Monday, July 24, 2023

Hail Damage in Corn

I didn't take my camera with me when I visited the fields 14 miles away, so no photos, but 50 of the 90 acres of corn has some pretty significant hail damage from a recent storm. The leaves weren't entirely stripped from the stalks, maybe 50% (?). Ears were just starting to form on the stalks and the plants are almost ready to start tassling, a very vulnerable stage.

We'll see how it turns out.

The beans, 5 miles away, avoided the hailstorms, and look really good. Likewise the kernza and the wheat.


When first assessing a field with hail damage, it can often be depressing and discouraging [ed. No shit ]. However, it is important to be patient when assessing the damage and that the observed damage often looks worse than it actually is.

photo capture from here

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Loose Heifers

 I got a call this morning from a neighbor who asked me for some help. Several of her heifers were spooked into knocking over the electric fence that held them in her pastures, and they were (supposedly) helping themselves to a nearby vegetable garden. I think it was more a case of the next door neighbor freaking out over a loose animal or two, as there is plenty of standing grass/hay for them to eat everywhere.

In any event, it took a couple of hours but we got the four of them back on the right side of the fence using grain as a lure.

It's not what I thought I'd be doing today when I woke up this morning.

Typical Repairs

 Now that things have slowed down a bit I'm starting to repair the equipment that broke or was damaged in the past few months.

The support stand for the tine weeder got bent when I was attaching the implement to the tractor. I didn't take a before picture, which would have showed the tube was bulging and cracked. I got the protrusion hot and used the hydraulic press to get it flush with the surrounding material, then welded short flitch plates on all four sides of the tube.

(Click on picture to make it bigger.)

I normally use 6011 welding rod, as it cuts through rust and paint, which I often can't remove from the metal I'm welding. In this case I suppose I could have used a 7018, as it leaves a nicer weld bead, but once the paint goes on it'll look good.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Wheat and Kernza Comparison plus Crop Updates


Funky shadows. Wheat on the left, kernza on the right. A penny in the center. Click on image to make it bigger.

I picked these two samples about two weeks ago.

Kernza is really tiny, roughly 80,000 seeds/lb, while wheat has around 14,000 seeds/lb. It's going to be a challenge to sucessfully combine the kernza. 

It'll be another 2-3 weeks until both are ready to harvest.

For a lot more info on Kernza you can search, where you find a fairly comprehensive 48 page grower's production guide.   

direct download link here -    []

In other farm news -

The corn is up and, where I got a good stand, looks promising. I replanted about 15 acres, which seems to have been the right move. Some weeds, some poor emergence in about ~15% of the ground ; at this point it's canopied and I'm done with it until harvest.

The beans are from 6-16" tall, with most towards the larger end of that range. It turned out to be a nice stand of healthy plants, though there are weeds in about 15%, which at this point I'm ok with. I've made the 2nd pass with the row cultivator on 1/3 of the acreage and will finish up the rest of them in a couple of days. I'm not sure if I'll make a 3rd pass. It depends if they can canopy before any weeds make it up.

The buckwheat is about 4" tall, looks good, with some weed pressure.

I've got a bunch of equipment to fix, and have been busy working my way through the list of projects.