Finish Line

One field left to finish planting with rain in the forecast for today. Brad is going on one minute of sleep in the last 29 hours. Seriously. I sent Elliana along to keep him awake. Let’s all pray they stay safe.

Planting Week 2

It actually feels like we should be close to week 4, but the calendar says we’re just finishing up the second week of planting. Brad’s been primarily spraying this week and has someone else running his planter.

At one point I calculated that we were 16% done with what we need to get planted. Brad then calculated that we were 25% done with planting days. I’m guessing he is now pondering if he should get a bigger planter for next year. The tractor/planter hitch breaking is probably also adding to his consideration. This not really how I picture a hitch, but that’s what it is and the crack is not good.That was discovered the same day Brad unknowingly ran his sprayer tire over this post in someone else’s field. It left an irreparable hole in the side wall. I still don’t understand why a farmer would leave a post like that in his field without making it obvious that it is there. Maybe they have Michelin stock.

So that was a great day to have completed. The day before a tire fell off this fertilizer trailer. Thankfully, it belongs to the co-op so they fixed it after Brad got as much fertilizer pumped out of it as he could. All the children have had some quality time in the tractor with Brad except William. He just gets to look at the tractor while we wait for it to come down the field so we can pick up and/or drop off a sibling.

Brad says hi and grabs food if he’s lucky (In addition to the quality pb&j, I’ve managed pizza boats, a bbq pork sandwich and gas station chips and pop. God is gracious.) and off he goes again.

Planting Happenings

The trash whips were determined to be unnecessary on this field. It had soybeans on it last year, so it wasn’t very trashy. They were back on for this field.
One of my accomplishments today was hauling these cone bottoms and leaving them at the next field. Aren’t cone bottoms the natural thing for a suburban to haul? The process of unhitching and getting the frame resting on the dirt was more complicated than you might think, but the scariest thing was that Brad thought I should back up to get it connected to the hitch initially “incase you need to do it sometime when I’m not here.” Reverse is not my specialty.
Three fields done in three days. Three fields used to take longer than three days, and that was about all there was that had to be planted. This year three fields is just a start, but a good start it has been.

A New Year #plant18

A new year. Another fresh start. Farming feels kind of like being a school teacher. You get a little break and then get to start over. You have some new strategies you try, all while relying all the things you’ve learned from previous years. You have new hope and anticipation for what the year may bring. We’re praying it brings consistent rain. 

I have some new strategies on the home front too. I hope Brad thinks peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a good meal because that might be the most elaborate meal I take him. Also, if my children are not sure if they want to go ride in the tractor or not, I’m going to help sway their opinion by giving them special drinks and snacks just for the tractor. Liza already loves taking a lunch bag with food and feels a necessity is a cheese stick for her and Daddy.

One day and one field are already in the books!

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.