G Rain

I took the leftover soybean frankenseed back to Monsatan yesterday. Or should I say their agents. They can have back what didn’t get safely buried. I wouldn’t want the liability of having the feared seed around. Plus with every other acre losing money this year on soybeans (which is better than every acre like corn) I can’t afford the money I have to spend let alone any extra. We made it by with little to no real repair expense for the planting season. If I play my cards right I should be able to repeat that performance again for the harvest. For the second harvest in a row.

I drug out the ladders and went after some of the branches growing up against the house this morning. I plan to spend the most part of the next month cutting trees and finishing tearing out fences. I still have a mile of re-bar posted smooth galvanized hot wire fences that gotta go. Maybe another mile of barbed wire fence also needing to be gone. I have young wild trees to cut about everywhere. They would take over entirely as a forest if left to themselves to dictate. I think sans man Iowa would be in one of it’s forested periods about now. Rain makes more than just grain. It makes wood grain too.

It’s not that lack of rain can’t make grain. It just doesn’t make as much as rain falling can. What lack of rain can make is it easier to find a grain of sand. Ask California. I’d say ask Texas but it seems they’ve gone to the other extreme now. Their grains of sand will be building berms and bars along the now flooded waterways. A grain not made by rain but a grain highly manipulated by rain. Or the lack there of. For us here in southwestern Iowa it’s been far from lack of rain. More like prescription rains. We couldn’t do better if we had irrigation. At least so far. Maybe we can have a grain of good fortune for a change.



Wednesday October Fifteenth

Though I’d never brought it up in Monday’s post it rained all day that day. A light, easy kind of rain that lets every drop soak in. I’m not complaining but the ground is pretty much completely full of water after the twenty plus inches we’ve received through August and September. A nice long dry stretch would really come in handy about now. I wouldn’t miss the rain till next spring sometime. Preferably right after planting. Preferably a nice easy rain like we’ve recently had. But then when do I ever get what I want? I’ll get what I get and I won’t throw a fit. I may bitch a little though.

The wind blew like crazy yesterday out of the northwest. The crops dried out but the ground is still muddy. I think some corn may have been harvested yesterday. I know we’ll see combines rolling through cornfields this afternoon. I doubt we’ll see any running beans but I may be the one who makes a liar out of myself if it’s fit to cut at suppertime. I thought the ground was plenty moist on the eighty five acres I’ve already harvested. The stems were pretty moist too. I know I’ve never run as green of stems through doing beans as I have this year.  It’s not because I’m ahead of schedule either. I’m actually behind schedule, it’s just that Mother Nature is a lot further behind than I am.

Speaking of being behind. I think I’ll mess with fence all day. Yesterday I moved the cow herd across the creek to the west side but I never put the hot wire back up on the north end where they had run it down while it wasn’t hot. I make the north creek crossing hot wire hot with the wire running down the west side of the creek. It’s a good fifty yards in from the six wire barbed wire fence that comes right up to the water’s edge on both sides of the creek. I use the space between the barb wire and the hot wire as a buffer to let them think they are “out” before they actually are. After that I still have over a half mile of barb wire fence to roll up on the farm north of I-80. I hired a kid to take them off the posts but he didn’t want to roll them up. That takes real work so I guess that mission is mine. Should I decide to accept it.



Solvent Green

It’s hard to call it a dry lot when it rains every day. Now it’s a mud lot. Pity the cows of summer. I’ve been letting the herd out to graze during the mornings. They have started coming back into the lot to drink on their own. Two days ago the whole herd came in and all I had to do was shut the gate. Yesterday they congregated just outside the gate and a few came in to drink at a time. Some weren’t going to try it after being “caught” the day before by the gate. Once my oldest at home daughter and I ran the whole herd in they all drank heartily, since they were already caught. I’m running out of firm places in the yards to place the hay rings. I may have to move outside the yards into the loafing lane that we were running them down to drink in when we started this dry lot experience. I don’t know who will give up first, the rain or I.

The fence on the north farm is two thirds torn out. We would be pulling the rest of the “T” posts today had we not been rained out by 9:00 AM. With the rain came the chance to post this. It had been coming in the afternoons like the monsoons but today we are strait into the rain forest. Thank God for the new tile lines. They are running full time. Now if I can convince the absentee landlord to lay some tile on the five plus acres of his that amounts to nothing on these wet years. Even if it turns back dry like last year the damage is already done on those soaked and standing water acres. This spring when we laid the tile and I was saying to the contractors I’d be better able to point out where they needed to lay the line if it was still wet they said the stunted stalks and cobs would show them. Their the experts. The division of labor paying off Adam Smith style.

Speaking of the division of labor I’m still waiting on the truck to haul the corn out of the storage bins. I may have to divide that labor up into more than one trucking firm. If my older brother can’t get to it my other older brother has a son who started farming last year and he has bought his own truck. The boy went to college so his truck business card reads “Commodity Relocation Specialist”. Newspeak for trucker. College loans, where would we be without ’em. Oh that’s right, solvent. Out of the red and into the black. Making the green. Solvent green. Aka capital. Yes, that’s capital. Not loans. Debt is the opposite of capital. It leads to farmers working for the shit when it comes to hogs. I can remember when the shit was the by product and the farmers got the money for the hogs. Now they don’t even own the hogs. Some communist Chinese corporation does. The other white meat is now Red meat.

It’s still raining on the scarecrow.

See ya then see ya there …….



May Day III

Titan Machine in Avoca had a man on post. He could muster up a parts man who would come in and make a hose. I was back together after a few hours and rained out by five o’clock that afternoon. We had had a shower that morning but not enough to stop planting. It had sprinkled on and off all afternoon as storms brewed up and worked around me. And right as I could see the western skies clearing and brightening up a steady shower caused my wheels to slip so I called it a day. Overnight we had a general rain. I needed a rest anyway. So I took two.

This morning however I need to get back to it. Last night as I was out mending fence and watching the backside of a thunderstorm that somehow missed us I noticed it was almost getting dry enough in the soil to go again. And I have more fence to move this morning. I’m cleaning up the winter quarters. The cattle’s winter quarters. I need to move two hay rings into the barnyard. I need to wedge the third bale ring the cows tore up into a gate hole. I’ve been shoring up the messed up gate that their grandparents tore up with pieces of destroyed bale rings for years. If it’ll turn a cow …….  Iron’s second life.

I never did get any extra parts for the Great Plains drill. I’m down to my last spare packer wheel. I’m out of spare disk openers. With only thirty acres to plant it’s tempting to make a run for it. But I know better. So I’ll make a run to town instead. A step back inside of society. Maybe I can get some vittles while I’m at it. Give the soil a little more drying time.  The weather folks say the rain may hold off the next few days but then there’s a chance every day after so I better get rock en. See ya then, see ya there.




Cows were out. Cows were in. Cows were out in the neighbors. Remember what I said about good fence making good neighbors?  This is a good neighbor. The fence between us is bad but he brought the cows back home twice. I was gone at the time. When I got home at dark last night there was a note on my door. It said forty cattle were out in his and another neighbor’s fields. There’s not much line fence between one of those neighbors and I. The one that happened to bring them home.

Welcome (back?) to Cocreator’s New Blog. How’s your day going?

We’ve never discussed which one of us the line fence in question belongs to. Usually if you’re facing your neighbor the fence on your right hand side is yours. For some reason this farm at home has some of the line fences backward. The one along the west and the one along the north have been switched. We have the left hand end on both. Bit the fence they ran through is on the north east corner on the east side. Years ago I lined the fence all along the east side of this farm with a smooth galvanized electric fence wire on ree bar posts.

The storm the other night brought the level of the water in the creek up the banks about three quarters of the way full. That swept over my hot wires I run across it on each end. The south end fence had a break on one end of the wire. That wire along with a couple posts were swung around and buried in mud and debris along the creeks other bank. That caused the hot wires on the whole farm to be dead. Or nearly so. Including the one all the way on the opposite corner where the cows finally found it yesterday evening.

I started out the brisk morning fixing that northwest corner. By two thirty in the afternoon I have all but one fence fixed, the cows re-re-corralled, sort of, and the muffler nearly torn off my KIA minivan from crossing the creek where I maybe shouldn’t have. So I’m taking a break and messing with a totally different kind of post. The kind that don’t hurt my hands when I try to straighten it back out. The kind on the internet. The kind the cows won’t bend all up trying to scratch themselves on it. At least not my cows. With cows losing their winter coats (come to think of it were is mine) now is not the time to have a dead wire on the electric fence. They’ll rub on anything that doesn’t shock them first. That’s hard on fence.

We’ve had a few more calves born since I was planting corn around them. Today as I run them back onto the pasture the corn was spiking through the ground. That’s nearly three weeks to come up. I was starting to wonder if it ever was going to emerge. It seems to be hesitating as if to say wait a minute here, we thought it was the middle of May. The  neighbor’s earlier planted corn that’s leafed out looks awful yellow. As is the corn spiking on my farm. I guess it’s already number two yellow corn. Better check the bid …….

That’s how my day’s going. Went from greasing the squeaking wheel to rounding up the mooing cattle. Took off the ball cap and put on the Stetson. Put aside the wrench bucket and pulled out the fencing bucket. You get the gist of it. Switching occupations. So if you’re up my creek, with or without a paddle, …….

See you then, see you there.