This week has been a hot one and there probably would have been a better week to do soil sampling but it had to get done. I got sun burnt and got the opportunity to learn the procedures of soil sampling for Encirca in the 90 plus degree heat. This was not fun, but was actually kind of interesting. Too bad I wont be here long enough to see the results come in. We sampled about 12 to 15 fields not including 3 or 4 that we sampled just a single section that struggled to grow or didn’t grow at all. This took us about three days but we were working on multiple projects throughout the day getting sidetracked by other things that needed to be done as soon as we returned back to the farm. The samples that we took will be used to determine why crops struggled or why they didn’t grow at all. All of the other samples were labeled and sent in to the same company. The only difference is that they will be used to create prescriptions and test nitrogen levels in the soil. This allows Encirca to instruct you on how much nitrogen to apply on your fields to achieve your specified field average yield goals. It’s a cost saving tool for farmers that helps to smooth your fields and help you apply inputs in the most efficient way possible.
As I talked about last week, we are coming to the end of wheat harvest, and it has been a difficult harvest because the weather has not been cooperating with us. At the beginning of the week we had somewhere around one thousand two hundred acres of wheat left to harvest for our customers and our farm. During the beginning of the week the weather was exactly what we needed, but today we planned on finishing our last ninety acres and we were unable to finish due to a storm that came through around two o’clock. We only had eighteen acres left to finish when the storm came through, but you cannot combine wheat that is too wet so we had to stop and call it an early day. The plan is to get out into the field early tomorrow morning but the forecast is calling for rain again, so we will have to see if our plan holds up. Ultimately we are at the mercy of Mother Nature and we just have to roll with the punches and deal with it.
This week has been a tough one. We are working on getting all the wheat harvested for our farm and our customers, and the weather has not been cooperating with us. In total we have 2800 acres of wheat to harvest this season, and so far we have only harvested about 1300 or 1400 acres. Last season we had ideal conditions and harvested all 2800 acres in 10 days. This season we have had a lot of rain recently and that has slowed us down tremendously, to the point where we have been harvesting for 2 weeks and have only combined 1400 acres. Hopefully the weather will improve and we can finish up wheat harvest by the end of next week, but the whole experience has taught me that you have to work with whatever Mother Nature is willing to provide you with. You can’t control the weather, so you have to take advantage of the opportunities that you are given and make the most out of them when they present themselves.
This past week we began wheat harvest for our farm and our customers. We have around 2800 acres of wheat to harvest in total between our fields and our customers. All of the wheat that we are harvesting this year is either Soft Red Winter Wheat or Hard Red Winter Wheat depending on the field. At the beginning of the week we were scrambling to get all of our combines and combine heads ready, but by Wednesday we were pretty much done and ready to go if the weather was willing to cooperate with us. As a farm we own 2 combines but during wheat harvest we run with 3. A customer of ours, who allows us to pay an hourly rate for his combine and an operator during wheat harvest, owns the third one. We should be able to finish with wheat harvest in a week and a half or 2 weeks given all of our equipment continues to function properly.
This week has been a rather interesting one. We began preparing for an early wheat harvest do to the dry conditions this year. Sunday and Monday’s work days were filled with field scouting and placing Hi-Bred signs that advertise the variety of seed near where it is placed and pioneer brand products that we sell. Tuesday and Wednesday we began working on our combines and combine heads. Preparing them and getting them all calibrated to cut wheat and function properly in the field when we begin harvesting wheat. The rest of the week should be a little slower as we are all planning to do something over the 4th of July weekend, and we will try not to start anything to big before the long weekend.
This week was certainly one of the better weeks I have had. For the most part I assisted in the application of anhydrous ammonia, which we knife into the ground to use as a nitrogen source for our corn crop as well as many of our customer’s cornfields. I would have to say my favorite part of the week was actually today, when I had the opportunity to attend a Precision Planting Sales Rep meeting. Sales reps from the other Precision Planting dealers in the Lansing area attended with higher-ups from Precision Planting to discuss what worked this planting season and what didn’t. They also discussed selling tactics for pushing products as well as limited time promotions. The meeting lasted from 9:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. and included a very nice lunch, as well as a guest speaker from Diversify. It was a really cool experience that I felt like I took a little something away from.
This week has been my best week so far at Pat Feldpausch Farms. My role at the farm feels more important to the over all efficiency, and effectiveness of the farm, than it has in past weeks. The hours have also improved and although they are still long, I at least have a little bit of downtime to focus efforts on things outside of work. Planting season for Pat Felpausch Farms and our customers fields completely wrapped up last Saturday. This Monday and Tuesday we immediately began to prepare for Anhydrous Ammonia applications to our corn fields and our customers. Beginning this Wednesday we started to apply anhydrous ammonia to our customers corn fields that were mature enough, and we continued to do the same today. I believe that we will be doing much of the same for our many customers in the week to come.
At this point I have been working for 3 weeks or so at Pat Feldpausch Farms. My first week or so was a lot of standing around and observing. I tried to help out where I could but there’s only so much you can do when you do not know the proper procedures. Now that I have had a couple weeks of training I am starting to gain more responsibility and independence around the farm. Each and every day I expand and improve my understanding of Pat Feldpausch’s Farm business structure and the expectations that are expected of me. With all of the wet weather we have been having in Mid-Michigan, planting season for both corn and beans has fallen behind schedule. In response, we are working extremely long hours in an attempt to catch back up and leave our crops enough time to mature before harvest season begins.