Comparisons

We honestly had no measurable rain in June and July. To me it’s amazing our dry land corn actually produced anything. At its worst it was hard to tell the difference between where you had already harvested and where you hadn’t. Some of it looked this pathetic.

Compare that to the irrigated corn.

I haven’t asked Brad for official numbers, but I’d say that our irrigated produced 4 times more than the dry land. You could drive the combine through the irrigated field one time before filling up. You could pick through the dry land down and back 2 to 3 times before filling up. If we used the grain cart in the dry land they had a lot more time to read than they did in the irrigated.

One more comparison for your Monday. These pictures are taken in the same field.

The first one was not long after the field was planted and the second is just after it was harvested. A lot changes in a field within six months.

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Harvest Mishaps

Mishap 1: Brad left the bottom open on a grain cart that he hasn’t used since last year. A nice little pile of corn poured out of the bottom of it. He got his workout in for the day when he shoveled it back into the combine.
Mishap 2:

Our grain cart driver started to overflow the other grain cart she was dumping into and then couldn’t get the gate shut. She panicked and left a generous pile of corn. It was nothing that the loader tractor couldn’t clean up, and the next day she only drove tractor as long as she didn’t have to unload the grain cart again.Mishap 3: Mishap is putting it lightly. Let me give you some captions for the following picture.

-How to determine if your husband loves you more than money

-Why auger wars are a bad idea

-Keeping it real

-What takes a day to disassemble and a day to reassemble?

-You know it’s bad when you think, “At least nothing burned and no one was run over.”

-How to erase the thought that your help during harvest is worth something

-My new motto: But for the grace of God go I

RUINED AUGER

FIXED AUGER

Harvest Has Begun!

We have started harvesting our dry land corn. DRY is the true descriptive word there since most of the fields had barely any rain during June and July, kind of critical months in the life cycle of a corn plant.

At this point my 10 year old has helped Brad more than I have. I still can’t really believe it, but she is becoming a proficient grain cart driver. I’m sticking to the combine. I went to help one morning last week. Brad wanted to drive me around to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything important and to fill me in on the ins and outs of harvesting dry land corn. Our training ride was longer than expected and turned into a photo session.

Let’s take a selfie to get your mind off the fact that your knee just got squished under the armrest of Dad’s seat.
First combine ride
The 3 year old took a turn with the camera.

The best picture I’ve seen of me in a long time

And I took pictures of the 3 year old.

Quality time. I never ended up having to drive the combine myself because, ironically, it started to rain.

On the subject of harvest, check out this gnarly carrot from our garden.   

Right Now in Nebraska

I snapped this picture on my phone when I was at my friend’s house that has the incredible view. I like how it shows a lot about what is happening in western Nebraska right now.

In the bottom of the picture you wee what unwatered grass looks like. DRY. We are really needing rain in our part of the state. We’re at the point where it feels like we’re constantly pleading with God to send rain and always trying not to worry. Oh that we would feel the need for more of Jesus like we feel the need for rain.

Moving on up the picture you see the beautiful green of irrigated corn. Then in the center above that is the golden wheat that farmers are starting to harvest. The contrast between those two this time of year is always so pretty.

Then at the top you have the gorgeous blue sky – the constant in all seasons.

Now check this out. I moved my camera a smidge to the right and it looks like this!

You see a vineyard and then you’re looking at a one acre hop yard. With the price of corn and wheat in the tank, some farmers are stepping out to try new things. This farmer is really going out on a limb. I’m pretty sure you won’t find even a handful of hop yards in our section of the state. It is quite an impressive piece of work!Those posts are huge in real life. Right now the green in the picture is weeds between the rows. The hops are planted in the black weed barrier. I didn’t get an up close picture, but I’m going to have to visit frequently to watch the progress and the process. 

Animal OCD

This has to be one of the most bizarre corn field happenings that has ever happened to us.

From a distance in this field of Brad’s it looks like the planter didn’t plant one row.

When you get closer you can see that corn is there.

It has just been eaten by some creature.

THE WHOLE ENTIRE ROW! The animal did not quit at just a few plants or part of the row and it didn’t not try other rows. It only liked this one and couldn’t bring itself to quit. I’m not even exaggerating.

I think it’s a natural phenomenon. Have you ever seen anything like it?

Planting Setup

Brad changed from an 8 row planter to a 12 row planter this year. He wanted to change how his new planter was set up for fertilizing, and so he just did. How he knows all this stuff is beyond me. Here’s a look at his planting fertilizer setup.

The fertilizer is in the white tanks on the side of the tractor.It goes through these cylinders connected to the planter.
Then it goes out through all these red hoses. Look at all that tidy tubing!In the end, somehow fertilizer comes out at each row in supposedly the same rate.
This pump Brad added, which somehow works to make the fertilizer part of that happen for the entire planter, not just one row.So while the seed is going into the ground, it is getting fertilized at the same time. Then it soon starts to grow! Please take time to be impressed!

Brad knows how the tractor and planter work and often if something breaks he figures out what the problem is and can fix it. Would you have a clue how to even start figuring out the problem? I wouldn’t even want to attempt to take off a tire if I had a flat on my car! Farmers do so much more than just drive a tractor and get dirty. As you see from this, they are also mechanics and engineers, (My explanations of things show you I am not!) but they are also so much more!

Planting 2017

We are in the midst of planting season. At the end of last week, we were about thirty percent done.
As of yesterday, just over half of Brad’s corn is planted. That means we have less than half to go. 

It feels like its been “one of those years.”  For instance, I took this nice photo when Brad passed me on my walk as he drove out to the field for the first time this season. Before I was even done with my walk he passed me on his way back to the shop. A hydraulic line had blown and sprayed oil all over the tractor as he was lowering the planter. He hadn’t even tried to plant anything yet. Another day, I thought I’d be nice and ride with Brad a round. It was William’s first tractor ride. As you can see Brad had been really bored and was missing us a lot. (That was sarcasm there.) We got booted after an abrupt stop because something wasn’t working right had Liza’s head hitting the windshield. We didn’t even make it half way through the field.

A flat tire here, a wheel falling off there, questionable seed depth……cornstalks keep plugging the planter, a sensor isn’t working… BUT fields are still getting planted.Some even have corn sprouting already.