is not engaged in the debate.

I have read what I would call heart felt comments and wonder what happened that was so bad to cause so much hurt?   I have read comments filled with bitter feelings and finger pointing and wonder what happened to make people so mad and distrustful?  I have read a couple of rambling thesis on the not-so-specific problems, really talking all around them, that quite frankly make me think they came from a very bad Batman script for the Joker or the Riddler (meaning I am not sure what they said or how they even fit into the plot).   I read the leadership talk between the lines to those who would be “in the know” and wonder what it all said and what it all means to me as someone who wants to participate?

Well that is where I am, wondering. Wondering if I should sign my family up for Carmi and Marion?  Wondering if things are really that bad in Illinois.  Wondering if the program is really on its last legs.  Wondering if I send in my money whats it going for?  Wondering if I really want to devote the time and energy to now be involved at a “hat” level?  Wondering if I should look outside Illinois for Appleseeds to participate in?  Or wondering if I just should run my own range instruction for my family following their format minus the history and say the heck with it.

I don’t have a dog in this hunt or any skin in this game.  I am on my side in this fight, the side of the average family who wants to participate in marksmanship programs at an affordable level with quality instruction.  That being said I think making an objective opinion and decision about the health and future of a program such as this can only be done by observing the participants, not the leadership or the sides, and to do so one must attend one more event to see if its a hiccup or a heart attack.

Its a shame that it appears that an organization that has been so good in my experience at teaching marksmanship and firearms safety has gone and shot itself in the foot.

Oh my its Aug 11, its time to panic, harvest is almost here……….

Well never mind that a lot of farmers down this way were finishing up planting beans about three or four weeks ago, its the middle of August, its time to panic.  September is only 20 odd days away and everyone knows that harvest starts in September.  I mean listen to the retailer sales people; harvest is here, upon us, starting as  we speak, its almost to late, your going to be left behind.

I guess I am not in the panic mood or mode with everything else that has happened this year.   Matter of fact, I find myself slowing down a bit and being, well almost nonchalant about the upcoming harvest.

Yes I have been hauling out grain and cleaning up grain bins this week but only because its COOL right now.  I have yet to get to cleaning up and washing off the mud from the grain drill and the tractors  as well as washing off the wheat dust and debris from the combine again its just now cool enough to do such.  I look to have enough chores to keep me plenty busy up until harvest starts and then I think unless the weather dictates otherwise I wont get in to much of a hurry then.  It will be a long one and it will be drawn out.  You all have forgot all about the replant, the replant-replant and the spot ins in all the corn fields.

August is the traditional panic season, just like the last week of March is for planting.  While the calendar is important its much more important to watch the weather and crop progress.  So while its August its not close to harvest time by any stretch of the imagination and I really wish everyone would un bunch their panties and relax a bit.

Got this via email, haven’t checked it out via Snopes, but even so true or not, it should get you thinking……..

To Put It All In Perspective ….

The U.S. Congress sets a federal budget every year in the trillions of dollars. Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. Let’s put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:

  • U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000
  • Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
  • New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
  • National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
  • Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)
It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to. Let’s remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family.
  • Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700
  • Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200
  • Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500
  • Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
  • Amount cut from the budget: $385
Whew! I’m glad they got that all worked out to our benefit, aren’t you?  I feel better already.

Last week was kind of a mess around here.  Trying to get several things done, then took a few days off, then back and tied up some more loose ends.  Anyway for the first time in 8 months I have something of a plan for this week that allows me to get on something of a schedule.  Lots of grain to haul, equipment to put up, I have phone calls to make as part of the search committee at church to get done, family coming in, rewiring a couple of grain bin setups and it all starts off with a seed growers meeting today for Pioneer.

I am contemplating turning off my phone as to get maximum effort on getting some stuff done.  It will be nice to see some things marked off the list for a change and just not added to it.

Well, the heat has taken its toll on the corn crop around here.  This is my May 13 planted corn.  The earliest corn I planted.  Cant wait to see what the late May or June corn looks like……some of which hasnt tasseled yet.

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