Friday, June 14, 2013

Farming On The Four's

So much has been going on I literally feel HORRIBLE about not having time to post about the farm's progress! This is usually my favorite thing to blog about but this year it's really taken the back burner. Priorities Kelsey, work on those priorities.

We're completely done with beans!! That means we've planted well over 2,500 acres of crops. When you have terraced crappier ground it can take twice as long to plant a field half the size of a long, half-mile row field. Hence why the beans took a little longer to plant. We also just finished up on our re-plant ground.

I know I didn't show you guys all the water damage but I'm planning on back-tracking and posting an update on it all here soon. The flooding was just ridiculous and we were less than fortunate to receive a little too much rain. I swear we either get a flood or a drought. There's no happy medium in the midwest. We're at that point where the ground still has moisture but we're going to be needing more soon in order for things to stay in good shape. Moisture is crucial to crops during the beginning growth stages to make sure the crops get a good head start and so the little seedlings germinate well.

Last year I did a really fun project over the summer where I took "fourth" updates on the bean field at the end of my driveway. This year I'm surrounded by corn so I decided why not do it again and add some fun corn pictures! So, I'll back track and show you the first ones later but here is the second photo session of corn progress. The picture above is my absolute favorite! I LOVED how it turned out, the focus plane is just perfect, the crack describes just how much moisture is needed and it shows a good view of how short the corn is compared to last summer. 

The old saying "knee high by the fourth of July" is really taking to life this year. Usually by the fourth our corn is "head high" so this year it's really getting put into perspective just how weird the weather has been for us. I'm so greatful the Lord has allowed our crops to grow enough and let's hope that Mother Nature does enough to allow these babies to continue to grow. 

I won't be able to do this "top view" style of photo forever but I think it's fun to see the little leaves growing outward!

As you can tell the corn doesn't look too shabby. The spot where I've chosen to snap the pictures is at the end of my driveway right where all of the flooding happens so that corner tends to wash out a lot. I would have liked to get more shots of them closer to the middle of the field but the problem with that theory is then they'll grow and you won't be able to see down the rows. These won't be the cream of the crop stalks but it's the only place I can get good growth pictures so bear with me. I've had this planned out and have to laugh at myself once in awhile. I would have never imagined to be strategically planning how or where to take these pictures.

And for more rain talk, here's what our forecast looks like for the rest of this week. I KNOW you're thinking to yourself, ok up there you wrote a whole paragraph about how  you need the rain. Well, technically we do, but we need to get some field work done before we need the rain. AKA- we need to go spray before the crops get too big or we won't be able to get out there and we need to ridge it all so we can prep for gravity flow irrigation (aka lay pipe out) and we also need to get out there and bale up some alfalfa too!

Speaking of alfalfa...

We just had our first cutting of alfalfa. We actually cut it on Sunday, June 9th so it's been drying out quite a bit considering it's now Friday. I took these photos on Wednesday evening before we received .20" worth of rain. You're thinking to yourself, meh, that doesn't amount to much. BUT if you've got alfalfa on the ground that needs to be baled this IS a big deal. When alfalfa gets wet, it begins to mold, if you try to bale moldy hay you have issues when you go to feed it. If you try to bale alfalfa that's too dry you have the risk of starting a baler fire due to the friction caused. Baling is such a touchy thing to do and conditions have to be just perfect to ensure that nothing goes wrong. 

The picture below is of the cut alfalfa laying on the ground. Usually you cut it, then let it sit for a day to dry out. Then, you go through with a rake and flip it so the other side can dry out too. Sometimes in the flipping process you'll pull two rows together. This happens if you have a crop that isn't as thick so you're not driving up and down the field as many times. Add the piles together to make bigger piles, drive less and waste less time and fuel. Makes sense.

And here's a shot of the whole field. Lots and lots of alfalfa waiting to get all baled up!

Now's when I break the sad news to ya...

The alfalfa shown above was partially baled. We got about twenty bales out of it and decided it was a bit too wet to continue to bale so we waited. While waiting another rainstorm went through and dumped a measly less than half an inch. This resulted in only those twenty bales being done and more than likely a loss on the other half of the field. 

No biggie except we have hungry cattle to feed come winter time. The alfalfa can only sit for so long before it gets bad and you can't bale it. We've reached that point and will consider it just a loss and move on. Usually you can bale a couple times a year off the field so we're hoping the next few rounds will go better for us. 

Moving on.

About a week ago we let the ponies out onto grass pasture! Ohh, they were so excited and I look forward to it each spring. They get so excited to get out and run it's just too fun to watch them. The grass tickles their little bellies as they gallop around not knowing where to start munching first. The first picture is of boy before opening the gate, as you can tell it's like little kids getting let out of school on the last day. They'll all so excited knowing that the green goodness will taste yummy compared to dry hay that they're stuck getting fed.

And here they are taking off! Lilly is in the lead she's not waiting for brother and mom to catch up, she's gone. Jed is the big fatty in the back, he's every bit of a seven year old but he's a big bully and steals food from the ladies all the time. I think it's about time he gets put on a diet!

I couldn't update the rest of the farm without giving you a little puppy picture could I?! Here's the little brat when it was time to let the ponies out. He was exhausted from running around terrorizing cats and other animals. This was pre running that evening. After this event he went on a 5.5 mile run with me. I tuckered that boy out that evening. 

Mom's gonna love me for this but here are some gorgeous shots of her iris' that she has growing at her place. She has this major knack for making things actually grow (which I did NOT inherit from her) and it's so fun to go over there to see her beautiful flowers. Look at all of the different kinds, none of the are the same so that makes it all the more fun to look at! 

1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous of all of this!!!! And you have horses???Why do we live so far away!


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