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Field Rotation – Phase IV (Drilling)

I finished discing  the evening before having to leave for a bull sale. The long range forecast was calling for precipitation in five days…three days at the sale would leave me two days to get the wheat drilled before the rain/snow began to fall…if the meteorologist was correct.

Tractor, Roterra, Drill, Cultipacker

Since I was planting wheat, an annual and not alfalfa or pasture, I did not run a box scraper or land plane following discing. Instead, I hooked up a roterra, followed by the drill, followed by the cultipacker.

The roterra is PTO driven and further breaks up the remaining sod clods and then gently packs the soil in front of the drill. The drill then lays the seed in a small furrow, 2″ deep for red wheat in our soil. The cultipacker then follows the drill and packs the soil on top of the seed. Read more…

Field Rotation – Phase III (Discing)

12' Offset Sod Disc

After letting the field set for about a week, it was time to disc.

The process of discing breaks up the turned soil and sod resulting from plowing. We utilized a 12′ offset sod disc for this field, due to the presence of orchard grass and fescue, with both create heavy sod. Read more…

Attention Occupiers ….

A friend of mine sent me this photo. I think it says it all.

Perfect Pumpkin

Kyle's Perfect Pumpkin

This weekend, we took the family to a local pumpkin patch. My son searched for a bit and soon returned to request the clippers.

I asked him, “Did you find the perfect pumpkin?”

He replied, “Yes!”

I asked, “Why is it perfect?”

He replied, “Because I love it!”

Lesson to be learned, from the mouth of a child.

Reach Beyond The Choir, #ACFC11 Opening Remarks

Sunset In Nashville, courtesy of Mark Lathrop

Welcome to Nashville!

You were all selected to attend this 2nd Agchat Foundation Conference because you have passion for agriculture, have embraced social media and have demonstrated that you have the desire to become more effective agvocates.

Over the next two days, you will have the opportunity to expand your knowledge of social media platforms, integrate smart and mobile technology and most importantly, meet fellow agvocates who have made the decision to work with you as a team.

Some of you will focus on one or two platforms, while others will feel comfortable and have the time and energy to incorporate multiple platforms. You each will play an important and vital role in assisting the effort of agriculture to reconnect with consumers.

Our emphasis this year is to help you reach beyond the choir. We want you to learn how to build strong bridges, grow supportive communities and gain influence among those outside of agriculture.

This endeavor will take time, focus, patience, bravery, professionalism, civility and respect.

Ultimately, your success will depend on your ability to communicate effectively and nurture relationships built upon mutual respect and trust.

Agriculture is diverse, society is diverse, and you all have unique interests and personalities, as do the individuals you will be reaching out to.

Diversity must be respected. Read more…

Grandpa’s Friend

Megan, Charlie, Baley (Left-Right)


She wasn’t much of a cow dog and was scared of horses, but she knew what her purpose in life was.

She started out as my wife’s dog, being cute, friendly and….just because.

Eager to please and be a friend, she may have been timid, but was loyal to the end.

When Grandpa lost his dog, the two seemed to know and she bonded right away.

She’d be waiting for him at the door in the morning and by his side she’d always stay.

As years passed by, his pace slowed down and frequent stops provided needed rest.

Yet, she’d always stop and wait, patiently sitting, as a trusted friend she was the best.

Near the end, on the hospital bed he lay, a couple days left on his earthly stay.

We’d sneak her in his room, upon her head his calloused but gentle hands would lay.

She finally heard the good Lord, and departed us, to return to him, in Heaven, today.

2011 Irrigation Starts

2011 pivot turned on

Day 1 of Irrigation for 2011

Due to nice spring rains, we were able to hold off turning on the water until May 3 this year. Long range forecasts had shown another front coming in, but was adjusted on Monday to show upper 60’s and low 70’s without chance for rain.

While the alfalfa could have made it another five to six days without irrigation, I made the decision to stay ahead of the draw down and lay down an inch of water now to make sure that I was ahead of the water level for second cutting, so the plants do not get stressed. The master plan calls for starting 1st cutting in 12 days. We’ll see if the weather cooperates. 🙂

It was a pleasant morning flushing the mainline and discovering that for the first time in years, no risers were cracked or broken due to winter wear, livestock and wildlife.  Not so pleasant is knowing that the power bills are going to start coming again…

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