Thursday, November 21, 2013

Harvest is Over and a Video Clip for You

Harvest 2013 wrapped up a couple weeks ago as the guys finished combining the last of the corn. We have white on the ground today, and I think it's going to stick this time. The guys had been trying to get as much fall fertilizing done as they could. It's always a good feeling to finish up for the year, and a good opportunity to thank everyone who puts in the long hours to get the crop off. We've got a great team of people.

I came across the trailer for this documentary, Farmland, several weeks ago and kind of forgot about it until I saw someone mention it on Facebook today. I thought I'd post it here. Can't wait to see it:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Harvest Update

I finally got Blogger and Snapfish (where I store our photos) to work simultaneously so I could put up a new post!

The guys finished up soybean harvest (hallelujah!) and have moved on to corn. It is wet but running pretty well considering the wet year we've had.

These were just some pictures I snapped with my phone when the crew was combining just southwest of town last week.

I caught a beautiful sunset on my way back from the field the other night.

Someone thought the guys' supper containers needed an extra special touch last night.

Here they are all ready to go.

Don't most farmers like peace signs and hearts? :) My favorite is the one that says "I love tractors." Ha.

It was cold and windy yesterday, but the guys work through it all. Even our little farmers braved the icky weather so they could go ride with Daddy.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Soybean Harvest

This photo was taken last night before the rain hit. The guys were hoping to finish up soybeans this week but it started raining last night and has been raining on and off all day (and is still coming down now). I haven't checked the rain gauge yet, but I am guessing we are maybe around 2" so far.

I also have lots more pictures and some video footage of the drain tiling I posted about last month. I didn't give any info or details in that last post, but I sure learned a lot out there and will write up a post soon.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Drain Tiling

The guys are doing some drain tiling just east of our house. Chad snapped a few pictures with his phone:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wheat Video

Here is a short video for you guys, courtesy of Cole:

This was taken just the other day.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Combines Rolling

The combines tested out a wheat field right by the shop and our house yesterday.

Unfortunately, it was too wet, but they will likely try it again in a few days. We have been having some warmer temps this week, and next week looks to be warm as well, so that will be good.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Touring Monsanto

Earlier this week, we took a short trip to St. Louis, MO where we toured Monsanto headquarters as well as their Chesterfield Village Research Center.

We started off in a visitor center of sorts where we viewed some interactive displays about agriculture. Factoids like only 3% of the Earth's land is amenable to agriculture were interesting to discover. There were also maps of how planting zones have changed; basically crops that were traditionally grown in southern regions are now being grown further north. We then went on a walking tour of the facility, which opened in 1984 and at the time was the only facility doing biotechnology.

The research process beings with gene discovery. Researchers take genes found in nature (no genes are created) and transfer that gene to the plant. That, in turn, tells the plant to produce a protein which may effect a certain characteristic such as drought-tolerance, for example. Plants are grown with the added gene and studied extensively. We viewed several growth chambers and green houses. Research is conducted on several generations of the plants. From gene discovery and insertion, to observation and researching the plant, to government approval, the entire process ending in commercialization of a new biotech crop takes anywhere from 8-12 years.

The tour moved pretty quickly, and we had just a couple of hours between the research facility and the breeding and agronomics tour at the headquarters. I would have liked to take more notes to share with you, but what I got down was pretty limited.

We did see this machine in action:

This chipper actually takes a 3-D photo of each corn seed, tells the machine how to rotate it so a 5mm slice can be taken out of the seed without damaging the embryo. The chips are then analyzed and select seeds are sent back to breeders.

We talked a bit about GMO food safety, the history of biotech, and the future of some of the research they're doing. It really was an interesting tour!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Checking in with the Corn

This past Sunday, we swung by one of our corn fields near town so I could snap a few pictures.

The severely wet spring we had really thinned the corn out. That, coupled with the cool temperatures we have been having lately is leading to concern about seeing some poor yields this fall.

It still looks big when you're only four feet tall.

A scant area of the field

Here's hoping for some warmer temperatures.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wheat Coming Up

Just sharing a few photos of some wheat that was seeded May 6 (photo was taken last week):

Monday, June 3, 2013

Rain, Rain, Rain

There has been a lot of rain coming down this spring and not a lot of acres getting planted. Heavy and frequent rains have soaked many fields. We have managed to get about 2/3 of the crop in, but we will preventive plant some acres as well. If we can get in the field at all this week, we will be trying to seed soybeans, but it has been slow-going. Today, the planter got stuck 4 times just trying to seed 40 acres. Here is Chad about a week ago trying to get into a field:

The tracks have been helpful, but it is so very wet out there. We will not be able to plant a good portion of the corn we were hoping to get in because it has gotten so late in the season now. The corn that has been planted is just starting to come out of the ground now after being planted weeks ago. The cool temperatures have not been favorable. We are, however, thankful for what we have gotten in and will look ahead to what will hopefully be a good growing season!

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Tractors Are Rolling

There was a lot of hustle and bustle around the shop yard this morning. Tractors, seeders, sprayers, and a plethora of other equipment is out in the yard as the guys get ready to put the first seeds in the ground. Here's to a safe and productive spring planting season!

Monday, April 15, 2013

More Snow

We received lots of wind and snow last night through early this morning. The closest estimation I can figure is around 12 inches. Bismarck saw over 18" of fresh snow, breaking several records for this time of year. Another 4-6" is being predicted for our area later this week.

It doesn't look like we will be in the field any time real soon; however, once the ground does start to thaw, things will move quickly.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wetland Management and More Snow!

I'm a little sad to report that since I last posted way back at the end of December, our view hasn't changed much (ok, so there's more snow):

These were taken during a winter storm last weekend.

Mother Nature seems in no hurry to usher in spring, so we'll live with it a while longer.

I wanted to post today about HCR 3017, which is (I'm paraphrasing) "a resolution urging US Fish and Wildlife and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to fairly administer water management laws and regulations in a manner that allows landowners and tenants certainty and cooperation in the management of these laws and regulations."

Chad and Terry are at the capitol today testifying in support of HCR 3017. They have seen an acute need for better administration of the water management laws and regulations in North Dakota. At risk is the productivity of the very land we farm. Varying interpretations of water laws and a generally inflexible and uncooperative environment have caused much frustration in our situation as we try to identify and mitigate wetlands in order to make the most of the land we are farming.

If HCR 3017 passes, it will hopefully send a message to Washington, D.C. that North Dakota farmers are seeking a vastly more efficient and helpful USFWS and NRCS that will truly act on what is best for the people and the land.