Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Work in Progress

The shed is coming along and really starting to take shape.  All of the poles are set and we have have about half of the trusses set.  The first picture below is after setting the poles.

Rather then renting a crane to come in and set the trusses we have been using a bucket truck.  It is a little slower doing it this way but we though it would be a lot safer.  With the crane we would have been worried about getting done as fast as possible to keep the bill down.  When you get in a rush that is when mistakes can happen and people can get hurt.
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Here is the first truss going into place in the west end of the building.
Another thing that we are doing different is we are putting all of the bracing and perlins in as be go rather then getting all of the trusses up then coming back to brace everything.  Since we don't have to worry about holding a crane up it makes things safer.  After the trusses go up and before all the bracing goes on is the most vulnerable time for a pole building especially in the spring where we see lots of gusty winds.

Looking from atop the silo at the end of the first day of setting trusses.
More trusses going up


Friday, March 16, 2012

Breaking Ground on Hay Shed

As I said earlier in the week we started breaking ground last week on the new hay shed.  The building is going to take up almost 1 acres when it is finished.  When we stepped it off the site didn't really look all that big but I climbed to the top of our 60' silo to get a better look and it looks much bigger.

This was after we stripped the top soil off

Here is part way through lifting the pad

And here is the pad finished

Later this week we will be drilling the holes for the poles ans start setting the main poles for the building.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Starting Building Project

This weekend we broke ground on our new hay shed.  Our hay and straw operation has grown tremendously in the last 5 years and we have far exceeded our storage capacity.  As you may know it is omportant to keep the hay and straw dry and out of teh weather to prevent mold.  Last year we had to put up several piles outside and tarp them.  We were able to keep most of the hay in good shape but the tarps are expensive and require a lot of labor to manage properly.  Thia is one of the piles we constructed last summer.  When it was finished the peak stood over 25 feet in the air.

The new building is going to be an impressive 92' x 120' with a 20' ceiling so that we can dump loads with our self propelled stack wagon.  They pick the bales up in the field then you can dump it in the barn in a perfectly stacked stack with out ever having to touch the bale. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gearing up for Spring

This week we started gearing up for spring.  Things really woke up and we were all over the place.  We started putting spring fertilizer on the hay fields and small grain.  Just like people need a well balanced diet so do the crops.  We regularly test the nutrients in the soil so that we can best match the crops needs.  The major things we look at are the pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium along with various micro nutrients.

We try vary hard to match the nutrient profile to the crops needs both for economic and environmental reasons.  Each crop has specific needs that are different from one another. There is no benefit to over fertilizing a crop and in some cases excess can be toxic to the plants.  Any extra fertilizer we put on has the potential to become mobile and run off.  If this happens we loose the money we spent for that fertilizer and we are hurting the environment. 

Farmers pride them selves as being the first environmentalists. Are income depends on the health of the land so we do our best to take care of it in a effecient, and economic fashion.