Producing quality grain and livestock to the world in a safe and environmentally responsible manner from northeast Iowa.
December 24th: Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!!! We are truly blessed to be able to do work that we love and be surrounded by our family and friends. Life is a true blessing. The past month has been fairly low key since my last update (Minneapolis Adventure). Since that time, we finished emptying the Chickasaw Farms hog site, cleaned it and have just refilled the buildings with 21-day old, 10 pound weaner pigs. The weather when we were setting empty was not very helpful in keeping the buildings warm (-5 degrees at night), but we burned a little extra LP in order to keep everything from freezing up solid. Besides getting the one hog site ready for little pigs, we have been busy moving snow. We had a blizzard that dumped 13" of snow around the hog sites and have had multiple 3-5" snow storms since that time. Today we are having another snow event that is going to give us 6-9" of new snow. Needless to say we are running out of room to move this snow at the building sites and we have only started winter. At least my sister's kids will have plenty of snow to play in and little pigs to love when they arrive for Christmas. We have also delivered the majority of our 2010 corn crop. The Coop was offering the same price now versus a March delivery. We sold 35,000 bushels at $5.02 per bushel picked up, but since the time we sold it, the futures market has gone up $.75 per bushel. The grain markets continue to be in an uptrend as the market continues to try and buy acres for the coming year to meet the world demand. Now that we have all of this corn delivered, we will have another place to put the snow. This time of year is a time of planning. We are currently working on tax planning, cashflow planning, crop planning, marketing planning, capital expenditure planning. I guess the planning never really slows down, but it is intensified this time of year as tax planning, renewal of an operating line and input purchases for the coming year are being made. Looking back on 2010, I would say that we had a very sucessful year. We all came through healthy and happy. I have a position with a local insurance agency that allows me to sell crop insurance when I am not farming and the flexibility to farm when I need. We continue to add acres to our operation and the price outlook is currently very favorable. We are truly blessed to not only have had a great year, but to also be in a country that we can celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. The fact that God sent his only son to earth to save us. Merry Christmas!!!!!!
November 22nd: We survived!!!! I know this update is long, but please read it all the way through. You will get a good laugh out of it. That describes my feeling after a weekend trip to Minneapolis with 54 kids ranging from 6th thru high school. The trip was organized by the youth group of our church. We left on Friday evening at 6:30 and arrived at our hotel by 10:30. Quite a few of the kids decided to go to the new Harry Potter movie which finished at 1 a.m. The next day was a looooonnnnggg day indeed and not just because I was up late the night before. Our day started off with a tour of Mary's Place in downtown Minneapolis. This is a homeless shelter unlike any that I have seen before. The work completely off of donations with no money from the government. The shelter was started by one women 27 years ago and is currently feeding 1,200 people per day and also has a 500 bed transitional housing complex. They are doing great work at this organization and I encourage you to look at their website for more information ( http://www.sharingandcaringhands.org/history.htm ). After a quick lunch, we returned to the shelter and played with the kids that were staying in the transitional housing. This was a great experience. After a return to the hotel and some pizza for supper, we then headed over to pack meals at the local Feed My Starving Children site. In just over an hour, we made 12,000 meals that were going to be sent to Haiti to assist in the earthquake relief. This is another great organization and if you have not had the chance to volunteer for this organization, please do!! http://www.fmsc.org/Page.aspx?pid=232 Now, for the Average Joe, this would have been enough for the day, but not for the kids from Redeemer Lutheran Church. At 9:30 p.m., we were off to play broom ball at Augsburg college. Now for those of you who are not familiar with broom ball, just think hockey but replace the skates, stick and puck with tennis shoes, brooms and a volley ball. Now imagine 50 kids on the ice at once. Amazingly no major injuries resulted. AND NOW THE FUN BEGAN!!!!!!!! At 10:30 we left Augsburg College and freezing rain had begun to fall. We were making our way back to our hotel on I-35 when the bus began to slide all over the place due to the ice. We began to go around a curve and up a hill and could not make it. So thankfully the bus driver pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the salt trucks. The time: 10:48. Side of the road +1 hour. 11:30: We were all having a good time watching the cars go by slowly with some spinning out and having to figure out how to get straightened back out. One car ahead of us was unable to get going and was on the shoulder. Suddenly she gets out and comes back to our bus. She needed to use the rest room. We invited her in and told her to stay with us until the salt trucks went by. Side of the road +2 hours 12:30 a.m.: Still no salt trucks. This is what everyone told me because I caught a quick nap. Side of the road +3 hours 1:30 a.m.: Salt truck sited going northbound, we are southbound. Salt truck also slides out on the other side of the road (you know it is slippery). We have made a game out of watching people sliding and attempting to navigate the roads. 10 points for hitting the curb of the shoulder. 50 points if they hit the guard rail. 100 points if they fall when they get our of their car and attempt to push. 250 points for a collision with another vehicle (none so far). We also were debating how many points to give for Amy coming back to our bus (current number was 500 points). Side of the road +4 hours 2:30 a.m.: No salt trucks since last hour. It is now after 2 a.m. and kids are thinking that since the bars have closed, there will be some serious points racking up. They were right, along comes a car much faster than it should be going, swerves to the right past a stuck car, then left to avoid another car and ends up missing everyone completely. Where is my video camera when I needed it. Side of the road +4 1/2 hours 3 a.m.: Salt truck is 100' behind us and slide sideways on the ice. Throwing out salt by hand in order to get going again. Car that is probably 20 feet ahead of us sees the salt truck and decides to back up to get to the salt. When he stops beside us, the ice causes him to slide into the from our our bus. Amazingly no serious damage, but he comes inside the bus with his information and kept saying "Dude" like a bad surfing movie. The salt truck finally goes by as the car that hits us gets going again. Amazingly this was the only collision we saw the entire evening while we were waiting. Don't forget about Amy in the bus. Now that the salt truck has gone by, she goes back to her vehicle and tries to get going. No luck. She ends up coming back to the hotel with us and staying with a couple of the female chaperones. After much discussion, we determine that 5,000 points is the correct amount to be awarded for coming out of the night safe and picking up a stranded motorist. Amy is in the middle surrounded by her new friends from Redeemer Lutheran We finally arrived back at the hotel around 3:30 a.m. Once the salt trucks went by the road improved immediately. It was truly a night that we will be able to talk about for years to come.
November 15th: Now that harvest is complete, I have created a movie of our year in review. Please take a look and let me know your thoughts: _ We finally caught a rain on Saturday with close to 3/4" of rain. Tillage is now down to 150 acres and we will be complete. The USDA came out with their November crop report on Tuesday. The nationwide crop yield was down another 1.5 bushels per acres to 151.6 bushels per acre. The average farm price for the coming year is projected at $5.20. The report resulted in futures going up $.25 per bushel right after the report, but other influences caused the market to drop $.71 by the Friday afternoon. Volitility is the name of the game. This weekend we started selling market hogs out of the Chickasaw site. This was the first time in a long time that we loaded pigs on Saturday. Since this was on Saturday, Trey helped with loading for the first time. He has helped in the past with putting the pigs in, but this is the first time he has helped load out. Please check out my current photos that have all of the harvest photos from this fall.
November 5th: HARVEST IS OFFICIALLY COMPLETE!!! Sorry for not having an update the last couple of weeks. We started to deliver the remaining corn out of the field, loading directly into Inovative Ag Services trucks on Friday, October 28th. We finally picked up a bit of moisture and were able to combine our beans on October 25th and 26th. The 110 acres of beans were one of the last fields in the area to be combined. We are glad we did wait though because the moisture went from 7-8% to 13%. Just perfect. It did appear the the entire neighborhood was concerned that these were the only beans in the area. We jokingly told the trucks that picked up the beans that everyone around New Hampton could now sleep since they were so worried about us. The beans yielded excellent with an average of 63 bushels per acre. It did take a little longer to combine our beans as they were leaning so bad to the east, that we had to combine going one way (to the west). This allowed us to pick up an additional 4 bushels per acre. With beans at $11 per bushel, it was definitely worth the time to drive to the other end of the field. We are now working at finishing our tillage work and delivering the final bushels of corn on our November corn contracts. The dryer is put away and harvest equipment being cleaned up. The weather lately has just been wonderful. Tempatures have been in the mid-60's with tillage work and tiling contractors going non-stop. We are waiting on our contractor to come and install some addtional tile. We did learn that we acquired an additional 86 acres of crop ground for the 2011 year. This will put us just over 1,300 acres. With the current run up in corn prices and the ability to get all of the fall tillage complete, we will look to plant close to 1,100 acres of corn. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
October 17th: (Corn Harvest as of October 12th: State of Iowa: 40%, Lantzky Farms: 49%) Sorry for no update last week. Harvest has definitely slowed down for our operation. We are continuing to have wonderful weather, but we are running out of room to store the crop. We originally sold 100,000 bushels of corn to be picked up during the first half of November. When we sold this corn, we thought we would be able to be to a point of harvest to load it directly out of the field and not have to put it through the dryer. This year's weather has put us so far ahead of schedule, that we are not pushing to complete harvest because we are just about full of bin space and the coop that we sold the grain to will not pick up the grain until November 1st. The 10 day forecast continues to show wonderful weather, the crop has dried down to 13-15% and is standing well. We will wait for November 1st to arrive to finish harvesting. This does not mean that the past couple of weeks have been a cake walk. Tonight we have 400 acres of corn left to harvest which means we are close to 66% complete. The manure has been hauled out of the Chickasaw Farms site and we have started up the deep ripper to till the ground for next year's corn crop. This weekend Leasa had a continuing education meeting and I ended up taking the kid to the farm. Trey helped out by chopping the cornstalks after I combined. Grandpa was right behind him with the tillage tractor. He did a great job and was really proud that he was able to operate the equipment "all by himself without someone in the tractor". I have spent the last couple of days combining both semi trucks full and then unloading them. It takes a little longer since we are not unloading "on the go", but we are still getting a good number of acres out per day. Since my last update, the USDA came out with the monthly crop report which showed the nationwide corn yield down to 155 bushel per acre compared to 162 bushels per acre last month. Needless to say this caused a $.70 rise in the price of corn in an attempt to ration the corn demand until we are able to grow another crop in 2011. This may appear to be great news for corn farmers, but actually is not as high prices make it harder for livestock producers to make a profit and could destroy the demand base that we have worked hard to develop. Higher prices also make it harder for ethanol to be produced at a profit. I am not sure if exports, livestock or ethanol will be the first to blink in order to ration the amount of corn that we have. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
October 4th: (Corn Harvest: State of Iowa: 19%, Lantzky Farms: 33%) The wonderful weather continues. The past week was nothing but perfect weather and the forecast for the next 7 days is sunny and above normal tempatures. The past week had us continuing to harvest corn. We currently have 360 of the 1175 acres combined. Yields continue to come in very well. We took our test plot out on Saturday. The yields were very impressive, with the top yield being Dekalb 5259 with a yield of 228 bu/ac. This past week saw the manure at our Bassett site pumped onto the surrounding fields. Even though the harvest has been going well, we are contining to have our share of repairs. The first happened with Deb was chopping stalks at our Bassett site. The old stalk chopper finally had the frame that gave out. We were able to find a 2003 John Deere 8 row stalk chopper to replace the old chopper. The next issue is the second semi had a head gasket on the motor go out. Thankfully we caught this before it caused more damage and is being repaired this week. The final issue was a flat tire on the rear of the combine. The corn stalks are extremely tough and can puncture a tire if hit correctly. The weekend soccer and football games were good. Natalie won her game 2-0. I did miss this game on Saturday as I was getting the test plot out. Trey won his football game on Sunday afternoon and his team played much better. Leasa and I went to the Iowa-Penn State game on Saturday night with friends from Waverly. The game was excellent as Iowa won 24-7, but traffic was awful after the game. We did not get home until 1:30 a.m. A special thanks to Grandma Lantzky for staying with the kids Saturday evening.
September 27th: (Corn Harvest: State of Iowa: 8%, Lantzky Farms: 14%) Harvest is continuing at a good pace. We finished our the corn at our Bassett site this past week and are now waiting for the manure pumpers to empty the pit on the hog building. We have now moved over to our Schluetter farm. Yields are continuing to come in above expectations. The Schluetter farm is only located 2 miles from the local coop and since it is coming out at 20%, we can't afford to haul it 10 miles, dry it, handle it twice and haul it back 10 miles compared to the discount that will take for wet corn. This is really moving harvest along as we only have to wait in line with producers who are combining beans. It is times like this that the second semi is really coming in handy. The forcast is calling for a complete week of clear sunny weather. This should allow the bean harvest in the area to progress nicely. We only have 130 acres of beans to combine, so we are continuing to work on corn. I do have some photos taken of harvest, but not enough to post yet. Hopefully we will have a good weekend for the kid's soccer and football games. This past Saturday, Natalie played in a cold rain shower. They won 5-0 and are really starting to play well together. Trey played on Sunday and although the weather was beautiful, they did not play with much emotion and lost 13-0. I do have to admit that when Trey was in playing cornerback, they did not run his way. Then when he came out the ran that way. I am sure that is just a proud dad and not an actual game plan.
September 20th: (Corn Harvest: State of Iowa: 6%, Lantzky Farms: 4%) Harvest has officially begun. We harvested 10 acres yesterday which consisted of calibrating the yield monitor in our combine. A special thank you goes out to Marc Mummelthei, who came out on Sunday afternoon to help weigh some calibration loads. We started on the Basset Pork farm as the pit at Basset Pork is getting full and needs to be hauled. The corn is yielding extremely well. The test loads that we took was a 102 day maturity that was one of the last fields that were planted. The moisture was at 27% with a test yield of 217 and 220 bushels per acre. The average yield for the field after combining the first 50 acres is 188 bushels per acre. This coupled with the recent run up in prices due to the crop problems that have been seen in other areas of the country and world have really been beneficial. I am making a special effort this year to only push harvest when absolutely necessary. On Saturday, we went to Natalie's soccer game in the morning and I went to the farm in the afternoon. On Sunday, we went to church and then Natalie and I went to the farm and combined for a couple of hours. Sunday night we went to the International student potluck at Wartburg college. We have two students which we host. Shun is a junior from Japan, who is majoring in computer science. Kim, from South Korea, was our host student three years ago, but had to return to South Korea to serve his mandatory two year military service. He is now back to start his sophmore year. He is majoring in biology. They are a couple of wonderful young men and we are glad to host them for supper and trips to the farm from time to time. Today we combined 40 acres of corn by 5:30 and had the wet bin, semi and cart full. This allowed me to be home in time to go to Natalie's open house at her elementary school.
September 10th: The crops have really begun to change. We had a couple of good rain showers this past week and should really get the beans to yield. I have been scouting fields and we have a couple of varieties that are not standing very well and will need to be the first acres harvested. This amounts to about 200 acres. We will then change over to beans and finish up with corn. The corn is just short of black layer (maturity) and should be there within a week. The corn should be much dryer than last year. I spoke with a friend who farms in central Illinois this past week who was combining 114 day corn that was at 15%. I have spoken with a couple of other farmers in the Waverly area and they have just started to combine. They are running into 17.5% and 18% corn from 102 day corn. Much better than last year's 30%. Hearing this, I am hopeful that we will not have to run the dryer much at all this year. Speaking of the dryer, we finally got the bolts to put the dryer back together from our dryer fire that we had last fall. Needless to say it is a bit frustrating that our dealer has taken so long to get this to us. The corn market has continued to work its way higher. We are also hauling in some 2009 crop that has some damage to it. The price has gone up to where the net price per bushel on the last hauled bushels are equal to what the price would have been when we started hauling for good #2 corn. I encourage you to take a look at our "Farms for Sale" page. It appears there are going to be quite a few auctions that are coming up this fall. A couple of these farms are located near our Bassett hog building. I would like to find an investor for these that would then lease the ground back to my operation. The ability to expand the crop base around this building would allow me to rotate crops on more acres. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
August 31st: The end of August is upon us. We are so much farther ahead on crop development when compared to last year, it is really unbelievable. I checked some 100 day corn yesterday and found corn that was at 35% moisture with a test weight of 54.4#. This is just as dry and heavier corn than we had last year. This coupled with at least another month of field drying, should allow for a very good harvest. Trey and Natalie are starting football and soccer. We are adjusting to the busy fall season. Trey will also start confirmation at church this week. We hope to be able to take a quick weekend trip before harvest cranks up. On the farm, we are working at delivering the last of the 2009 corn crop and putting a new batch of pigs in at our Bassett site. We definitely could use some rain as we have had a shortage over the past week. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
August 22nd: Well the summer is finally almost over. The kids start back to school on Tuesday. Hard to believe that Trey is in 6th grade and Natalie is starting 4th grade. They are growing up fast. My sister, Kris, and her family were out this past week from New York. Natalie and Paige got to sleep over at Grandma's house for not just one, but two nights. I believe that Grandma and Grandpa were ready for them to head back home by the end of the week. The past week saw us finish loading out the Bassett site. We now are working at power washing out the building in time for the next batch to arrive on Tuesday. We also had a busy week on the equipment side. If you told me that I would have listed two tractors on Craigslist.com Tuesday and had both of them sold by Sunday evening, I would not have believed you. Well we did sell both of our 8430 tractors to the same fella who was looking for some cheap horsepower to get his tillage work done when he was not at his fulltime off farm job. I believe that these will make a great pair for his operation. Now we are down to just the three tractors and are looking for one more to run our auger this fall. I made a trip over to Humboldt to pick up some supplies for our hog building and happened to run across a semi that was almost identical to the one that we currently have on the farm. Needless to say, the price was right and the truck was in very good condition, so we now have a second semi for the fall harvest. This should take some stress out of Mom running the cart tractor, she can now fill it without me waiting for the last little bit to fill a load. The crops are really coming on fast. The weather has finally broke and we are getting some cooler nights which should help with the grain fill. The beans are beginning to show some sudden death syndrome (SDS) at a fairly heavy level in area fields, but our fields don't appear to be as heavily affected.
August 12th: Tonight we loaded out 3 semi loads of market hogs. The tempature was 90 degrees and we made an effort to keep them watered down and cool. After loading, we went and took some pictures of our 8430 tractors that we currently have for sale. When I downloaded these photos from my mom's camera, I found the following photos showing a helicopter that was landing in front of our hog building to refill with chemicals. I am not sure if this is the one that crash landed earlier in the month or when these photos were taken.
August 8th: We are now back from Korean KAMP. The weather this week was awesome, but the bugs just about ate you alive. This is my favorite week of the year. Not only do my kids get to learn about their heritage, but I am also the staff coordinator. This means that I get to stay in contact with 20 wonderful high school, college and young adults that come back to make a wonderful KAMP for close to 100 campers.
August 3rd: We are working to get ready for Korean Culture Kamp (Korean Adoption Means Pride) this week. The kids are really excited about getting to see all of their friends. The week is a great time to get to see all of our friends from throughout the Midwest and reconnect. The last week was spent beginning to sell pigs out of our Bassett site. We also had an airplane apply fungicide on our corn and soybeans. This will help control fungal disease and promote plant health. This inturn, keeps the plant leaves healthier and should result in more bushels. The weather this summer has continued to be exceptional. We have continued to dodge the 4-5" rains and have been fortunate to get 1-2" on a regular basis. Growing degree units are a measurement of how warm it is and helps with how far along the crop is to maturity. You need 2700 GDUs to have the crop be fully mature. We are currently at 1800 GDU and generally tack on 25 GDU per day in August. Last year we were only at 1400 GDU on this date. That means that we are about 4 weeks ahead of last year. It also means that we should have an earlier harvest quite a bit dryer corn. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
July 7th: We just returned from a weekend in St. Louis to catch a ballgame and see the fireworks at the Arch. The kids had a great time even though the Cardinals lost 12-5 on Saturday. Sunday we went to the zoo and then downtown for the airshow. Trey had a great time, but was disappointed that the Harrier jet did not make an appearance due to a rain storm. We stopped on our way back home to see Grandpa Wellman and Grandma Mary. They said that they had 16' of rain in May and 17' in June. Our trip down to St. Louis was a tale of two crops. The crop looked excellent until we hit Iowa City. The crop after Iowa City was extremely uneven, replanted crops and crops that were extremely nitrogen deficient. Once we got to Canton, MO, the crop began to look extremely good again. The corn showed a few tassels on Saturday morning just south of Readlyn, but when we returned on Monday evening, the corn fields were in full tassel. The crop in our area is looking very good. The USDA crop report on June 30th showed a drop in the number of planted acres for 2010 and increased usage. This has caused the markets to bottom out at $3.50 in the December futures and will hopefully be a bottom. The market is now questioning if the corn crop will be large enough to keep up with demand. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
June 24th: The summer continues to roll along. The crop is looking very good. I believe that we will see some tassels on the corn by July 4th. The past couple of weeks have seen rainfalls of close to 1" every other day and tempatures that have been in the mid 80's. Excellent corn growing weather. We are very fortunate that we had all but 120 acres of our corn sprayed for the second time. Southern Iowa has seen upwards of 14" of rain since June 1st. They are working on finishing planting beans for the first time. The recent bout of rains held us up from finishing picking rocks in the corn. We will still attempt to pick up the rocks in the bean next week. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
May 20th: We finished planting beans yesterday. We had a total of 128 acres that are on two fields. We had planned on having 100% corn, but switched 80 acres of our Carroll farm to beans since we did not have the manure to cover it from the Bassett site. Then in order to qualify for a cheaper crop insurance premium, we needed to plant another farm in order to recieve an enterprise unit discount. The other farm that we planted was the New Hampton Airport. The word of the week is ROCKS ROCKS AND ROCKS. We are in the process of picking up rocks to make sure that when we harvest, nothing goes into the combine. The high school kids that we hire are hard workers and do a great job. The corn is coming around after last weekend's freeze. The weather this week has warmed up to the upper 70's and has really helped to get the corn growing again. We plan to start sidedressing liquid nitrogen to the corn next week.
May 12th: This past week has been nothing but a washout. Last night, we recieved 3" of rain in Waverly, but only had close to 2" of rain on all of the farms. We have spent the last couple of days working at tearing apart the grain dryer that was involved in the dryer fire last fall and getting parts ordered to fix it. We also replaced a tarp on the semi and will be working at getting the disc ripper ready to go for this fall. The tiler finished his job at our Bassett site this past week and we are now waiting for the ground to dry out in order to finish planting the last 80 acres of soybeans. The big news over the weekend was the freeze that occured on Saturday night - Sunday morning. The tempatures went down to 28 degrees for an extended period. The corn was killed off to the ground, but amazingly will grow back since the growing point is still in the ground. Once the corn is up to 6 inches, the growing point will be above ground and if it is froze off at that point it will not regrow. I have updated the photo section with all of this spring's photos. Please check it out.
May 7th: It has been indeed a while since my last update. I will put some updates of how the spring went on the History page. I am glad to report that as of May 3rd we have 100% of our corn (1,175 acres) planted and we have 50 of the 130 acres of beans planted. The beans would have been in the ground by now, but we put some additional tile on the last 80 acres. The tiling is completed and we had a little bit of a shower pass through to put us out of the field for the weekend. The early planted corn has emerged and is looking great. We dodged the 4" and 5" storms that southern Iowa had a couple of weeks ago. We have had a couple of .5" rains that have helped everything get off to a tremendous start. Picking rocks is currently the main task at hand. We have a steady crew of high schoolers that are helping to cover all of the ground to insure that the large rocks that can cause some damage are removed. I will be updating the website with photos from this spring. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
May 3rd: We officially finished planting this evening. 1178 acres planted in just over 2 weeks. We recieved 1" of rain on the 30th of April. This caused me to stop for a few days. I do have to admit that this year was excellent for soil conditions on all of the acres. I don't believe that my tractor tires had one bit of mud on them at all this spring. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
April 23rd: What a busy week. The weather has been just excellent and we have been going hard at planting as much as we could. It did rain .2" around noon today. I just finished up the Nargang farm. Now that I am finished with this farm, I have 550 acres that were planted since the 17th. I spent a couple of late nights in order to finish up these acres.
April 17th: Planting has officially begun. Trey and I put the test plot in today at the Leonard farm. It really helped to have Trey be my assistant. He helped me change the planter boxes after every round. The ground is in really good shape and the weather has been excellent. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
March 26th: The weather has finally broke and the weather has improved. Things have started to dry out and Tres M, LLC (our manure hauler) showed up today to spread the manure on our Bassett site. Dad chopped the corn stalks earlier in the week and when they attempted to inject the manure, the stalks kept plugging the tillage unit. To solve this, we had to deep rip the manure into the ground after the manure applicator applied it on top of the ground. The manure covered 160 if the 230 acre farm. We will look to put some additional tile in the ground that did not recieve manure and put beans on the unmanured ground. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
February 17th: A couple of weeks since the last update and no letup from the cold weather. I don't believe that we have had a day that has allowed some widespread thawing since mid-January. We are seeing some melting on the south sides of the buildings, but the piles of snow are still huge. Last Monday, we had a new snowstorm with 9" of snow and 30 mph winds. Needless to say it was an outright blizzard. During the height of the storm, we had 4 semi loads of hogs scheduled to be sent to market. We started at 3 in the afternoon and the last load was out of the Bassett site by 9 pm. A couple of the semis needed pulls as there is a good layer of ice on the site and when they left, the front wheel ended up in the ditch. Farm fun at it's best. We are continuing to wait on a break in the weather that will allow us to finish repairing the Bassett bin and deliver the balance of the 2009 corn crop. The corn is holding up well due to the cold weather and the basis has narrowed nicely to where we will be looking to deliver this corn and let someone else worry about the quality issue of holding the grain through the summer. For now we are busy with the kid's indoor soccer and after school choir practice at our church. We had conferences this week at school and they continue to amaze me. Natalie is a good leader in her class and Trey had nothing but A's. I have to brag that they are great kids.
February 3rd: I realize that this is the first posting of the year and it is already February. The last month has been a blur of activities and I will attemp to fill you in on all that has happened since the last posting. As of December 31st, I left my position with Rabo Ag Insurance Services to farm full time. I was starting to get pulled from to many directions and this will allow me the opportunity to stay on top of all the items that need attention. Since the last update, I have been busy with paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork. Working with seed dealers on planting plans, agronomy dealers to determine our fertilizing and herbicide programs, bankers to secure on operating line for the coming year and tax paperwork to send out 1099's and W-2's to the appropriate people. The grain market has really fallen apart since the last posting. The USDA released a production report on January 12th which showed 165 bu per acre average corn yield for the 2009 season. This was above the 162 bu average in the December report. This caused the corn market to drop 40-50 cents per bushel from $4.40 to $3.90 per bushel in the futures market. The Chickasaw Farms site has taken a good amount of LP to keep the smaller pigs warm. The Bassett site is currently being emptied in order to be powerwashed and cleaned for the next group of small pigs that should arrive the week of February 21st. Since the end of harvest we did have one minor problem. In our haste to get the crop in the bin, we overfilled our 36' bin at our Bassett site. The bins are designed to be filled up to the bottom edge of the roof. In order to get the entire crop in the bin, we filled the bin with approximately 3,000 bushels of additional grain that what it was rated. The end result is that the grain ended up settling and the end result was a roof that now resembles a "hip roofed" barn. Needless to say, our farm policy does not cover "stupid". It was my fault for filling the bin to full. We are working with our grain bin contractor to fix the problem.