Same song, different dance – The Harris Family

Spraying a wheat field in southwest Oklahoma.

Spraying a wheat field in southwest Oklahoma.

Well its very cold and dry STILL in Southwest Oklahoma.  We are working on several projects and planning for this year’s crops. Zac has began micromanaging each of the fields to try to maximize production.  We began this last year, instead of putting all the fertilizer on the wheat at one time, but rather applying it in a timely fashion before a rain, etc.  This way we can split the fertilizer over a 2-month span and hopefully gain maximum benefit by the crop having ample nutrition at all stages.  Not only does this add time covering 6000 acres twice, but also our overhead costs of engine hours on equipment, diesel and the opportunity for break downs.  We feel like last year it improved our yields despite the four late freezes that caused significant damage; providing more of a safe product for the world.

Chopping ice is a necessity to ensure livestock have water during cold spells.

Chopping ice is a necessity to ensure livestock have water during cold spells.

With weather all over the place it makes it really hard on all life, including livestock.  One of my chickens died; the kids have had them since last spring and they had just began laying eggs consistently.  Really warm days followed by harsh cold fronts and polar vortices give opportunity for cattle to be sick quickly.

Zac has bought 2 wheat trucks that needed complete overhauling- in fact one of them was a wrecked truck.  Apparently, the driver had gotten too far in the ditch to allow a vehicle to travel along the same road and the wheat in the box shifted and caused the truck to flip on its side.  So he has spent a lot of time straightening and tweaking the bent iron to make this a useable truck for the years to come.  Over a year ago, he also bought a very similar truck that needed a motor overhaul.  So this is the year of the trucks at the Harris Farms.

Kenda's horse and 4-H steer get to know each other across the fence.

Kenda’s horse and 4-H steer get to know each other across the fence.

Kenda has been busy washing and working hair on her Oklahoma Youth Expo steer project.  She has shown mini Herefords before but this is her first official 4-H project.  Her brother and sister have been very helpful! Trale’ feels like she needs a “widdle steer” herself!

Just staying busy. If you come SW give us a shout we’d love to buy your dinner!

Zac and Amy

 

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Wheat, hay, fairs and an international visitor – The Leonard Family

Cleaning up fields with a bulldozer.

Fall is here as we have now had a killing frost and survived the Tulsa State Fair!!!

After a month of fixing washes and drain problems with the scraper and bulldozer, we are now into planting wheat here in northeast Oklahoma.  We also baled the last of a very short hay crop, rolling up about 50 bales of Bermuda grass and weeds.

We have cleaned up an old house site at one farm and fixed several terraces and waterways around the farm trying to prepare for wheat planting.  We started planting wheat on October 4th and are now down to 115 acres of our wheat left to plant before soybean harvest starts in a couple weeks.  We do have 300 acres of custom planting to do for a neighbor to help him out as well as ourselves since we have the new drill to pay for.  I also planted about 350 acres of rye grass and cover or vetch into pastures for me and other neighbors this fall after getting the new drill.

What a year this has been with record heat and dryness, then record-early killing frost, and now 4.5 inches of rain over a two-day period this weekend after just planting 600 acres of wheat.  I’m guessing that at least we will be out replanting spots if not whole fields because of the hard, quick 3.5 inches last night.  Don’t take me wrong; we needed the rain very badly – just not that much that fast right after planting.

Greg and Danish visitor Jens Peter Hansen discuss Greg’s equipment.

Last week we had a very interesting visitor that found his way to us from Denmark from reading this blog and contacting Oklahoma Farm Bureau and arranging a visit to our farm while he was in Oklahoma speaking at a conference in OKC.  Jens is an extension specialist in Denmark and was very interested in the precision farm tools that we use on our farm.  After looking over some historical data, we looked at the machinery we farmed with. Then we went out and rode in the tractor planting wheat with our new 40-foot grain drill using RTK auto steer with saved guidance lines.  He had a great time and I very much enjoyed the exchange of ideas and learning much about the extension service and farming in Denmark.

Tulsa State Fair livestock show preparations.

I attended our local county extension PAC committee meeting this week to help out county ag extension agent plan what programs we need in our county.

Katy showed her heifer at the Tulsa State Fair, and we all got to find our coveralls that weekend as the high temperature on Saturday was in the low 50s and then dipped to around 27 the Sunday morning she showed.  She loved washing the calf at 5:30 a.m. when it was 27 degrees.  We all had a good time, and at least for Katy her calf placed in the middle of her class

Kody is still doing well at NEO A&M College and is excited that the first tractor he bought is going to be delivered on Monday. He bought a John Deere 7800 MFD with a 740 loader to replace the tractor we had stolen last year while we were at state Farm Bureau convention.

Surviving the fair – The Leonard Family

The Leonards survived the Ottawa county fair and the little milo harvest. Kody showed for his last time at the fair. However, Katy has a few more years to go. She made the sale with one of her lambs, and she showed a heifer that was chosen as one of the top 10. Kody started collage and on his off days he has been working ground getting it ready to drill wheat.

Greg and another local farmer went to the farm progress show in Iowa. He also got a seed cleaner so he can clean his own and some other local farmers’ seed. Friday we received about .5 an inch of rain from the hurricane in the gulf.

The fall calving cows have began having their calves. Kody, Mary, and Katy have been tagging calves after school. Greg has started digging one of the ponds out so it will hold some more water if we get enough to fill it.