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. 

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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?

Pivot Checking at Sunset

My Family/Farm Education:
Brad is pumping on fertilizer his corn with the water from the pivot so he needed to go check to make sure it was going on at the right rate. It seemed like a good Friday evening family outing. While Brad and the big kids walked to the pivot point, Liza and I stayed and played in the short end rows.

It was a beautiful, July evening that started with the sun behind the clouds until it popped out as it was setting. I’m sorry I don’t know how to best photograph a sunset.

Farm Education:
Let’s discuss some of the many hindrances to growing food.

1. Rabbits!
Elliana and I put a little fence around as many of these beans as we could after we saw this damage, but who knows if they’ll decide to get real jumpy and hop over it.
Beans vs rabbits2. Volunteer Corn
It doesn’t produce anything and just sucks up moisture from the ground.

volunteer corn3. Sprayer Error
In the distance of this picture you can see where the corner of dry land corn stopped and irrigated corn (taller) starts. You can also see that it looks like Brad is standing in a spot of very short corn.
IMG_0274Back in March he was working on his sprayer in that spot and cleaning it out. All he can figure is that the windshield washer fluid (I think he puts this in it for winter storage.) he was spraying through the machine sterilized the ground so seed couldn’t grow. sterilized groundThe two lanes of no corn are right under where nozzles of the sprayer were when he drove it forward a few yards. He’s just glad he didn’t figure this out on someone else’s field, that it’s not even a full acre, and that it’s not on irrigated ground.

4. Then you have my depressing tomatoes. 
If you could just tell me what is causing the leaves to be all curled up and what to do about it, that would save me the energy of trying to figure it out. I don’t think it’s a bug because Sevin dust didn’t help. sick tomato plant

June Crops

Farm Education:
We got to drive down a couple miles of a trail road this week so we were up close and personal with the crops. Here is how they are looking on the 2nd week of June based on pictures my kids took.

Irrigated Corn:
June Irrigated Corn Dry Land Corn:June Dry Land Corn Wheat: June Winter WheatWith this lovely 90 degree June weather, the corn is growing quickly (love those heat units!) and the wheat is changing daily. It makes for rapidly changing landscape around here.

“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10

Bad Day

Farm Education:
If this was your day as a farmer or trucker, it was a bad day. You’re looking at the bottom of a semi.tipped over grain semiWhen I saw the tipped semi as I was going to work, I didn’t think I should probably stop on the icy curve to take a picture. The road looked just like it does in the picture, which is deceptive. It was quite slick, and apparently the trucker didn’t realize the extent before he tried to take the corner.

On my way home, another semi was there and they were vacuuming the grain from the spill. semi accidentgrain vacuum A few days later when I went by that corner, this was left. spilled corn pileWe know a couple of people who come to spills like this to get feed for their animals.

Small Town Nebraska:
Speaking of animals, I saw a couple of turkeys one recent morning. Nebraska turkeysNot all that exciting, but I still wanted to show you.

What I’m Thinking and Learning: 
Choosing Jesus, choosing to be joyful when things seem stressful, really is better than growling. Believe me, I know. I had a peaceful moment last week when I chose what was important instead of what felt urgent. Elliana wanted to see if we had the music for “What Child Is This” (random child request), so I was looking through a hymnal for it. Liza has to be at the piano if anyone is there, so she was sitting sideways on the piano bench looking through a hymnal of her own. Elliana and I found “What Child Is This” and played through it. I can’t stop at one, so I thumbed through and played another. How else will my children learn songs like “Onward Christian Soldiers”? Then I came across “Abide With Me” by Henry Lyte from 1847. Perfect words for me.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens, Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou, who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Though dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar condescending, patient, free;
Come, not to sojourn, but abide with me. 

I need They presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? 
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be? 
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

Hold Thou They cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Elliana got Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids for Christmas. I’m sure the adult Jesus Calling is super good; but if you read this kid version with your child, you’ll be encouraged everyday. I really like it. jesus calling for kids

Corn Price

Farm Education:
At the annual local farm cooperative business meeting (meal I didn’t have to cook!), the speaker was talking about the tightening of the farm economy. I quickly jotted down the average price of a bushel of corn just so I could share it with you.

2010: $3.55
2011: $5:18
2012: $6.22
2013: $6.89
2014: $4.46
2015: $3.40

What I’ve Been Thinking:
I did some Christmas shopping at Seeds Family Worship today. That’s about the extent of my shopping this weekend.

That is all I have for you today.