Greetings. It's my pleasure to be joining the group of bloggers at Farm Futures. Mike Wilson and I have been talking about this for several months. As we're getting ready to roll into spring, the blog is finally coming to fruition. As time goes by I'll give you a look into our operation, and the decisions and management issues I deal with on a regular basis. I'll be reporting on what we're up to, and what's on mind.
What you see in these photos is a tiling project we finished up in the last week of March, when Northwestern film student Colton Maddox caught up with us to take a few photos. We were hoping for some nice weather - green grass and dust flying, like a year ago. Instead Colton found us in a slightly frozen, slightly snow covered field installing drain tile. Quitting before lunch, we were indeed 'ankle deep' as the frost went out quick that day.
My grandpa was a ditching man by trade. I remember helping lay a string of clay tile behind my dad's house. Granted, I probably wasn't much help, as I was a small child. This was probably one of the last strings the old half-track Cleveland machine known as 'Bertha' put in.
Back then, elevation was taken using a transit, and stakes were set for grade.
Even after grandpa passed, we always did a little ditching, but it became more difficult to get quality contractors on our timetable. It has become quite expensive as well. So, after the spring of 2011 with a couple hundred acres of prevented plantings, we made the commitment to add the plow to our line up and get to work. We have not looked back.
We have a wheel machine and a tile plow. Each has its place. We use GPS with RTK correction and an on-site portable base station that feeds data to the display in the cab that does the bulk of the design.
At this time, we are not-for-hire, working nearly exclusively on our farms. Farming is my full-time occupation. I'll keep you posted on what we're up to as planting season moves forward.