Posts Tagged ‘corn’

ETA: I fixed the goofed up dates… what happens when I’m trying to catch-up…. which is constantly!

The plan was “I’m going to start planting on Monday (4/25).”  But Saturday… and it seemed all was ready for the planter and the monitors and the tractor so…. out he went!  Yeah!!

Monday & Tuesday (April 25 & 26) were full of issues with this and that but… he said on Tuesday, “God is good.”  So we plant as we are able.  Wednesday he pushed hard but the rain became enough in the early evening that we were done.  And have been out since then.  The rain continued to increase and we had nearly 2″ just on Saturday (4/30)!!  I think some cats & dogs rained down as well!  At this point, maybe this Weds or Thursday he’ll get back to planting.



The first field he did was here along the lane so I rode along for a bit.  (He hates selfies but look how accommodating he is getting!)  And of course, new additions to the planter and a new monitor to figure out and at the end, he laments why he does a field along the highway first! (where others then see if he misses spots!)

Before he started last Saturday, I helped him set the monitors to sync with the GPS to go with the planter & tractor measurements.  Mostly I sit in the cab, punch in numbers, and coach his measuring.

The dog just continues being a dog.  She loves to roll in this dirt!!!

setting GPS

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Random photos from harvest time 2015….

Not working very hard but the cement is cool and she will see anyone come and then spring into action.  Sometimes she is the guard and other times if P arrives, she’ll be glad for a hello and head pat.  I think on this day she & I had had our hike and she was waiting for me to head to the house.

02 combine operator Nov 3 B
Too many and too friendly cats… love to hang out with P but often are in his way. This is the first one that has climbed inside machinery!


He works.

We aren’t…. at this time.


I asked P if I the resident lawn mower could make a better path for the dog & me on our afternoon walks.  The waterway grasses were up to my waist.  Not so great for walking.  Favorite lawn mower told me he could bring our yard mower out and I had to quickly say NO, as the boss doesn’t want our yard mower in the waterways.  OH.  So he got the older mower he uses around the buildings.  I think the dog knew he was making us a much better path.  And he told me before he set off that he’d mow higher the first pass and come back with it a bit lower.  😀   Check — favorite daughter-in-law rings in again!!


Moving corn from the big bin to a wagon.  A semi must be due to fill soon and the process goes faster if they fill from 2 augers.

The dog loves to deliver suppers with me.  Here we wait for them to get to us and have a place to stop for rearranging jobs and getting their food.

08The workers are here.  At some point P comes in to tell them their missions for the next few hours.

She totally ignores my camera on my phone.  Has JP somehow taught her to not like selfies?

They are getting the land near our walking paths harvested so the dog and I can walk a bit farther!  The sun is setting earlier.  I need to get out before it is dark and cooler.

Our Farm Credit Service provided great lunches one day.  Our agent, Kim, called P the days before so he’d know the date & pick-up location for our area and then took his order.  With the extra my in-laws have had to deal with this year, P ordered 5 lunches.  Boy, were MIL & FIL happy to get a sack!!  Hot pork chop sandwiches (2 each), chips, I got us all bottled water vs pops, and then a bag of candy included a full-size snickers, snack size candy bars, and a tootsie pop!  It was a busy weekend for me so I was glad to swing by on my way home and have packed and hot lunches for everyone!  (normally I don’t feed MIL & FIL)

Soybeans were combined from Sept – Oct 10. Everyone around here had trouble getting soybeans harvested this year.  Hopefully that helped all the farmers to know it just wasn’t them.  That gets frustrating!  October was very dry (which is good for harvest) and we ran from October  12 – Oct 27 before a few days off for rain from the hurricane that came through Mexico.  Corn was finished on November 4.  He had also been working at getting cover crops in and finished them a few hours later on November 3.

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Field Check

As par for the course with the “knee-high” by the 4th of June post….

Phil thinks this is the first year we’ve had tassels

by the 4th of July!

enjoying a fun time with K – home for 2 days.  🙂  More later…

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I’m sure you’ve heard the old-timer’s phrase that the corn will be “knee-high by the 4th of July”.   That doesn’t hold true in these modern times with better seed and better farming practices.

With the early planting and warm temps in May, JP & I joked it would by knee-high by the 4th of June!   It doesn’t rhyme but I did get photo evidence for you!

This is June 6th since I was in Chicago on June 4th and then it rained (again) on June 5th.

Phil questioned why I chose a thin patch of field for the photo-op however he was on the other side of the camera.  ????   BigBrother also asked if this was a thin area.

Yes.  Sorry I am giving you a poor shot!  🙂

How’s this???

Same field (east of the house) but this is near the shed because Phil was working there.  Today – June 24.   More than my 5′ 2 1/2″ tall!

It is never as tall at the edge of the field but at least you can see a bit of me here.

I think we are over 8″ of rain for this month.  Plus lots of heat!

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Corn Plot Planted

Yesterday Phil got the county extension corn plot planted.  He had a good group of helpers.  We are down on seed varieties so it didn’t take them too long.

I’ll just post these pictures quickly before I head off to my list of jobs.

plot 1

plot 2

Phil puts a strip of wheat for the end rows so they have a place to work.  This is cleaning out the last 2 varieties and they will refill with 2 new varieties.  Each pass has 2 sets (6 rows each) of corn varieties.  Mark keeps all the records and flags each one in the field as well. 

plot 3

There is a smaller crew at the other end (2 seed dealers today) that do the same jobs when Phil gets down there.  

plot 4

plot 5

JP was glad Rich (friend from church) was there!  With Rich moving the vac, JP could clean out the planter 75% faster.  🙂

plot 6

He (Phil) stood still!  🙂


My man

My man

plot 7

plot 9

(Pay no attention to the background details….)


plot 9b

plot rolls

Yes, they got treats!  Cinnamon rolls and something to drink.   I had a huge pan for one side and another pan and cooler for the other end.  (I’m trying to save you one Grandpa! 😉 )

If today goes well, Phil should have all our corn planted.  Rain is due tonight.

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In an effort to provide further explanation about the county plots, I give you this post!  

Phil has been hosting the county extension plots for many years.   He provides the land & labor as well as any fertilizer & such as needed.

Various seed companies donate 1/2 a bag of seed in however many varieties as they choose.  They can enter up to 3 varieties per company.    They are asked to help with either planting and/or harvest of the crop.   They also pay a fee to be part of the plot.

I just counted from the results pages.   This year there were 14 companies in the soybean plot and 14 companies in the corn plot.  There were 38 varieties of corn & soybeans in each plot.   I don’t think they try to make them the same numbers!  

Because we rotate our crops, the corn & soybean plots rotate their locations each year.  Both are easily accessible.  One is on our highway with lots of exposure and the other just around the corner so anyone can stop to see the plots.  The sign is nearby.  

So we end up with a wide variety of corn or soybean companies.  Each variety is planted as we plant any other field and there are 6 rows for each variety.   Phil plants them all the same, treats them the same, and they get the same weather.  

When the crop is harvested, the extension workers keep accurate records of how each variety of seed produced.   The amount of bushels for each variety, the moisture, and test weight.  This information is compiled in one form and sent back to the seed company dealers as well as local farmers.  Everyone can see how each seed variety produced on our farm.

Many plots are hosted by seed companies.   They are able to show how their seed out-performs the other seed companies they have used in their plot.   However, one would wonder if the records are straight when the sponsoring seed company frequently comes out on top.

The difference in our plot is that it is sponsored by the county extension office, not a specific seed company.   There isn’t any favoritism to any particular company.   We are also no-till/minimum tillage farmers so you can get results for that kind of farming and the extension office is helping to promote the neighboring conservation office’s work.

The planting day and the harvest day each go slower for Phil because of only making one pass at a time.  Then the planter or combine has to be emptied and reloaded.   Someone keeps accurate records and each pass is marked with which variety is where.

My part in plot days is to help Phil get ready (early lunch, calls if necessary, clear JP’s school schedule) and to provide snacks and drinks for the 2 sets of workers.  (one on each end of the field)  Before driver’s licenses for the dc, I was also the chauffeur for when Phil was ready for their help.

Several years ago, it was difficult getting one of the plots scheduled for planting.  Phil had to do it on a Saturday which meant it would be hard to get the helpers there.  That year the team included Phil & his dad (always there anyway), one county extension worker, and our 2 kids.   It actually went really well.  Maybe not so much “chat” inbetween the work.

It is interesting to Phil to see the detailed records of yields for all the seed varieties.  The workers seem to enjoy the camaraderie and snacks!  

Does this help explain it?  Ask what other questions this has brought up!  I’ll answer short answers in the comments section.  

And for your viewing pleasure…. this is out my kitchen window this afternoon.   Yesterday these branches were coated quite heavily.  Today’s blowing snow forced me to return home and miss my aqua aerobics class.  That made me grumpy!   :p

1st-big-snow-nov-30-dec-11 8

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