Summer Is A Very Busy Season
Summer is the time for growing, maintaining, and family. During the summer activities on the farm include wheat harvest, irrigating in dry years, picking blueberries, maintaining our corn and wheat fields, and spending time outdoors with out family. We scout our fields to discover any pests or weeds, so we can catch them quickly before they get out of control. We also spray fields to eliminate pests and weeds, only when needed. We have been able to decrease our summer nitrogen applications due to our use of strip tillage. Summer also involves getting equipment ready for fall harvest, and trucking the rest of our grain to various elevators.
This shows the pipes that we use to bring water from the creek to the irrigation gun. Water flows at a high pressure through these so they have to be closely watched and maintained to prevent any leaks.
This is the tractor that is used to drag the irrigation gun out to the other end of the field. The reel will then slowly pull the hose back to make sure the entire pass gets covered.
The irrigation reel holds the irrigation hose on it. It is like a flexible pipe that can be rolled up and pulled out, and is connected to the irrigation gun. It is responsible for slowly winding the hose back up, and by doing that pulling the irrigation gun back in.
This is the irrigation gun "raining" water down on our fields. It will swing back and forth to get full coverage of the pass. In order to get full coverage of a field, once a pass is completed the reel is moved down the field. Once the field is completed we move onto the next field. The pipe in that field then gets picked up and moved to the next location. As you can see by the rolled up leaves, this corn is desperate for water. When it is hot and dry, corn leaves roll up to decrease surface area to decrease evaporation. Corn that is lacking in water for a long period time can have stunted growth, and can have problems pollinating.
Winter wheat is a very useful addition to our crop rotation. It is planted in late summer or early fall, whenever the field is harvested off. It can be planted no till, and helps to keep the soil in place throughout the winter. The wheat goes dormant throughout the winter and comes back to life in the spring. We harvest it in late July to early August, all depending on when it got planted. It is a useful crop because you can harvest the grain, and then use the straw for animal bedding, essentially making it a double crop. We sell our straw right out of the field to anyone who wants to bale it. After the field is clean, we will plant a cover crop such as triticale or radishes. These will help to keep the ground in place, reduce compaction, and add organic matter back into the soil. For more information about the planting process, please visit our fall page
These plants have recently come out of dormancy. Wheat grows fast once spring rolls around!
Its getting taller!!! These plants are taking carbon dioxide out of the air and replacing it with oxygen!!!
We have a head! With the proper conditions all of those will grow into properly developed wheat seeds.
Our chickens love taking adventures in the wheat fields. They love the foliage cover and scratching for bugs in the cool ground.