Farm Equipment

Spring break for the kids so its time to help dad get ready to farm!  Morgan is busy cleaning up tractors and Matthew is busy welding up all the stuff I broke during the winter!  Great family times!



Well a first for us is that we are cutting soybeans before we shell any corn.  Corn was still running in the high 20’s for moisture but the beans were dry.  So we went to the bean field.

I shot about 2 hours of video with the GoPro on a small tripod in the cab before I decided it was not the thing to use.  It kept falling over with every bump I hit.  I moved on to a Ram Mount ball where I could tie it down good and tight.  Anyway I managed to get three plus minutes of video to show how things were going on Saturday to make this video.

I will shoot some more and make another bean video and most likely a few corn videos as I work on perfecting my technique.

BTW the beans were good, averaging almost 50 bu/ac across 70 acres.  The more dust that rolled out of the combine the higher the yield was…..  seeing upwards of 70 in the real dusty places.  No dust, no beans or low bean yields in the 30’s.

A long and busy schedule of meetings in January is now over, thank goodness. I am worn out. I think I was on the road for meetings over half the month of January and into the first of February.

There were several good things I picked up that need attention in the near future. There is a lot of info that everyone might be interested in and I don’t want to forget something, but I will.

Bryan Young and Larry Steckel have put on some great presentations on Palmer Amaranth  ( short article intro to Palmer ) if you are not up to speed on this weed you had better get ready…….. the chemical management of this weed species is very important. If you get a chance to see one of these speakers, go to the meeting and learn about Palmer before you get it. There is also a good mode of action chart for management of resistant weeds that Bryan has been handing out: click here to access it.

Soybean size is going to be very large this year. You need to be aware of what seed size your getting and get the appropriate plate size to insure proper planting populations. This is industry wide and some are reporting shortages of plates in some areas…… may have to do some calling to find them.

I have been in contact with some of you who have expressed interest in refining your management zones for either soil sampling or variable rate applications. I have been talking to, and have an initial agreement with, another consulting company to have access to a Veris tool ( .  Veris tools are used for making more accurate soil maps, mapping OM or pH for VRT or soil sampling.  I am encouraging anyone interested in VR seeding to do some Veris EC maps to help guide this process.  Our soil maps in So IL are not the greatest, and in some cases have not been updated in 40+ years. We can also do elevation mapping at the same time. If you are interested in this, please contact me so that I can put together as many acres as possible to get the best utilization of the tool.

At the end of 2012 I began testing an Apple Ipad with GIS Roam for pulling soil samples.  Initial testing indicated that this platform and software is every-bit as good for GPS directed soil sampling and mapping as Farm Works or SMS.




There are several things I really like about the Ipad for this application.  Fist it is very small and light so it doesn’t bounce around on the ATV while sampling rough fields.  Second it has a very readable screen in bright light conditions.  But most important I can display the areal images as backgrounds while I am sampling.  This isn’t new, but with the cellular turned on, I can zoom in and out on the areal photos as well as see road maps etc.



GIS Roam is a great little program for the soil sampling.  It allows you to do most of the same field mapping features as the other ag specific programs do and you can import and export shape files.  The ability to import and export files comes with the addition of a purchased module or add on program.  However GIS Roam itself is FREE and the module is only $10.



I will try to post more info on testing this program as I get back in the fields here in the next month and follow up on some of the mapping will do with it and show some screen shots.

This was just an accident, apparently.  The hose broke during application from what I have gathered.  It also looks like the safety flow valve failed.

And to think some people try to steal this stuff and they put it in 5 gallon buckets, coolers and propane tanks.  Foolish.

If this was to happen run, run, run, run into the wind as fast as you can. It seeks out water. Its boiling point is -28 deg F (minus 28 F) or something like that, and it will KILL YOU.

Well after two attempts in the middle of a drought, we got “rained out” of cutting wheat.  We got a “shower” of 0.07 that made the wheat jump up two points in moisture and made it cut tough. So everything is back in the barn waiting on the next rain event and what we will do…………..

A quick review of the rain totals collected by my weather stations show that in the month of April I have had 2.04 inches of rain here at HQ.  For May as of this morning, with a “significant rain event almost a guarantee” (statement by local weather guesser), we have had 0.21 inch of rain.  YTD its 9.67.

The big April rain total came mostly out of three big rains on the 4th, 13 and 16th.  Each rain was a total of 0.5 inch.

It will take a significant rain event to get the moisture to meet.

On news of my soybean crop, which is not planted, as in zero or none, I am still waiting for my seed production beans to get from South America to here.  Like it matters now, no moisture is no reason to plant.  I just about broke the blade on  my pocket knife trying to dig for moisture yesterday.  Plus the weeds are about to take the field for the third time. I am running out of options on what to spray to control the weeds……….

I took these pictures while sampling on a client of mine who has planted 15 inch row wheat.  The wheat looks great and I am excited to see and hear how it yields.  It would be great to be able to do away with a grain drill………..


Lots of anhydrous going on this week around the area.  Side dressing corn is my second favorite part of growing corn.  Number 1 is shelling it!  But I love side dressing corn almost as much as running the combine.

There is just something about how the corn reacts a few days after the tool bar opens up the soil and the plant grabs the nitrogen that makes me know we have a shot at a big crop.  I say shot because it all comes down to rain and weather in the end, but I always feel that I gave it every chance when I side dress.

Anyway here is a picture that Randy Anderson posted on Facebook of him finishing up on Friday night.  A very good picture.  Randy is one of my soil testing clients and also a fellow Farm Bureau member and Crop Watcher for the ILFB Farm Week.  You can follow his reports from Saline Co, IL  here if you dont get the Farm Week.

Here is a few pictures I took. The first is my tractor and tank applying anhydrous behind the house when I got started on Tuesday night.


This last picture I took when down at Cornersville, IL pulling some soil samples on ground farmed by David Hale.  It had just been side dressed and they have closers on the tool bar that made the little mole mound.  I really like this picture also.

Came home tonight and got the rotary hoe out and started hoeing corn.  12 days in the ground and it still hasn’t come up, acts like it cant or wont or has run out of gas or something.  We will see what happens in a day or so now………..

Ready for something to go right this spring.


Head over to Precision Crop Services website to see an scouting update on Bird Damage to corn.


Monday night we had an event at our church called Touch a Truck. Various church and community members brought different vehicles to the church parking lot for the public and kids to see and “touch”. 


Since it rained I cleaned up ole green and drove her up to the church for the event.  Thought I had better get a picture of her all clean as she may not be this clean again for a long time!


Nephew Jack liked the smaller tractor another farmer brought much better than his uncles big green one it appears by his smile.

My sister Samantha and her son Jack from Phoenix are here at world wide headquarters for the next week for a visit.  Jack made a field visit today to bring me a diet Mt. Dew.


Started planting corn today.  Field I was in had been deep tilled in January when it was so dry and it also has tile.  It was dry and worked like a lettuce bed!  Best working ground we have had in years.

I ran the autosteer but for what ever reason it kept loosing GPS fix in one place in the field so I ran with the markers down and it was good to see that the competing technologies matched up!

One thing that always amazes me is that coyotes are not scared the least bit of farm equipment.  And it always amazes me that I never have a firearm when these events happen………

Broke down and got the disc out and went to it.  Ground is working very well and will be near perfect after a pass with the field cultivator.  May try to plant some corn tomorrow……….more later

I sprayed 45 acres of volunteer wheat, cheat and other weeds yesterday as it is still way to wet to work ground here.  I feared if I didn’t get them killed it was going to be a mess when I finally did get to work the ground.  Even my worked ground is staring to green up a bit.  I had to drive around a few wet holes even with the ATV sprayer.

The fall applied chemicals are doing a great job holding the weeds back on the no till fields.  Wish I had hit them all now but who would have ever thought that we would be so early this year with our warm up.

I also mowed the grass, for the second time this year yesterday.  Yep mowing grass in March……and spinning across the yard due to the wetness.

Still waiting on one last part to finish up the planter.

Trying to enjoy the calm before the storm so to speak…..because when it breaks its going to break hard I think.  This crop will go in the ground the fastest and earliest I can remember.  Then again………….I could get fooled.

New openers, shoes and firming points on the planter…………

Now we wait for Easter to get here…… planting before then, if I can hold myself back!

Current Farm Weather


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