On March 30, Dennis and I had the privilege of touring the Beck’s headquarters in Atlanta, IN (just north of Indianapolis). Beck’s has not had a presence in Minnesota before 2018.
Last fall we go our first Practical Farm Research book from them in the mail. I was quite impressed with the effort they put into helping farmers make decisions that affect their bottom line. A couple of Beck’s billboards also appeared on the south edge of Redwood Falls. I didn’t know much more than this for a couple of months. I get to know Jacob Tintes, one of the people on the ground in MN working hard to set up a dealer network. In visiting with him, I was informed that there could be an opportunity to tour the headquarters and through some questions at one of the top guys there. When Jacob called me to offer the opportunity to get on a jet in New Ulm and take a day trip to Indiana, Dennis and I jumped at the opportunity.
The trip left quite an impression. I have never had such an in depth education on a seed company as I had on that day. My confidence in them has been boosted to a very high level. Since we have our seed purchased made for 2018, we will not be doing any large scale planting of Beck’s hybrids but we will definitely be looking at them in our test plot this spring.
On a side note, we had a crazy realization coming home. We were flying above the snow line from the last winter storm. The south side of the plane had snow and the north side was basically snow free.
Warm enough February day for the door to be open.
It happens every spring. We open the machine shed door, after clearing any remaining snow and ice from in front of it, move any equipment blocking the planter and extract the sleeping planter from it’s nest. Once the planter is outside, it receives its spring wash down. The dust that has settled on it over the past 8 months is flushed away with the power washer and the planter is ushered into the heated shop for it’s pre-planting work over. Because it worked on the day we completed planting is no reason to assume it will make it through another planting season without some refurbishing and lubrication.
Washing the dust off.
Planting weather is fickle in Minnesota. It can lull you into believing that you have all the time in the world to get the crop in and then the updated forecast puts us under the gun to get as much in before the rains or cold snap hits. We don’t want a half ready planter to come between us and the impending deadline. Continue reading
One final blow by mother nature a week and a half ago was hopefully the last big snow of the winter. We did have our snow blower off of the tractor and were forced to re-attach it. These snow photos were taken earlier in the winter but it’s fun to see the steers not really care what’s going on with the weather.
We did find out though that they don’t much care for hail. The stood outside during round 1 but when round 2 showed up, they headed for the shelter as fast as a steer can run! Continue reading
As spring arrives, here’s a quick look back at the major educational meetings we attended this winter:
CPM Short Course – Dec 9-10, 2016
Master Marketer – Jan, Feb, Mar 2016 – Dennis only
Kevin Kimberly – February 3, 2016
Nutrient Management Conference – February 9, 2016
MVTL – February 18, 2016
MNICCA – February 19, 2016 – Lance only
Nitrogen Smart – March 7, 2016
Last week we experienced an extremely warm week for mid-March. We took advantage of it by taking the planter out of storage, power washing it and servicing it in the shop. We’re still waiting for non-critical parts that are back-ordered. We need to run water through the fertilizer system to test it out but basically we’re ready for planting.
On the way home from a parts run to Wabasso, we had the largest flock of geese that I’ve been this close to, fly right over our vehicle. I was amazed at the patterns inside the flock of vees inside vees. I pulled over as quickly as I could to snap a couple photos with my iPhone. I thought I’d share the photo with others.
Freshly power washed.
In the shop for service.
Dragging the driveway to dry smooth.
A large flock or geese heading NW.