Producing quality grain and livestock to the world in a safe and environmentally responsible manner from northeast Iowa.
I attempt to provide a brief explaination of what is happening on our operation on a regular basis. Click on the links above to see the previous year's history. Below is a history of our operation for 2013:
December 30th: Another cold blast! I wish I could post something different, but the forecast for the coming week is for highs in the single digits and lows below zero. Even though it is very cold, we did have a couple of days this past weekend that actually got above freezing. We took advantage of this weather to finish sweeping out the grain bins. We have all of our corn and soybeans delivered and can now turn our attention to 2014. The equipment is put away in the machine shed and we are continuing to work on Farm Summaries and cashflow projections. The holiday season was a wonderful time. We had an opportunity to get the entire family together for the holidays. We had 22 people the day after Christmas at Rog and Deb’s house, followed up by 49 people at my Grandma Heideman’s house in Denver on Saturday. Thankfully the weather was fairly warm during these gatherings and we were able to catch up with everyone. Looking back at 2013, it was a wild and crazy year, but as our mission statement says, “We wouldn’t miss it for the world”! We started the year by expanding our acres from 1400 acres to 2000 acres (although we were unable to plant 350 acres due to a wet spring). At the end of March, I made the decision to farm fulltime and put the crop insurance business behind me. I believe that this was the best decision that I ever made! On April 1st, we started digging the hole for our new home. Not many people would quit their fulltime job and start building a house, but we rarely do things by the book. If digging the hole was the cause of all the spring rain, we would have gladly not started digging until after planting. All fieldwork was delayed due to 10”+ inches of rain during the month of April and May. We were able to get the majority of our acres planted, but did not start fieldwork until May 15th and finished the last of the soybeans on June 15th. As soon as we were finished with planting, we started right into sidedressing the corn crop. As soon as we were finished with this project, my family took a trip of a lifetime to Korea. We were gone from June 22nd to July 2nd. In case you missed it, our kids are adopted from Korea. We were able to visit the country with a group and had a chance to be exposed to the Korean culture. It was a great trip and I would love to go again soon. When we returned, we listed our house and sold it in three days at close to our listing price and the closing date was lined up with our house being finished. Then at the end of September we moved into our new home. We still have the front walk and deck to complete, but are loving the new space. Due to planting being late, harvest started late as well. We did not start harvest until October 11th. We had a good year when considering the weather and delays. We finished harvest on November 15th and were able to complete all of our fall fieldwork before the weather froze the ground solid. As always, our operation relies on many people and companies to make it all come together. Schnieders Milling: It was certainly the worst year in their history with the loss of Rick and Adam, but they pushed through and supplied us with the fertilizer and chemicals to make it all work. Fredricksburg Farmers Coop: Working with us to market our grain and line up semis to haul the grain away at harvest. Five Star Coop: Hauling grain away to help us complete harvest. Rowe Trucking: Helping haul away corn and the flexibility to change delivery points on the fly. First National Bank: Providing the financing to make this operation go. This is just a short list of the people that make this operation go, many more that have been left off are not forgotten and we appreciate that help. We hope that 2014 will be just as successful as 2013 was and look forward to keeping you informed of what is happening. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
December 11th: Baby it's cold outside!! This is a popular Christmas Song lyric and it is descriptive of the weather that we are currently experiencing. The high for the day was 2. We are expecting to get down to -10 and a windchill of -30. When it is extremely cold like this, we try to do as little outside as possible, but we are trying to empty our grain bins before the end of the year. Yesterday we finished cleaning out the bins at Bassett. Needless to say it was very cold even when we were inside the bin sweeping the bottom of the bin out. The balance of the time is being spent planning for the 2014 year and finishing up the 2013 crop year. We are creating Farm Summaries for each of the farms that we operate, updating cashflows for 2014, tax planning and preparing rental offers on a couple of different farms where the owners asked us to supply a bid to rent the ground. I also met with the crop insurance adjuster in order to finish up our crop insurance claim that we had in Chickasaw County. Even though our yields were fairly good, the drop in price caused us to have a revenue loss in Chickasaw County. Roger is spending his time plumbing the farm office that we started this summer. Finishing this project was delayed due to harvest and is a good indoor project. This fall was such a blur that I am finally getting around to updating our website. We will be updating the history page and adding photos from our fall harvest. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
August 20th: Today is Roger's birthday, he turns 65. The last week we have been busy with projects that we normally would not be doing in late August. We have been picking rocks and the tile man is getting ready to do a couple of tiling jobs for us. The farm that we just completed was the first year we have farmed this particular field. The previous tenant had never really picked up rocks, instead choosing to use a land roller to roll the rocks back into the ground. We spent a total of $50 per acre in labor to hire people to come out and pick these rocks up. We had quite a pile of rocks when we finished. At least next year it will not be as bad. We will probably choose to roll the ground next year, but will also pick the field with laborers. We will also be tiling this farm later this fall in order to allow us to get in timely. This project along with the Charles City airport will be tiliing projects which we pay for on top of the rent, but have an agreement that if we do not farm the ground for the next ten years, we will be reimbursed a prorated amount. This allows us to tile the ground, be able to get into the field timely and not cause any out of money expense for the landlord. We finished loading hogs out of our Chickasaw site and will be loading hogs out of our Bassett site later this week. We are in the process of getting the Chickasaw site ready for the little pigs which come in next Monday. The commodity markets have been acting as if the crop is made and we will be swimming in grain. The corn market has fallen close to $.80 the last week and the bean market has fallen close to $2.00. We continue to feel confident in what ever the market gives us as we have many of this year and next year's bushels hedged with put options. We also have a high level of crop insurance on our crop. We will begin to prepare for harvest shortly. Even though harvest is at least 45 days away, we will be getting the combine and heads out and going over them, getting the semis inspected, getting the grain dryer set up and making sure all the augers are in good working order. We will also be looking to trade our primary tillage tool for a larger piece of equipment as we went from the 8650 to the 9300 tractor. We will be looking to go from the 5 shank deep ripper to a 7 shank. The house continues to come along. They are currently installing the cabinets and setting doors. The flooring will be installed next week and we hope to be able to start moving in the first week of September. We did sell our current house in three days and will be closing on that September 30th. Today the kids started back to school. Trey had his first day at the high school (9th) and Natalie was at the middle school (6th). We will only have one more year like last year where they are both in the same building. They took their 1st day of school photos with no complaining. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
August 11th: The past weekend has been spent with my sister and her family from New York. This is the week every year that they come back to visit. My nephew, Alex, is 4 years old and loves to ride in the tractors and combines. We normally keep our combine in storage at the John Deere dealer until they come back. This allows him to go on a combine ride before harvest. We have been loading pigs out of our Chickasaw site and will begin to load out of our Bassett site in a couple of weeks. The cooler weather has been wonderful for encouraging the pigs to eat and grow. We have had a couple of good rains that have kept our crops going. The crop is now fully tasseled, but is still a couple of weeks behind normal. The forecast is for continued cool weather. We have determined that we are only going to apply fungicide on 200 acres at this time as disease pressure is rather limited. The markets have become determined that this weather is excellent and that we are due for a record corn crop. The market has been in a free fall the last couple of weeks with the futures dropping close to $1.00 per bushel. Thankfully we have crop insurance as well as the majority of this year and next year’s crop hedged. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
August 4th: We finished up Korean KAMP this past week. Trey was unable to attend due to having Band Camp in the morning and then a combination of football and detasselling in the afternoon. He has been working extremely hard the last couple of weeks. It was wonderful to see all of our old friends at Korean KAMP. It has become a family tradition and was a bit different this year with only Natalie and I attending. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
July 23rd: I have spent the past few days riding around with another Rain and Hail crop adjuster doing some training. The amount of prevent plant claims that we have worked is just amazing. We have seen many different claims from a wide range of producers from all over northern Iowa.
July 18th: We finally finished planting our 2013 crop. Many of the neighbors will think we lost it, but we finished planting some soybeans for a cover crop yesterday. I was planning on just leaving the ground fallow and continuing to field cultivate to keep the weeds down, but Pioneer gave us a deal that resulted in our seed being $10 per acre that it made sense to plant the cover crop. Never thought that I would finish planting after July 15th. We are not intending to harvest these beans and will destroy them after the first frost. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
July 13th: This has been the craziest three days. We listed the house on a Wednesday and by Saturday evening, we showed the house 10 time, had 3 offers and accepted an offer that was within $2,000 of the list price with no contingencies. 72 hours of craziness. Houses in our price range are just not available in the Waverly area. We now need to get this new house done. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
July 10th: Continuing to frame up the farm office. Should be ready to spray foam the insulation later this week. Listed our old house for sale today. We now have a “need to be ready to move out” date of September 15th. This is the drop dead date to be out of our house. July 8th: We are continuing to recover from the Jet Lag that is part of traveling internationally. We have been back 6 days, but we are still up at some strange times of the day. This last week was spent replacing field cultivator shovels and knocking down weeds. We did pump some manure from our Bassett site onto the prevent plant acres in order to have enough room until fall. The pumpers never got to us this spring because it was so wet for so long. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
June 22nd to July 2nd: We had a wonderful trip to South Korea. Not sure if everyone knows, but our kids were born in Korea and came home as infants. We went on a tour of the country which included a chance for both kids to meet their foster mothers. We spent some time in Seoul and took the high speed train to Busan for some beach time. The country was wonderful and we are really looking forward to visiting again. The 14 hour plane ride was not as bad as we thought it would be thanks to the entertainment center in the seat ahead of you. The food was wonderful, but the weather was hot hot hot!!! Things on the farm continued with rock picking and knocking down the weeds on the preventive plant acres that we had this year. June 21st: 1 inch of rain. Roger worked on the farm office and Bruce got ready for his trip to Korea. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
June 20th : Sidedressing nitrogen with two units on the majority of our acres.. Trey and his friend were picking rocks on our Bassett farm. My brother, Brandon, came over and started to work at getting the farm office framed in. June 16th: Today is Father's Day. I am so lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to spend time with and work beside my dad everyday. Not many people are able to say this or that their dad is their best friend. He has always been there for me with the encouraging words "Go For It". He has been a wonderful father for the past 42 years and is an awesome grandpa to all of his grandkids. He loves all of us more than we will ever know. I hope he has a wonderful day!! I realize that it has been close to a month and a half since I posted an update. The main reason is that this spring has not been anything to write about. We started planting corn on May 15th and finished planting our last beans on June 11th. During that time, we were only able to be out in the field 10 days. To give you an idea of how wet it has been, I subscribe to a precipitation tracking service and one of our farms has had some amount of rain in 36 of the 45 days from April 1st. We have planted close to 1650 acres, but chose to leave 350 acres fallow and claim "preventive plant" thru crop insurance on the non planted acres. The acres we were not able to plant had multiple problems this spring and by leaving them fallow will allow us to correct them (tile, ground underwater due to high river levels, install waterways where needed, clean fence lines). We just started sidedressing our nitrogen on June 14th. Generally we would be complete with this job by now. Fortunately the corn is only 4-8 inches tall and what we knock down turning around on the end will come back up. It has been so wet that we have not had the opportunity to spray our fields for weeds the first time, much less a second time. Usually the first spraying is done before the corn emerges and we are able to spray on some of the fertilizer as liquid when we spray. Since the corn is now up, spraying liquid nitrogen would burn the corn and kill it. This means that we now need to supply all the nitrogen that the corn will need through sidedressing. Since we have over twice as many gallons that needs to be applied, we purchased a used fertilizer applicator that will be paired with the one that we rent from Schneiders that will allow us to apply close to 80 acres per hour when we get rolling. The house is coming along as well, but slower than expected. We pumped a total of 18 inches of water out of our basement before we were able to get a roof on and shed water to the outside of the structure. It is now framed, inside and out and they are beginning to work on the rough in electrical. We have also been working to prepare our current house to list. Painting, mulching and other general cleaning. We are also preparing for a wonderful trip to Korea to allow our kids the chance to see the land of their birth. We are all very excited to get to experience this country. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
June 9th: (Planting Progress: Lantzky:83%, Iowa: 92%, 5 Year Average: 99%) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
June 2nd: (Planting Progress: Lantzky:83%, Iowa: 88%, 5 Year Average: 99%) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
May 26th: (Planting Progress: Lantzky:83%, Iowa: 85%, 5 Year Average: 98%) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
May 19th: (Planting Progress: Lantzky:73%, Iowa: 71%, 5 Year Average: 92%)
May 12th: (Planting Progress: Lantzky:0%, Iowa: 15%, 5 Year Average: 79%) We are still waiting to start!
May 5th : (Planting Progress: Lantzky:0%, Iowa: 8%, 5 Year Average: 56%)
May 3rd: Awoke today to 3” of snow on the ground. Needless to say no fieldwork today. Today was spent returning phone calls and doing paperwork. Received a call from a landlord who farms in central Illinois. They are in the same boat we are with only 4 acres planted before rain forced them from the field. Roger is returning from his Missouri trip turkey hunting. Trey is starting a 30 hour famine service project with the local youth group at our church and Natalie is going to a lock in at one of her friend’s church tonight. It would be a nice night out for Leasa and I, but I decided to do the 30 hour famine as well. I will keep you informed of how it goes.
May 2nd: Spent the morning cleaning and bedding the feeder cattle. The weather definitely changed. We have only had 1” of snow (Clarion had close to 7”). Needless to say I am glad that we have waited and not started to plant. The kids got out of school early today due to the snow. A landlord that lives in South Carolina, but is originally from New Hampton, was back in the area and we were able to meet and get to know each other better. The coworker that he brought along was certainly surprised to see snow this late in the spring. Trey talked me into letting him go to the premier of “Iron Man 3” which started at 10 PM in the local theater. Roger called me to let me know that he shot a turkey, but was going to stay there for another day to see if he could get his second bird.
May 1st: Super windy and blustery day. Wind was from the north and was turning colder. Spent the day cleaning the feeder cattle lot and clearing trees from around the building. Our house is coming along and no longer has a pool in the basement and actually has a basement wall constructed. April 30th: Warm and windy day. Miller True Value fixed the lift and we finished cutting down the remainder of the tree. The wind was close to a 40 MPH gust at times, but we utilized a rope to make sure the limbs fell the correct way. I am glad to report that we did not hit the house and nothing fell on anyone. Even though we had close to a half inch of rain last night (Also some hail and thunder that shook the house so much a clock fell off the wall), the ground dried up enough to where I could get in the field with the skidloader after lunch. The afternoon was spent clearing fencelines of trees and pushing the remains of cornstalk stacks into a pile so the dirt beneath them would warm and dry out. Believe it or not, I actually found some snow underneath some of the piles. The forecast is calling for a cool/wet next 5 days. With this outlook, Roger has decided to make a trip down to Missouri again to try his luck turkey hunting. It gives him a chance to get together with Leasa’s Dad and have good time. April 29th: Today was spent clearing trees from the fenceline at the Charles City Aiport farm. The previous tenant made cornstalk bales and left a couple behind that did not stay formed. We lite them on fire and piled as much as we could on a pile to burn at a later date. The ground was still not quite dry enough in spots and we were unable to clear all of the fencelines that we cut out earlier.
April 28th: (Planting Progress: Lantzky: 0%, Iowa: 2%, 5 Yr Average: 36%) We finished picking rocks on the Tenge farm today. This field had plenty of rocks as the landlord installed tile every 50’ or better on the 160 acres. It really will improve the farm, but the rocks are always thick when you tile a farm. Schnieders were spreading dry fertilizer on the remaining fields today. They are running behind on getting things applied, but the recent string of good weather is allowing them to get caught up. We finished up the rocks around noon and decided to show Roger how to set the auto track in the 9300 tractor that we just purchased. We set the A-B line and started the auto guidance when halfway across the field, the tractor went BOOM!! The clamp on the turbo intake broke and the turbo was not getting any air. Needless to say we were done for the day. To finish the day we went to Natalie’s soccer game in the that evening.
April 27th: We are officially in the field. We went to our Bremer County farm and worked up 40 acres that the landlord will be planting to oats. Trey came out today and helped me with mapping outfield boundaries and moving from this farm up to the Tenge farm. This afternoon, Trey and Roger started picking rocks while I finished mapping out boundaries. We can now move the GPS that was on the Gator over to the planter tractor. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
April 26th: Still to wet to do any fieldwork. We decided that it may not be too wet to trace field boundaries. I had a couple of custom tracing jobs that I needed to complete. One of the jobs was near Riceville which is about 30 miles north of New Hampton. Needless to say, Waverly appears to be 4 days ahead of New Hampton and Riceville was about 4 days behind New Hampton. The fields were so wet, I was unable to do a good job of tracing and will need to redo it later this fall. The lift we were using to cut down the tree is still out for the count. Greg from Miller True Value hopes to have it going earlier this next week. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
April 25th: Busy day today. To wet to do anything in the field, so we decided to cut down a huge tree that was located near Roger’s house. Since it was so close to the house, we needed to rent an boom to cut it down from the top. The trimming was going well, when halfway thru, the control panel began to smoke and ended up frying the control panel. Thankfully I was only 16 feet in the air and Roger was able to get a ladder for me to get down. Just a couple of minutes earlier, I was 45 feet in the air. We also took delivery of the 9300 four wheel drive tractor and sent our old 8650 down the road. We felt that the 8650 did not quite have enough horsepower to pull our 38’ field cultivator fast enough to stay ahead of the planter. The new tractor has 360 horsepower compared to the 280 horsepower of the older tractor. This should allow us to run the tillage equipment at least 1 mph faster which means we can cover an additional 10 acres per hour. This will allow us to stay ahead of the planter. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
April 21st: (Planting Progress: Lantzky: 0%, Iowa: 0%, 5 Year Average: 14%) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
April 14th: Planting Progress: Lantzky: 0%, Iowa: 0%, 5 Year Average: 3% ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
April 8th: We have yet to turn a wheel. The weather has still been cold and rainy. We are still waiting to get into the field and custom sow some oats. It has even been to wet to get out and cut brush out of the fenceline. John Deere has put batteries into the RTK recieving base and we are now ready to start tracing field boundaries, but it has been to wet to get out in the fields. Since it has been so wet lately, I have been hauling silage that we are buying from a producer who has stopped raising cattle to our feedlot. It is about a 15 mile one way trip, but we are able to get close to 8 ton in each wagon. We should have 50 ton to haul and hopefully this will help get us through the summer. The weather has been pretty crappy and the cattle have been having a miserable time staying clean and dry. They have been taking quite a bit if bedding. The markets are finding a steady level after last weeks bearish crop report. The cattle market is continuing to soften with the cheaper corn market bringing cattle to the feedlots quicker. Natalie has started her soccer season and is doing well. Her team is actually playing other U11 teams this spring compared to U12 teams last fall. They won their first game and tied their second game of the weekend on Sunday. The wet weather has slowed down the house project. They currently have the basement walls poured and the footings for the garage complete. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
April 1st: Spring is slowly starting to show up. I helped set soccer fields up Saturday and the frost was still in the ground which made it very difficult to put the stakes in the ground to hold down the goals. The average tempature has been close to 20 degrees below normal. This is compared to last year where it was close to 20 degrees above average. I guess this is how you get an average spring in Iowa! The last week has been spent putting little pigs in the Bassett site. I will be taking a couple of pigs to our church's after school program this Wednesday. I hope the kids enjoy them. Trey has been helping Deb count and sort the pigs as they come in. Last week was the Junior High Variety Show in Waverly. Trey did a wonderful job of playing in the jazz band and a special performance. I am so very proud of him. Things are trying to get back to normal around here otherwise. We are waiting to have the ground dry out to where we can get into the fields and trace our boundaries. The markets have dropped nearly $.90 when the USDA report came out last week that showed that even though the estimated acres for next year was where the trade expected, we are not using the corn as quickly as thought. This will result in an additional 300 million bushels of corn at the end of the year. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
March 15th: Crushing news from last night. A local, family owned grain elevator that we do the majority of our business with suffered an unimaginable blow yesterday. Rick and Adam Schnieder, father and son, were working in a grain bin when something went terribly wrong. We not only lost a partner in our operation, but more importantly a couple of very close friends. They were the type of people that would do anything to help you and were well respected by many, many people in the community. I can not tell you how many times I had stopped by to talk with Rick about nothing specific, but we would spend a long time talking about everything. He provided me encouragement to try many different adventures and I am so thankful for his friendship. Rick and Adam loved their family beyond anything and had a wonderful opportunity to work being surrounded by their family. I think this hit home closer than normal because they had such a close working relationship between the two of them. It is very similar to my father, whom I would consider my best friend and am so very glad for every minute that we have to work together. Please say a prayer for the Schneider family as they go forward knowing that Rick and Adam are together and to remember all of the wonderful memories that they have. This photo was taken when Rick offered to fly us up to look at our fields. He wanted Trey to come along as he had never been in a small plane before. I would put a photo of of Rick and Adam, but this was they type of men they were, never wanting to be in the lime light. Thanks Rick! Bruce ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
March 11th: The past weekend was very wet and had quite a bit of extremes. Saturday was a rainy day with close to 1.5" of rain. Sunday was also a rainy day with close to another 1/2 inch of rain. Last night we had a winter storm warning for our area. Thankfully the worst of the storm was near Charles City. They recieved close to 9" of snow last night. The ground is still frozen and the moisture is not soaking into the ground. The runoff is putting the majority of the moisture in the rivers and causing some ice jams that have caused some local flooding. The cattle are off to a wonderful start. They are healthy and we are not having any problems. I am seriously considering feeding these cattle out to market. The original plan was to background them until 700 pounds, but the group is off to such a good start we may want to finish them. The futures market gives us a chance to make a good profit. I am in the final week of selling crop insurance. I have a few customers that I need to meet and then will be farming full-time. I am really looking forward to this opportunity. Natalie and I spent the past week going to Des Moines to watch the WSR Go-Hawks play in the boys basketball tournament. They beat Harlan on Saturday night to win the Class 3A state tournament. They regrouped after starting the season with a 3-4 record to reel off 20 straight victories. The week before we went to Des Moines to watch the WSR girls basketball team play in the state tournament. The girls lost to Harlan in the semi finals, so the victory on Saturday over Harlan was sweet revenge. If the ground would eventually thaw out, the ground may begin to dry out. We need to map out our field boundaries and finish cutting trees out of fencelines. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
March 4th: For those of you who are familiar with the Discovery channel on TV, they have a special know as "SHARK WEEK". Well, today wraps up a week at Lantzky Farms that I would like to call "LIVESTOCK WEEK". We started the week by loading out 3 semi loads of market hogs from our Bassett site. Saturday started our venture into backgrounding Holstein steers. We brought in 280 head of 350lb steers. This was followed by another load on Sunday and Monday morning. Monday also saw 600 head of baby pigs being put into our Chickasaw site. We then continued LIVESTOCK WEEK by running the 490 head of steers through the chute on Tuesday and Wednesday. We gave them a internal and external wormer, vaccinations and a growth implant. Thursday saw an addtional 1,400 head of baby pigs come into the Chickasaw site. Friday was the final day and we sent another 3 semi loads of market hogs to town from Bassett. Then to finish off he intense days of working with livestock, we cleaned out the Bassett site on Monday with another 2 semi loads of market hogs. The weather has been difficult for starting cattle with multiple snow storms dropping 4-5 inches of snow. The weather then warms up just enough to melt everything and make it the lots sloppy. The frost is still in the ground and is not allowing much of the moisture to make it into the ground, instead running off. The crop insurance spring price was recently set. Corn was set at $5.65 and soybeans were set at $12.87. I have purchased crop insurance at the 85% level for both my corn and soybean acres. February 18th: This week we continue to sell pigs out of our Bassett site. They recently came down with PRRS and have not been growing as fast as we would like. We were scheduled to sell 4 semi loads this week (668 head), but could only find 3 loads (501 head). There are quite a few that are almost ready to sell, but are just a bit light. The corn market has really fallen out of bed that last 10 days. The spring insurance price is being set and appears that we will be in the $5.65 area for corn and $12.80 area for soybeans. Thankfully we have quite a bit hedged for new crop corn and own very little old crop corn. February 10th: Natalie finished her basketball season today. They played at the Wapsie Valley tournament. They really came a long ways from the start of the season. Today they finished 2-1 and beat a 6th grade team from Wapsie. The weather has been pretty good for the beginning of February. We have had a couple of good rains, the only problem being the ground is still frozen and not much soaked in. January 29th: What a wild week this has been for weather. Sunday we had an ice storm with .3" of an inch of ice. Monday consisted of a dense fog that had the kids out off of school. Monday evening we had a thunderstorm with lightning and today (Tuesday) had highs close to 50 degrees and a Winter Storm Watch for tonight and Wednesday. We are suppose to have close to 4" of snow and tempatures are going to fall close to 0 and then warm back up by the weekend. Yesterday I notified my crop insurance agency that I would not be selling crop insurance past March 15th. Now that we have expanded to 2,100 acres and have 2 hog buildings to take care of, I will be farming fulltime. This has been a long road to get to this point in my career. I feel truly blessed that we are in a position to make this work. We are in the process of installing RTK on our John Deere Gator. This will allow us to trace our fields and establish field and waterway boundaries. We could do this with the current SF2 level of accuracy that our GPS system has, but the boundaries would shift if not utilizing the RTK level. This should save a great amount of time when planting as I will not have to stop and drive around the waterways with the planter. The immediate reason to trace the waterways in to provide the GPS system a boundary to shut off the row units when planting through waterways. The longer term reason for boundaries is to create a prescription planting plan for each of the fields. This will allow us to vary the population that we plant our seeds. Dropping the population back to 20,000 on the lightest soils and increasing it to 38,000 on the more productive ground. We plan on doing some custom boundaries with this new system. We have finished loading out of our Chickasaw site and will begin to sell out of our Bassett site on February 1st. Just like perfect timing, the weather has turned colder as soon as we have emptied out a site. The buildings hold the animals heat very well, but when empty take so much more LP to keep from freezing up. The powerwashing crew is cleaning the building out today and we will be ready to put 10 lb baby pigs in the buildings within a week. I had a chance to talk with a student by the name of Sheldon Baptist, who is studying at Andrews University in Southwest Michigan. He originally saw our videos on Youtube, found our website and contacted me regarding an assignment he was completing. It is great to hear that there are young people looking to get started in Agriculture. I encouraged him to keep trying to find a way to get into production agriculture. I found it very interesting how he contacted me right at the time I decided to finally make the jump to full time farming. It took me many years of weekend and evening farming in order to be in a position to accomplish this. I also found that the off farm career taught me many skills that I was able to utilize and bring into my operation. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
January 20th: We are trully in the middle of winter. The days are beginning to get longer and there is a hint that spring will be right around the corner. The past couple of weeks have our $200k production review for my crop insurance policy complete. Thankfully everything lined up correctly with the 2011 production and the 2010 and 2009 production did not need to be reviewed. We are beginning to load market hogs out of the Chickasaw site. We should be empty later this week and just like clockwork, the coldest weather of the winter is scheduled to be upon us when the buildings are empty. I have spent that first couple of weeks of the year filing employment tax forms (943, w-2's and 1099's), as well as preparing financial statements, cashflow projections for the bank. Our goal is to have our operating line renewed as soon as possible after the first of the year for the coming year's needs. I promise you that 2013 will be an amazing year filled with many different turns and twists. I am not quite ready to put them all out there, but I promise you they will be great. Please check out the magazine article that was done on me regarding our flex leases. It was very well done and is located under the "Magazine" tab.