Let there be light 

A new winter project has begun, Jerry is installing some new lights in the farm shop. He is always looking to improve and make things easier and the brighter lighting will allow him to work easier and longer on machinery in the shop. They are T5 fluorescent lights and are being hung between the rafters across the shop. Jerry isn’t the electrician he thought he was and ran into some wiring issues. A neighbor (J. golden) came over with his voltage tester and narrowed down the wiring problem. He has five lights installed so far and five to go.

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In the mornings he is taking care of the cows hauling them hay and checking mineral, they are all on cornstalks this time of year. A bunch of parts have been ordered for the planter and he will get that into the shop next week to do some service and maintenance before spring. He has a long list of machinery that needs service before spring and will spend most hours in the shop this time of year.

Cattle Drive!

If you were traveling the gravel roads north of Palmyra last Sunday you may have seen a few surprises coming at you on the road. Jerry and friends moved his herd back to the home farm where his parents are to be wintered on cornstalks.

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He rents a pasture five miles away and decided to move them down the road rather than catching them to move on a trailer. It’s less stressful on the cows to keep them in one group. He would otherwise set up catch pens and round them up in multiple groups (5 or 6 trips) with the stock trailer and move them home. 

The whole cattle drive took less than two hours. The cows followed a lead pickup so they knew the way and three 4- wheelers followed up the rear to keep them moving. The first mile is always  rough because the cows are excited but they soon settle down and keep on moving.

Harvest 100% Complete

We’re done! We’re done! HOORAY HOORAY!!!

Jerry finished up the last load of corn the evening Nov 19th and came straight home without even taking the combine back to the farm. He says every year gets a little bit more efficient and even though harvest doesn’t seem to take any less time he is combining more acres than ever before. The last few days especially he had multiple breakdowns and the machinery was just getting plum wore out. The combine only gets used for 1 1/2 months out of the entire year but is expected to go almost around the clock without breaking during harvest and that just doesn’t happen.

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(Whoops on Jerry’s bad spelling he was a little exhausted)

Next on the list for the farmers is to get all the machinery moved home, power washed, and maintenanced and put in the shed until next fall. We have cows to get on cornstalks and things to do around the farm that got put off because of harvest before the first snow hits. There is always work to be done.

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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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