Farm Week in Pictures 08/30/2014

Our crops our changing across the farm.  Summer is coming to a close and fall harvest season will be upon on soon.

Seasonal Soybeans

Soybeans via thefarmerslife.comWe planted some early maturing soybean varieties this year, and many of them are beginning to drop leaves already.  Drier spots started to change in these early beans when we had dry weather in July and early August.  The rest of August provided quite a bit of rain to finish the crop out.

Aerial GoPro Farm via thefarmerslife.comThis is the same field from the first photo.  I took this with my airborne GoPro.  It’s easy to see how different areas of the field are maturing at varying rates.  Soil type, slope, and moisture vary across the field.

Soybean Roots via thefarmerslife.comSoybeans and other legumes have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria called rhizobia. Unlike crops including corn and wheat, soybeans are provided with Nitrogen via fixation by the bacteria.  The small nodules seen growing on the roots picture here show we have a healthy crop of rhizobia in the soil providing N to our soybeans.

Corn Conditions

Corn via thefarmerslife.comCorn is headed towards harvest as well. Many of our fields have “dented” which is a sign the kernels are beginning the drying process. Look close at the kernels on this ear to see the small dents in each one.

Corn Kernels via thefarmerslife.comIt would be nice if this ear was more than 12 rows around, but these are deep kernels around a small cob.  In a few weeks we’ll know for sure what our yields are!  The combine will be rolling soon!

Corn Field via thefarmerslife.comThe row on the right of this picture is leaning to the right.  While flying my quadcopter this week we noticed what we thought was snapped stalks from wind damage.  Putting boots in the field proved we didn’t have a green snap issue which is good.  I think what’s happened here is the soil was saturated allowing the last rounds of windy storms to push some stalks over a bit.  This isn’t a problem, but we don’t really like seeing very much wind this time of year.  Downed corn makes for a difficult harvest and loss of yield.

Farm Maintenance

Metal Roof via thefarmerslife.comWind during the week also meant this old shed of ours let a few more nails loose.  We patched or replaced several sheets a few years ago.  The upper right corner we actually replaced with sheets from our hog buildings we torn down.

Grain Bin via thefarmerslife.comHere’s a hot, dusty job that isn’t much fun.  Last fall we made a mistake running the aeration fan to this soybean bin.  The fan works two bins and we had the plenum for this bin closed although we thought it was open.  Some of the soybeans rotted and stuck to the walls.  We don’t want these bad seeds causing us trouble again this year so we need to climb up and scrape them off.  No fun, but must be done!  This particular bin is for storing soybeans we raise for seed production, and that means it will be getting inspected by the seed company in a few days.  We’ve got to make sure this one passes!

We have a lot more prepping to do before harvest begins.  Please come back each week as field work draws closer!

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