Janruary 15, restarting the web page for a new year.
2012 is archived and we are off and running. We had a snow storm New Years Eve and recieved 5" of snow. Temps stayed cold until the second week, then we got .50" of rain which finished melting the snow and ice. Now it's been cold until tommorrow when we will get up into the 50s. Jobs recently are feeding cattle, cutting firewood and preparing farm records for tax time. We will start working cattle (vaccinations and killing parasites) when the weather permits. Spring calving begins next month and we will shift herds around before that begins.
We got 3" of snow on the night of Jan. 29/30th. Pictured here is my second spring born calf from a heifer this year. Although the wind blew up to 25 mph the temp. last night stayed around 30, making it bearable for calves to be born. We won't start calving hard until late Feb. so will take this moisture any way it comes. Two days before today(30th) the day time temp was 74 degrees! I got a brief case of spring fever and chizzeled a soybean stubble field. Flip-floping weather!
Feb. 7, nice rain.
We got around an inch of rain last night. Yesterday the short range models kept showing a bullseye of precip around central Kansas for the night time. I began to think the models were busting, then around 2 am. it poured much needed rain. The forecast is for a chance this weekend so hoping it piles on. We moved Grandma's spring calving cows home, making the 3 mile treck in the mud. Now I've got 3 cattle moves to make then the cattle will be situated until moving to summer pasture.
Jeremy snapped this pic. of the front bunch of Grandma's cows coming home to the birthing pasture.
Working and moving cattle.
We've finished our cattle moves for pre-spring calving. Our old cows will start calving in two weeks.
While working a group of cows/fallcalves, Jeremy's dogs watch the action from the barn window.
I'm walking the cattle down the alley to load them on the trailer to go to new pasture.
Wed. Feb. 20, winter storm ongoing.
The winter storm predicted for Wed/Thursday is here. We"ve recieved 3" snow on the ground as of 9 pm. I talked to the NWS at 9:30 and he said we would get at least 8". Some forecasts and model outputs show as much as 18" for us! Today we fed extra to the cattle as well as hooking up snow plows/blowers to the tractors in preparation. Deep snow is a mess, but it's great moisture.
Feb. 21, snow update.
NOON. Snow has stopped and wind is coming up. We recieved a strong 10" so far. Maybe we'll get a couple of inches more this afternoon.
Picture of a "foot" ruler measuring 10" of snow just outside our porch door.
Feb. 23,another winter storm.
Another possible powerful winter storm is forecast to begin tomorrow night (Sunday) and last till Tuesday. Depending on the low track we could get 6" or 12" of snow. Only this storm will have tremendous winds to 40 mph. Today the temps got into the mid 30s which settled our snowpack quite a bit. Whatever we get for accumulation on this upcoming storm will all blow into drifts. Twelve inches will shut us down for a day or two which will be bad for calving and getting to cattle. Not real happy about this one coming as it may cost more than the moisture it brings. We'll see.
Feb. 26, storm over.
We got 3" of snow from this storm. It is very wet snow as temps were in the 30s when it fell. This three inches fell on melted feeding areas making very difficult driving while feeding. Calving is starting in ernest and we'll be very busy.
Feb.28, 13 inches of snow + 40 degrees = big mud.
We've had several days of upper 30s daytime temps slowly melting the snow pack. Getting around feeding is increasingly difficult. After two years of drought I'm relearning mud driving problems. The good thing is that the top soil moisture is saturated and the sub soil moisture is building. This snow melt is great for wheat, not so much for cattle.
Feeding with the tractor saves stress on the 4X4 pickup.
With the snow covering the pasture grass, I'm feeding more straw to compensate. We were lucky to have abundant straw after harvest last year and I will most likely feed most of the straw I baled by April.
I found this new born calf while checking cattle this afternoon. We are calving pretty good at this point and will peak in numbers around March 5.
March 13, different year, different weather.
I was looking at last year's ag. page, checking how the weather was different. Last year at this time we had begun the temp. spike upwards. 70s and 80s were highs last year. Although we are expecting 70s tomorrow and Friday, a cool down will extend through the weekend. I think there is more moisture in the soil this year as well. A lot of the extended outlooks (14 day and one month) shows below normal temps. Time will tell but I think we'll have closer to normal weather, (especially away from the insane heat of the last two years.
March 22, another winter storm.
Another winter storm is forecast to move over central Kansas this weekend. This continues the cooler temp theme we've had this late winter and spring. We have dried out lately to where I have sneaked in some field work with the tractor. Hay piles for the cattle are decreasing but we will make it to May 1 I think. There will be no carryover hay this year. The wheat has broken dormancy but is growing slowly due to cold temps. I would like to see it rain hard to put water in ponds then warm up and the grass to grow----humm, oh just woke up from my dream.
March 24,having the Eudora grand kids for spring break. Eisley is one year old this week.
Liz and I were happy to have Mary & James' girls stay with us a whole week during spring break. This was marred somewhat when Lilly got the stomach flu, but we survived. Mary and James came this week end to get their kids and to celebrate Eisley's birthday (Jeremy & Meghan's sweetie). We all had a good time with the three grand kids running and laughing and shrieking through the house. We had a quick hitting storm come through Sat. night leaving 3" of snow and blustery winds. Please, it's time for spring.
The best crop I have ever raised. Getting in from work and relaxing with my two kids, Jeremy and Mary.
Our three grandchildren together for Eisley's birthday.
April 10, ice storm.
We had a severe thunderstorm pass over us last night with lots of rain, hail and lightning. The temp was 31 so all elevated surfaces were icy. We got more than an inch of moisture!
April 18, record cold expected.
Another storm system moved through with very cool conditions with rain. We got around 1.5--2" of rain. Our smaller ponds caught some much needed water. Tonight the persistant clouds are supposed to clear and the forecast is for a low of 25---a record this late in the spring. I think some of our wheat is in trouble (will be killed). Our cattle are really restless---droughty summer, an extended winter and relentless cold. It's not really fun being a farmer right now.
Light snow fell last night and collected on elevated surfaces, ie the tulip leaves.
Right here at home, moisture is less a problem. Water puddles are full out by the barn.
April 22, more record cold expected.
Last week's cold wasn't as bad as forecasted---around 29 degrees. Tonight, another front rolls through with an inch of snow possible. This cold front seems colder than last week! No damage to wheat occurred last week. I drove through some wheat yesterday and it's standing 7-8" tall, more vulnerable to cold. The other problem with the cold spring is there is no warm season grass growing yet. The cows are restless and no grass in the summer pastures yet as well as very little hay to feed due to last year's drought.
April 23, snow!
I woke up and saw a world of white. We got from 2-4" of snow, depending where you look. Tomorrow morning's low temp is supposed to be 23. That will smoke the wheat crop. IF, the snow does not melt and covers the wheat, we might get by. Great mud under the snow makes for difficult driving to feed cattle. Please Lord, bring heat. Some pictures below.
April 30, finally hot---but not for long.
We've been working cattle the last several days and hauling them to summer pasture. Temps the last two days have been in the upper 80s. With this heat the grass is growing at last so the cattle have something to graze without me feeding them. The heat was hard on beast and human alike as we worked cattle yesterday as we are all conditioned to 40s temps---aka continued winter. Winter return tomorrow for 3 days with possible accumulating snow. I think the ground will be too warm to "stick" snow but winter continues nun the less. Seems Mom Nature is making up for the past two hot years with a cold one.
May 2, rain/snow and cold.
We had thunderstorms last night with around an inch of precip. This morning I got up and saw snow falling with a little accumulation on the grass. Temp. is 34 degrees, wind north at 20 mph. Cold!
May 9, more rain.
Last night we got .5" rain from thunderstorms here at the house. One mile south, Jeremy got 2.0". Six miles southwest, our neighbor got 3.9" This rain fell on wet ground and this morning we awoke seeing our creek out of it's banks causing minor flooding. Now we have many pasture fences to rebuild in the creeks and draws. Most all our ponds located south of our house are full now. Ponds to our north and west are still less than half full. My Saline county rental pasture added enough water to maybe make it through the summer. The drought is pretty well broken now.
May 30, good rain.
We recieved 2" of rain yesterday and last night. Things were drying out somewhat with 80/90 temps and south winds. I haven't posted much as we have been busy with storms and Memorial day prep. I've got most of the beans planted as well as a few fields of milo. I'm just starting the first cutting of alfalfa---the cold spring up to May has limited the growth so lots later for that. Our wheat survived the freezes of a month ago and looks good. The pasture grass like the alfalfa is finally growing good now that it has warmed up. Wheat harvest looks to start around the 23-25 of June, almost a month later than last year which is good. I can get the alfalfa put up, the rest of the milo and feed planted before wheat harvest.
June 5, more rain.
We got 2" rain last night from a mesoscale convective complex that moved through. We had just dried out enough to get back into the field. I am now thankful that I have most of the beans planted and up as well as most of my milo planted and up. Still have all of Grandma's milo as well as Jeremy's milo to plant. I also still have all the forage sorghum to plant. Am getting nervous about this as the optium planting time is here and I can't get into the field. Then wheat harvest will be here soon and I have to get ready for that. I can't complain too much about rain after the last two years of drought and heat.
Wheat is turning color. Harvest could be starting in one week. This is a lot later than average and a month later than last year.
June 23, trying to get field work done before harvest.
The weather has turned hot and windy. High temps are in the upper 90s with dews in the mid 60s. We've been baling/raking alfalfa in the morning, then working farm ground in the afternoon/moving hay off fields. I've got two hay fields to bale (small ones) and some cane to plant. I finished planting milo yesterday so can convert the drill back to forage sorghum. Wet fields have delayed planting and haying. I'm figuring to test cut some wheat after we get home from church---a neighbor tested some yesterday at 13% moisture. We'll keep doing hay and planting in the mornings and cut wheat in the afternoon as the days move ahead---at least that's the plan for now.
June 23 wheat harvest begins.
We started wheat harvest this late afternoon. It took several hours of prepration before I tested. I took two samples to the elevator. One tested 14% moisture and the other went 13. I went home and worked on grain hauling systems until Jeremy arrived, then started cutting. Jeremy joined in with Grandma's machine and we cut 1100 bushels quitting at sundown. The wheat acted wet so I'll see what the elevator says tomorrow. Eyeball estimate shows 40 bu/acre on the no till top ground but increased to 55 on the bottom. Kernels are shriveled on all wheat due to I think is frost damage.
June 24, second day of harvest.
Today was very windy and cloudy/sprinkly. I hauled two loads to the elevator this morning. They tested 12.7 & 13.1 with 61 # test weight. We cut off my home place then moved to Jeremy's and cut several bins full. We'll see how his tests tomorrow. Having problems with Grandma's combine. Will check into that tomorrow. My big tractor has a flat rear tire so slowing up sorghum planting.
Third day of harvest.
Today the weather was hot and windy. Afternoon temps topped out over 100. Heat was tough on man and machine alike. Water temps on the wheat truck I drove all day hovered near/on the red line all afternoon until the last load in the evening when temps cooled some. We came within one combine bin full of finishing all of Jeremy's today. Things were slowed as good yields caused me to constantly haul while Jeremy cut with two combines.
Fourth day of harvest.
What a freaking day. A list of things gone wrong. Fuel gauge quit working on wheat truck--ran out 1.5 miles from elevator. Got home from neighbor bringing fuel to find outside dual tire flat. Jeremy worked all morning on fuel transfer system---doesn't work. Combine fuel filter plugged. Grandma's pickup overheated and froze the engine. Header trailer tire fell off enroute while moving to Saline county wheat field. Jeremy ran my combine out of fuel at far end of field. Now add 103 temp and no wind---a wonderful day. We finished Jeremy's and moved to Grandma's Saline co. ground.
Fifth day of harvest
Today was another very hot and sultry day. Temps rose to 100+. We cut off Grandma's Saline co. ground except a patch that was unaccesable by beaver dams. Storms erupted in Lincoln county and moved through as Jeremy was moving equipment home and I was hauling a load to the elevator. Winds peaked at 75-80 mph with a half an inch of rain. Tomorrow looks to be a break day where we can catch back up.
Sixth day of harvest.
A down day. After an inch of rain yesterday I spent today cleaning up tree branches, hauling loads from the grain carts and moving back from Grandma's Saline co. ground. Cut a swipe around 6 pm and grain was still a little gummy.
Seventh day of harvest.
Temps were cooler (80s) with lots of north winds. We started cutting around 2 pm. I finished one of my farms this evening and Jeremy finished Grandma's home place. We got moved over to my best yielding farm at dark tonight. Lots of down wheat there from the wind storm we had a couple of days ago. I took a swipe and it is really slow going. Where I started this afternoon I noticed that there was some broken over wheat I wasn't picking up with the header. If we have a decent day tomorrow there will be two farms left to cut---the end is in sight.
Eisley helping Grandpa drive the combine. She also reaches and toggles any switch she can find occasionally shuting off the combine thrashing mechanism.
Eighth day of harvest.
Started late today as we went to church and saw relatives from California. We did cut off my good yielding farm which was only 30 acres but lot of down wheat making for slow progress. Two farms left now as we near the end of harvest. Liz ran the "new" combine while I was short hauling to Wesfall. She also hung around and took cool pictures.
Liz's picture of Jeremy and me cutting in the same field.
Liz shot this cool shot of the setting sun and my combine cutting. The redness is due to smoke and haze in the higher atmosphere.
Monday July 1, ninth day of harvest.
Finished another farm today and moved to the last farm. Semi blew it's hose at the elevator and held things up a couple hours. Tomorrow should do it.
July 2, harvest is over.
We finished cutting in the evening except one field inasessable due to beaver dams. I cut right at 10,000 bushels on my farms, with an additional 5000 bushels for Jeremy and Grandma.
July 11, much needed rain.
We recieved much needed rain yesterday. The guage showed 2"! I had just set up the irrigation system in the milo the day before. I also had two fields of alfalfa down and rained on. Still, we were getting very dry and this rain assures most of my milo will head out, soybeans getting a growth spurt, a third cutting of alfalfa and pastures greening up or staying green. Jobs ongoing are putting up the second cutting of alfalfa and startin g to cut prairie hay.
July 28, could it be---too much rain?
We got 1.25" rain last night. Thus ended a week of wetness. Anyway farm work slowed to a crawl as I have tons of hay to put up and most of the wheat ground to go over. A half a day of sun doesn't dry much. I was listening to the weather radio yesterday. Two years ago, in the beginning of the full drought/heat, the temp. was 113. So much has changed from the previous drought years. We 've only had 6 or 7 days at or over 100 this summer. Over time, mom nature evens things out. The pastures, soy beans and milo AND THE WEEDS are loving the cool wet summer. I will attempt to sell my fall born calves this week but am wondering how I will get them through the muddy roads to auction. Still, we're blessed to have a wet year on the farm. I'm not really complaining.
August 11, drying out but maybe not for long.
The cloudy/rainy weather continued untill the last couple days. I got some alfalfa baled this pm. and actually disced some wheat ground. Humm, it's the middle of August and I've only started working wheat ground! Have baled only one out of 5 prarie hay patches so far and there is alfalfa ready to cut again. It's 2:30 am. and there is a lot of rain just to our north on radar with rain, then cool/cloudy forecast all next week. We'll sell grandma's fall born calves Thursday then Liz and Jeremy get back to bus driving the following week. May have to call some "audibles" this summer/fall to get things done as the calender pages are a flying.
Aug. 12, rain pictures.
Alog jam created this waterfall in the creek.
All ponds are full at this time. Recovered from 2 yrs. of drought.
Water flowing over the bridge where I enter one of my farms. Over 2" fell upstream during the night>
Rainy cool summer makes grass as tall as the top of the fence. This is good except for the potential fuel for range fires after freeze this fall.
Picture of my wheat stubble. The bare stubble was where I sprayed for bindweed right after harvest. No weeds there. Adjacent to the spray area, the weeds are 3-4' tall where wet grounds have not let me work them out yet. I have most of my wheat acres unworked as of yet.
Picture of my milo field. The milo, like the beans and pasture grass are loving the wetness. Also, weeds are doing good in the milo fields.
Aug. 13, more rain.
We got a fast hitting storm this afternoon. This storm was not expected and dumped 1.3 to 2.5" in our area. Our creeks came up to 1/3-1/2 bank full and Brookville got flooded from run off. Also Eff creek flooded very far out of it's banks. This creek origionates in an area south of us so we may have pasture fences down in our southern pastures. This rain jeprodizes selling Grandma's cattle tomorrow. Tractors and hay equipment sit in place.
Picture reps the conditions in central Kansas. It's too wet for haying.
Aug. 26, the heat is on.
The upper level high pressure that maintained it's position over Texas/New Mexico all summer has now repositioned over Kansas. We are in the doghnut hole. High temps last week were in the mid 90s with dew points from 65-70. I'm working through tons of hay this week. We've started swathing forage sorghum too as the medium models show the high pressure moving little this up-coming week. The grain markets have caught onto this pattern and jumped upward today. Wheat prices since harvest has moved in a 8 cent range---flat lineing. Today, wheat jumped around 20 cents so I sold mine. I've got one more farm to go over and my wheat ground is worked at least once. It's a very busy time. One more week and the haying will be caught up. Will have to pause and plant alfalfa this week also. Beans and milo look good with the heat helping the late milo along. My early planted milo fields are turning red now. Still hope to harvest them in very late September. Just thankfull that this high didn't lock in on us in July. It will be interesting how long it persists.
Aug 30, hot and dry continues.
I was in Salina this afternoon running errands. Truck temp showed 101 degrees with 61 dew point. Forecast for Sun & Labor day is some cooler.
Sept. 7, H&H: hot and haying.
The weather has continued hot and dry as upper high prfessure persists. High temps are in the upper 90s with dews in the low 60s. After two years of drought, this is scary, but it is good haying weather. After a wet July/early August, all alfalfa, forage sorghum and prairie hay is ready at once. I feel as if I will be haying till the snow flies.
The other "project" we have going is Jeremy moving a new house onto the old site. We took down the old house ourselves and all is cleaned up except the basement.
Picture of a cane(forage sorghum) field after being swathed. Cane takes many days drying before you can bale it. The recent hot temps help a lot.
With the wetness we had earlier this summer, hay production is way up. It takes lots of hauling to bring all the bales in.
Sept. 12, rain, finally cooler.
We recieved just over 2" of rain yesterday through last night. Clouds and a north wind has knocked down the temps to the upper 70s! Much better than the upper 90s. Useing the time to check cattle and work on machinery.
October 2, which way to turn.
Busy busy. I planted wheat for the first time today. Weather is warm and humid---like the first week of May. Milo and soybeans are ripe and i've been cutting soybeans. For the moment I've also caught up with haying. Our adult cows will start fall calving in around 4 days. So maany things to do. Don't know which way to turn to do what. Back to planting wheat. Topsoil is very dry---having to plant deep to hit moisture. We missed the last rain that came through. Forecast is for a chance of rain the next two days then a big cool down with close to frost by this weekend. Another trough reloads according to models for next week, mid to late. We'll see. As for yields, beans are very good and milo is fantastic!
October 9, apples and pipes.
We were blessed with a bountiful apple harvest from our two apple trees. How we got any apples after the freezes last spring, I don't know. I've worked up several bunches earlier, then Liz picked most yesterday and ended up with around 4 bushels. I love fresh apples off the tree but it messes up my ailing stomach. The other major happening lately is the pony express oil pipeline that is going across our property. Bull dozers--track hoes---ditch witches---mowers---semi's are busily working to cut a path and lay joints of pipe. The easement money causes some tax problems for us this year. Still, it is interesting to watch the coregraphed process of the workers who are working seven days a week to get this massive job done.
Picture of some of our apples Liz picked yesterday.
Joints of pipe lined up ready to be welded together and buried on our land.
Oct. 10, pictures of milo harvest
October 18, snow!
Nov. 6, starting to catch up.
Weather recently has been dry and changeable. Yesterday we got around .40" with today brisk temps around 34 this morning. We've sold our spring born calves and moved most of the cattle off of leased pastures to winter pastures. Whow, the grass is tall in the winter pastures. It's hard to see cows standing and nigh impossible to see them laying down. Our calf sale averages was 610 weight @ 1.63/ lb. Our average weight is down some because I sold lighter weight calves born in June/July due to higher prices. I normaly hold these calves to my fall herd. Milo does not dry out to decent moisture but is starting to lodge so are cutting it wetter than we'd like. Three fields left to cut and we are done. Neighbors have reported fantastic yields of milo up in the 125 bushel range. I also just finished planting wheat 4 days ago so things are wrapping up. Next week I have a doctor appt. and I'm not sure where that will take me this fall and winter. Anyway, in a week we will settle into our winter farming routein.
December 5, the cold is on!
An arctic front has moved through yesterday, topping off some warm beutiful days previously. High temp. was around 20 today. Of course, the cold came the first day of firearms deer season yesterday. No deer was taken on the first day or today. As I'm typing this, I'm recovering from outpatient surgery. Dr. worked on my '97 colon surgery done at Mayo. I've been struggling with scarring this summer. Hope today's action works. Posting some pics below.
We had Thanksgiving at Mary & James. After eating---nap time, although Eisley is trying to figure what Grandpa is doing.
Jeremy's and Meghan's house has arrived and is socked down on the foundation. In a couple of days the guy will come and hook up water, power, and propane ect. They still hope to move in before Christmas. They are also working on grandchild no 2 due in May. It's a boy!
Picture of Jeremy and one of his dogs. She went missing for 5-6 days and we thought she had met her demise. He heard her barking---she was trapped in a culvert at the end of his driveway. Picture was taken about an hour after her extraction.
December 15, Christmas nearing---can't get in the spirit.
It's almost Christmas and hard to get modivated. A lot has happened this last week to us and our family. Foremost, my sister Jo was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last week. The best of this situation is that it at this time is operable. The surgury will be MAJOR and until the surgeon gets to the pancrea and investigates, will the true story be known. We are stunned with all this and not thinking much but my sister. My own recovery from outpatient proceedure has taken a week to approach normal. Now time will tell if it helps what we did the proceedure for. Hope so. As the surgeon at Mayo Clinic told me in 1997 "time is medicine". Liz's job within UPS is changing sooner than she expected. We also are having some major changes going on with our estate planning---again suddenly popping up! Combine all the above and it's hard to plaan/prepare for Christmas.
Dec. 23, Big snow.
We had 7" of snow here Sat night (21st). Our farm to the south had 10", Salina and Ellsworth had around 12". Great moisture for the wheat as well as protection from the cold. There was little wind with this storm. I spent yesterday in Kansas City visiting my sister at KU med. She's recovering from major surgery 4 days out. Tough for me to see her struggle in her recovery. Liz and Jeremy fed in the snow while I was gone. We are in snow cow feeding mode. Below is some pics.
Calf laying on prarie hay until I roll out some wheat straw.
Bale of straw ready to be roller out for bedding.
Three musketeers. Blackbirds perching on the cow.
"What a warm blanket I'm standing on".
"Please cow, don't switch me with your tail, I'm comfortable".