Monday, January 21, 2013

2012 year in review

I can't believe half of January has already passed. I had been wanting to do some kind of a 2012 wrap up and couldn't think of anything until after I uploaded photos to my flickr account. I have a decent amount of photos uploaded from over the past few years, many of the photos have descriptions of what is taking place. It dawned on me I could pick and choose various photos from through out the year, I wasn't as camera happy as in the past partially because much of it will not vary a great deal from year to year.

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We have a small herd of spring calving cows. I was surprised at how many we had the first month, 80%. Then calving slowed to a crawl. I think the heat during the summer before combined with them raising their first calf and were still growing may have had some influence on it. This happens to be the only white faced calf born this year.

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I spent a good portion of my spring seeding corn, sunflowers, soybeans and grain sorghum. I didn't have a picture of planting this year so I used this one from my archives.

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Wheat harvest came unusually early this year, but this yields were respectable considering the weather turned hot and dry during grain fill. We started harvest the end of May, where normally we may start June 17th. As what normally happens I spent the first few days finishing sorghum planting. We had started planting early this year and I finished planting this year earlier and finished earlier than normal.

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The bare strip is from having half the planter turned off while planting sorghum the previous year. Soybeans struggled to sprout and grow here until after a good rain. I was surprised while checking planting depth during planting that we actually had some soil moisture in the planting zone where there was even a minimal amount of residue covering the soil.

first irrigation
This how I spent most of wheat harvest and the rest of the summer irrigating corn and soybeans. We had replaced an irrigation system last spring and this is the first irrigation pass with it.

Bulgarian farmers

On June 16th we had a group of farmers from Bulgaria visit the farm. It was an interesting visit, once they became comfortable with us the ones that could speak English visited with us. They were interested in how we raise Sunflowers, but farmers will be farmers no matter where they are from the conversation turned to farming practices in general and all the crops we raise. This is the only photo I took was this one of them looking over my dad's older Corvette. The International Grains Program at Kansas State University coordinated the tour.

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We did our normal double crop planting of soybeans and sunflowers this summer after wheat harvest. We planted more double crop soybeans this past summer than previously and less sunflowers.

Fall cow calf pair 1
We acquired a few fall calving cows last spring. They had started calving a couple of weeks earlier than expected. These cows came from Harms Plainview Ranch so they should genetically exceed most commercial cows.

Wheat seeding visitors
This fall during wheat seeding we had a group of wheat flour millers from Japan visit. They were interested in hard white wheat and how we raise it. My dad is explaining to them how the drill puts seed and fertilizer in the soil in this picture. This was also coordinated with International Grains Program at Kansas State University and
Farmer Direct Foods was also involved. My mom is a heckuva a home baker and made a loaf of bread with both red, the more common breadwheat, and white twisted together which gave them a comparison of the two types of bread.

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Milo, also known as grain sorghum, harvest was fair to good, I experimented with more hybrids this year because of an old reliable being unavailable. Planting date and the years how many years the field hand been in a no till cropping system. This happens to be a variety that has yellow grain and is known for high yield potential. I chose this variety because it was optimum planting time and I thought we would have timely August rain. We didn't get the amount of rain in August that I was expecting, but the heavy wheat stubble and quality soil held the water and allowed us to have a good crop on this field. The grain heads weren't anything besides ordinary, but it came into the combine really good.

double crop soybeans.
A field of double crop soybeans during harvest. They ranged anywhere from fair to bad, in some fields the real advantage for having them was establishing some bacteria in the soil that helps the plant extract nitrogen from air.

Curious calf
My oldest son with a curious calf. I picked up my son after school to help me 
cube the cows, cubes are a high protein feed used to supplement cattle. While 
the cows were crowding around the piles of cubes, the calves were loitering 
around the pickup. This guy walked up to my son and started nibbling on his 
coat and checking him out. The calf had done this for a few minutes before I 
took the picture. This set of cows seem to be very calm and gentle which is 
great for having him out with me learning about cattle. Since he is all about 
animals and livestock, I want him to learn all he can about working with 
them properly.

Our irrigated corn was good despite the hot weather last summer. We did have a hybrid that suffered from sun scald thankfully I didn't have alot of that one. Last year I had tried quite a few new hybrids and only planted the ones that performed the best and didn't experiment with anything new this year. The irrigated soybeans were good to great, a couple of fields had damage from a corn herbicide.

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