Producing quality grain and livestock to the world in a safe and environmentally responsible manner from northeast Iowa.
Harverst is complete and we would like to thank all of those people who helped us over the past year:
•Five Star Coop: Hauling out 25,000 bushels of dry corn in 7 hours to keep harvest moving.
•Reuscher Pumping: Hauling manure before it froze completely.
•McCandless Pumping: Hauling manure when there was a window of opportunity.
•Shannon Maloy: Use of a wagon to finish the final 90 rows of corn.
•Josh Hammond and Mitch Liddle: For your hours in the tractor chopping stalks and chisel plowing to get the fields ready for next year.
•Schneiders Milling: Supplying equipment on a timely basis in order to get all of the crop fertilized in a small window this past spring.
•Landlords: Thank you for the opportunity to work your ground. We consider it an honor and farm it as if it were our own.
•Family: We realize that this fall was especially long. The late nights and weekends were hard on everyone, but your patience was greatly appreciated.
This is only a partial list of all who helped make 2008 a great year for Lantzky Farms. Wishing you all the best for the remainder of 2008 and all of 2009.
Growing Season Update 12/26/08: Merry Christmas. We are currently working at planning for next year's crop and still waiting on the crop insurance adjuster to contact us for the revenue claim that we had on our crop (see the history tab for more information). This year has truly been an exciting and memorable year. We hope that the holidays find you happy and healthy. Please remember to take a minute and give thanks for the your blessings.
Growing Season Update 12/13/08: Hog manure has been hauled. With all the cold and snow this past week, we had a window of opportunity to get manure hauled from the Bassett site before the extended forecast returned us to the deep freeze. Saturday was a nice day with highs in the upper 30's. This allowed the manure haulers who pull the manure in with a half mile long hose to get set up and haul 80 acres of the 240 acre Carroll farm. We will haul the balance of the farm in the spring. Unfortunately, I was not able to get photos of this operation. It is really an amazing piece of technology.
Growing Season Update 12/8/08: Harvest is officially complete. This past week was cold and snowy all week. Needless to say there was not a chance to do any field work at all, much less get the last 90 rows combined. Last night they were calling for a window of opportunity in the morning before the latest snowstorm that was to drop an additional 6" of snow. We were able to get the combine and auger tractor started this morning. Unfortunately, the semi did not start, but thanks to the generousity of a local seed salesman who had a Brent 740 wagon available, we were able to get the last of the corn combined just as the freezing rain started. The road to town was a bit "white-knuckle" as the tractor was a bit undersized considering the weather. But, harvest is complete.
Growing Season Update 11/29/08: We are now within 90 rows of being complete with harvest. We normally would have like to get this out before the snow storm that came along tonight, but with anything, there is a story. This morning, we got to the bin site with every intention of getting the crop in the bin before it started to snow. I thought it was going to be one of those days, when I noticed that the wet bin did not empty out thought the dryer, like it has done every other night this season. Upon closer review, we found that a bearing on the auger going from the dryer to the dry bin had gone out and we needed to take the auger down in order to get it off and repaired. Not only did to bearing go out, but the entire head of the auger needed to be replaced. Needless to say by this time, the local coops were closed for the day, so this meant no hauling some grain to get us finished. So while Roger was finishing up the combining, I was chasing down parts to fix the auger. I thought I had everything I needed, except when I went to put the drive onto the end of the auger, the drive was for a 10" auger and mine is a 8" auger. Needless to say, I tried to replace the old drive and this was nothing but an exercise in frustration. Meanwhile it had started to snow and we filled up the wet bin, auger cart, semi and combine bin, but had 90 rows left. Roger and Deb are now off to New York to be there to help out when my sister, Kris, has her third child. We will keep you informed. From the looks of the forcast there will not be anything going on here for a while. We did have a nice Thanksgiving at my house. Mom and Dad came down and we invited Shun over for dinner. It was a nice day off.
Growing Season Update 11/19/08: Since the last update we have had all kinds of weather. The last update found our combine in the shed drying out. This actually was a great thing because we lost all but last Saturday to wet field conditions. We had rain every day earlier last week. This wet weather has allowed us time to get the hog buildings at Roger's place power washed and ready for a new group. Once we started to combine on Saturday, it was muddy, but we could make it work. We are now working on the farm next to the Bassett site. We currently have the semi parked over the dump auger and we are able to deliver grain with the grain cart from the nearby field without the auger running empty. This really allows us to get some area covered. We are now close to 70% complete. The biggest bottleneck is that we only have a single 25,000 bushel dry bin. We are out of the field close to 3 days once it is full because the elevator we sell the grain to does not want "hot" corn. The first day is spent cooling the grain that has come out of the dryer at 130 degrees. It then takes a couple of days to get enough trucks in to haul out the bin. Hopefully we will have this bin empty this weekend and can get back on course. It is truly amazing how tile can make a difference in yields. The area that we extremely wet last fall was tiled and this year the yields are close to 180 bushel per acre. Where there is not much tile, the yield monitor is showing 120 bushel per acre. Needless to say, I have been in contact with the tiling contactor and we are planning on tiling anything on this farm that is in need of tile.
Growing Season Update 11/10/08: The week started out good with weather in the mid-70's on Monday and Tuesday. We worked at combining a farm that is one mile from the Howard County border. This resulted in Bruce playing trucker and hauling grain 10 miles one way while Roger combined the grain cart and combine full. I was able to haul the grain, unload and get back to the field just in time to get the next load. At the end of the week, the weather had changed dramatically. On Friday evening, we recieved 2" of SNOW!!! Normally snow is not a bad thing as long as it does not stick to the ears of corn. If it sticks to the ears, then the silks on the corn is wet and when it goes through the combine, it plugs up the sieves. We attempted to combine a couple of loads and the combine plugged up. So we took the combine back home and put a space heater in the back to blow some warm air on the problem in order to get going again.
Growing Season Update 11/3/08: Harvest has now switched to our western fields near Bassett. We spent the early part of last week moving the grain dryer from Roger's place to the Bassett site. This weekend Trey brought a friend, Jacob, up to ride in the combine and see the harvest. Jacob helped pick up rocks earlier this summer and wanted to see harvest. The day was perfect with tempatures in the low 60's. The boys rode a couple of rounds in the combine, then they were off playing in the trails in the woods that surrounded the property. We are currently just over 40% complete with harvest. It is running behind normal, but we have been able to keep the stalk chopper and tillage tractor running behind the combine. This has kept the total work on schedule. We are planning on tilling all the ground this fall so that it will allow us the option to plant corn back into the fields this spring. The current financial crisis has really put an damper on the harvest. We were fortunate enough to have quite a few sales at close to the summer highs of $7. The current cash price for corn is closer to $3.50 per bushel. The other result of this price decline is a potential crop insurance claim. The policy that I puchased this spring guaranteed me so many bushels per acre as well as a minimum dollars of revenue. Even though I am harvesting more bushels than I was guaranteed this spring, the drop in price has made it to where I am not harvesting enough bushels in order to realize the guaranteed revenue.
For those of you who work better with tables, I will give you an example below.
1) Guaranteeed Bushels per Acre: 120
2) Spring Price per bushel (December Futures during February): $5.40
3) Guaranteed Revenue per Acres (1 x 2) $648.00
4) Harvested Bushels per Acre: 140
5) Fall Price per Bushel (Dec Futures during October) $4.13
6) Actual Fall Revenue per Acre (4 x 5): $578.20
7) Shortage/Insurance Claim per Acre (3 - 6): $69.20
Growing Season Update 10/26/08: Harvest has officially started. We have harvested our first couple of fields and are rather disappointed with the results. We lost about 25% of both fields to flooding earlier this spring, so no matter what you have for a yield on the remaining portion, the overall yield is disappointing. Then to compound the problem, the month of August saw very little rainfall on these fields. What was there to be harvested only ran in the 120-130 bushel per acre range. The corn is also not drying as quickly as we would like with moisture in the upper 20s. We just had a killing freeze this past week which should help bring some of the moisture down. We needed to start harvesting as the pits on the hog buildings were getting full and needed to be hauled. This weekend was rather busy. We had not just 1 but 2 wedding receptions to attend. Luckily they were both in Waverly. One was a former bank customer of mine and the other was for Renee Meyers, who was the Director of our Korean Culture Camp. Natalie and Trey had a great time at the Renee's reception as they got to see all of the staff from KAMP. Today the wind was blowing up to 50 mph at times. We completed combining our south field and moved back to a field closer to Mom and Dads. I brought along Shun Yamanaka, who is an international student at Wartburg from Tokyo, Japan. We are his host family to help him get out to Walmart and have supper with every once in a while. He really seemed to enjoy himself and even drove the combine for a round. He said that this was the first vehicle besides a golf cart which he has driven.
Roger and Shun
It was a rough day of combining due to the wind, but to top it all off, there were a few snow showers as we got to the end of the day. Hopefully this is no indication of things to come.
Growing Season Update 9/27/08: The last couple of weeks have been spent contacting crop insurance customers regarding the changes that will be in effect due to the new farm bill. In order to qualify for disaster payments under the new farm bill, all acres that are farmed must be insured. This includes pasture and forage ground. Needless to say many producers have never bothered to insure these crops in the past as it was such a small portion of their operation. The sales closing date on alfalfa for the 2009 growing year is September 30th. This has turned out to be a good way to get in front of new customers and show them the value that I bring to their operation. On the farm side, I took an airplane ride on September 17th and we flew over all of our fields. This is listed under the picture page and I have outlined the area of our fields. Overall the crop appears to be maturing late and there appears to be major holes in fields from the water earlier this spring. I will admit that our corn appears to be staying green due to the fungicide that was applied. Hopefully it is adding weight to the crop that is out there. Natalie has started soccer and is loving it. Her team is currently undefeated and is starting to understand the game of soccer. Thankfully I am the assistant coach and the head coach has coached girls before and is doing a great job. Trey is playing flag football and is having fun. The best part is both of them have games on Saturday morning and we are done by noon.
Growing Season Update 9/8/08: This past week was spent preparing for a new group of pigs at our Bassett site. I took Trey and Natalie to the local Pioneer seed night on Wednesday. According to Steve Merfeld, cost of seed inputs will be going up for 2009. Triple stacked corn will be right at $100 per acre and soybeans in the $40 per acre range. I hope that the market will start to take notice of this. The futures had a very poor week last week as oil fell and the dollar continued to strengthen. We were fortunate enough to sign a couple of new farm leases this last week. This should push us to the 1,400 acre level for the coming year. We have one farm that has been cancelled, but should have a good chance of farming for next year once the lease is renegotiated. Dad and I went on a tour of the different fields on Sunday. I do have to admit that our fields look very good considering all that they have gone through. I think that sidedressing nitrogen after all of the heavy spring rains as well as applying an aerial fungicide to the crop around the first of August has really helped the stalks stay as healthy as possible.
Growing Season Update 9/1/08: If you look back at the history page, you will see that it has been a while since I have provided an update. Between the busy travel schedule of a new position at Rabo Ag Insurance Services, to a week long Korean Culture Camp, the month of August was very hectic. The first week of August saw us hire aerial sprayers to apply fungicide to the corn crop. This was done in order to maintain the best plant health for the longest period of time. With all of the earlier stresses on this crop, it should be well worth the cost. The corn crop continues to be a couple of weeks behind normal. Rainfall during the month of August was very light we are in need of a good soaker. The lower tempatures have really reduced the stress on the crop, but we continue to be in need of warmer tempatures to speed maturity. We were able to complete some waterway reseeding that was needed due to the earlier rains. We are also currently working to get the Bassett hog site ready for a new batch of pigs. Harvest will be coming upon us faster than we may believe. We are currently working to get all equipment in good condition and ready for the fall harvest season.
Growing Season Update 7/19/08: The corn continues to look better and better as the weeks go along. We have had warm weather this past couple of weeks and the corn should tassle this coming week. The corn market has taken notice as the futures price on corn has dropped $.80 this past week. Thankfully, we have presold and have put options that have locked in a floor price on the total number of bushels that our crop insurance guarantees. The corn that recieved hail a couple of weeks ago continues to improve. We recieved a nice 1" rain earlier this week in Chickasaw county, but Waverly recieved a 2.5" of rain this past week. I started my new position at Rabo Ag Insurance Services this week with a trip to Fargo, ND. The crop throughout the trip appears to be in excellent shape, but a week or two behind.
Growing Season Update 7/12/08: The corn crop is really starting to come around. The roots are starting to find the nitrogen and is really starting to grow. We spent the past week leveling rock and sowing down grass on the Bassett site. We also have had a chance to help rework some waterways that needed some work after all of the heavy June rains. In other news on the farm, we have purchased an automatic generator for the Chickasaw Farms site. It will be nice to have this set up so that we don't have to hook up the portable generator everytime the power goes off.
Growing Season Update 7/5/08: We finished picking up rocks on the Alta Vista farm on Tuesday. We recieved some hail on this farm on Saturday evening. Half of the 160 acre farm has some serious damage. This coupled with all of the wet weather will make it interesting to see what kind of crop we will recieve. We spent July 4th in Clear Lake at the Branstads. We watched the parade and fireworks in the evening. The kids were given wagon rides by a 1938 John Deere B that was fully restored.
Attached is a photo of Natalie and her friends.
Growing Season Update 6/28/08: The corn in starting to come around. It is rather short for this time of year, but should really start to grow now that the nitrogen has been sidedressed. Not much for an update this week due to my youngest brother Brandon getting married. Trey, Natalie and I were in the wedding. The kids did a wonderful job during the ceremony. We had a wonderful time and wish Brandon and Angela, my newest sister, a long and happy marriage. I thought I would add a couple of photos.
Natalie and Trey before the wedding (Trey looks like he is the one getting married).
Photo by Natalie of Bruce and Leasa
Growing Season Update 6/21/08: We have finally been able to apply some liquid nitrogen. We have applied 800 acres in just over 6 days. Utilizing a light bar guidance system when planting, allowed us to apply liquid nitrogen with a 16 row applicator even though we planted with a 12 row planter. We continue to load out pigs from our Chickasaw Farms sight with 2 semi loads going out this week. On Saturday, we cleaned up the baseball fields in Waverly from the floods of last week. The fields had over 1/2' of mud on everything including the infield. We removed a large amount of mud from the infield. The fields will probably not be used this week, but will be ready to go next year. In balance of the season will be played on the Wartburg softball field.
Growing Season Update 6/14/08: Additional rain this past week of 2.5". The rain that was recieved on the evening of June 7th came down river. This resulted in record flooding in Waverly. The river crested at 17.2 feet. This was 2 feet higher than 1999. The entire state is suffering from flooding. Needless to say, the crop is looking a bit waterlogged. It is very easy to see where the tile lines are in the field as the crop over top of the lines are generally 6 to 8 inches taller than ground between or with no tile. With all of the rain, it has been rather challenging to get liquid nitrogen applied. We will look to apply nitrogen this next week. We have been doing some landscaping work around the Bassett Pork site.
Photo of baseball field under 12' of water (see the top of the backstop). Needless to say the season is in limbo.
Growing Season Update 6/7/08: Needless to say, it has been wet. We recieved 5" of rain tonight. The crop continues to hold in fairly well. We need to start getting the nitrogen sidedressed and thankfully we did not apply all of the nitrogen with the pre-emergence spray due to all of the rain. We currently have the applicator hooked up to the tractor and are waiting for the fields to dry out. Since the last update, Bruce's family took a trip to Disney. While we were gone, a terrible EF5 tornado hit the towns of Parkersburg and New Hartford. The storm destroyed much of the town of Parkersburg and left many of the surrounding fields littered with debris. The recent rains have caused delays in cleaning up fields.
Planting Update 5/19/08: We have now finished planting (with the exception of a small low lying field. The ground that was planted on April 30 and May 1st has emerged and is at the 2 and 3 leaf stage. Trey helped with the final day of planting and took some photos with our old digital camera. We will get them posted shortly. Now that we are finishing up planting, up next is picking rocks before it is time to sidedress nitrogen.
Planting Update 5/18/08: We have one large day of planting left. We are currently at 90% complete on planting with just under 100 acres to go. The weather has straightened out the last week and we have really made up ground. We started planting on April 30th and were rained out three times. Fortunately we have not receive a large amount of rain and were able to be back in the fields after a couple of days. All the fields that have been planted have been sprayed a half rate of Harness Xtra (a residual herbicide). Now that we are finishing up planting, up next is picking rocks before it is time to sidedress nitrogen.