#Plant14 Arrives After A Long Winter

tractor-planter.jpgThis picture is deceiving. It was cold. The planter is ready to go, but we had to wait a few days to get started. We moved the tractor and planter out of the shed to put more seed corn away.

best-seed-corn-bag-design.jpgStone Seed Group has the best designed bags of the 6 seed companies we bought from this year.

planter-in-mirror.jpgBill started planting late afternoon on Thursday. That way he didn’t start on the dreaded Friday. Also our dually is not a good choice of trucks to take seed to the field. One of the tires drives on the row.

soil-temperature-test.jpgThe sky was cloudy but it was nice temps. The ground temperature at 4 inches was 52 degrees. The ground worked up nicely. William said it was time to go. The auto steer wouldn’t work. Our dealer worked and worked on it but couldn’t make it go. So the old style markers it is. But Bill can’t keep up with twitter. Such sacrifices.

Harvest Summary Video

Harvest Summary Video


harvesting corn, beans; raking the last hay for the season; using a backhoe; finishing a field talking about yield mapping in combine; newborn calf & cow; putting the corn head in shed; attaching the inline ripper to tractor; inline ripper at work in bean stubble

Episode 5 Farm Video Shorts

Around the farm in 6 second clips

In this farm video: washing a heifer, leading 4H steer, loading equipment for cattle show, No Mom, a steer gets loose in show ring, raking hay, bailing hay, hauling hay, taking clevis hitch off planting tractor

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.

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.

Farming Is Not For Control Freaks

Control Issues

If you have been told you have control issues, farming may not be the occupation for you. A farmer could make all the right decisions on seed variety, fertilizer application, marketing grain, even equipment purchases but if Mother Nature turns against him, that farmer’s only power is to mitigate the damage.

John Deere tractor and corn planter

Bettin’ On the Come

I have always said we farmers are gamblers betting on the come. They have huge amounts of input costs to put a single crop in the ground that may or may not produce a profit at harvest time. This is nothing new but very few occupations operate on such slim margins with such little control.

kinzie corn planter

Every Year is Different

With the past four springs, we struggled to get the planting done on our farm because of too much rain. Usually we get most of the planting done in April to early May. These rainy springs we fought finishing planting by Memorial Day and early June. Fast forward to this spring where here on April 8, we are almost done with corn planting. We are having to plant the corn deeper to reach the moisture because the ground is so dry.

corn in planter

Part of the Job

It has been said that farmers are eternal optimists. Well, I know too many farmers to know this isn’t true. Many are just like my husband; waiting for the next down turn. The next down turn in the weather, markets, equipment. Because eventually they will come. But they also know from experience that more often than not they raise a crop and pay their bills. The lack of control of the weather and marketsĀ  is just part of the job. The risks are understood.

Blue or Green Tractors

Our new/used blue tractor was just delivered last week. We traded two for one. And now have all green except for this lone New Holland. The bright blue really sticks out. I told William, “Its like when your purse doesn’t match your shoes. Just don’t go together.” He didn’t get it.

Do you have a mix and match line up of equipment or all one color?

Precision Doesn’t Mean Precise

Precision Ag is not precisely for everyone. Most times I doubt it is for me. It is definitely a love/hate relationship. The clinics that the dealership hosts GreenStarbefore planting and harvest to help with settings are nice but by the time I get home I barely remember the touch pad sequence to enter my farm name. I need a visual aid while I’m in front of the screen.

Let me just say the manual sucks. William and I were trying to set a page to show a coverage map. I read the dead weight manual while William worked the screen. We did every step in the book but it still would not show the map. I finally figured out that instead of selecting enter, the map on the screen had to be selected. THIS STEP WAS NOT IN THE BOOK. After that episode, our marriage still intact, I knew there had to be a better way. And there surely was more farmers out there with the same frustration.

What did I come up with? Video. Most farmers are guys, guys are visual. That’s what William says. Videos are the answer. Either I had to make videos using the #@$% touch screen or find somewhere it had been done. I found two sites. One for GreenStar by a John Deere dealer in Kansas. They have youtube videos that show the touch pad operations from the cab. Their youtube channel has 25 tutorial videos to help operators know which selections to make to set the monitor. The other is for Ag Leader. The made their own videos. Here is the link for those tutorials.

Take it to the cab. Hopefully most of you will have smartphones to be able to see the videos on your phone. The picture might be small but you can hear the steps to follow. Or the ag nerds can take their ipads but they might not admit they need help. Those with ipod touches can download a video converter to watch the tutorials.

Let me know how you remember all the sequences on your screen; and if these videos help you


Anticipation Builds

Planting season is upon us.

Big question is when to start? Do you get the corn in the ground while you can? If you wait will it be too wet later? Will there be a cold snap? Don’t want to run the rotary hoe. Will waiting decrease the chance of diplodia? Let the early planting suckers get it. Everyone has an opinion on when to start. No one wants to be first or last or wrong. Even read a tweet by Jim @tractorattack “Tried the ol indian trick of bare butt on ground. Holy mother of …. ground is dang cold. Not planting this week I guess” Hadn’t heard of that one before but it’s just as good as any other indicator.

We started on the 10th, in a field that can be a mud hole. Then we chose to plant other fields like it that have nasty wet areas that rain can easily prevent us form getting into for awhile. It’s actually a relief to just start.

Here is a video of us planting the field on the 10th. The tractor has auto steer but we ran the markers as a back-up for our fist time. This is the post William refers to in the video: Love by the GreenStar Light


Coach Radio Make Your Blog Sharable

Clean up on aisle 1

[youtube width=”560″ height=”344″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwwXTKoSWJo&hd=1[/youtube]

Bella and I are cleaning where the steers have been lying during the last blizzard. The kids put down straw and hay for them under the lean-to. That was last week. Now the lot the steers are in is a muddy mess. Once we get the bull sold at the Beef Expo this week they will be moved to their new lot. Hopefully the kids will have them “mostly” broke to lead by then.

Like the catchy music? Makes you think of sunny times.