Monday, July 29, 2013

Gettin' the grain

 I'm still getting used to the size of this farm.  The two bins (the big tubes on the right in the picture above) can each hold about 18 tons of grain.  I purchased 14.5 tons, and I used my tractor and a grain elevator that the combine operator provided and up it goes. 
 The fellow in the blue shirt is Andrew Albert, who does quite a bit of farming in this area.  His business, Andrews hay, makes most of its money by leasing farmland and growing things, and doing the odd bit of custom tractor work here and there.  He's the one who leased my ground for corn this year; and the corn looks great.  It's 10 to 11 feet tall and just starting to tassel out.  Amazing stuff.  Can almost see it grow. 
The animals came and watched.  Here Red gives a tail wag approval
 This wheat is soft white wheat, which is commonly used for bread flour.  If civilization ended tomorrow I'd have enough wheat to make something like 25,000 loaves of bread. 
The pig on the left decided that wheat was pretty tasty; stole mouthfuls of spilled wheat. 
His yield off the neighbors field is somewhere between 2000 and 3000lbs per acre (1 to 1.5 tons); I'm very interested in small grain production as a crop rotation, with the end use being animal feed, or potentially human food.  The wsu small grains seminar talked a lot about barley being raised for local beer production. 

Having bulk wheat like this is interesting for several purposes:  It's a cheap cover crop if I desired it.  Figure between $15 and $20 an acre (150lbs/acre application rate).  That's really cheap.  Animal feed; less than half the cost of prepared feed, and you can feed it directly to chickens or turkeys; no processing.  Stable feed costs -- I know exactly what my feed will cost for the span that I use this -- easier to set prices.  This is the low-tech way of doing a commodity future of sorts. 

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Cool stuff. Nice pictures.