Making Hay
Week of July 20th, 2003 | The weather was pretty dry.

New bulk bin.

New bulk bin.

Hello everyone! We had a very busy week. It hasn't rained much, so the ground is dry. The temperatures were mostly pleasant all week, except Thursday was quite hot.

This past week, Jess purchased a 2000 Dodge Dakota Sport. It is a really nice truck and perfect for Jess' use (fishing and hauling paintings). I purchased her car, a 1992 Dodge Spirit. Even though I do not have a driver's license, I will have a school permit this fall and drive the car to and from school when I need it.

Dad got back out in the field this past week with the cultivator. This was the second time to cultivate the soybeans. We have some lambsquarter, ragweed, and other weeds in the soybean rows. We go out with machetes and cut them by hand.

The barley is just about ready to be cut for the harvesting season, but our windrower engine is being overhauled and we do not have it back from the shop yet. Overhaul means to rebuild and replace worn opponents in an engine. We are hoping that the engine will be back very soon.

We finished working on the new bulk bin. In the picture above, you can see that the bulk bin is very big! I helped put the unloading auger on the bulk bin and it has a three-horse power motor. I used duct tape to hold the electrical lines on the bin. Now, it is not in the way and we won't trip over it. We use this new bulk bin for the feed business and for our own use.

Throughout the rest of the week, Dad and I worked on the grain bin where our barley crop will be stored. This is a high priority job since barley harvest is coming up. We took the floor out. The floor will be replaced since it is very old and rusted. Some pieces are still usable. Also, when it rains a lot, the foundation of the bin is flooded. We decided to raise the floor. Cement blocks support the floor. Friday, two of my friends and I cleaned all of the spilled grain out of the bottom of the bin. Then, we cleaned each cement block (they had grain and mud blocking the holes) out. All of the grain and dirt is not usable, so we will compost it on the compost pile. After the floor was totally cleaned and swept out, Dad and I placed all of the cement blocks back in place. Dad ordered new blocks, too. We replaced broken cement blocks. Then, we placed a second level of blocks on top of the original level. This will raise the floor by eight inches. Now, we will not have any flooding problems. Next week, we will put the new floor pieces back in and get the rest of the grain bin ready for storage again.

It is very important for the cement blocks to have clean holes. This way, air will flow through the blocks and up through the floor pieces. The cement blocks have to be placed correctly so air will flow through all of the blocks. The floor is made out of metal and has many small holes in it. The holes are for airflow. At one end of the bin, there is a large rectangle hole. In the hole, there is a chute. An aeration fan blows air in this chute, which is blown through out the grain bin. This air is blown under the floor and up into the grain.

Friday night, my two friends that helped all day, camped overnight with me and we had a bonfire and cookout. I also had a couple other friends join us for the evening, but they didn't stay overnight. We had a good time. It was a really nice night.

Saturday afternoon, Dad and I went to a farm tour to a neighboring friend. They had about 25-30 people there. It was interesting. We looked over the farm, shared information about the farm bill, organic hog production, and their vegetable greenhouse. We did a demonstration of the implanting of the electronic ear tags in a sow at the tour.

Farm Fact: We tend to consider grain as a dry material but it is actually a living organism and it needs proper moisture and fresh air to maintain its condition.

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