Harvest

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.

The first weekend of shotgun deer season has come and gone with little fanfare it would seem.  There was very little shooting going on Friday and just a little more on Saturday and none at all on Sunday.  It will be interesting to hear or see what the final tally is for the first season.

Part 2 starts on Nov 28th and last until Sunday.

There are still several farmers trying to finish up soybean harvest in the area and that might have had some effect on the first season.  I know talking to one hunter that harvest was taking place not far from his deer stand and he said the deer were all stirred up as a result.

 

Well corn harvest is over and if my fuzzy math is correct my whole farm average is right at 18 bushel/ac or so.  The two farms that I had hope to make a yield did but not near what was estimated.

Aflatoxin was mostly a non issue minus the best 12 acres where one load tested over 30.  It seems like the lower the yield the lower the aflatoxin and as the yield went up so did the aflatoxin.  I am still hearing some wild numbers on aflatoxin from some guys and some even have put some high numbers in a bin, why I don’t know, but they are trying to find a place to go with it I guess.  Maybe they didn’t have insurance or think that they can move it later a lot easier.  I don’t what any of it around to mess with so all mine is at the elevator.

The mood in the country is somewhat gray as everyone is mentally tired and ready for this stuff to be over.  Nerves are on edge in some places with low yields and the other stresses of a bad year.  Heard a story of a guy determined to get a semi load of corn the other day and he shelled all day even into the night and quit at 4am when he ran out of corn on that farm and still had not filled the semi.

Even bean harvest is going to be a bear with all the butter beans and green pods that a lot of fields have.  A lot of guys need a good break away from it all but it seems like it is piling on in some places.  Rain totals ranged from a few tenths to over 7 inches and those that got the big rains are even more grumpy as it has made a bad situation worse.

Wheat has already been planted and I think that is a big mistake with all the residual N that is out in these corn fields.  I even saw a field of volunteer corn that was waist high mid week.  It had grabbed the N left in the anhydrous track and was dark green.  Not good with warm temperatures and excessive amounts of N in the soil for young wheat.

We are in the discovery period for the fall harvest price option on crop insurance and everyone is hoping for a rally in prices.  One thing for sure we will be above the spring price unless there is a drastic sell off this month.

 

 

Shelled my first corn today. This field would normally make 10-11 times as much as it did.  Worse yet was that the yield estimate was about 30 bu/ac……..why I didn’t destroy it.

g

Anyway I still have 40 acres to harvest that might make over 50………….  then we get the bush hog out and start mowing down the rest of it.

If I can get everything together I will try to start shelling corn tomorrow.  I guess I am the last one to start in the area.  Since the 16th of August it has been super busy with all kinds of stuff and I have not really had time to commit to getting ready.

Crop insurance looked at over half my corn crop and estimated it a below 10 bu/ac so I will end up destroying those acres and will concentrate on harvesting my two best farms.  I suspect that the one will make sub 40 bushel corn and the other might make near 100 but the aflatoxin is going to be a problem on where I can sell it I think.

Maybe once I get back in the field I will start posting more, I just have lost interest in all things as of late…….need to get back on the page.

Took a few weeks off, as I have been on the summer version of the rubber chicken and roast beef meeting circuit.  Lots of info was picked up at most of the meetings with one topic being overdone, and that would be the drought.  Everyone seems to have had a weather guesser, climatologist or dry weather/drought expert of some type speak.  With exception of one or two they all said the same thing and a few of the weather people seemed to talk down to us farmers as if we were not aware of how hot and dry it has been.

Anyway……….

Well, here we are at August 13 and I thought I would post a picture or two of the corn crop at this date.  I took the bush hog and ran into the same field I have posted pictures of in other posts here on the farm, to show just what our final yield prospects look like.

 

The stalks are rubbery and have greened up a bit after we got a few pop up showers as of late.  But that has done nothing to add yield, just make the corn look greener than it was.

I had to count 32 stalks (which in this field was 17.5 ft of row or 1/1000 of an acre) before I found an ear with any kernels on it.  This would be typical of this field minus the 6 or 8 end rows around the field that have an ear, of about the same size, on about every stalk.

Hardly worth the time to harvest………..

I have heard of several yield and aflatoxin stories the last 72 hours for this area.  One story is of a 60 acre field that, when shelled, fit easily into a tandem truck and had an aflatoxin score of 30.  Another was of a corn field that did average 30 bpa but had an aflatoxin score of 300.  Both were rejected.  Of those shelling corn, the best field average I have heard of so far was in the 70′s, but it was also some bottom ground that you would expect to have higher yields on.  Most of the upland ground that has been harvested thus far has yields in the 20′s-40′s.

I will try to follow up with some meeting highlights the next few days…………

Today while loading some wheat I went out into one of my corn fields to look around.  I didn’t really want to, but the curiosity was getting to me.  Things were as I expected them to be, or maybe even worse.

Here is a picture some corn from the historically best spot in one of the highest yielding corn fields on my farm.   Noticed I said one of the best fields, and historically best, or highest yielding spot in that field.  This is not an average field or average ears from this field.  THIS IS THE BEST.

In a “normal” year I would expect to see 180-210+ corn yields in this area of this particular field.  In a normal year, this field would yield in the 150-160 range.

The quarter and nickel are for size/comparative purposes.

If you look very closely you can see that these plants set some big ears to start with.  Most were in the 18 round to 45 long when you count potential grains.  The best ear pictured was 18 round and 14 long but you can see by the seed size that they are not much bigger than popcorn.  Very shallow grains.

If they finish out and don’t shrink back, I really wonder how I am going to shell them.  I mean the whole ear isn’t much bigger around than the corn stalk at this point.  Setting the corn head to get these ears will be a nightmare.

Still is is better than most of the corn, which either didn’t even set an ear or didn’t pollinate.

Got done harvesting wheat yesterday.  Yields were exceptional in one field and average in another.  In a normal year it would have been reversed but the good wheat ground ran out of water with the drought this year and the low or flat ground put on a show.

I have yet to plant a soybean…………….no moisture.

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……….

We are headed to the wheat field today.  Got ready yesterday and providing that everything works, we will cut wheat today.

Only have a whole 60 acres this year so with any luck, and its ready, we will get done today if not real close.

Keep your fingers crossed

Well I have 45 acres or so of anhydrous left to sidedress when the corn gets a little bigger.  Other than that it is sit back and wait on my seed beans.  Yep sitting and waiting on my parent seed.  Seems they are having a time clearing customs.

Wheat harvest is approaching fast.  I think it will cut about the first of June.  This will be the earliest wheat harvest I can ever imagine.  I need to start getting bins ready while it is still cool.

Seems like everyone has a blog, newsletter or magazine article on nitrogen and corn yields for the 2011 crop.  Well I guess I will chime in with my .02 worth on the topic this Friday.

A pound of N is a pound of N.  (Yea, we all know that I hope by now.)  It is where, how and when you place that N that matters most.  In 2011 where, how and when made all the difference in the world.  Yet there are still fertilizer dealers and farmers who are flat out in denial.

I have been told that some calculations have already been done here locally by a few farmers that their sidedressed corn had a $200/ac advantage to their preplant corn.  I believe that is the case and think is higher in some instances.  A lot higher in some instances.  Based on the available N testing that I did this spring, testing for both Nitrate and Ammonia N, there were many instances of preplant N loss, (urea, solution and anhydrous) of 50% with some fields I tested losing 75% by the time the corn was V2 – V3.  Some of those fields didn’t have corn growing in them by the 20th of April either…………

Fields with preplant N, where the farmer either tested and believed the results or assumed a N loss based on crop color and looks by V5-V6, and then sidedressed supplemental N at between 50 and 75 lbs/ac, and reported to me a 50-70 bu/ac yield increase over doing nothing.

So 50 bu/ac @ $6/bu = $300/ac Gross minus 75 lbs N/ac @ .50/lb = $37.50/ac Cost equals $262.50 NET/ac (no labor or machine cost subtracted).

So on 100 ac that’s another $26,250 of profit…………..Sidedressed N, applied with a knife, in the ground, between the corn rows.

Will that hold true every year……….. probably not.  But if a pound of N is a pound of N and placement and timing are everything, then how much are you willing to give up for convenience?  $262/ac?  $200/ac??  $50/ac??

In that range of numbers above is a lot of the cash rent that is paid in this area……….Where, how and when could have easly paid your cash rent………plus  a great return on your time an machiney investment.

Where, how and when was everything this year……..

 

Persistence:  To continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action or the like, especially in spite of opposition remonstrance, etc..

I am trying to persist.

Its not easy it seems anymore.

Took the weekend off and went to Evansville to the Appleseed shoot at Red Brush range and had a very enjoyable time despite the 40 mph winds that played havoc with our targets both days.  20+ Americans persisted over the weekend on the line to improve our shooting skills and learn our heritage.  It wasn’t easy or fun a time or two when the wind kept messing us up, but we persisted and shooters improved and learned and never quit.  And we had fun despite the wind.  

On the way over in the New Haven bottoms we saw lots of combines, auger wagons and trucks trying to get the harvest out in that area.  They were persisting.  It didn’t look like it was fun in places with the soil conditions but they were making a dent in it before it rained.  Having said that, the crops looked good from the road.  That however doesn’t mean much this year as a lot of fields that looked good from the road haven’t been good at all.

I got started with fall tillage yesterday but got rained out.  I will persist at getting it done when the ground dries out again.

I have been trying to get back in the swing some how to keep this blog more updated and relevant but I cant seem to get it done.  That being said I will persist at getting back on track………..

Headed down to see what I can do to help with the radio problems at the Region HQ for the Earthquake Exercise today.  A lot of people have persisted in getting this program set up for RACES/ARES to help and we continue to persist at making sure it will work if and when we need it to work.

The “to do list” gets longer every day but we persist at working on what we can when we can and getting it done.

So in honor of persistence, this blog will be labeled as “to be continued“……..

 

Got done cutting beans on Wednesday night.  Just in time for rain on Thursday that didn’t amount to as much as they were predicting.  Hauled the last load of beans off today and now have to haul some corn out next week to finish filling a contract but the harvest is over for this year.

Now if the weather cooperates, maybe some fall tillage.

And back to a regular blogging schedule.

The sun hung low this evening just before it dropped out of sight, so I took this picture with my phone.

Well, if everything holds together I can be done with beans tomorrow evening sometime.  So far yields have been close to average for double crop beans for our farm, and from what I hear, my yields are not that far off of my nieghbors full season yields.

So once again its not what day you plant, its what happens after you plant that matters most.

44 acres left till harvest 2011 is in the books.

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