Lefebure.com / Farming / 2007 / May 2007

Today we finished planting soybeans. There is a little sweet corn we'd like to plant yet, but aside from that and barring any need to replant anything, we're done. It's a feeling of relief to know that it can rain and we won't be too late on a field. At this point, we still don't want to see much rain for a while. There is enough moisture in the ground to germinate the seeds, and by being a little dry it will force the plants to put on some deep roots. Effectively that helps the crops survive if it were to turn dry later in the summer. A wet spring causes the root system to be lazy, and will damage a crop faster in the event of a drought. We have also seen just a little bit of crusting in a few fields. It isn't terrible, but is present. "Crusting" is when the top one inch of soil becomes hard and the germinated seeds can't break through it. In short, it is caused by a hard rain followed by heat, but only in certain soil types does it become a problem.

YouTube Video
Finishing Soybean Planting



Back into the fields this afternoon. Also hauling some grain today too. I was at my desk job pretty much all day today, so I didn't really get in on any of the action. I did happen to see an interesting train this morning though. I've never seen combines on a train before, other than in pictures. It appears to be a load of mostly 2577s and 2588s, with a few NH machines mixed in. I wasn't able to get close enough to see model numbers though. These were on the UP double main line in Fairfax, Iowa. They would be coming from Grand Island, NE, and are probably headed for the port of Baltimore for export if I was to guess a destination.

We got about 30 acres done early this morning before the rain shut us down. It didn't really rain all that much though, so we should dry out quickly.
We changed the planter back to corn this morning, planted the last two fields, and changed it back over to soybeans this afternoon. Still found a little mud, but not enough to get stuck. Mainly it just plugs up the press wheels on the planter. It was windy and hot today, with a high near 90 degrees. Looks like we'll see a storm come through tonight yet too.

YouTube Video
Finishing Corn Planting

More soybeans. Looks like we'll switch back to corn tomorrow and get that finished up. The A/C on big red is still broken, and the forecast for tomorrow is HOT, so running that tractor is really going to suck. We just can't shut it down right now, since we are trying to get as much done as possible before the rain that is forecast for tomorrow night.
More soybeans today. I ended up running the 9180 (aka "Big Red" for a while, which proved to be interesting since the A/C compressor was dying, and then it quit completely. Even on a relatively cool day, that cab gets pretty warm. The field I was in didn't till up well last time, so the ride was pretty rough this time, plus there was still a lot of moisture just under the surface, so it was pulling really hard today.

YouTube Video
A Ride in Big Red

We were able to get back into the fields yesterday, but it was muddy in a few places. Today we switched the planter over to soybeans. We aren't done with corn, but the remain two fields are way too wet to do right now. Maybe a week from now they might work. Meanwhile, we'll get some soybeans in. Some full season beans will enjoy a long growing season, and some short season beans will allow us to get the combines going sooner this fall. Unfortunatly this corn-bean-corn-beans swap on the planter takes some time to swap back and fourth, but it also costs us time to clean the sprayer out an extra couple times.

It's going to rain again today. We don't have any more fields dry enough to plant, so we wouldn't be able to run today anyway.
We got back into the fields this afternoon. The pictures here are from emptying out the seed that was in the hoppers, so that the next field we go to is completely a different hybrid. We take the white hoppers off and dump them out, which is the first 4 pictures. The next 3 pictures show us putting seed into the hoppers. What we do is place the bags on top of the hoppers, then slice them open with a knife and shake the last few kernels out. That is why you see folded bags in a few of the hoppers. After that, we add some graphite (the black stuff) to the seed for lubrication of the pickup fingers that accurately meter the kernels when they get dropped into the ground. Put the lids back on and we're ready to go again.

Scattered showers are in the forecast for the next few days. The remaining land we need to plant corn on is quite muddy yet, so it could be a while.

YouTube Video
Kinze planter in Transport Position

We had some light rain today, and it was just enough to shut us down. We're about 2/3 done planting corn so far. One sunny day would probably dry things up enough that we could get running again. On the plus side, this little bit of rain might help to germinate the corn that has already been planted.

News for today? Um? The 8950 was getting a little weak, so it got a new fuel filter. The 9180 is staying about 10 hours ahead of the planter, and then the sprayer is running right behind the planter. Well, when the planter leaves a field anyway. I'm going to guess we're about half done planting corn.


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