Making Hay
Week of May 18th, 2003 | The weather was raining a lot.

Flooded waters in a neighboring field.

Flooded waters in a neighboring field.

Happy Mother's Day to all! Dad and I took Mom out for a brunch on Sunday. It was really good! Mom likes flowers and lawn decorations, so as a late Mother's Day gift from all of us, I am making her a wrought iron cart that looks like a covered wagon. She can even put flowers in there. It'll take me awhile to finish it. I am having fun doing the welding on it. Some of the metal was formed for this wagon at the welding shop where I bought it. It was windy on Sunday and it rained a lot throughout the week. We need good, dry weather so we can plant corn! The cold temperatures have added to the problems of the wet weather.

Dad, Sammy, and I sold 31 hogs Sunday morning before going to brunch. Jolene came home in the afternoon and stayed until Tuesday. She is on summer break now but is living in Waterloo with Dad's sister and husband (our uncle and aunt) because she works in Cedar Falls.

Jolene helped Dad and I pour cement foundations for a new bulk bin after school on Monday. This new bulk bin can hold about 15 ton of material. We asked the concrete contractors about the size and the depth of these foundations. They have to be strong for a large bin.

Dad cleaned a hoop building on Tuesday. We piled all of the manure up on a new compost pile. This manure will be composted until it is needed for fertilizer in the fields. After the hoop building was cleaned out, Dad spread eggshells on the floor for a good foundation for the bedding. The eggshells were spread a foot deep. We had 4 truckloads weighing about 32 tons total delivered. When we will clean this hoop building out next time, the eggshells will go with the manure. Eggshells are good nutrients for soil, too.

Dad bedded the hoop building up with 1200 bushels of corncobs and added some straw on Wednesday. After the bedding was spread out, he moved about 80 pigs in the building. These pigs are about six weeks old. Also on Wednesday, it rained 1 1/2 inches. This held off fieldwork for a while. I had Driver's Ed class after school and went home with Mom after she was off work. On the way home, we saw a lot of erosion alongside the edge of fields and in roadside ditches due to the heavy rains. Many fields had standing water. Some looked like ponds or lakes!

Dad repaired and got equipment ready for planting corn for the rest of the week. It is important to keep equipment in good shape and fixed so it will be ready for our use. While Dad was repairing equipment on Saturday, my friend and I picked rock in a barley field. The barley is about six inches tall now. We picked rock in the afternoon. In the morning, I had Driver's Ed class and my first driving time with the teacher. Two other classmates of mine are with me for driving. We take turns driving during our three hour driving session.

Farm Fact: Most of the soils on our farm are heavy dark soils and nearly all of our fields have subsurface tile drainage. These tile remove about .25" of excess water per day. The hard rain that we had on Wednesday took the tile lines about 4 full days to remove the surplus water. Wet springs like this one are good examples of the value of drainage.

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