Summer Rituals

It seems natural that after a half dozen decades, an individual’s life takes on a seasonal predictability. Not sure where my routine ranks on the “Well Balanced Servings of Variability and Consistency” continuum. I suspect it has a bias towards the obsessive.

This occurred to me as I drove to the park after my post mass pancake breakfast, rocking out to Boston, and guzzling down 16 ounces of Dunn Bros dark roast.

30-40 times annually for twenty years. Formulaic to the extreme. Three strawberries per pancake, 10:40 departure, elastic band on Under Armor shorts turned down, “Hitch a Ride” segues into “Something About You” a mile south of Wykoff, reaching the top of the Sunset Ridge incline 10 seconds either side of 8 minutes, 19 seconds.

Is it legal for a guy in his eighties to listen to loud music, get jacked on caffeine, and run through the woods with his shirt off on a late June Sunday? As I tend to think ahead, this disturbing thought flashed through my mind.

But I digress, this blog is about rituals of the season.

At Pinicon Farm, application season is in full swing. This operation has not reached the same level of standardized repetition as my Sundays, yet.

Starting in 2018, we run identical R4045 John Deere sprayers with 120′ booms. Each is supported by 6000 gallon (5-1200 batches), field mix tenders equipped with extended load boom, high output pump, and bulk chemical metering.

Application timing is a key variable for achieving effective weed control. With two sprayers we improved our ability to match chemical rate to weed height, realizing better control with less chemicals.

With Ben and Andy as primary sprayer operators, application errors are rare, crop impacts are minimal, and productivity is excellent.

2019 will be the first year 100% of corn acres receive split application of urea, our preferred nitrogen source. Split nitrogen application increases yield while minimizing nitrogen run off.

Additionally, Pinicon has a record number of corn acres in 2019 which means the urea application team has a full plate.

Dirk runs a JD 4940 equipped with eight ton New Leader dry box. A Quickveyor 25 ton dry tender supports the spreader. The Quickveyor can transfer 5 tons in 7 minutes. Thousand plus acre days are typical.

Other, less time sensitive activities happening at Pinicon include tile repairs, grain hauling, rock picking, ditch mowing, and waterway seeding.

Despite the busyness, everyone enjoys the long days and warmth. For a crop farmer, the window from planting to harvest is Game Time. We are closing in on the end of the first half and the score is close enough that we think we can pull off a win if Leadership calls the right plays and the Team executes.

And like successful athletic programs, the age old practice of refining and perfecting our craft through repetition is alive and well at Pinicon Farm.