January is typically a slow month on the farm and the jobs done often depend on the weather (sunny, nice day? Let's get stuff done outside! Snowy, windy day? Yeah, let's stay inside the house or the shop).
Desk work and hauling corn are two activities that always take place this month. We hire truck drivers to haul corn to elevators and ethanol plants, freeing us up to do other jobs and reduce wear and tear on our trucks.
Trucks hauling corn means that someone has to be available to scoop corn. Once the bin floor can be seen, the corn has to be scooped into the auger. This is dusty, dirty, hard work...and a mask is usually a good idea.
Snow! Only a few inches, but a Bobcat makes quick work of a large driveway.
The rain/snow caused the pit to back up. The pit is a holding bin for corn underneath the ground..this particular one has two different (very small) entrances. The boys worked for most of an afternoon to get all the rotten corn and water cleaned up...lots of up and down ladders both in the sky and under ground!
Finally, dry fertilizer needs to be spread on the fields sometime over the winter. The wind speed needs to be less than 10 mph to apply the fertilizer and calm days can sometimes be hard to find in January! Curtis can spread 320 acres in a day; 400 acres if he really pushes it. The dry fertilizer contains phosphorus and zinc and ensures that the soil nutrient balance stays healthy.
You can find all of my "Year on the Farm" photos under the Year on the Farm tab at the top...I'll be posting periodically in there and at the end of each month as a blog post.