Making Hay
Week of June 1st, 2003 | The weather was cool .

Soybeans ready to be planted.

Soybeans ready to be planted.

Hello everyone! We had a very busy week. My sister, Jess, graduated from Buena Vista University on Sunday. Even though she completed her schooling in December, she was invited back for graduation. Mom, Dad, Jolene, and I went to Storm Lake, Iowa, to be at commencement. We are very proud of her. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Art and was one of three students out of eight hundred graduates to be recognized as an Honors Program graduate. We were invited to a reception in Jess's honor at the home of some very dear friends of hers right across from the campus.

For Memorial Day, I played my trombone with the high school marching band at morning services in New Hampton. Later that day, Mom, Dad, Jess, and I went fishing. We caught three bullheads out of Rice Lake (not a real great day for fishing) (Mom caught two and Dad caught one). We also had a picnic lunch and grilled some hot dogs. It was fun. Jolene stayed home and visited with her friends. I had my last day of school on Tuesday. I am now on summer vacation!

Now that Dad and I finished planting corn last week, we were busy planting soybeans this week. Planting beans is very different than planting corn.

We do not use any fertilizer when planting beans. The beans cost $15.00 per bushel and we use 1.8 bushels per acre. We are not done with planting beans. We have about 65 acres of soybean fields. This is the first year that we have planted organic soybeans with garlic mixed in it. Instead of mixing a liquid garlic mix, we just spread a little garlic powder right on the beans. The garlic costs $50.00. We also use powder graphite for seed lubrication.

The total cost comes to $1805.00 plus tractor fuel, maintenance, and labor.

Our soybean fields this year were last year's cornfields. Half of the two fields were plowed, disced, and dragged this past week due to all of the quack grass and weeds. The rest were chopped with a stalk chopper. The cornstalks and the tall weeds were chopped as low to the ground as possible. The worked up ground was prepared and planted with the John Deere 7000 Planter. We used the John Deere 3020 tractor on that. Then, the chopped ground was planted with the Buffalo 7000 Planter using the John Deere 7405 tractor. We have never planted organic beans this way before. But we did raise soybeans with chemicals for many years doing this with ridge till practice. In the picture above, you can see that our soybeans are safe to handle and come in large tote bags. I'll share more about bean planting next week.

Farm Fact: When planting soybeans, the population planted is usually six times as much as when we plant corn. Corn is a much larger plant, so it needs more room. A kernel of seed corn is planted about every six inches and a soybean seed is planted about every inch. It takes a lot of bean seed and that requires a lot more labor. We have to stop and fill the seed boxes very often.

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