Alex here. Hopefully by now, everyone is getting into the groove of their summer. We at Pinicon certainly are!
Our summer has been set up by what turned out to be an exceptionally productive spring planting season. Aided by relatively dry weather and some March snow-melting warmth, we were able to hit the ground running in early April, with the first corn going into the ground around April 12th. We had the entire corn crop in the ground by the first week of May and had 99% of the bean crop in a week later.
New for 2016, Ben took over application duties. With Ted running the tender, that team was able to stay well ahead of all the other operations. The tillage crew, which included Lewis, Kyle, Jim, and Dan, were able to get the ground worked at a rate where the planters could roll uninterrupted. Bert and Donovan, with Calvin in the tender, did the majority of the planting. Tyrone was even willing to leave the hog barns and pitch in with the planting efforts, but much to his chagrin, we were able to avoid diverting his efforts.
I found myself in charge of the rock crew, with Duane and Richard. After picking rock every summer from the age of 8 through my senior of college, I had been determined to never do this task again. However, given our available roster, leading the rock crew was a natural fit for my lifetime of experience. We’ve historically struggled to pick rock up to our potential, but this year the skid loader crew was able to achieve a record combination of acres picked and tons of rock removed. Setting a new bar for the productivity of this application was a rewarding and satisfying experience.
With forecasted highs in the mid to upper 90’s for this weekend, there’s little doubt that the seasonal shift is fully upon us and summer operations at Pinicon are in high gear. With high temps come fast growing grass. Our mowing team is busy keeping waterways, ditches, hog barns, bin sites, parking lots, etc., looking trim and sharp. High temps also means rapidly growing crops, which keeps our spraying teams busy. From spraying the fields with our state-of-the-art self-propelled John Deere 4045, to spraying fence lines and building sites with our venerable 1086 propelled Pinicon spraying apparatus, weed and pest control continues to improve.
Of course, we have to keep bills paid, so our trucking crew has been very busy getting our grain to market. Here in June we’ve been hauling beans to the Mississippi River at McGregor, Iowa and corn to the Homeland Energy Plant in Lawler, Iowa. We’ll need to get our grain storage emptied out if this mix of heat and moisture continues, as we’re staring down the barrel of another bumper crop!
Summer is one of my favorite times of year. While Megan and I don’t have any big vacations planned, we look forward to being able to get outside and enjoy all the season has to offer. From bike rides, to canoe trips, to visiting friends and family all over the Midwest, we cherish summer and always try to squeeze every last drop from it. Hopefully this time of year inspires you as much as it inspires me!