Gail Lierer Family Farm

Diary of Gail Lierer- Week 3 – November 14-20

Sunday-November 14

We attended church and our fall festival is planned today.  I always help in the office with the accounting.  I keep the money turned in on the computer so at the end of the day with the running total we can tell the amount we have collected.  My Sunday was spent at St. Aloysius Church from 8 am until 8 pm.  The guys were putting in tile and trying to beat the rain that was coming on Monday.

Monday- November 15

I did the typical check the grain markets and saw they were going down fast.  There are many factors as to why the markets are falling and none of them make much sense because the crop is not there like they said a few months ago.  I had an appointment in Indiana with one of my clients to get his wheat certification done.  After I finished that up I checked my fax machine and found more of the Certification papers from the FSA office.  I can put them on the computer.  I have to set up units for some of the farmers because they have never had wheat insurance.  So you have to look up on a map and assign a section number, so in the event of a claim next July the adjuster can find the field.  I also have to verify their acreage and production so they don’t have to take the county average.  Each policy can take up to an hour to put on the computer until you look up everything or contact them for information.  Dave was up in the field putting in more tile and when the boys came home they helped until the universal broke on the trencher.  It will have to be torn down and parts ordered.  The time change does not allow them to get much done after 5:30 as it’s already dark.  I have a meeting in Xenia tonight so I am picking up another Farm Bureau President so we can ride together.  It‘s a presidents roundtable discussion; they are usually pretty interesting meetings we discuss how things are going among other Farm Bureau Presidents and take new ideas back to our county.  The meeting starts at 6 and I didn’t get back home until 10:30 pm.

 Tuesday- November 16

The grain market is still falling.  Don’t know where this is going today.  Down the limit is not a good thing.  Soybeans fell 67 cents on one day and corn fell 45 cents.  After two days of down the limit it can go anywhere.  Dave and Tyler our grandson went to deep till the tile lines so the rain coming in today can get into the ground.  When we deep till it we use a tillage tool that has teeth that goes into the ground and it breaks the hard pan of the soil.  This allows the ground to breathe and also let the rain in so it does not run off.  We deep till the corn ground and leave the soybean ground go so we can no-till it in the spring with corn.  No-till is very popular on our farm because it saves fuel and it saves the soil.  We have minimal or no soil erosion when we no-till. The ground is not disturbed — only the corn rows are visible.  Some people call it farming ugly. Before the corn emerges we spray the weeds or ground cover so only the corn is coming up.   After the corn is up you cannot usually tell that it is no-tilled from the other conventional till.  Conventional till is where the ground is worked and corn planted.  The farmers that conventional till use more fuel and when the fuel prices are up we can say we saved on fuel by no-tilling.  At noon the rain arrived.  Dave and Tyler quit tilling and come home for lunch.  I have Aaron who is 5 months old and he is already eating his lunch.  After the boys go home I am back in my office working on bookwork for the farm and paying bills.

Wednesday, November 17

Today I had a doctor’s appointment so I took advantage of being in town  and also went to the grocery so I could stock pile some much needed things for Thanksgiving dinner.  I haven’t been to the store in three weeks so we were out of many things.  Heather brings milk when we run out so Tyler has his milk.  He is quite the milk drinker, and that is good thing.  We have our own beef in the freezer from the steers we raise so I can cook whatever we want each night.  I also had a nice garden this summer with lots of tomatoes and green beans that I canned.  I make my own spaghetti sauce; I think it is better than what they have at the store.  I also make tomato juice for soup.  I canned  the green beans and they are delicious all winter long.  I could freeze corn but when the corn is ready to freeze I am usually baling hay or some other job I have acquired.  My dad has a garden so he provides me with cabbage and zucchini.  We have black raspberries and he also raises a few grapes and strawberries.   With my parents living next door it is nice to share our gardens.  So after lunch I decided since I was not needed outside for any jobs I would start to clean my house.  I have been busy with meetings and crop insurance so some of it has been neglected.  We have an FFA alumni meeting tonight we are trying to get a truck and tractor show started for this coming September so we are starting to plan for it.  Another committee and more jobs just what I don’t need but cannot say no!

Thursday November 18, 2010

Today was a typical day of checking the falling markets and then I went with Heather to get the boys pictures done for Christmas.  While I was gone I have two phone calls about crop insurance.  When you think you might just have a break, a new problem occurs.  Crop insurance does not have hours designated to it in particular. It is a job I love to do and when clients call I have to help them or I would not be a good agent.  So after arriving home and lunch was over I started to put out the fires that the phone calls started.  I have to go back into the 2008 files and look up something and call the office to confirm what I have just looked up.  In the mean time I call the FSA office to get some more facts.  So everything is taken care of.  Dave is on his way to Oxford to get parts for a hydraulic pump he is rebuilding. He needs O Rings and gaskets.  With Dave being a good mechanic we save many dollars because we do not have shop labor to pay.  The parts are expensive enough. Some of the parts we put onto the blower were over $6,000 and if we would have had to pay labor on top of that we would have been well over $8,000 for the job.  Dave repaints tractors and equipment in the winter. We have a heated shop that helps keep him busy most of the year.  We have older equipment not by choice but because he likes to work on equipment and it runs just as good as or better than the new tractors.  One winter he totally rebuilt the inside of the combine.  We know people that take their combines to shops for the repairs and the cost of that is very high.  So whenever we can save money, Dave will do all of the repairs.  So while he is gone for parts I take off for Hamilton and attend a meeting for Farm Bureau public policy.  We had 8 out of the 10 committee members attend so that was not bad at all.  We are trying this for the first time this year to meet on a regular basis to develop and write policies so it can move onto the state to be voted on at the annual meeting.  We hold our Legislative meeting in February and it is well attended by our elected officials.  We need more members and guests to attend so it can be beneficial to everyone and not just a few that attend.  It will be held Feb. 11, 2011 at the Butler County Extension office.  I arrived home at 10:30 and went straight to bed.

Friday November 19

We woke up to a lot of fog.  Dave fed the steers and the cows in the woods.  The rain did not provide much new runoff for the pond so it is still a problem we need to watch every day so the cows don’t run out of water.  Dave started putting in tile to finish a run he started yesterday.  The rain has helped soften the ground but it is only damp on top at the bottom of the trench it is still very dry.  I made some phone calls and checked the e-mail and returned some messages. Mailed out some policy holder checks for claims they received and it was time to meet my district manager to sign a new contract for the 2011 crop year.  When we arrived home Dave went back to his job and I picked up the boys from the sitters.  Heather had a minor surgery today on her knee, so she will be laid up for a few days.  We only have a few days until Thanksgiving so it is time to start cleaning up to prepare for our Thanksgiving meal.  After the boys were picked up I helped Dave get the trencher in the barn and the backhoe and brought the Cub Cadet home.  It is dark and cold out there.  My wood fire feels pretty good and since I was only home one night this week we decided a good home cooked meal was just what we needed to finish off the week.  I made some of my homemade spaghetti sauce and spaghetti for dinner with a loaf of fresh baked bread.  Going to be an early night because Dave wants me to help run the trencher tomorrow.

Saturday November 20

Today was so foggy I was glad not to be on the road. Instead I took our Cub Cadet up the lane to the other farm and helped Dave move the trencher, backhoe, tile stringer and truck to the field so he could start putting in tile.  Plans change fast around here on our farm so I did not help run the trencher.   Michael showed up early and jumped on the trencher.  They did not stop for lunch and they put in a lot of tile.  We have more to finish up. If Michael comes tomorrow we might be able to finish up the corner field.  The grandchildren were over much of the day so Heather could rest her leg after surgery on Friday. Tyler was in the field with Grandpa until he lost a tool. I asked Tyler was grandpa mad. He said no. He just told me I better find that or go home to Grandma.  Needless to say I received a phone call to pick up Tyler.   I did not get much accomplished. A game of Chutes and Ladders with Tyler, we did some carpet farming, made some brownies, opened the mail and worked a little on this diary.  Some of my clients claim checks came in the mail so I will get those ready to mail out on Monday.  







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