Hello! The temperatures warmed up a lot. Some of the days this past week reached 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is average. We found one-half inch of rain in our gauge Monday evening and the same amount of rain fell on Tuesday.
Sunday morning, my family and I celebrated a special 8th grade graduation mass. At this mass, I received my 8th grade diploma. I am very excited about going on to high school this fall. Sunday afternoon and evening, Jolene had her high school graduation party. We had her party in town. Many friends and family showed up. Dad, Jess, and I even smuggled Noel (our house cat) to the party for an hour! Mom didn't know about this and when we showed Noel off, she was SO surprised!!! If mom had known ahead of time that we were planning on doing this, she wouldn't have let us. Everybody loved seeing Noel!
Monday was Memorial Day. We flew the flag and remembered the many soldiers who fought for our country. Jolene marched in the high school band in New Hampton and Mom went to see that. I marched in the junior high band in Alta Vista and Dad watched that. Jolene and I both play trombones. Since it was Memorial Day and the weather was nice out, Dad and I took the afternoon off and went fishing. Dad caught 4 bullheads and I got 3 bullheads and 2 suckers. Most people don't like to eat these kinds of fish, but we do.
Since it rained 1/2 an inch on Tuesday, Dad and I cleaned out the north-farrowing barn. We got the cement floor really clean and it will be a shed for the four-wheeler, lawn mower, and any other trailers or small equipment that can fit in the doorway. We do not use this room for livestock during the summer and fall months.
Wednesday, Dad and I sold 5 hogs. We had to move the group of hogs out of the pen, sort them, then recheck the sorted hogs, and load them up. That?s the whole procedure every time. With our nice livestock trailer, we haul these hogs ourselves. These hogs go to Charles City, get loaded up with many other hogs from other farmers, and then go to the processing plant. On our way back from Charles City, we drove up to St. Ansgar to pick up premix, or an ingredient for hog feed. That took the whole morning. In the afternoon, Dad and I went to the hospital in New Hampton to pick up bags of shredded paper for hog bedding. It is very nice of the hospital to give us the paper for free. We loaded the livestock trailer so full, that the bags of paper were loaded up to the top! This was the second time we've received papers from the hospital. The pigs like chewing on this bedding.
Thursday, Dad and I vaccinated about 115 pigs. Vaccinate is to give medicine so the pigs won't get disease. Some of the vaccines are state required. After we vaccinated them, we moved the pigs into a cleaned hoop building with lots of corncobs and shredded corn stalks. This is really nice bedding. These pigs were on the outside floors and they were happy to be moved into the cleaned out and newly bedded hoop building.
Friday, Dad and I plowed cornstalks. These cornstalks have a lot of weeds in it from this spring and will be planted into soybeans this year. We had two tractors - the John Deere 7405 and John Deere 4020 tractors, and two plows. We borrowed a five-bottom plow from a neighbor. This way, the job can be done a lot faster and more time would be spent on preparing the ground for the planter. Together we plowed 7 acres each hour!
Saturday, I used the disc to work up the plowed ground. I had to do this 2 times to get the ground really nice. Then, I used the drag to level out the ground. I only had to do this once. Next, Dad came through with the planter and planted 24 1/2 bags of soybeans. These bags hold 60 pounds of soybean seed. All of this was done to one 21-acre field. The other field will be done next week because we ran out of time. I did disc the field that has an oat cover crop growing in it. This will go to organic soybeans too.
Saturday was also Alta Vista Days. Mom was on the committee and did a lot of work for it. She not only was in charge of the parade, she announced the parade entries, helped with other events all day, and also arranged the afternoon magic show. Saturday night was a dance and fireworks, with the conclusion of the events scheduled for Sunday.
Farm Fact: Thursday, I rotary hoed all of the corn. We have about 60 acres planted this year. Hoeing this corn is very important because the hoe wheels are designed to throw small weeds out of the ground. This way, these small weeds won't be a big problem later in the future. It is very important to do this job when it is dry because the small weeds will be out of the ground and will die in the dry soil surface.