Monthly Archives: September 2013

Alfalfa and Soybean Updates

I’ve been lax on giving you soybean updates. The road we normally use to get to the field has been closed since the beginning of July with a bridge out, so I don’t find myself going by very often. So, here is a picture of what the bean field looks like now. The leaves have been turning yellow and falling off the stems, so harvest is not far behind – probably less than two weeks.

Soybean field

 

The crew came in an mowed our fifth cutting of alfalfa the other day. They are merging and chopping this afternoon. My camera has a dead battery so you won’t see that for the last time this year!

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Crop Update 09 23 13 003

Crop Update 09 23 13 004

 

 

 

 

Manure Spreading

The dairy crew is still putting on manure.

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This is a tillage tool called a Gen-Till. It pokes holes in the ground (at the left) so the manure being applied (on the right) will soak into the ground faster.

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Manure is applied at 1000 to 1500 gallons per minute.

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The black hose in the front is called the supply hose. The orange one nearer the tractor is a very heavy drag hose designed to be pulled by the Gen-Till.

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This is the pump that is pumping the manure out of the 15 million gallon lagoon at 200 pounds per square inch of pressure in the supply hose. With a booster pump manure can be pumped three miles to the fields.

 

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Here’s the 15 million gallon lagoon of manure.

 

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Silage Pile at the Dairy

The pile of silage at the dairy has grown immensely the past 10 days. They’ve started covering it with plastic and tires to protect it and help it ferment.

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The tractors are still packing.

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Silage Pile and Manure Spreading 09 07 13 004

You can see the plastic and tires better here.

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The buggy just emptied onto the cement and the tractor will start pushing it onto the pile.

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Silage Pile and Manure Spreading 09 07 13 009

There’s getting to be a traffic jam as the silage gets full. It’s as long as it will probably get, but they can make it higher on this end.

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Silage Pile and Manure Spreading 09 07 13 012

Silage Pile and Manure Spreading 09 07 13 013

Richard took this picture earlier of both tractors near the top.

silage pile

Tiling Fields

Not only have we been chopping silage this past week or so, we’ve had some tiling done in a couple of fields.

The blue tile is for the smaller lateral tile lines and the yellow tile is for the bigger main lines. Each main has multiple laterals draining water into it.

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Some of the blue tile is four inches and some are six inches in diameter.

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The yellow tile for the main lines is 8 inches in diameter.

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When the tiling crew first comes, they have to dig to find the old main lines so that they can attach new ones to them. Many of the old lines are made out of clay tile and are easy to break so they have to be very careful digging around.

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Many of the old mains were dug in years and years ago by hand. We only have a pencil sketch map of where they are, if we have any map at all, so most of the digging is hunting, pecking and trying to find them without breaking them.

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The line of these dirt piles is where the crew found the old clay tile main. The piles go horizontal and the main would go straight out from where you are standing.

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Tile lines are usually 2 1/2 to 4 feet deep so they have to dig at least that deep to find them.

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Here the crew is getting ready to put a new roll of tile onto the tile machine. It’s kind of like putting a spool of thread on a sewing machine and threading it onto the machine.

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Now he’s “threading” more tile through the machine and hooking it onto where they ran out of the other spool.

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Here they’ve duct taped the two ends together with a connector between them.

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The tile machine driver now starts to plow the tile into the ground. See the yellow bubble on top of the red pole? That’s the GPS/laser to keep the tile “on grade” in the field.

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Here’s is the tile plow out of the ground.

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These guys are getting ready to connect the new blue tile to the old clay tile main.

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He feeds it down through the black tile plow “boot”.

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This is the connector that will go on the end of the blue tile and into the clay tile main.

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The guy in the white shirt is breaking a hole the size of the connector into the side of the main tile.

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Now the other guy is connecting the blue tile after the connector is in the main. [Notice the bare feet on the guy in blue. He actually works that way all over the field. He has for three years and loves it. Not for me! I’d rip my feet open on the corn stalks!]

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