Friday Farm Flicks #plant15 Style

This week was out first week back in the fields, and the first few days of the 2015 planting season (#plant15 on Twitter)

Here are just a few of the pictures I have taken so far while we were busy planting.
 

First we started off by filling our tractor up with fuel  

Then Start off the year with a prayer


  Some quick flying to make sure the fields are ready
Then came the rain  
Meanwhile we prepped the planter for #plant15 in our shop    

A few days later the ground dried and we were able to level some of our fields off, prepping them for planting.  That night Mother Nature offered a great sunset  
Ground leveling continued for a few days  
Meanwhile our cover crops thrived in the warm spring weather  

When the fields were ready we began to plant our 2015 corn crop

 After one day of planting, more rain fell, bringing field work to a halt for the next few days

  Thank you for stopping by.

Want to see more pictures and follow us as we continue the planting season? 

Follow us at @boucherfarms on Twitter

like us on Facebook at Boucher Farms 

Friday Farm Flicks 3/27/15

it’s been quite a while since I have posted, since December 5th actually. But just as spring brings change to our environment it brings change to The Farmers Story too!  As spring arrives so does the planting season, aka #plant15 on social media.   With that I thought I would share some photos from the winter and beyond to get the season started off right!

Let’s first go back to this fall, #harvest14.  This pic was taken on the last day of harvest and is very special to me.  This is a pic of 3 generations of Boucher Farms working together for the first time harvesting corn.  In the pic, my oldest child (BF generation #5) takes the wheel of our combine (with me sitting beside her) harvesting corn while simultaneously unloading corn “on the go” into the auger cart and tractor driven by her grandfather (BF generation #3)  while I (BF generation #4) take the pic.  While it wasn’t the first time she drove the combine under my watchful eye, it was her first time unloading while combining which was a big step for her, making for a proud Dad and Grandpa!  I mean, how many 10yr olds can handle a combine in stride?   I was grinning ear to ear for a few days straight!  Great Job Miss H.!!

The next picture brings us to post harvest plowing.  This pic shows our John Deere 9510R 4 wheel drive tractor pulling our Case IH 870 disk chisel/ripper. This tool allows us to mechanically till and loosen the soils in preparation for the following year.  

 This pic shows an alternative method of tilling to the mechanical one above.  These plants are called Tilliage Radishes.  They are a type of cover crop that allows farmers to loosen the soil, help prevent soil erosion, help needed nutrients remain in the soils and also help deter weeds and other pests in our fields. These radishes were flown on as seeds over top of our growing soybean field before harvest.  I dug these up to see how they were progressing and many of them were already about 12″ long, which is around the same depth that we mechanically till the soil, and having similar effects.

   

Christmas came and went but not without a first for our family. This year we spent part of Christmas Day on a Florida beach, near my inlaws winter home.  While Christmas isn’t the same without the cold and snow, we didn’t miss it either!

  On our way home from FL we stopped in Nashville TN.  Upon a visit to downtown Nashville we found a cowboy boot store with the most boots we have ever seen in one place! 

January brought us back to reality and the cold and snow of IL.  The pic below shows us unloading soybeans we grew for a seed company, who will clean them, check them for top quality, package them and sell them to other farmers to grow in 2015.  We will be growing more seed beans for them again this season, so more farmers can utilize the seeds we grow in 2016!  

This is a pic of the sweep auger inside the grain bin where the seed beans were stored.  The sweep augers its atop the bins floor and helps bring the beans from threshes of the bin to the center where there is a hole in the floor where another auger catches them and draws them outside of the bin and eventually into a truck.

What good is a Friday Farm Flick post without some country sunrise and sunset  pics from our farm?  Enjoy!

 

  

   

  

In closing I’ll leave you with a little St. Patrick’s Day Ag Humor.   

  Have a great weekend and check back often! As spring arrives and the farming seasons gets busier, I’ll post more blog entries to keep you up to date on what’s going on in the country!  

Friday Farm Flicks #plant14 style 5/16/14

You may have noticed quite a bit of dust stirring across the country side in the last few weeks.  Planters have been rolling for hours on end, precisely planting the 2014 Corn and Soybean crops across the Midwest.  Overall, the 2014 planting season got off to slow start a few weeks ago but then was quickly stalled out with rains and constant cold throughout most of the Midwest.  Our farm was no exception to this rule. We began planting Corn this “spring” about 3 weeks later than we would normally like to, but that is ok.  Why? you may ask?  Because 5 out of the last 6 growing seasons where we have planted late, have resulted in above trendline yields on Midwestern grain farms!  Most notably for us was 2009 and 2013.  Both years served up difficult and late planting seasons but also offered 2 of the best harvests we have ever had.

To prep for #plant14 we first have to prep the ground using our 4 wheel drive tractor and soil finisher.  The finisher slices up the remaining stubble from the previous year, levels the ground and uproots any weeds that may be present all in a matter of seconds.  With the soil finisher we can travel at around 8.5mph across the field, pulling 3 or so inches deep and 39’9″ wide, averaging around 38 acres per hour.  As you may imagine, doing so requires a good tractor to pull it.  Our tractor is a John Deere 9510,weighing in at 44,000 lb,  touting 510hp with a fuel capacity of 300 (give or take) gallons of Diesel Fuel.  When pulling the soil finisher we burn around 0.7 gallons of fuel per acre, or 26 gallons per hour.  Learn more about our tractor by clicking here.

cropped-20140505_194945000_ios-1.jpgI made a short video of this tractor and finisher in action using my UAS Drone and GoPro Camera.

Click here to watch!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lTNRrxx0pE

As the ground began to slowly dry out, we decided to plant our first field of corn.  Mother nature wasn’t exactly cooperating though, as it was and still is much colder than what we would like it to be for this time of the year.

#plant14 begins!

#plant14 begins!

 

 

This year is my first year as a GoPro Camera owner.  I have one for my UAS and 2 other older GoPros to play around with.  So, I put them to work while planting our first field this spring.

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Click here to see the Spring Planting video!

THE most important thing on our Family Farm is, you guessed it, Family!  While the Spring Season brings the time to plant with it, it also brings things like Tball, Baseball, and Softball for us.  On the day this pic was taken, we could have been out in the field planting corn, however we were right where we needed to be, watching our little mans first ever Pinto Baseball game!

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This Spring I had a great opportunity to talk about what we do to many many people when I was invited to bring our tractor up to our towns “SpringFest” which included a “Touch A Truck” section.  There were Fire Trucks, Police Cars, a Garbage Truck and a Semi truck there as well as our tractor for kids of all ages to explore.  I was more than happy to answer the questions of the (my estimate) of 300-500 people who visited the tractor in the 5 hours I was there.

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While the rain delays of the spring season continued, I was honored to be asked to do a presentation on Agricultural UAS (Drones) for an Agricultural Technology Class at Joliet Jr College.    After a 30 minute presentation indoors, the weather cooperated (just barely enough) to take the class outside and give a live demonstration.  Mr. Johnson in the schools Ag Department even piloted the UAS for a bit.  The schools Ag Department hopes to purchase their own UAS in the coming months so they can better educate their students on the benefits of their use.

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Soon after plant14 began to roll on once again, and things got back to normal.  So I thought.  After running out of seed one night in a nearby field, I drove back to the house, filled with seed, had a quick bite for dinner and drove back to the field.  There I found something I never thought I would find.  4 puppies who had obviously been dropped off.  Naturally I stopped and tried to coax them to come by me.  At first they were a bit shy, but once they realized I was there to help, we quickly became friends.  My wife brought out our portable dog kennel, and we loaded them up to keep them safe.  From there they spent a few nights in our shed, protected from the elements and predators that they would have been up against out there all on their own.  Within a few days time, we had them checked out at the vet, (all are in good health) and have found Furever homes for them.  Well, all except one, which we decided to keep!  Like many Pirates, he has one bad eye that will require surgery to fix, leading us to name him “Captain Jack” (Sparrow) from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series.

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After all was settled with the pups that night, Plant14 rolled into the night.

Shortly thereafter we finished up Corn Planting for the season.

Click here to watch as we close up the #plant14 corn season around midnight.

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As the weather turned more favorable, we switched to planting soybeans.  In this picture, we are filling the planters large seed boxes with approximately 5.8 million soybeans taken from our seed wagon.  These soybeans will  be precisely planted at various populations over roughly 80 acres of land before I will have to fill up again. Check out my recent post about how farmers are using GPS and VRT Technologies to Plant Efficiently by clicking here 

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Last but not least:

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Warmer weather and a nice warm rain have helped bring new life to the farm.

TOP: a soybean planted 2 days ago shows a future root emerging from the soybean seed as it begins to grow.

BOTTOM: Our first planted field of corn is emerging nicely.

Have a great weekend everyone and check out the latest “AgriNews” newspaper. You might just see some familiar faces on the front page!

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Friday Farm Flicks 4/11/14

This week was an eventful one on the farm. As the weather has begun to warm up and so has the activity on the farm.

This past Sunday, my cousins took their Steers to a show and decided to take a #selfie! Only this was no ordinary selfie:

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It was a #cowfie!

This weeks good weather also meant it was time to evaluate the health of our winter wheat crop after this brutal winter has passed. So I took out my new crop scouting tool and took to the skies to get a birds eye view of the field.  You can watch the crop scouting video here  http://youtu.be/6OKMBJl8Wzk20140408-235630.jpg

 

 

Just like your car or truck, every so often it is time to trade a tractor in for something else that better suits your needs. The “new to us” tractor on the right has a new home here on the farm while the one on the left has a bright future ahead of it on another farm.

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This newer model will provide us with a bit more horsepower, better fuel economy and better maneuverability in the fields.

 

 

On a parts run to our local tool store I picked up a battery operated grease gun. This is our 2nd one if this style.

We prefer them over other similar models largely due to their quality and battery life.

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This week has been a busy week for the seed division of Boucher Farms, called Potential Ag. Not only have we been deliver ins quality seed corn and soybeans to other local customers to plant this season, but in addition we have provided a few farmers with waterway mixes as well which will help control soil erosion and general runoffs from their fields!

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There are few things better than watching the sunrise from your front porch on a nice spring day!

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Lastly, I highly encourage you to follow us and many other farmers through the planting season by searching for #plant14 on FB, Twitter, Google+ and more. I also created a special place for #plant14 posts on this blog. By following #plant14 you will be able to keep up to date on what is going on this planting season with thousands of farmers all across the globe.

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Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday Farm Flicks 4/19/13

Due to all the rain we have experiencing recently, our farm has been in slow gear. Usually we are done planting corn and finishing up planting soybeans at this time of the year but this year we have yet to turn a fleck of soil due to the cold and rain.
Rain is a good thing, and I won’t complain about getting a good shower now and again after experiencing the effects of #drought11 and #drought12, but this week was a little much.

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Locally, roads have been closed and or washed out, our local hospital has had to be evacuated due to flood waters and many houses in town have had flooding issues, not to mention our farm fields are flooded as well. Not so locally, Chris Neimann, a farmer friend of mine in Nebraska, has been fighting continued snowfall and cold temps as he cares for his cattle. Indiana has been no different. Farmer, Brian Scott’s (The Farmers Life)) local water levels have been rising as well, giving his newly installed field tile a workout.

Flooding? Heavy Rainfall? Barn cat don’t care, Barn Cat don’t give a sh**! He is out cold on our comfy forklift seat.

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This week has been largely marked by flooding, here’s a few pics of our farm fields:

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Under this whirlpool is a surface drain for our field tile. It’s clearly working overtime today.

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One may correctly assume #drought12 is over for IL and IN, however Nebraska is still under the effects of the drought.

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Sadly this weeks post cannot go by without sending prayers out to those affected by the Texas fertilizer plant explosion. The factual details are still pouring in but many people lost their lives and countless others were injured. Watch the video of the explosion here, but I must warn you, it is shocking and breathtaking to say the least.

In the weeks to come, we hope to get going in the fields and begin to get our #farmerstan on but maybe not quite like this guy:

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Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday Farm Flicks 5/4/12

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One of our 2 kittens. They are getting big!
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Actual 4 leaf clovers picked from our back yard!

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Corn seedlings growing nicely

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87 degrees and humid on Thursday, the corn loves this weather

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8 new Ducklings hatched out early this week!

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3 week old corn growing nicely

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3 week old corn on the left, Corn planted 12 days ago on the right.