Monsoon Or

Later. That’s the answer to the earlier question, “Monsooner or later?” on the Sore Beans edition here on CoCreator’s Blog. Oops, I mean Cocreator’s New Blog. We’ve had so much rain here in western Iowa over the last few months that it’s hard to believe it. In my thirty three years of growing corn and beans I never have seen two back to back months of perfect rain. Our second grass cutting of hay was as good as the first. Even the foxtail was lush and full.

We have to be cautious where we drive, the wet spots are out there. The ones that haven’t been drained with drainage tile that is. The ones that are going to be are easy to find if the rest of the soil ever gets a chance to dry out. It’s been like living inside a center pivot irrigation crop circle. The rains have been that regular and soaking. The corn was filled out to the tip with nice big ears. I can’t wait to get started in the sorebeans tomorrow.

I don’t know what got into me today. Two posts after a two month hiatus. It must be harvest. I enjoy looking back at these posts after few months or longer. Especially starts and stops. Like reading Sore Beans today after I posted today’s other episode. That post was about getting done planting back in May. Where did the summer go? I’ll never know, I didn’t post it.

See ya then, see ya there …….

Cc

Standard

Squeaking Wheel

Where to start. Everything’s squeaking. Got Grease?

First thing this morning the older brother called. He had a welder guy showing up to fix up the auger on the vacuum. I know the landlord’s son fixed it last weekend. This guy is going to add a strap of metal around the tube to reenforce it. Last night as the rain brought the day to a close the tile line layers showed up to park their machinery down in the neighbor/landlord’s gate. They’re laying tile as I write. I’m writing this as I wait for the welder guy to call after dinner this fine May morning. Morning for two more minutes anyway. Unless you run off the sun like I do. Then it’s morning for another hour. Sorry, you can’t save daylight. Nice try though.

I ran up north of town to move the tractor and planter from on the field to on the headland so the CO-OP boys can float on the liquid nitrogen and weed killer. Weed and feed they call it. One pass plus I call it. We use a little atrazine along with a product called Corvus to keep the weeds down. We use liquid nitrogen 28% solution instead of the normal water to “carry” the chemicals out through the spray boom to be applied at the same time. When I say we I mean the CO-OP and I. I pay for it, they sell it and apply it. Oui?

Well that’s about it for now. The welder guy hasn’t called but I still gotta go measure the auger tube so when he does I can confirm the size of the rolled steel he has to bring. Good fortune be yours on all you’re going to do. Pray for rain. We still need it. Two days of rain and we still haven’t an inch. Not far south they’ve had none. Planters are still rolling down Treynor way and points on south. And around here we’re tiling and spraying . When I moved the planter I was thinking I’ve gone ahead and planted in soil this wet before. It more or less depends on the calender. That says it’s still early. Seven acres won’t make or break me. A little more rain may come in handy later on. Say in July or August?

I better get back to the grease.

Later on …….

Cc

Standard

Another May Day

Take out the word car and insert the word tractor and I think you understand the psyche of the average farmer. It’s not for any but a few good reasons. We spend far more time in our tractor than we do any other place. We plant there. We mow there, rake there, bale there. We spray there. We haul in our grain there. We do our chores there. We sleep there, although we seldom admit it since we are usually still dragging something through the field at the same time. Nowadays the tractors are connected to the internet. But that’s not where I’m writing this from. I’m writing from the comfort of my office. Bedroom. Whatever I call it. I guess it depends on if I’m at my desk or if I’m in bed sleeping.

I farmed for a whole year back in 1984 to earn enough money to buy my first tractor. Even though I was looking for a John Deere 4020 I ended up buying an IH  856. They are both rated at about 100 horse power, the size I needed to join in my older brother’s operation at the time. I used it to pull a 24 foot wide spring tooth harrow to incorporate into the soil the Treflan weed killer we used to spray on cornstalks going to soybeans. Treflan was used pre-plant to kill grasses and small seeded broad leaf weeds. First we would disk down the last year’s cornstalks with my brother’s JD 4620 and a 21 foot cone bladed JD disk. Then we would mount a pair of saddle tanks 200 gallons each onto the side frames of the 4620 between the front wheels and the rear dual wheels. They held the chemical mixture as we sprayed Treflan from the front of the disk while we were disking the old cornstalks the second time.

The next pass across the field was with my IH 856 and a Noble brand spring tooth harrow to do the second incorporation pass. Treflan had to be double incorporated (worked) into the soil about four inches in. The disking pass as we sprayed was the first, my spring tooth harrowing pass was the second. Then and only then would we drill soybean seed with my brother’s JD 4320 and a three point mounted Great Plains Drill. My brother would always drill going along the longest straightest side of the field and working across to the shortest, no matter which way the hills laid. After we had apparently worn the ground out with all these passes we would go over it one more time with an old JD 50 and a twenty four foot spiked tooth harrow following the contours of the hills so any sudden heavy rains wouldn’t follow the drill tracks up and down the hills.

That old spiked tooth harrow would be broken down and loaded into the back of an old pickup truck to move it from farm to farm. Usually that was my job since I was the last Mfer hired. It took three men and four tractors (four men would have been nice since I had to run both the 856 and the 50) just to drill soybean seed back in those days. Eating up time, manpower, tractor power, fuel, iron, and money to simply get the crop in the ground. Today I do it all with one tractor and a no-till drill. One pass. One man. One fuel tank. One bank account. One long lonely day. That’s if I ever get this corn planted. I no-till that in with one tractor also. The same IH 1466 that pulls the no-till drill I use today.

The sun came up shining bright today. The rumor is the tile laying guys are moving into the neighborhood. At one o’clock this afternoon we are going to have a little get together to arrange the tiling we are getting done. Across the creek and up one of the draws on this side of the creek are needing some additional tiling to compensate for all the water that sinks into the soil with this no-till farming we do these days. Pellets in pellets out. We may resume hauling corn out of the bins also today. The trucker had gravel delivered to the spot we were stuck in the other day. He said something about it being cheaper than semi truck axles. I was thinking the same thing.

Well, that about sums it up. Another typical spring day here in the corn patch. May I have another please.

Then, there …….

Cc

Standard