November

The auger is fixed. The bin is full. As are almost all of the wagons. The whole shebang is grouped down by the pasture inside the fence along the road. I’m waiting to load a couple of semis full of corn for delivery to the alcohol plant co owned by Bunge of North America just south of Council Bluffs along Interstate Highway I-29. We’re going to spot a few loads into the market. My older brother’s driver is bringing one of the brother’s trucks. We will load him on the road from the field. I have a long enough auger to reach across thee road ditch and dump on the truck while it still sits on the gravel road. That way we can keep the roadside on the road and the field side in the field.

It’s Monday November 3rd. November is for picking corn. I have forty acres done and two hundred eighty to go. This could be my largest corn run ever. I hope it all goes well. Yesterday I put the 1440 and twenty foot bean head away in the barn. I’m hoping the 1460 will last through the fall. I never used it at all last year. It sat around as a spare while I ran everything through the 1440. The 1460 has better lights, more power with it’s trurbo, and a few more bushels of grain tank capacity, and a longer unloading auger. With corn yielding three times as much as beans the extras start to really add up. It also has heavier final drives and a beefier transmission, both adding stability to it’s stance.

I may try planting my ten bags of winter rye today. At any rate I’m going to have the stay at gone mom run to Co op and pick them up after we load the corn. I plan on planting them alongside gulleys so I can fill the gulleys in with a dirt scraper or tractor & loader next summer after I harvest off my cover crop seed for next fall. That’s the theory anyway. I’ve been told all the rye needs to do is germinate this fall to be a viable crop next summer. I think we still have warm enough soil. The temps have been above normal the last couple weeks. I know we have wet enough soil. It never seems to quit raining.

That’s about it from the corn patch. Have a great month. Be thankful we have it.

See ya then, see ya there …….

Cc

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The Nice

Planters have been rolling in the neighborhood. The usual suspects. I suspect they were getting antsy to start. I rolled mine out of the barn over on the west farm after getting the 1440 with the home made six row corn head backed out of the way (remind me to tell you the 1440 story sometime) (maybe the corn head story too). And the two bush hog wagons. It’s getting it’s first washing of the season. April showers after all. All while waiting for the trucker to show up.

We had a good rain today. As in nice and easy. It was spotty showers and every drop soaked in. So did the semi. I wondered yesterday when he mentioned something like truck driver’s school. He suffers from pavementitus. Or is it a pavementality. Either way he needs to stay on a solid surface. The stay at gone mom gave him a ride in the rain back to the boss’s where he’d parked his ride to work. Stuck in the muck. What the truck.

I’m spotting it in. Just like the showers. The corn price not the semi truck. The local grain merchandisers give a spot price everyday at the close of the board of trade for all the bushels “spotted in”  or delivered without a sales contract that day. It’s more or less based on shipping costs and board of trade contracts for the nearest month. Each location determines their own.

We started hauling corn into the RR terminal at Council Bluffs yesterday afternoon. About the time the neighbors started to plant. Or restarted, some had run Saturday and Sunday. Right alongside the Easter Bunnie. Rain Sunday night shut em down. Looked plenty wet where they were planting the way it was. Reports are that the ground has warmed right on up into the sixties. I wonder if it will stay that way. They say it needs to be around that temp to get corn to germinate. The clearing seventy degree day they predicted today never did clear off or get  above the fifties. I think fifty is all the warmer the ground gets down deeper around here. Without sun keeping the top warm the 4 inch depth could cool right back down. Night temps chill right back down too.

Not much more to report. The cows are still burning hay though they go looking for greening grass to nip in the bud. I swear if they knock down the pasture fence one more time I may call the cattle truck. Let that pasture grow gol darn it. They don’t know how thin the ice their skating on is. Now that I mentioned it …….

I’m skating on outta here.

Cc

And of course …….

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Hey Trader Mac

Hey Trader Mac,
I remember my first auction. Up in the hills north of Council Bluffs where I bought incidentally an end gate seeder. Dad and I went to the sale. We had just purchased an aluminum scoop shovel at the Minden hardware store for around $35. They were selling one for only a few bucks off of the flatbed full of shop stuff at this really old timer’s farm sale. If you can call them mountains farms. I asked Dad if we should buy another one cheap and he said, “I prefer to buy hand tools new.” I’ve never figured that one out. When they came to the seeder he nudged me in the shoulder and said, “Your up. You’d better get in there.” That’s the first time I remember that rush. (You never forget your first) That’s the last sale he went to with me. Willy and I attended the rest until we were tooled up. The rush was something I thought would fade after a few auctions. It never has.

Years later Dad sent me to buy a farm for him when he was staying down in Texas for the winters. You would think the effect would be quantitatively stronger given he never told me what to pay. It was. I wasn’t going to even bid since it was damn near where I thought he would pass on the price. The auctioneer (whom I suspect Dad had talked to) wasn’t able to get any more bids and he turned to me and said, “Well Phil, are we going to let them have it for that?” I was flabbergasted. I didn’t know what to say. It was a very small crowd and I didn’t know either of the two gentlemen that were bidding. I didn’t know what to do so I bid. One of the other men bid. So I bid again. The auctioneer cried a while but the man bid again. Now Dad may not of told me what to bid directly but he kind of let me know in a code. The only problem was this other gentleman was sitting on the bid that I thought was the upper limit according to dad’s code. The ball was in my court and everyone was looking at me. I closed my eyes, I hung my head, I bid ten dollars an acre more just in case Dad wanted it for “around that price”. I couldn’t face Dad if the farm went to someone else at Dad’s price.

Talk about a rush! That one was about a half million dollar rush. The most I had ever bid for anything. Maybe the most I ever will. That bid was the one that took it. It turns out I wasn’t the only one bidding for their dad. The only difference was that man’s dad had given him a solid upper limit and Dad had only said, “Whatever it brings you’re the one who will be paying for it. The rent is going to be a 4% return on my money. How much rent are you paying for Vic’s?” (That was the code) I quickly went home and gave Dad a call and told him that “the lightning had struck” and he now owned another farm. When I told him the price he seemed to chuckle a little. I asked him if that was alright he said it was and that he and Mom had better get packed and headed back up to Iowa.

I hadn’t slept for the three weeks since he had told me what he wanted me to do. I didn’t sleep for a few more weeks until he had convinced me that I hadn’t bankrupted him. He told me later that I was the first son he had sent to buy a farm that hadn’t bought it out from under him. Not to change the subject but this reply is getting too long to simply hide it “under the fold” in a comments section. I’ll go ahead and post it here as a reply but I’m also going to make it a new post where everybody can see it. Thanks for jarring (Or is it unjarring) my memory. When I spoke of the rush on that post (I’ll have to go back to find out which one) I had forgotten when this all started. Not to mention that six week “rush” from bidding for Dad. Now when I’m senile I can come back here and remember it again. If I remember where this is. Or who I am.

If I see you there and see you then, and you recognize me, tell me who the hell I am.

Cc

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