Monthly Archives: May 2013

The soybeans are coming up

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You can just see the seed starting to push the dirt out of its way.

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The one on the right is still working its way up while the two on the left have broken through.

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I always think it’s amazing how that little plant can move so much heavy dirt.

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Here a seed didn’t get planted under the dirt and the one next to it did.

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You can “row” the beans. That means you can just see the whole row of plants at once.

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Off to Cargill!

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I decided to take a ride with Richard to Cargill Bloomingburg to deliver a load of corn.

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Here’s what the trailer looks like from the cab.

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Here’s my farmer hubby!

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Just about to pull onto the scales to get weighed full.

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Just a tad bit over legal weight. Oops!

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Yes, they unload you on an active railroad line. It can be a little unnerving sometimes.

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Here’s my try to get a picture of the inside of one of the huge grain bins at Cargill.

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Here’s our “official” weight and net bushels we’ll be paid for.

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There’s a horse farm across the road. There were lots of colts and their mamas enjoying the beautiful day.

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The rear view in the mirror and the field we passed.

 

Nebraska Farming

Matt took these pictures the past couple of years in the territory he works around Seward, Nebraska. You’ll see a bit of a difference in their farming practices than what we do in Ohio. Irrigation is critical in Nebraska because they only ¬†receive 25-30 inches of rain per year in the eastern part of the state and less than 20 inches of rain in the western part of the state. Because of this, many farmers have pivots (irrigators) to supply the water necessary to grow a bountiful crop. Ohio’s average is 38 to 43 inches.

Nebraska Farming

This is what 78 bushel per acre soybeans look like while harvesting. This field has been irrigated. Our bean yield is usually 35 to 60 bushels per acre (bu/ac).

Feedlot Corn 2013

This is high moisture feedlot corn being harvested for cattle feed.

High Moisture FeedLot Corn

You can see how green they harvest it in Nebraska for cattle feed. The dairy here in Ohio chops our corn as silage for cattle feed instead of harvesting it like this farmer does. You can see the corn piling up at the top of the combine.

Irr Corn along I-80

This is just a beautiful picture of a bountiful harvest.

Mile Long Rows-Henderson

This is a field near Henderson, Nebraska, that is almost a mile long. To have a field that long in Ohio is a very rare occurrence, but it would be sweet!

Hilly Irr Corn field-Spiking

Here is a field that has been planted with the corn just beginning to emerge through the soil surface.

Irr Soybean 30inch rows

These soybeans are planted in 30-inch rows compared to ours at 7 inches.

Dryland NE Seward County

Nebraska is not completely flat. There are lots of rolling hills.

Sand Blowing Platte Valley Fall 2012

That is not rain! It’s sand blowing across the Platte Valley. Notice the gravel road. There are lots and lots of those roads in the area Matt lives and works in.

Seed Corn field in Pouring Rain

Nebraska may not get many inches of rain, but when they do . . .

Tornado Destroys Pivot

A tornado and hail went though this farmer’s land in 2011. That pivot is now upside down and destroyed and the corn has been torn up pretty badly as well. Not a good day.

V3-V4 Irr Corn

An irrigated corn field. Irrigation of 0.5-2 inches of water is used early in the growing season to help get the crop off to a good start if conditions are dry. Once spring rains stop and the crop is growing well, depending on how much water is in the soil, most farmers start watering their crops with the pivot around mid June. The amount of water applied each week is based off the growth stage (size of the corn) as well as the weather conditions (hot & dry or humid & wet) that effect how much water the corn is using each day. Many farmers in Nebraska have an agronomist (like Matt) that check their fields weekly in the summer. An agronomist can use a soil probe down to 3 feet deep and by feeling the soil and knowing the soil type (sand, silt, or clay), estimate how much water is left for the corn to use. If conditions are dry and hot, corn in late July and early August can use over 1/3 inch per day of water. Many farmers in eastern Nebraska apply 9-18 inches of water each year with pivots depending on how much rain is received. Most pivots are about 1/4 mile long and rotate in a circle covering about 130-150 acres of the 160 acres in a quarter section of land. It takes 27,154 gallons to supply 1 inch of water to 1 acre. Thus a 1 inch pass with the pivot on 130 acres can use over 3,500,000 gallons of water! Depending on the well capacity, it typically takes 3-4 days to apply 1 inch of water with a pivot. Most irrigation wells use either a diesel, gas, or electric motor to pump water at 600-1,100 gallons per minute and the pivot moves slowly in a circle by electric driven wheels as the water is pumped. Farmers using irrigation stay busy in the summer checking pivots and well motors several times each day to make sure they are running correctly and to service them. So the next time you’re in an airplane flying over the Midwest, look for the circles in the farmland – those are irrigated fields!

V7 Irr Corn

A little taller corn.

The Field Office

Matt’s field office.

Planting Soybeans

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This is the 30 foot soybean drill. The rows are planted 7 inches apart whereas corn is planted 30 inches apart.

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Filling the drill with soybeans from the “buggy”. It’s so much easier this way than with bag after bag after bag.

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Richard is aiming the tube right where the seed needs to go.

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You can see all the rows for the beans.

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You can hardly see him, but Troxells brought their dog along for the ride and he was watching very intently as everyone worked.

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The soybean seed is green for the same reason the corn seed is pink – insecticide to keep the bugs from eating it.

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The drill holds about 45 acres worth of seed.

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The buggy has a scales in it and we are charged by how many pounds of seed we use. Thanks, Troxell Brothers, for helping to keep us supplied!

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Our fields were a little wet yet, so Richard planted around the worst of the wet spots. It’s just time to plant whether it’s perfect conditions or not. When these places dry out he’ll go back and plant them. It’s about 25 to 30 acres out of the 165 of soybeans. I hope these ducks are enjoying the pond!