Fall ...2014

...and Fall arrives.  The beans are turning and the cool, dry weather with a bit of breeze has slowed the white mold to a standstill.  A couple of weeks and the Farm will be in harvest mode again.  Time to remind D.K. Trucking that we will need a couple of semi trailers shortly.  Beans will be hauled directly out of the field instead of into storage this year.  Doing so reduces labor, reduces soil compaction (less equipment hauling heavy loads over fields), and means less handling, therefore less damage.

It will be interesting to see what our yield is.  Weather patterns were again different this year with a cool wet spring, mild summer, and a three plus week dry spell at the end of bloom.  The plants are on average four feet tall and pods are between 26 and 30 per plant.  That is a little shy of previous years when the count has been between 30 and 34 per plant.  However, there may have been more plants per acre this year too.  I can't recall exactly, but I think this is our first year of 30 inch rows, having moved from 15 inch rows.  The 30 inch rows provide for more air flow during the early stages of growth, which reduces the risk of molds and fungus.

The new planter is designed for this row spacing, which means we can use it for both corn and beans, thus reducing the cost of planting as we don't have to lease equipment.  That is a savings of about $3000.00 each year, which means the planter investment will be paid off in less than three years.

Short term investments with long term benefit.  Keep it simple.  Stay flexible.  Self-sustain as much as possible.  Anticipate without committing until it is time to commit...  This is the developing mantra of the Farm.