7th March - 4th July 2002
Miles Farms Inc is my current place of employment. My first day at Miles on the farm crew was on the 7th of March 2002. The very first job I was given after the paper work and the formalities was sanding a Grove crane.
Spring was slow to arrive in Kentucky this year and when it did it was a wet one! We spent a lot of time in the shop, setting up machinery for the coming season, and Assembling equipment for Agri-mart. We build Unverferth Gravity carts for bulk loading of planters. The first couple we built, were for the farms, one of these was fitted with a hydraulic power pack, so we can tow the wagon with the pickups. All up we build 5 or 6 of these Unverferth wagons. We also built DMI nitrogen applicators for Agri-mart during the same time.
In early April I sprayed 30-0-0 liquid fertilizer at Martin Valley and the fields around the shop with the Willmar Eagle, and a couple weeks later in the 19th I started spraying those same fields with Harmony Extra. During April we also hauled corn to the river for transport. On the 17th of April we finally started to work corn ground, we were finally going to plant corn! On the 24th I got my first shot at running a corn planter, I had the fun job of planting Burk City, a farm about 80 acres in size, divided into 6 fields. This was extremely fun on a 40ft wide 16 row planter.
After I planted Burk City, it rained, and rained, and rained. It seems the first few months will be remembered, with the flooding at Pond River, the tornado warnings, and the tornado touching down at Pond River destroying half of number 3 pivot! The tornado warning I will remember is the one over Owensboro, with the Air-raid Sirens and the weather alerts on the radio and TV, I wasn't too sure what to think. The Tv (between blank outs, suggested getting to the middle room in the house or in the basement! So there we were, drinking beer in the bathroom! With all this water standing on the fields and a lot of our corn was learning to swim! So it was back to the shop, we changed the concaves over in the Axial-Flow combines ready for the wheat, continued servicing machinery and maintenance, so when the time did come, we were ready to go. One notable job was adding the grain tank extensions to Jimmy Ray's combine. They sure look pretty in the pictures, and the extension made by a external company were built well, but CASEIH failed to build a combine which was square! Bugger!
Since the ground wasn't in a hurry to dry up, we soon found jobs outside the shop to do, I bush-hogged pond river for a couple of days, and Jimmy and I also began spraying weeds around the grain legs. Finally Bill had discovered dry ground so on the 10th of May we moved machinery to Center Town to plant about 730 acres of corn, No-Till. This took us 3 days, this is where Toke got to run the Kinze planter and I ran the JD 24 row planter on the Sunday Boogie didn't work. That Sunday we moved the JD to Pond River to plant, Billy Joe set off planting only to be stopped by the rain. This rain dampened our efforts for 2 weeks, in this time, we worked in the shop, and I also went to the Russellville farms to work on Centre Pivot Irrigators for 3 days. For pictures of stuff I saw at Russellville click HERE. After Russellville I side-dressed corn with 50 gallons to the acre of 30-0-0 liquid fertilizer at Burke City.
We resumed planting on the 25th of May only to be rained out again, returning to the field on the 27th. I planted corn with the JD 24row planter for the week up till the 2nd of June. Click HERE to see the ruts I left with this planter at Pond River. Then I continued to work corn ground in front of Toke. Early June and all the corn was planted (3400 acres of it). For more pictures of Toke planting corn click HERE. The Wheat harvest began and I returned to Pond River to side-dress 45 gallon per acre of 30-0-0 liquid fertilizer, and also moved to Centre Town to side-dress the replants up there.
The Wheat harvest on the northern farms was done by two CASEIH 2388 Axial Flow combines, with a 3rd combine joining the harvest at the end. Mitch, Phil, and Jimmy did most of the harvesting, with Mark running the trucks too and from the fields. To see more pictures of the harvest, click HERE.
It was time to plant beans, we planted Harford farm under conventional cultivation, and once the Wheat was off the fields Beans were planted into the straw straight afterwards. I began planting beans on the 24th of June and finished on the 29th. We had 3 bean planters running this year on the North farms, a 30ft JD Air seeder, a 30ft Great plains drill and I used two JD 750 drills, 30ft wide. I think the southern farms had 2 bean planters running, Toke on the Kinze and a JD1580 drill. Bean planting was completed quickly, I had a couple of learning curves running the 750 drills. Half the rows were blocked off so we were only planting 15inch rows. This put my calibration efforts off! Because the openings in the bottom of the seed box are circular you just couldn't double the rates as I did! The other stupid mistake I made was using hydraulic lines with restrictors in them to run the auger wagon. Up till now I had never used hydraulic line restrictors, these restrictors made the filling procedure 3 times slower! Bugger it! What a moron.
I think Boogie finished planting the last of the beans on Monday the 1st of July. Click HERE to continue.....