This Week in Ag… 3/23/15

If you follow us on Instagram and Facebook, you have seen these pictures before.  However, here there is more information about each of them.  If you don’t follow us, you can do that here.  Each Monday you can stop in and see what has happened the previous week.

wheat field
We all enjoy when the snow finally starts to melt, but that doesn’t mean that the ground has completely thawed.  The frozen ground and the full ditches cause the water that would normally drain off to stay ponded on the field.  While this is never a good thing, having a growing cash crop in the field puts additional strain on the crop.  Here Soft Red Winter Wheat is trying to grow and survive under that ponded water.

dual mover
Sometimes having only 2 hands for a project isn’t enough.  This shows an invention that a farmer has made to make putting the duals on his equipment easier.  Duals are the second set of tires that farmers sometimes add to their tractors.  By adding tires, he can spread out the weight of the equipment and reduce soil compaction.

bulk tank sampling
The driver of a milk truck does more than just pick up and deliver milk!  Here he is taking a sample of milk from the farmer’s bulk tank before he pumps that milk in with the rest of his load.  He does this at EVERY farm, EVERY day.  The sample will then go to lab and be tested for quality.  If the sample tests high in certain things, like antibiotics, the entire tanker will be rejected.

soybean dumping
Soybean production is important in Wood County.  Wood County is consistently in the top 3 in the state for production in both corn and soybeans.  Here a farmer is taking his seed grown during the previous growing season to a local co-op to be cleaned.
soybean cleaning
This process runs the seed through multiple conveyors to shake out things that are not actually seed such as rocks, pods and splits (and maybe the cell phone he lost last fall).  Water is not used to clean the seed.  If the seed would happen to get wet it could start to sprout and would be a loss for the farmer.
cleaned soybeans
The final picture shows the soybeans being loaded from the cleaner back into the semi-trailer that the farmer hauled them in on.

corn
Just like soybeans were stored for seed from the previous growing year, corn can also be stored.  This corn was stored on the farm for a different purpose.  Farmers have on-farm storage to help them be more competitive when marketing their grain.  Harvest is a perfect economics lesson; when the supply is high the price is low; by holding his corn until after the first of the year the price goes back up because the supply is lower.

sorted hogs
How do you tell everyone apart when they all look the same?  Many breeds of livestock don’t have identifying marks that can be seen from a distance or when they are all grouped together.  By using non-toxic, washable paint farmers are able to mark animals.  These hogs were being sorted by weight to head to market.

labeled soil finished
This soil finisher is ready for the ground to dry out.  A new drag was added as well as worn out shovels were replaced.  This equipment is used to prepare the seed bed for planting.  Last year, after the corn and beans were harvested the residue or left over plant material was left in the field.  This served as a cover to help protect the soil from wind and water erosion.  The soil finisher will break up the soil and incorporate the residue to allow for this year’s crop to establish a better stand.

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