Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Job Opportunties!

We are Still looking for an experienced scientist to join our team at our Yuma Campus

See for more information!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Combine Overhaul

We decided to take our larger Winterstieger Seed Master Advance combine and put in a modern threshing system.  The machine is originally built on a Duetz-Fahr M33.30 combine, and they abandoned the threshing concepts (for good reason) shortly after they sent this model to Winterstieger for their plot style conversions.

We had Precision Farm Parts in Sherwood, ND build us a new adjustable concave which would work for corn, wheat, canola, etc.  Fabrication delays kept us from having things ready for wheat season, but when it arrived it gave Lee a chance to try her hand as a forklift operator--this was the maiden voyage for the new (for us) machine we picked up from Greenheart Farms--our longtime neighbor and an excellent transplant greenhouse. 
Besides the fancy concave was a fancy new enclosed cylinder with the new style offset beaters.  This in theory is easier to clean as it is enclosed, and has a significantly higher capacity / threshing action.  The newer combines tend to do a much better job of pulverizing the straw, which means it is easier for the sieves, fans etc. to handle the material.  Also, as the cylinder has much more mass, it should churn through the tough stuff better by keeping its speed up (read fewer plugs).  You can see at the left the fancy new green one next to the open style old set up.  For only $7,000 you too can have one like this,

Our good friend Ernest Bergsagel, a multi-generational wheat farmer in Montana has been helping us with the combines, so after he finally got through his delayed spring things in Montana, he came down here last week to get this installed. Ernest was tired of the 85 degree Montana weather and wanted to experience some 110 stuff, and we obliged.

It was a fair bit of work.  Ernest supervised our young crew in the finer art of Combine theory and repair.  Gerry, Jed and Trent got plenty of chances to bust knuckles and get overheated. Jake Havins, our research farm supervisor (the one trying to stay out of harms way on the photo above right), is adding combines to his experience set.  So now the new concave and cylinder are in, as is the nice new white conveyor belt,  which Gerry is tightening in the image above.   Besides the white conveyor belt, we  have painted the interior and exterior of the combine white and we settled on yellow trim, although there were some who wanted ghost flames and perhaps a Unicorn...  The color is critical so that we can see everywhere inside and out to clean all the material out of the machine. With the "kernel" clean standard we must adhere to when working with biotechnology crops, every thing we can do to facilitate cleaning is put into place.  

With luck, we will have the last of the belts on hand end of the week and be ready to start the endless adjusting which combines always need... More later as we play!

Monday, July 29, 2013

33% Down

This last week we actually had some rain... a half an inch last Sunday the 21st, and then another 1/4 inch on Thursday.... this 3/4 of an inch is about a third of our annual total.  Although not drowning, we made plenty of ruts in the yard hardened off by the 110 degree weather over the weekend with more in store.

Crop wise we are finally wrapping up our spring crops... we are making our final mildew evaluations on Bell Peppers and the various cucurbits... they will get the disk shortly.  But it never rests for long, we are planting more melons et al this week.  Bell Peppers are in the greenhouse for planting soon, same with the fall tomatoes.

Our cotton plots are starting to square, and the field corn we planted in March is ready to harvest--our team spent much of last week putting a fancy new concave and cylinder in our bigger combine.  As you can see in the rain photo on the right, the combine is taken apart and that cool looking green stack of iron on the pallet is waiting for the weather to clear is $7,000 worth of the latest technology to make combines run better.  We will see!

We are waiting for our first fall block to dry down now from the flat water a couple weeks ago.  When we prep ground for planting we normally disk, then rip to 3 foot, then plow it, then disk it again, then Laser Level it to 0 slope, pull up borders and fill it up like a bathtub, what we call "Flat Water".  Then a month later we get in and disk it again and put up the rows for our next planting.  We have corn going back in the ground August 9, so the clock is ticking!