Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Ever Changing North Dakota Weather......

If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes, it will change. That should be the slogan on the North Dakota license plate. This past week we have experienced everything from 70's to 20's, rain, high winds, even snow and sleet!

When we arrived at the farm last week and it looks like they were expecting us!


There are several things we love about coming up here; seeing Bob, DeAnne, Chris, Holly and Dylan, hunting and getting some tractor time in. Truth be told, Barb would probably agree with one of those three.... One of the first orders of business was to pay off a bet with Bob earlier in the year. He bet that he could lose 12 pounds before we returned. Not only did he achieve this goal but he smoked it and blew right past it!
A well earned case of Diet Mountain Dew!
They were about 75% done with their harvest when we arrived; wheat, field peas, canola and chick peas were all done. Luckily for me, they still had about 1,000 acres of soy beans left in the field so it looks like I will get some farm work in!

This week I was able to get some tractor time in but the weather wreaked havoc on the fieldwork so it was not as much tractor time as they would have liked to see me have. A first for me was when they asked me use the Landoll Highspeed Disc to break up some former CRP ground that is going to be planted next year.
The Quadtrac and Landoll all folded up ready to head out to the field
This piece of equipment uses a series of disks to break up the ground preparing it for planting. Since this ground had not been farmed in years I had to go over it several times in different directions to get it broken up. It is not ready for planting yet but with a little more work it will be ready for next year.

The Landoll in action!
We only got out in the field to harvest soy beans for two half days as the moisture has to be just right for harvesting but they made the most of it and got 285 acres done. Chris, Bob and Dylan operated combines while I ran the grain cart emptying the beans into the semi and then drove the semi back to the farm and emptied the beans into the grain bins.
The beans go from the semi into the auger and up the auger into the grain bin. 

Out of the truck and into the auger
Of course before you can put the beans in the grain bin you have to clean it out to make sure there are no remaining seeds from whatever was in there last. It is a dirty little job but not too bad. You basically clean it out with an air compressor and work out any seeds that are stuck in crevasses with a pick. It is hard to take a picture of the inside of the bin but here is my best attempt.
This bin will hold truck loads about 5 semi loads of grain
The upside to wet, windy and cold weather is that it is great for duck hunting so we took advantage of that and got out in the field several times. We scouted the night before to see which fields the birds were frequenting and set up in those fields at 5:30am the next day putting out about 10 dozen goose and mallard decoys as well as setting up layout blinds to conceal ourselves.
Sun is up and we are ready for the birds!

Chris in his layout blind with a few geese at his side
The birds start returning right after sunrise and we were there waiting for them! Between the four of us, the first day we got a limit of mallards and 5 geese, the second day we 15 mallards and 6 geese.
Bob coming back with a couple geese
This is Dakota's second duck season and although she did not go out on the field hunts we did get her out to a couple of waterside hunts. Since she is a mama's girl and only been out hunting a couple of times a year ago, Barb came along to help her feel more comfortable. I have to say she exceeded my expectations as she was not gun shy at all and in fact was excited every time I shot as she knew she got to go swimming after I shot.   Well, not every time, in fact she would look at me disdainfully whenever I missed a bird! Throughout the hunts we got mallards, scaup, ringbills, teal, pintails, gadwalls and the ever present shoveler.


Dakota ready for action!

With all the muddy water she is playing in I would not be surprised if we ended up with a black lab rather than a white lab by the end of the season!

We also had our first ever Finken Farm visitors when Jim and Brenda stopped by as they are making their way east from Teddy Roosevelt National Park to Indiana. We visited for a few hours and I even got Jim out in the field to load a semi and bring it back to the farm and unload it. We hope to see them sometime this winter in Florida, if that does not work we will not see them until we return to South Dakota in April. 
Jim watching the beans unload
Not to be outdone Barb, DeAnne and Holly went out to have some fun of their own by attending the 5th Annual Tying for Support (which DeAnne hosted) event at the Douglas Senior Center. It is a blanket tying event where the completed blanket are donated to  Pink it Forward . Barb said it was a great event and met some very nice people. 
Holly and Barb cutting

The finished product!
Last post I left you with a screen shot of the upcoming weather forecast thinking how cold it was going to be, little did we know that those were going to be the warm days as this week looks even colder and snowier! 
Doesn't look like we will get in field this week!