After 226 days of silence we are finally doing a blog. The 2012 growing season was one for the record books and not in a good way. From all accounts that I have looked at, when you factor the heat and lack of rain fall, it was the worst drought we have had in this part of the country since 1936. At our Robinson location we received half of an inch of rain from early May to earl August. As you can imagine the lack of rain and the intense heat led to a dismal crop. Thank god that we do have 14 irrigations on our Indiana farm. Where the water hit a lot of the corn was making 200+ bushel to the acre and outside where the water hit it was making anywhere from 0- 50 bushel to the acre depending on soil type. We have no irrigation in Illinois and fields averaging around 30 was all to common. As a whole our corn crop average around 100 thanks to our irrigated acres. The early beans didn't fair much better but the late beans around the main farm were able to catch a 4 inch rain on July 7th and also benefited when it started to rain in a little in August. Right here at the farm we had late maturing bean out yield the corn field right next to it by 3x and that is usually the other way around. That pretty much sums up the growing year but we press on because if you want to be a farmer you better be tuff. After all we plow the land and plant the seed but it is watered by his almighty hand. Since harvest we started working on improving our ground by laying tile, removing woods so we can put in a new irrigation, and also having a sub soil irrigation installed. The sub-soil irrigation is somewhat cutting edge, we hope it works out. It is an elaborate tile system that not only drains the excess water out but also pumps water back in through plastic tile lines under the ground. In the 170 acre field that we are doing this in, there will be 460,000 feet of tile laid in it. We are also busy doing maintenance to machinery, digging ditches out and hauling grain to the elevator.
This has been the best spring to get the crops in that I can remember. On my last post I talked about the corn that we planted in March, well we came out of that very well. We planted around 930 acre from March 20-March 24. We did have 2 night of temps around 28 at that location around the 12 of April. We had to replant 37 acres because of the freeze, it was all in one area and I guess it was prob the biggest corn there. It was around the v4 stage. It was only April 20, we might could have left it but being such a early date we went ahead and replanted that little bit. We have sold a lot of production from this farm for the last of August dilivery to Lincolnland agir energy a ethonal plant near the farm in Palestine,Illinois. We were able to get a premium for the time frame so in the end it looks like all will work out very well. We finished planting our corn crop on April 20,that is the earlest ever for us, and we did not have to work the real long hours this year, that was really nice.Started planting beans April 20 and just kept plugging along not going at it like we normally due because of the early date. We just like 245 acres being completly finished as of May 8, this farm needs about 4 days now to dry out then we will be able to finish planting. Looks like our wheat will come off around the first of June about 3 weeks early. Crops all have a great stand this year and we have had nice rains, so as of now everything is off to a great start. Only time will tell how it all ends up. We will start spraying our corn for the second pass next week, and hope to have all of our sidedress nh3 on next week. Reese and Bethany have not had their baby yet . he or she is due May 13, they still wont tell if its a boy or girl we will find out soon, Cant wait! Garretts boy all playing summer baseball now and they are doing very well.
It has been awhile since my last blog, it seems that time slips away sometimes before we get back to you all. The winter months were spent hauling grain working on the equipment and lots of paper work. We like to go into spring very well prepared for the season ahead, and I think this year with the addition of another 950 tillable acres that we are ready to go. This time of the year for us is always very busy and exciting we always look forward to the new year with high expectations. I think that if a farmer does not look forward to the spring rush that perhaps he is in the wrong business. This spring has started out very unusual. The ground is warm and dry enough to plant about two weeks before we would usually plant. We have been applying anhydrous, working ground and applying chemicals. I have never planted corn in March in my 40 years of running the planter, but this year with the ground so warm and the 30 day forecasts to be normal or above on temperature we have already planted 940 acres of corn. It will be up by March 29 I think if we blog get to hard of a freeze after April 10 that it will be ok. It is always hard to make some decisions on the farm , but I think this early planting date has been one of the hardest. We will probably wait until April 2 before planting anymore. I will let you know in my next blog how it turns out.
The holiday season has come and gone, it seems as the the winter is going so fast, it will be spring before you know it. David Garrett and Reese stay busy from last of November up until time to get in the field hauling grain. Most of Dennis's time during December and Jan is spent in the office doing end of year book work and buying supplys for the coming year. George spends most of his time on equipment maintenence. Jarrod Banks has also started helping us on a part time basis. Jarrod work for us 14 years full time a few years back, and he will once again become part of our team full time starting June 1st, we are very gald to have him back. We have recently traded our 690 track hoe for a John Deere 200 along with a new Way-Way grinder. When ever any us can get some time we take a day or 2 and go and take care of some field edges that have some sprouts grown up , we have alot of that to do. Reese and Bethany are expecting another baby in May, along with building a new log house. Very exciting time for them. David went to St. Paul minn. this week and picked up a 2009 Peterbuilt. We like to keep up trucks up to date since thyey spend at least 1/3 of the year in them . The best thing about winter for me is I dont really care that much what the weather is, I dont have to worry about the crops in the field
It has been along time since we have posted our last blog. We will try to keep this up a little better in the future. We got through harvest without any major problems; harvest was about as expected. The corn yields were down a little from average because of all the early wet weather, and the bean crop was maybe a little above average. Especially the double crop beans which was a little of a surprise with the dry August. We got done with Harvest November 3rd, despite some delays from rains. It was not really a wet fall but we have had a lot drier ones. We were able to get all the wheat planted that we wanted, which was 600 acres. We were offered a great opportunity by Mark Brown in Crawford county to expand our operation. We purchased 700 acres from Mark and his wife Michelle , along with cash renting another 312 acres in the area. This bring our operation up to 8600 tillable acres. Along with the farm ground there was also 180000 bushels of storage and a new 72*140 foot building We got all our fall ripping done and about all of our shallow tillage done, and fall sprayed 1320 acres
Its been a long long time since my last post so I'll try and give a brief summary of what has been going on since April. It was a long, wet, challenging spring. We were constantly battling rains and the river. Some of our lowest river ground was not able to be planted due to the fact that it didn't dry up from the last flood till the end of July. We planted our last soybeans in early July. The Wheat harvest went very well and we were pleased with the yields. We built a new 280x 80ft. shed and and a 192,000 bushel grain bin. We added 5 new irrigation rigs, extended one and converted 4 from being ran by diesel engines to being ran by electricity. A lot of our time in the month of August was spent keeping all 14 of our rigs up and going due to the fact that we were extremely dry. We just recently got the last of our 2010 crop hauled to the elevator and our currently getting ready to star harvest. We plan to start Monday. We are expecting modest yields this year due to the fact that we had a wet spring, it was extremely hot during pollination and it has been really dry since the end of July.
It's too wet to be in the field and it's raining. Last week we were able to get start planting as well as put on anhydrous, spray, and work ground. We were able to get 650 acres of corn in the ground. The first field we planted is just about to poke through the ground. Our new 280'x80' building is nearing completion and our new 340 case ih tractor came in yesterday
It has been a busy winter of hauling grain non-stop with three and sometimes four semi-trucks. We recently filled the march contracts, so we do not have any trucks on the road right now for the first time since November. There is still some grain to sell and white corn to haul when they allow us to . This week we have been working around the shop and Dennis went to Iowa to pickup a new fuel trailer which also has a DEF tank on it which we will need for the new tractors because they have to meet the new emission laws. It is wet here right now but it has warmed up recently. this leaves us anxious waiting to get into the fields shortly.
Happy new year to all We look back at 2010 on the farm and realize it has been one of the best years we have had. The spring of 2010 was great for an early start to get our corn crop in on a timley manner followed by a brief wet spell but were able to get back in and finish all planting in May! The fall was one of the driest we have ever had. Able to get the crop out early enough that we could get lots of other jobs done, such as tiling, ditching and ect. Had a great crop, with high prices. Also had a birth of a new little Ivers girl in the family, born to Reese and Bethany; Reagan Presley,what a Blessing! All the family is doing great at this time. The month of December has been busy with a steady hauling of grain (120000 bushel),doing some repairs around the farm and lots of book work to finish up the year and plan 2011 by booking our inputs.We go field by field picking what variety will best suit each soil type and other inputs for each farm. It may not sound like much but it can be very time consuming. We start the new year with great anticipation for the new year, We have expanded one irrigation unit from 175 acre to 355, will be converting 4 units from diesel power to electric and also are putting 2 new units on our owned land to prevent towing two units, that will make things faster and easier in the summer. Also we are putting three new irrigation on leased land. We will also be putting up a new 190,000 bu bin ,taking down two small bins to make room for the new one. In doing that we also had to take down an older shed, it will be replaced with a new 81 x 250 foot Morton building in the spring. We are very optomistic for the new year, I think that we always should look at the glass half full, not half empty. Dennis
During the end of November we were busy selling Pioneer seed, since that was the end of the first pay period, and getting the semi-trucks and trailers ready for hauling season. After doing mechanical work and polishing them and waxing them we have been hauling non-stop. We have hauled two different varieties of Pioneer seed production beans to McLeansboro, Il. We have been hauling corn to Abengoa, a ethanol plant by Mt. Vernon, IN. Lastly we have been hauling regular beans to an ADM elevator in Newburg, IN. This fall we ran out of bin room so we had to store 30,000 bushel of corn in our brute building, so as we have been hauling corn we have also been cleaning it out. We do this by using a blower, which is basically a great big vacuum cleaner. We blow it into a semi that then takes it and puts it in our hopper where it can load outgoing trucks. We have gotten some snow and the roads are pretty slick today so we are going to wait to haul till this afternoon.