Harvest Week 4

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Jerry has been trucking along, he always tells me it will take 5 weeks to finish harvest, you have your really productive days and days where your’re broke down and don’t harvest a single acre. We’ve had plenty of both this year. The weather has been holding out pretty well but the coop was completely full of soybeans so he wasn’t allowed to haul any in and switched back to corn.

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This past weekend (Nov. 12-13) he was able to get the last of the soybeans finished up when the coop started accepting beans again. The coop already has two large corn piles on the ground because the bins are full. Jerry has about 180 acres left of corn to get done split between three fields. Two of the fields are pretty far from home so we got all the equipment moved over this weekend so he could get started Monday morning. Since it is so far away he is hauling the corn to the ethanol plant in Adams which will also give a higher price for the commodity. At the ethanol plant they  take the corn and process it by fermentation and distilling and turn it into other products and byproducts.

This weekend we also got the electric fencing put up around some cornstalks at the home place and got some Angus heifers out on stalks. I drove the tractor and laid out the wire, Jerry secured it to the T-posts, then we went around the field again I drove the truck/trailer and he looped the wire on the electric fence posts and stretched the wire tight. It only took us a few hours Sunday and he was very thankful for my help.
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Harvest CAM

I tried something new with my camera the other day, I filmed an hour or so of our harvest on a field just north of Unadilla from last Saturday. Mind you I was also driving grain cart during part this so it got a little shaky. Jerry watched it later and asked me “do you actually do any work or just film me working?”. I’d like to think a little of both.

-The Wallens

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Harvest Week 3

This week of harvest has gone exponentially better, seems like most of the kinks got worked out. We had a couple of great days of soybean harvest getting 60-70 acres picked each day. Soybeans don’t allow you to run a full day like corn and other crops, in the early morning and late at night they can get “tough” and hard to pick. Meaning the soybeans and stalks won’t run through the combine like they are suppose to. What usually helps is to have the wind blowing and the sun shining to make them dryer and flow through the machine. Beans can be especially finicky as it gets colder and later in the season especially with shorter days.

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He was harvesting at the field where we held our wedding this summer and we still haven’t gotten around to taking the flowers down off the crosses. Might end up leaving them until Easter Sunday sunrise service.

Some of the beans have been going into the Palmyra coop since those fields are on shares otherwise most everything is getting hauled to the bins at Wallen Farms for storage until they are at a good price to sell.

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Harvest week two

This is probably technically week three, but we had almost a week there where nothing got done because of the rain. We’re back on track this week harvesting away, he has moved fields about 4 times. Once a chain on the cornhead broke and he couldn’t get parts for two days so decided to switch to beans, got all the way to the field and then the beans weren’t ready.

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That’s the life of a farmer always adjusting and making work whatever they get thrown at them. Jerry moved back to corn and has been having some very long nights the past few days. One night he harvested until 2:30am, I was running the grain cart until about 12:30 and his part time hired hand was trucking the corn to a rented bin for storage. He says we have about 4 fields completely done and 15 or so to go, harvest is a process and its not always a short one. Lucky we have something to look forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Jerry’s birthday & our honeymoon!

 

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Happy Harvest!

Its finally here! So much anticipation has been building, every week at church Jerry was getting asked when he would be starting and its finally dry enough that he can! He has officially had 2 full days of picking corn, he has 100 acres harvested.img_4855Then it rained 10/6/16 and is drying back out today he will be back at it Saturday all day working on the field next to the home place. He says the machinery has been working great so far this year and he has been able to pick an extra 900 bushels every night after the coop closes. Jerry is borrowing my father’s semi truck and trailer to haul grain this harvest and that has allowed him to get a lot more harvested and hauled.
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I’ve been testing out new field meals for Jerry this year and tried an arm roast, mashed potato, baked bean dump and it’s his favorite thing I’ve made yet! Recipe HERE Its not just the farmers…it’s also the crew behind the scenes feeding them, and washing work clothes that keep them going.

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Anticipating Harvest

It’s that time of year, my farmer’s are getting ready for harvest! This has always been Jerry’s favorite time of year, he is always anxious to get rolling and then anxious to get done and when he is finally done always wishes he had more ground and could still be harvesting. He tested some corn earlier this week and it was still at 18%. This weekend’s (Sept 24-25) rain didn’t help dry anything out but he thinks they will be going by this next weekend.

The grain truck needed a few things done to it before it was ready to go so he took it up to Inland Truck in Lincoln for a small overhaul. His brother welded a few things on the combine and Wallen Farms declared themselves ready to harvest! Lets do this.

We went up to Ceresco this weekend and helped my dad work on his combine too. I love seeing my father and husband out in the shop together, that are so similar its frightening. I’ve been searching pinterest for ideas for meals to take to the fields this fall. Jerry isn’t a picky eater so it shouldn’t be too hard. My favorite from last year was a meatball sub, it was pretty easy to keep warm and the harvest crew really loved it.

 

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Married that Farmer in his field

Sorry for the lack of postings lately but we had a good excuse….we got MARRIED!

Jerry was working on putting up the prairie hay mid July so we would have the site for our ceremony mowed well before the wedding got too close. He got all the bales rolled up and moved them home except for a few purposely left for the ceremony. The days leading up to the wedding he was working with the cattle and checking fences so they wouldn’t cause any trouble during our big weekend.

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We had a beautiful wedding day for our outdoor ceremony and everything went exactly according to our plans. It truly was the perfect day!

Now that this wedding business is wrapped up and we are settling into married life Jerry is finding himself on a new schedule. Which includes coming home to me for dinner and actually sitting down to eat breakfast before he begins his busy days on the farm. He is slowly getting ready for harvest which can you believe it is only a month away. The grain cart is out and getting worked on and the combine is next in line.

Knee High Before July

May was a busy month for my farmer, every day it rained he became ridiculously stressed out. A direct quote “last May it started raining and never stopped” whenever i told him everything would be okay and he would finish planting in good time this year. 50 years from now i’ll still be hearing about the wet spring of 2015….Jerry never forgets a bad year of harvest or planting or a terrible year of winter storms. He finished planting in good time this year thanks to the help of his Dad Wayne and brother Matt running the drill. corn 4

The corn is coming up great and is already over 5 feet tall in some places. They got the sweet corn planted to, it was the first to go in the ground. We can’t wait till July to add some of that sweet Nebraska goodness to our cookouts!

We even made it up to Ceresco to help my dad with some work. I helped him load the bean drill one Sunday and Jerry sprayed all his post corn and beans. Jerry has really loved the Liberty beans lately because the use require less chemical then other types of soybeans. corn 3

Stretching out Spring

After last year in Nebraska most of the farmers around here are terrified of the word rain. Jerry has been ranting about how last spring he never got any work done because it rained and rained and rained some more. This spring has been pretty wet and Jerry is a little worried because planting seems to be taking a long time to complete.

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He finished up all the corn and has the pre-corn all sprayed now to get to work on the beans. Beans usually go a little faster because he can have two machines going at once. His dad or brother Matt will usually run the bean drill behind the Allis 8050 and Jerry will run the planter behind his Allis 9695. He even got his mom and myself helping by going out to his storage shed and loading up some bags of beans then taking them to the field for him to load. Farming is a family affair. 

 

This spring has also been a joyous one as Jerry’s brother welcomed a new baby into the family! Oliver Dale Wallen was born May 11th to Matthew and Malanie.

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Beginning of Plant 16

And so begins planting season 2016, today was Jerrys second full day. He has started on the home fields first planting Fontanelle 13V843 corn. The bottom he is working on right now is planted at 28,000 population (seeds per acre) and most hill ground is planted at 25,000 population. The bottoms have better yield potential so farmers will push the yield and back off on the hill ground.  He is planting the corn at 2.5 in depth and running at 5.5 mph.

 
Jerry uses two guidance systems and a monitor when planting. The top screen on the picture below is the GPS system which steers the tractor and uses 8-15 satellites to pinpoint exactly where he is in the field and where he needs to go. The bottom screen has two jobs: it keeps tract of where the planter is at and each row is controlled by satellite. The satellite recognizes what has been planted and shuts off each row individually as it crosses where he has already planted so there is no overlap. It’s  second job is to tell him if the population is flowing right or if a row is plugged up or out of seed. And people think farmers have it rough…the machine does the planting for them!