Harvest Hustle

farm kid on grain bin harvest     This is what is called spotting on a bin.  Z is waiting for me to back the auger up and he will give directions to put the grain auger exactly where it should be.

filling grain bin with corn by auger wagon


We use a 600 bushel wagon as a “catch” “bin” when we put corn in the drying bins.  Corn goes from combine (generally on the go in the field) to wagon to auger to bin.

combine corn sunset

Getting later in the day, corn all around.  It is becoming more and more a “corn” world around here.

yield map 30 acres soybeans

This will probably be our worse field of soybeans.  I thought it would push it to make 25 to 30 bushels per acre.  Actual across the scales at the elevator was 44.7.  That means that Judi has done a good job calibrating the yield monitor on the combine.  See the red those ares are called sand hills.  Purple is “blow” sand.

yield map corn 50 acres

Field south of the house.  Purple area and also red area in middle of the field point out where drainage tile is needed.  Before yield monitors we kinda new about how bad these areas are, but yield monitors really show how bad they really are.

yield map with tile risers flags

Part of a field east of parents house.  It has been partially tiled in 1983 besides old clay tile put in around the turn of the century (1900).  It still has issues as shown by the yield map.  Corn is still much better than I thought it would be with all the late summer dryness we had.  We are in drought 2 category according to the U.S. drought monitor.  Wonder what 4 inches of rain in August and 2 inches of rain the first week of September would have done for the corn yields, not to mention soybean yields?

Harvest Hustle

So far we have been performing the harvest hustle. Switching the combine back and forth between corn and beans when a field is too wet. Moving the auger between drying bins and then filling the regular bins once the corn is dried down. And back to dumping into the drying bins.

Episode 4 Farm Video

Around the Farm in 6 second clips

torrential rains, putting up fans in cattle show barn, moving a bull in with cows, newborn calf in tall grass with cow, moving round bale feeder in mud, moving cow calf pairs to pasture, walking 4H steers, cow eating grass

Video of Farm Life Ep. 3

Farm Life in 6 second clips

kinze planter on a John Deere tractor going into transport position, filling the planter with seed corn, corn germinating after two days, switching the planter units over to plant soy beans, farm kids bringing in newborn calf so its closer by the barn away from coyotes, putting the planter away in the shed since storm clouds were approaching. One of our many videos of farm life.

Anatomy of a Farm Girl

anatomy of a farm girl

see what farm kids do these days

Episode 2 Farm Video Shorts

Around the Farm in 6 Second Clips


show heifer makes Theo eat her dust, snapping turtle found and returned to pond pasture, filling silage wagon with loader tractor, cow and calf eating silage, Kopertox applied to foot rot, heifer likin’ the lick tub.

Farm Kids & Child Labor

Every year we haul corn out of the grain bins in December or January to the elevator. The kids are always giddy about pushing their favorite shovel to move corn, as you will see in the video. Usually the weather is bitterly cold but emptying the last bin the beginning of this Jan. was unusually warm.

Here is the video from last year. You can see the difference in the kids’ sizes in just one year. They eat lots of beef.

Are Your Farm Kids Ready?

Is the next generation ready?

baling straw

After we purchased the Big Green Combine, I started reading the John Deere         Furrow magazine that we had been receiving. This month’s issue had five young women on the cover titled “Sisters Take Charge”. I thought it looked interesting. It turned out to be a wonderful story about five sisters who live on a farm in Canada. They lost their parents in a plane accident one summer. In spite of such a devastating blow to the family, the ladies brought the harvest in that fall and continue to run the farming operation.

This got me to thinking about our own situation. If something happened  to William and I, would the three kids be able to carry on with the farming and raising cattle. The answer would be No. Our oldest is 15. At their ages they do not have the abilities nor the experience that would be needed to continue farming without us. The article brought it to our attention how imperative it is for William and I to be intentional with raising our farm kids.

What is important ?


Our kids have grown up knowing that work needs to be done and animals are dependent on us for survival. Some of the lessons have been difficult to learn.  Others need to be repeated and repeated. On this farm we all have jobs we are responsible for. If something isn’t done or done half-ass, another person will have to make up for the work. This is simply not acceptable. As a parent I think instilling personal responsibility in my children is paramount to anything else I will teach.


As I think of all the details that it takes to run a grain and livestock operation, it is daunting. Thankfully they don’t have to learn everything overnight. It will take years. I think they will learn the most by actually doing it hands on. Setting the planter and combine, building fence, keeping records, pulling calves, the list goes on. The age-old way of doing these things along side of us, they will learn exponentially faster than in a book. We also take them to specialized classes such as artificial insemination school and crop scouting programs. In their school work I have added reproductive physiology and agronomy. But mostly they need to know that their farming education is never ending. Though farmers may think it,  they can’t know it all. New technology is coming at us like a freight train. It takes understanding your farm operation to know which information is important to keep up on and which to ignore.

We are parents who want to have the peace of mind that we have made every effort to prepare our farm kids to take the operation over.