Farm Picture Friday #53 – That’s It

Farm Picture Friday #53 - Country Linked

As the farmer climbs up on his grain truck, he is reminded of this past year and all that it took to get the soybeans in the truck.  He reflects back on the harsh winter and the wet spring.  He will never forget the drought again in July and the flooding in September.  He is thankful for all that the good Lord has provided, for things could always be worse.  He lets the soybeans fall through his hands as he checks their color, size and weight.  For he knows, that’s it.  He has produced another crop and the Lord willing, he will do it again next year.

Blessings to you,

Laurie – Country Link

*There are many things that are made from soybeans.  To learn more, go to the United Soybean Board and check out their 2014 Soy Product Guide






Farm Picture Friday #47 – LIVE. WORK. PLAY.


Where do you live?  Do you live in a city or a small town?  Do you live down a gravel road or near a major interstate?  Do you live close to where you work or far away ?

Today’s Farm Picture Friday might tell you more about where we live.  (I know, not my usual FPF, but I promise you I am going somewhere with this, trust me.)  We live where we work and where we play.  Huh?  Yes, we as family farmers Live, Work, Play all at the same place.

Take the above collage of pictures.  These pictures were actually taken all on the same day in June on our farm in north central Missouri.  It was a typical Saturday morning.  We had things to get done and family was visiting.  When cousins come to the farm they know that they are going to help with something.  On this day we had gravel that needing spreading and the bean platform (combine header) needed worked on so it would be ready for wheat harvest.  The garden needed checked and weeded and the little pedal tractor and wagon of course had to be played with.  Gpa needed lots of good helpers to help him with his chores and Seth needed little ones to tease.  Live. Work. Play. 

Live. We built our home five years ago on part of my family’s farm.  The cattle walk by multiple times a day for water and here soon we will be seeing new baby calves by their sides.  We live close enough to my parents that we can be there in a flash if we are needed or something is forgotten at one place or another.  There are pastures on three sides and across the gravel road that runs in front of the house there is a bean field.  Closest neighbor is a mile and the mailman is most consistent and sometimes the only daily traffic on our road.  We have fresh air to breath and the beauty of God’s creation to look at every day.

Work.  When you care for the land and animals you need to be available for whatever may come up.  Be it working in the garden so that fresh vegetables and fruit can be on the table, assisting the cow that is having trouble giving birth, or making that late day delivery of seed, we are ready for work at a moments notice.  Seth’s job as a Sale Manager for Burrus Hybrids allows him to work on/from the farm.  His main office is here out of the house.  It offers him flexibility and access to those who he serves.  Being a Sales Manger for a seed company is not a nine to five kind of job.  Days can be long, so being able to have an office in the home is necessary and a true blessing when you are the seed guy.

Play.  We do take time to play, but when we do it is usually here on the farm with family or friends.  Be it building a fire in the fire pit to roast hot dogs and marshmallows, or lighting fire works on the 4th, it all takes place right here on the farm.  The kids enjoy being outside and love to have friends (and cousins) come for a visit. Their friends love coming to the farm.  Where else do you get to climb on hay bales, pick sweet corn or take muddy adventures? Not anywhere else I know of then the family farm.  Now we do take vacations, but like they say, “There is no place like home” and “Home is where the heart is”.

This week’s Farm Picture Friday is just the start of more blog posts regarding Live. Work. Play.  Until then, tell us about where you live, work or play.

Blessings to you and all who live, work and play on family farms,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #43

FPF #43

Yesterday we finished planting for 2014!  The seed is in the ground, so all we need now is rain and sunshine so those little seeds can grow.

On the day this Farm Picture Friday was taken, we had just arrived to the field with a cold, glass of ice tea and a snack for Gpa so that he could take a break from planting.  The kids met him in the field, and immediately began looking for seeds to check the depth and placement of the soybeans he had just planted.  Seed depth is very important.  Too deep and the seed may have a hard time making it to the surface.  If planted too shallow, the seed may not establish a good root system, which could lead to an uneven stand and lower yields.  The kids have become accustomed to seeing Gpa and their Dad stopping to check the depth of seed, because as a Burrus Seed Dealer, Seth is always out in the fields checking on the seed placement and the growth of the plant through the growing season.

After checking the seed, they all came back to the truck to have a drink and to help Gpa eat his snack.  (The kids are good at helping Gpa do a lot of things, especially eating.)  After a few minutes, we noticed the temperature was dropping and a wind coming across the field, for it was stirring up the dirt.  Right behind that wind was rain.  RAIN!  A pop-up shower occurred with BIG rain drops.  We scrambled to the trucks to get windows rolled up and the tarp on the grain truck where the seeds are stored.  We did not get “soaked”, but we sure were damp.  The rain lasted long enough that Gpa had to quit planting for that day.  So instead of getting done on Wednesday, we finished planting yesterday, Thursday, May 29th. Two whole weeks before we began planting last year.

Just like the weather on this day, farming can be unpredictable and things tend to just “pop” up.

Blessings to you and those still in the fields,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #42

FPF #42

Plant 2014 is still going on.  We had to park the tractor and planter for a few days due to rain, but plan to start again today.  This field that you see in this weeks Farm Picture Friday is next to a large creek and is known as the Beecham long bottoms.  The Beecham family and our family have been farming together for generations now.  This ground, like all the ground we farm, is no-till.  A Phillips Harrow is taken across the land to just stir up the top.  It does not dig in like a disk does.

Last year soybeans were planted in this field.  As you can see weeds have grown up, but those have been sprayed.  Once they die back they do leave a cover that helps to keep moisture in the ground so that the corn can grow.  This picture was taken on Sunday afternoon.  Since then we have seen temps in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.  Not the typical temperatures for us in May, but this is Missouri and last year on the 3rd of May we had snow.

Next week the temperatures are supposed to be back in the 80’s and we will be on to planting soybeans.  With any luck the sunshine and rain will continue.  It is all up to mother nature, but a prayer here and there helps too.

How is your planting going?  Are you done?  Have you started?

Blessings to you and all farmers who are working to grow our food and fiber,

Laurie – Country Link

*This post was linked to the Country Fair Blog Party

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Sweet Corn that is sooooo Sweet!

Sitting on the tailgate

A few days ago we went to the field to help with the sweet corn planting.  We plant a sweet corn that is sooooo sweet, we have to work hard at keeping the wild animals out of it.

Sweet Corn 2014

We are not commercial growers of sweet corn.  We raise as much as we can because we love to have sweet corn all year-long, not just a few days during the summer.  You may be asking, “Isn’t the garden the best place to plant your sweet corn?”.  That is a very valid question.  My garden has three rows of sweet corn planted in it and it has just come up through the ground.  I will plant at least three more rows later this week in hopes that we have a few weeks of eating corn on the cob and not just a few days.  The “Big Patch” that we planted in the field, is what we not only eat on, but also spend a few days during the summer freezing.  Have you ever worked up and froze corn?  It is a JOB!  Such a big job, that in this family, if you don’t come and help at least for a bit, you probably are not going to get to see any in your freezer.  Hopefully when you come for a visit, it is served during a meal.

Sweet Corn PlantingAs you can see the planter makes fast work of getting an acre of sweet corn planted.

Coon's Choice III

Checking the seed depthThis year there was a “supervisor” of the sweet corn planting.  She took her responsibilities very seriously.

Coon's Choice III

What kind of sweet corn do we plant?  Burrus’s very own COON’S CHOICE III!

Do the raccoon’s really like it?  Why yes, they do.  We move the sweet corn patch every year in hopes that the raccoon’s have a harder time finding it.  An electric fence is also put up around the outside to keep the raccoon’s and deer away.  Some years it works, but every once in a while the raccoon’s do get in and wipe it out.  This is also the reason why we try to freeze some every year.

Now that the “Big Patch” is planted, we will check on its progress and make sure that the electric fence is put up before it tassels.

Three Sweet Corn KidsThese three sweet corn kids can’t wait unit the corn is ready!  (The “supervisor” has a few more teeth that need to grow in before she can enjoy corn on the cob.)

Blessings to you,

Laurie – County Link

*This post was linked to the Country Fair Blog Party

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Farm Picture Friday #21

Farm Picture Friday 21

“Shopping for Seed”

Today’s Farm Picture Friday is in regard to farmers and seed.  You see the two farmers above, (the one on the right is single, ladies!) they are looking at an ear of corn that come out of a seed company’s corn plot.  Now in this case the “plot” is a small section of farm ground that has been designated to showcase different varieties of seed from the same company.  Different varieties were planted side by side in a farmers field because; seed companies do not have only one type of seed corn.  They have many.  One variety may grow better on dry sandy soil and another may have longer growing degree days and work better on your hill ground.  By attending a plot tour, the farmer has a chance to see how well the different varieties”measure up” before they purchase their seed.  Do you like flowers?  My mother-in-law does. She has beautiful gardens all around their home.  They are filled with varieties of the same flower, like; Lilies, Iris, Hydrangea and Lilacs.  As with the farmer, she likes to have options and likes different varieties of flowers for different reasons.  So wither you are a farmer or an avid gardener, you like choices.  How do you figure out which ones you like the best?   You go shopping.

Yes!  Farmers go shopping!  Sometimes they are very good shoppers and know right away what they want and how much they need. Sometimes they find it hard to determine exactly what they want because they like the looks of too many varieties.  So who does a farmer turn to when they cannot make up their minds?  The Seed Guy.  (Yes, that is usually his official title, just ask the farmer down the road.)  The Seed Guy has the answers.  He works diligently for the farmer to ensure that the farmer has the best for his or her farm and has it when and where he needs it.  The Seed Guy knows the ins and outs of the hybrids and can recommend what would be a good “fit” for each farmer.

Now, this does not make farmers good at other types of shopping, but fortunately for you ladies, The Seed Guy does bring caps.

*Disclaimer time – I do know both of these men and took this picture while they were at a plot viewing earlier this week.  They are father and son and farm together not far from us.  I received permission from wife/mom to use this picture in hopes that they would become famous.  Okay, not famous…………………………… but one can hope, right.

Blessings to you and to all farmers as they begin seed shopping for next year,

Laurie – Country Link

Welcome to the Show!

The Western Farm Show was this weekend in Kansas City, Missouri.  Did you attend?  Or did the snow, ice and/or cold keep you home?

Snow 01

It was beginning to look like we were not going to be able to attend either.  The snow came in on Thursday and lasted most of the day blanketing us in a lot of snow.  Seth started blading that night because he was due to the Farm Show early Friday morning.  Gpa finished up on Friday and even bladed in the pasture so that he could unroll hay for the cows.  This makes it easier for the cows to eat and gives them a place to lay down so that they are not right on top of the snow.

Snow 02

With Seth gone and school cancelled, the kids and I hung out, played in the snowed and hoped that the roads would be cleared so that we would be able to keep all of our weekend plans.  We were able to make it to the bull sale on Saturday, so that meant that we would then make it to the Western Farm Show.

The kids and I have never attended.  I know, I can not believe it either!  Seth has been the past four years for work, but it just never worked out for the rest of us.

Farm Show Collage

The kids were not for sure what to expect, but I think they enjoyed the day.  A highlight was the escalator.  Yes, it really was.  Apparently I need to get the kids to a mall/convention center more often.

W Farm Show

We did stop in and see how the guys were doing at the Burrus Hybrids booth.  Saturday was a very, very busy day for them and the show in general.  Sunday was slower, but still a good day.  Many of the Missouri customers were in attendance and know to look for the guys and the popcorn that they hand out.

If you were able to get to the Western Farm Show, what was the highlight for you?

Blessings to you,

Laurie – Country Link