On my list of what to do in 2012, one of those items was to write a blog. Last year i was introduced to the world of Twitter, but you can't always communicate ideas in 140 characters or less.
2011 marked the first year that i operated the entire family farm. I am the 4th generation to use this land and much of the equipment i have was purchased by the 2nd, and even some that was used by my great grandfather. I farm 265 workable acres and maintain a full time management position at a nearby manufacturing plant. But this blog is about me, which includes the farm, not the factory job.
This past year was a challenge, even for the experienced farmer. Technically i didn't quite finish all my work, and it was Jan 3 before I called it quits with the plow. But i managed to plant and harvest all the crops. Yields were good and prices too. But the size of the input costs really made a dent, every penny i have saved in working for others over the past 12 years has been consumed by the farm, and the mortgage payments on the home farm are too big for the day job alone to cover. But I am advancing.
Added a 15,000 bu bin for corn, complete with stiration and propane drying. Its a nice shinny addition to the homestead. And this december I replaced my grandfathers MF 540 combine with a slightly (3000hrs) used Gleaner R52 combine. I am so looking forward to using that 230 hp this year.
Not having any no-til equipment, i am a full tillage farmer. 2011 marked the first year of using GM seeds, and this roundup ready soy and corn did make spring planting much easier. I had good weed control, but used the old fashioned method of removing the escapes, i walked the field and carried the weeds out. This year I am going to give IP beans a try on last years wheat ground, and may even grow non-roundup ready corn, but I still have a few months to change my mind on that.
So with 2011 behind me, i am moving into 2012 with bins full of grain, not quite as much winter wheat as I wanted, but enough to fill the small bin if the yield is good, and a big combine for 265 acres. Yes, i am very happy with the situation. And sadly father time took my grandfather from me last year, i was fortunate enough to have heard the best praise a young farmer could get "your doing a good job by me".