Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tomorrow. Yikes.

We're going to the accountant in the morning to see how much we'll have to pay into taxes. I'm betting in the area of $4,000. Yes, American dollars. People always look forward to their tax returns (Which I don't get. It was your money in the first place. You basically loaned it to the government interest free.), but I don't really remember what that feels like. I think we got a few dollars back last year, but that's because 2010 was not kind to my farm. Paying in is one of the worst parts of being self employed, but that's life.

After that, we are trekking to Lincoln to get our toofs cleaned by my good friend Andy, who is in his final semester at the dental college. I haven't had my teeth cleaned since... well, since I chipped a tooth while washing my red pickup. Which red pickup was it, though? I don't remember. Is it sad that I measure my time on this earth based on pickups? Anyway, it's been a long time since I've had my teeth cleaned. Andy was my best man at our wedding, but after tomorrow, I just hope he still wants to talk to me. It's probably going to be gnarly.

Luckily, I get to go to an auction on Thursday, my sprayer is coming Friday, and Dad and I are going to get my liquid fertilizer applicator on Saturday, so things are looking up. I also registered the blue pickup today, which is nice, because after I get the interior put back together, I can legally drive it into town to have the front end rebuilt. The nice ladies at the DMV in Central City (seriously, they are really nice) also gave me a form to send in to the state to find out who owns my Dad's '81 GMC that he bought new back in the day. You know, this one:

I would love to track it down. I also found out that Grandpa's red '98 GMC is in South Dakota, and am going to try to find it, also. Yeah, yeah, I know, you can only drive one at a time. I'll just have to sell the '94 if I find Dad's or Grandpa's. I guess I'll worry about it if that happens.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Farm Update

Wow, it's been awhile. Sorry, kids. I've started a few blogs since last I wrote, and I've scrapped all of them. I just haven't been in the mood. Combination of writer's block and little motivation. Anywho, since I last wrote, a lot has changed for Ben F Peters Farms, or whatever I call my operation.

I've wanted a liquid fertilizer applicator for a couple of years, but all the ones I've seen on sales went for way too much, and I don't want to pay for a new one. I priced new units, and they're about $350 a row, so to build an 8 row, I'd be looking at $2,800, plus whatever a tool bar would cost me. I'm going to say around $4,000 complete by the time I got it all put together. I found this one on BigIron and assumed I wouldn't get it bought. To my surprise, I did, pretty cheaply.

How it works is the coulter (the big metal wheel) cuts into the ground, and the injector behind it places fertilizer in the trench.

This way, we can put all of our nitrogen on in one pass, instead of with the cultivator and hiller.

I also bought a sprayer yesterday. It's 2 years old and has been taken care of really well. The guys I bought it from even offered to deliver it, so it should make an appearance in my shed on Friday. A brand new sprayer set up exactly like this one is $8,000 more than I paid for it. I've also wanted a sprayer since I came back home to farm, so I'm really happy.

It has a 60' boom and a 500 gallon tank. It also has boom shut off, so I can run the middle and both sides of the sprayer, or just one side, or the middle and a side, etc. That's nice for edges of fields, so I'm not spraying something twice. With a 60' boom, I'll be able to spray 20 rows at a time, so I should be able to cover quite a few acres in a day.

I've also wanted an implement trailer since I bought my planter, but usually when you find them on sales, they're beat to crap. Dad bought an implement from a retired farmer, and he brought it out on an implement trailer. I remarked that it was a nice trailer, and he told me it was for sale. So, Dad and I bought it. It's been repainted and has new bridge planks, and is in really nice shape. The wheels on these trailers lock and you can pull the deck forward. As you pull it forward, it will slide to the ground. I will be able to bring my liquid applicator home on it, but more importantly, I'll finally be able to park my planter in my shed. The doors aren't wide enough to get my planter in if it's attached to the tractor, but I can set it on this trailer, and back it right in. This makes Dad happy, as my planter won't take up space anymore in his shop and it makes me happy because my planter will be in my shed. And, we can use it to haul all kinds of cool stuff.

Also, most of our seed has shown up. We're still about 3 pallets short on corn and 1 on beans, but they should be coming. Here's the corn seed:

I've also been cleaning out my shed and rearranging. Thanks to Dad and Grandpa, we got the bean head put away where I wanted it, which opened up a bunch of space. I forgot to take pictures of that.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Just a Quick Thought

I am quickly growing tired of Facebook. My brother calls it "give-a-damn-about-my-life-book" and I believe that's a very good observation. Everyone trumpets all of the volunteer work they do, how busy they are, how crappy their life is, blah blah blah. I don't really care, people. You aren't the only one that volunteers, or is busy, or has a bad day. Since when did everyone start taking themselves so seriously? Since when does anyone other than my wife care what I did today?

Maybe I'm being hypocritical. I did just post a status about an auction and a bacon festival interfering with each other next Saturday. This sucks! Why does my life have to be so hard! Why can't the auction be the next weekend!

Wait, what's that you say?

Oh. Yeah. Both of those things are awesome. I guess there isn't a bad choice there.

And, middle aged ladies, try to remember how old you are when you post on Facebook. It doesn't automatically make you 18 again.

If you don't like this, you can "defriend" me, or whatever they call it. I don't think I'll suffer any. I'm gonna go tend to my pork chops.

UGH! I was busy for all of 3 hours today AND I have to cook! WTF?!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Shay Told Me To Blog

So I am.

I don't really know what to say... Grandpa and I are sorting some cattle tomorrow to take to slaughter, Shay and I are going in Thursday afternoon to go over our operating/land loan, I've got 3 or 4 auctions to go to this month and I still don't have a sprayer bought.

Now that we've moved, I've kind of lost all motivation to do anything. I would do the trim work for the house, but Shay wants it stained instead of painted and I don't have anywhere at the current time that is warm enough to stain that much wood work, so it'll have to wait until spring. I need to clean out the garage and shop, but since it's cold out again, I'll probably let it wait.

Going through the cash flow process this year has kind of scared the crap out of me. I'm farming about twice as much this year as I used to and the cost of farming is going up. My operating loan will probably be north of $150,000, plus the loan we'll take out for the land we're buying from my parents, which consists of 62ish acres. I hate owing people money, but as a farmer, it's kind of necessary. I hope to some day be in a position where I can farm with cash instead of an operating loan, but I doubt it will happen. When you aren't in complete control of how much money you make every year, it's kind of hard to plan for a few years down the road. Corn could be $3/bushel in a few years. I hope not.