XtremeAg’s Chad Henderson and Lee Lubbers are prepping their equipment for spring planting.
CHAD HENDERSON – MADISON, ALABAMA
Chad Henderson is part of a fifth-generation farming operation in Madison, Alabama. Henderson Farms operates over 8,000 acres of dryland and irrigated corn, dryland soybeans, wheat, and dryland and irrigated double-crop soybeans. When not farming, Chad can be found carrying on another proud family tradition as a drag racer for Henderson Racing.
We caught a couple of dry days and were able to finish herbicide on the wheat. We don’t have any nitrate out yet because of the amount of residual nitrate left over from the previous crop becasue we had a dry year. We delayed our normal nitrogen application for two to three weeks. At the moment, we are shooting to finish side-dressing wheat the first week of March.
The seed room is starting to fill up. Fertility products we’ll apply with the planter pass are starting to be delivered. Plans are in place and we will be ready when the weather permits. Tentatively, we would like to start planting the first of April.
Grain bin cleanout is happening now. It is giving us time to start looking over our bins for the season. We already have maintenance scheduled to replace some augers and various items. It is important to complete before the combines ever go in the field.
LEE LUBBERS – GREGORY, SOUTH DAKOTA
Lee Lubbers of Gregory, South Dakota, grew up in the farming tradition, and remembers using leftover scholarship money as the down payment for his first tractor and rent for 200 acres. Today, he farms more than 17,000 acres of dryland soybeans, corn, and wheat. Lubbers says one of the most important things to him is to always be learning and challenging himself to build an operation and a legacy that the next generation can be proud of.
Out with the old, in with the new? As we march into the 2023 season, projects are in full swing. We ran all our conveyors through the shop, replacing bearings, a few main belts, and checking them over so they are ready for the next big push loading grain. When we used steel flighted augers to load out, we wear the flighting out in a year. The belted conveyors have better longevity.
Our planters are going through the shop. We don’t rush on our equipment. We take our time. You’ll catch more potential problems if you take the time and do not rush it. It can be tedious at times, and you are tempted to skip ahead, but that’s where you’ll have an issue during planting. Preventative maintenance takes patience.
Our tractors are also going through the shop now. We are doing fluid changes, sending off the oil for analysis, fixing anything we find, and of course, they won’t leave without being washed and polished.
We took the triples off one tractor we traded in. It’s now at its new home in Iowa. We ran it for nine years with virtually no issues. Hopefully it treats its new owner as well as it did us. Our new tractor is at the dealership getting prepped. We wouldn’t let ours go until our new one showed up. It’s been at the dealership for a month now, the perpetual labor shortage has slowed down the delivery process.
Grain hauling is mostly at a standstill. There are a few loads going out when it’s frozen in the morning, but we stop as soon as it starts to thaw. We don’t want to tear everything up no matter how deep our gravel is. It’s been a tough winter in South Dakota, but Spring is on the way.
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