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Posts Tagged ‘#plant11’

Progress Report

April 19, 2011 Leave a comment

There really is no progress to report, as far as planting is concerned. We had a good run on fertilizer last week; we’re about halfway through anhydrous ammonia applications, and I’m down to less than 1,000 acres of dry fertilizer to spread. That came to a halt on Friday; it was too windy to spread fertilizer, and by 3pm it was raining. It hasn’t really stopped raining for very long since then, and yesterday morning I woke up to a scary site for April 18th:

A little over 2 inches of wet, heavy, sloppy snow. It was all melted by afternoon. As I write this morning, it is just above freezing, and it is once again raining. Not very nice late April weather, and certainly not conducive to corn planting. The state of Illinois is apparently 9% planted, but in the two or three counties I deal with in northern Illinois, I’d estimate 0-1%. Last year we were probably 30%. Big difference. April is usually my busiest month, but  it looks like May is going to take the prize this year as we continue to push planting further back.

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Quick Update

April 13, 2011 Leave a comment

We mostly missed the weekend rain that was forecasted for the northern Illinois region, and as a result, we’ve been busy since Monday. There has been a tremendous amount of field work going on in the area, as well as a lot of fertilizer going out the door. We’ve spread a thousand acres or so since Monday, and have perhaps 1400 to go, a very doable number. Anhydrous ammonia has been flying out the door so fast that it has been hard to get transport semis in here on a timely basis to keep the storage tanks full. At the moment, the storage is completely empty, there are eight tank wagons waiting to be filled, and we have just five full ones on the property for customers. It’s going to be an interesting morning tomorrow; but I’m hoping at least a couple of the five loads I’m currently waiting on show up overnight.

Rain is in the forecast again for the end of this week, but right now it looks like we’ll get another full day of work tomorrow, and possibly part of Friday, as well. We’re at the point now where I would actually welcome a (short) rain delay; the first week of hard running at a fertilizer plant always identifies things broken that we missed during March prep, and we’re waiting for two critical pieces of machinery to show up that have been repeatedly delayed (a new RoGator 1194 sprayer, and a rebuilt trailer to tend the sprayer). Rain Friday night would give us Saturday to make some critical fixes, and a Sunday to recuperate from the long days we’ve been pulling this week.

With that, I’m going to finish making tomorrow’s Plan for the application crews, and get set to watch some Blackhawks playoff action. Go Hawks!

Rainout

April 8, 2011 Leave a comment

After a crazily busy week, we have been rained about for the weekend. I received about an inch of rain overnight at my house in Hebron. Looks like it was a bit heavier to the south, and a bit lighter to the north. So, today is cleanup day around the plant. The crew will work on some maintenance jobs, and we’ll collect some of the fertilizer spreader carts that went out over the past few days. I think we’ll be in for a half day tomorrow; I have some seed to deliver to one of my customers who’s a weekend farmer. But after that, it’s a rare April weekend off of work.

We got fertilizer spread on nearly all the wheat ground; 60 acres left that was too wet, and maybe a couple hundred that are  scheduled to get liquid N sprayed on instead of urea. We’ll take care of that next week when it dries out. We still have about 1500 acres of corn and soybean ground that needs dry fertilizer spread; so someone will be in that machine for a while, yet. And someday, someone will start planting corn around here, and then it’s a never-ending run of pre-emerge herbicide spraying.

How was your week, farming or otherwise?