Irrigation pipe/finding a friend

Picking up irrigation pipe, you never know what you may find, at least not a skunk…yet.

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Wordless Wednesday/ride

Jamison telling grandpa, ride, ride.

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Wordless Wednesday/Art by God

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Summer of 2011 on the farm

I got reminded that I have not been doing very well at this blog so I thought I will just insert a few pictures of my summer to get everyone caught up.

Planting got started late but finished on time thanks to two weeks of good weather and running very long days.

Ridging corn for furrow irrigation was a job in June.





Putting out irrigation pipe, one of my least favorite jobs.


Starting irrigation


Problems irrigating


All to be rewarded with this

So we can feed the world.


And of course, we do take a littel time for R&R with friends like everyone else.

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Things we takes for granted, even tires, to put food on the table

I’ve been servicing center pivots the last two days.  While pumping up tires I got to thinking, how many tires are on our pivots? This is taking a long time.  Doing a little simple math I soon figured, around 260.  What? 260 tires on our pivots? That got me to thinking, how many tires does it take for us to farm?  Lets see, 20 on one semi, 18 on two others, three more trailers at 8 a piece, 8 on a couple of tractors, 6 on a couple more, 8 on the planter not counting the 48 that don’t hold air, 6 on combine plus I’m guessing well over a 100 more I don’t want to bore you with.  I’m going to say I could come up with a tire count over 500 very easy.  Bottom line, it’s the little things most, not even I always think about that bring food to the table.

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Water quality “priceless”

I recently took part in a water tour put on by Hastings, NE city utilities.  They took board members of the Little Blue NRD and the Upper Big Blue NRD to look at the pollution control  facility, lagoons, power plant, some of the city wells and a local feedyard.  We were also given many maps of known contaminated areas of our ground water and the direction these waters are moving.  We were informed of the projects in place to help clean up some of these problem areas.  Most of these contaminated areas were done by industries before we knew better .

One big problem that just started to show is a high nitrate issue from over application of nitrogen by farmers decades ago, again before we knew better.  It has taken some 50 years for this problem to show up and I expect it will take another 50 years of good faming practices for the problem to go away.  That leads to the question; what do we do while we are cleaning up this problem?

I have to give the city high marks in their efforts to solve the problem reasonably.  We know the problem is on the surface of the aquifer. So one of the things they are testing is a well to see if they can separate the high nitrates from the low. They put two pumps in the same hole using only the lower well for drinking water. The water from the upper part of the well could be used for irrigation water or other industrial uses if this test works out.

If low cost tests with reasonable approaches like this are not successful, water treatment plants will have to be put in place at a cost between $52 and $72 million.  Keep in mind this is a relatively small community with the water system serving between 25-30,000, depending on how far out they reach to help other smaller communities in the county with quality issues.

I find this as a very expensive solution but how can we ever put a price on clean water?  Now that we know better, let’s take care on our water. Clean water is “priceless”

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The anti-ag

It seems the ag industry can’t do anything right.  We either get too much gov’t help, too much from the market place, plant too many GMO crops, use too many pesticides, grow too much, create too much demand and I could go on and on.

With the complaints coming from so many directions, I’m thinking we may have things about right.  What could be any other reason for such a wide range of complaints directed at one very important industry? The producers of the safest, most abundant food supply in the world seem to keep taking the heat.

Why are so many complaining?  Is it fear? A movement? Jealousy? Anxiety from the world unrest? Maybe, all of the above?

One thing I noticed about many of the complainers is they don’t post a picture of themselves with the complaint they post.  That leads to more questions.  Are they ashamed of what they write? Is this group of anti-ag people really not that big and they are actually the same people posting over and over with different names?

We may never know or even care to know the answers to these questions but the thing I am proud of is the fact I am part of the agriculture community.  The same group that produces the safest, most abundant food in the world.  I am also proud to say most of us also put our face next to our word.  We take pride in telling the truth about our industry.

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