Tuesday, October 18, 2016

There's Something Wrong With This Picture

From the Wisconsin Farmer's Union.  (click on image for a clearer view.)

The economics are no better for grain farmers.  At the moment the organic prices/profits are slightly better, but large Turkish/Ukrainian producers with questionable organic standards are flooding the US market, driving down those prices too.

Monday, October 17, 2016

How a Combine Works

It's an amazing machine. I'm cutting and pasting this diagram from Wikipedia.  Click on the image to make it bigger/clearer. 

To give you an idea of how efficient these things are, our combine - a 35 year old John Deere 6620 - can produce (that is take in rough dry stalks and give you clean kernels of corn) about 15,000 lbs in an hour.  Try doing that by hand.

Switching Heads on the Combine

The head of a combine is what collects the grain and delivers it to the body of the combine.  You can harvest most grains, including soybeans, with what we call a "bean head".  Once beans are harvested, in order to harvest corn you need to install a "corn head".

Sounds simple enough.

I took several short videos during the day while we got this done. On a related note I heard from a Sony rep regarding my complaints about fuzzy/grainy videos taken with the new camera.  He said that it was due to the autofocusing feature and that if I wanted clear videos I'd need to use a tripod.  Hard to carry one of those in my pocket.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Up With the Birds

Setting full moon and early morning fog over bean stubble. Trees starting to change color.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pumpkin/Squash ID

I could use a little help IDing these. I planted two hills and got about 30 squash of 5-10 lbs each. I planted about 15 other mounds of other varieties and got similar results. A few of the mystery squash shown below.

I'm making a stew with north african flavors: cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, raisins, tomato, chickpeas and potatoes. The squash itself is fairly mild. One nice thing about this variety is that there were no pests that, like the squash vine borer, have killed a lot of my winter squash in the past.

Farmhouse Construction Update #6

Another movie.  Might have to buy another camera, this one is pretty disappointing.

I finished framing in the old staircase opening.

Guinea fowl and turkey out my kitchen window.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Q and A - #1

I've been asked "With all those birds and a dog, do they get along?".

Yes. I don't have any video, but this gives you an idea

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Two Americas

I moved from one to another.  Chris Arnade, someone I follow on Twitter, has plenty of interesting things to say on the subject.

Here's the link, I'll give a screen capture image of his first post to get you started -

Trucking Soybeans

From the combine the soybeans are augured into our old grain truck, a 1971 Chevy C-60. The truck has a lift, much like a dump truck, which we use to dump the grain into the floor grate at the elevator.

My new Sony camera shoots blurry movies. I've searched/asked online and can't figure out what to do about it.

Harvesting Soybeans

The current price at the local elevator is $8.74/bushel, about break even. For those who wonder why farmers don't grow anything but corn or beans, the elevator won't even bid on wheat, barley, oats, rye, canola, or sunflowers.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

George and Calvin Visit the Farm

My parents brought my nephews, George and Calvin, up here this past Sunday. I turned the camera over to George and below is all the raw footage he shot. I'm not sure what's here, I haven't had time to look at them all.

They fed the birds, then picked milkweed pods. After lunch we dug potatoes and picked corn. That's what I remember - now for the truth!

Hey George, I Found the Eggs!