Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Finishing Up Corn Harvest 2018...

Apparently Phoebe found something interesting to watch...

(and yes, she's looking a little rough.  She's being treated for allergies...a farm dog allergic to things on the farm. Hmmmmmmm....)

But more importantly, here's what she was watching...

Yesterday and today we had our corn shelled out and sold, except for what Jim used to fill the crib.  It looks like we averaged close to 180 bushels per acre, which we are pleased with, considering  the weather challenges we had this year!  Although the wet weather definitely affected the crops, we didn't have some of the problems that we anticipated.

We're very thankful for this stretch of beautiful dry fall weather to get in the fields.  Everyone and their brother is either combining, picking corn, baling corn fodder or seeding cover crops.

Next up are the beans...hopefully this weekend, before the rain returns!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Picking Corn 2018...

The corn in the fields is drying down, and it's time for picking and combining. 

Jim spent time over the weekend setting up the corn elevator at the empty corn crib.  It's challenging to get it set up perfectly, so that the corn goes directly through the small hole at the top of the corn crib, and not down over the sides and on to the ground.

This is the hole at the top of the corn crib.  The metal disc you see hanging below it, is a spreader.  When the corn falls into the crib, it first hits the spreader and does just that...spreads around so that the crib fills up evenly.

For example...

It's a fabulous day today.  Beautiful.  Perfect.  What more can I say, but that we finally have a beautiful fall day with little breeze, no rain, blue sky and perfect temperatures for working outside without breaking a sweat or freezing your fingers!  Yay!

The ears are of varying sizes.  These were from the edge of the field, in a low, wet spot. Hopefully the majority of the ears, which are from prime soil, are of the larger variety!

It's days like this that make farming fun! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Looking Back On a Strange Summer...

As fall has suddenly arrived here, it's interesting to look back on what has been an unusual year...

Let me start by saying, we do have so much to be thankful for.  There are so many people who have dealt with drought, fires, hurricanes and other issues that we need to keep it in perspective. The weird weather has all of us in the same boat.  All we can do is shake our heads, share stories with our farmer friends and hope for a good harvest despite the weather difficulties that were/are 2018.

We saw rain totals this year like I don't ever remember. With the exception of the month of June, I can't say with confidence that we had many long stretches of consecutive days of sunshine all summer long!

Lancaster County averages 43" of rain annually.  This year we surpassed that total by the end of August.  There was a storm that stalled over the county on August 31, that dumped at least 10" on a nearby town in just a few hours, resulting in unprecedented flooding.

The West Lampeter Community Fair saw major mud this year.  I saw tractors pulling 4 X 4's out of the mud on Wednesday morning, as the vendors were trying to set up their booths.  The fair's board of directors "and company" did an amazing job of making it a memorable year despite circumstances that were out of everyone's control.  Trailer loads of mulch were hauled in and spread...they arranged shuttles from satellite locations for fair goers and they patiently dealt with the many headaches that they were handed.  Hats off to them~ it was still a fun community event!

Baling hay was a challenge all summer, but right now Jim is raking up the last of 5th cutting hay, hoping to bale tonight or tomorrow morning.

Here's what the corn and beans look like today...

It sure would be nice if all the beans looked like this!

There are reports of corn sprouting on the ears in the fields.

There are reports of truck loads of soybeans being rejected at the mills because of mold.

It's been that wet.

It's been cool and windy this week, so I went to the basement and dug out the quilted flannels, washed them and hung them out to dry in the breeze. It didn't take them long!  We haven't had to run the big fans in the barn, so it's been blessedly quiet...

...and just for fun, here's a picture I took at a neighborhood auction about a week ago.  Our little Amish neighbors couldn't wait to try out their "new" sled!

I guess they're dreaming of snow a  bit  lot more than I am!