Making Hay
Week of June 13th, 2004 | The weather was warm and dry.

Cutting first crop hay

Cutting first crop hay

The warm and dry conditions finally came this past week! The ground dried enough for an opportunity to get some of the soybeans planted and some of our first crop hay cut. We hoped that it would stay dry for a while but rain came back.

On Monday, I cut some of our first crop hay while Dad attended a sale. He purchased some hog feeders. I finished cutting that hay at noon. In the afternoon, the weather was so beautiful that Dad and I started plowing cornstalks for this year's soybean fields. We used two plows and two tractors. On Tuesday, Jolene came home to help us in the fields. We are very thankful for her help to get our soybeans planted. By Tuesday noon, we plowed about 54 acres in about 9 hours. While I was plowing ground, I thought about my future after high school. I am thinking about purchasing a John Deere tractor and a soil finisher (a field implement used before planting) and do custom fieldwork (work ground for other farmers in the area). I am so excited about the idea because I remember how I enjoyed driving a John Deere 8420 tractor to school last year!

After the fields were plowed, we had to disc the ground to make it flat for planting conditions. While I worked ground, with the John Deere 7405 tractor with the disc and drag, Jolene followed me with a neighbor's field implement called a cult packer. It works the ground while packing it to make the ground flat.

Dad started planting at 4:30 Tuesday evening. The John Deere 7000 four-row planter broke down, so after fixing the problem, Dad finally got back out planting around 6:00 p.m. He kept planting soybeans in this 34-acre field until 1:30 Wednesday morning when it started to rain again. It rained only a little bit, so Dad got back into the field Wednesday evening to finish the four rounds left. We still have about 20 acres of soybeans to plant due to the rain. The cut hay was rained on, but it can always dry. Since it was too wet to get back into the field on Thursday and Friday, we worked in the shop repairing and updating field implements. My friend, Ben, worked for us on Thursday. It has been a difficult spring to get any fieldwork done. Mother Nature has not been kind to us. In the meantime, we have to make sure that our field implements are ready to go to work when the right conditions have arrived to do field work. Working late in the night is important, too. We cannot predict when it will rain, so we need to work fast and get it done before it rains again. When working late into the night, the mosquitoes and other bugs are VERY thick. They are attracted to the lights on the tractor. Dad was planting with the John Deere 3020. A cab tractor is very helpful to keep the mosquitoes from biting the operator. That's why I would like to own a cab tractor if I do custom fieldwork someday.

Farm Fact: Corn should be planted no later than the first week of June. Soybeans should be planted no later than the third week of June.

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