January 9th, 2015
Happy Cold Friday!
What do farmers do in the winter? I just thought I’d share a little journal this week to help answer the question that I always hear this time of year.
It is meeting season. On Tuesday this week we had our weekly “Farm Management Meeting”. Dad, Dean, and I met with Dennis Carrell as the Agronomy Manager, Guy Schafer as the AgRecycle Manager, and Tony Richardson as the Shop manager to compare to-do lists. This week, Dennis reported on many of the test plot results from different agronomy trials we performed last year. We did comparisons on seeding rates, nitrogen rates, and nitrogen application timing. Technology is allowing us to do a much better job of comparing practices over large areas. We are also evaluating the performance of where we used cover crops last year.
AgRecycle brought in some horse manure this week, but it has been too cold to do much processing or spreading of compost. Guy is involved in the Indiana Agriculture Leadership program, so has been gone yesterday and today for one of his “leadership weekends”. This one is in Indianapolis.
The shop is busy when it’s cold. Tony has been working on a combine that is in the shop along with a Terra-Gator that we use to spread compost. There are always things that pop up to work on throughout the week… this week it is usually working on something because it is too cold! Tony and Dean are at a planting clinic today in Indianapolis. It is nice to dream about green grass and warm soil when the weather is like this. If they can learn one thing that gives us any increase in yield, it will be a valuable day.
We had a meeting with Megan and Michelle Moss on Tuesday. They are missionaries in Tanzania. They went on an Agristewards trip with us a couple of years ago to Kenya, so we like to claim that we had a small part to play in them becoming full-time missionaries (I think maybe God did it). We are planning a reception for them on Jan. 18th at our church. Let us know if you don’t get Agristewards updates from us and you would like to receive them. Along the missions front, Brian left for Cambodia and Thailand this week. he will be gone until the 23rd, mainly training trainers in “Farming God’s Way”.
Dean and I had lunch Tuesday with a potential farmer to host the “Growing Hope” plot that we hosted this past year. That is where all of the inputs were donated for about 40 acres of a soybean crop and the proceeds were donated to our local chapter of Love INC. This year, about 10 farmers gathered to harvest the crop…it was a fantastic day and the project raised about$45,000. We hope to do the same thing again in 2015.
I went to the State House on Wednesday for Farm Bureaus kickoff the legislative session. I really appreciate Farm Bureau for the respect they have as they lobby for farm issues. I may not always agree 100% with their positions, but they are the best voice we have for agriculture. This years priority issues are Farmland taxes, Forced annexation, Water resources, and State budget priorities. It is always good for the grass roots to be involved in decision making.
Yesterday, I went to a “Thought Leaders” luncheon down at Indy where representatives from Cargill and Tyson gave a talk on their companies and how they view “sustainability”. These lunches always gather good people to network with. I was able to talk to some smart people about land values, fertilizer purchase timing, and other issues. On top of that, I got to catch up with some good friends.
Today, our accountant is here at the farm. He and Amanda are working on making sure our year-end numbers are all accounted for correctly and we can put 2014 to bed.
We have also shipped corn to Staley in lafayette this week, corn to Ingredion in Indy, and seed soybeans to Pioneer in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Let me know if there is anything we can do for you or questions that we might be able to answer. Next week, I am going to a meeting on the new Farm Bill and I will have some thoughts to share about that. I will tell you right now that I don’t like it, but I probably better get a little more education before I open my mouth too soon.
If you’ve really read all the way to the bottom of this…thanks!! Let me know if this is helpful…or interesting… or boring…