Wednesday, October 16, 2013

48 Hours: at the NCRS

So everyday is a full day at the NCRS.  On Monday we filmed the final segments of the 2013 NCRS video.  I have shown earlier takes of this on previous posts.  Below we see Mick of Creative Services getting Tim all miked up for his talking part.  Notice we will have an action shot of a real (versus a cheap model like other companies might use) combine in the background, waiting for the "Action" cue.  That's Michael and Doug getting the camera ready.  I learned that Doug recently worked on a feature documentary of American Idol.  I actually shook the hand that shook the hand of Jennifer Lopez!  Pardon me, back to the, uh, research video.  This year's feature will be out be on the lookout for watch parties in your neighborhood.  Tim did a great'll see.
 In a nearby field on Farm 2, we see the harvesting of potato plots by Dr. Brian and the vegetable crew.  (And yes, potatoes are classified as vegetables.)  I hope they've noticed that there is nobody driving that tractor.
Look at how big this cover crop of winter peas has gotten since planted after wheat harvest on Farm 4. 
 Tuesday morning I took some soil tests from some plots where we are monitoring nutrient levels over time in response to different fertilizer applications.  We have a hydraulic probe, but I like the old way.  After that I went and watched a video on VHS tape and sent out some mimeographs.  (Love that smell.)
 In the meantime, it was time for corn harvest.  Soybeans are done.  Here is Stephanie weighing a plot load of corn.
After a while it becomes necessary to unload the corn from the grain cart into a truck.  Stephanie and Phil look at each other with that "Who's going to take this to the elevator" look.
Never fear.  Here's Neil Hall called out of retirement to be our truck driver.  Neil used to be the truck mechanic back in the day when the company used to do that type of thing themselves.  Neil also installed a platform in the grain tank of our first combine, a Gleaner K back in 1994.  It was for me to stand on and catch the grain in a big bag for weighing later.  That was a horrible task compared to now, but I didn't know any better at the time.   Can't believe that was nearly 20 years ago, and I'm sure I haven't changed.  I'll bet Neil feels the same way.
It was my turn to help some with harvest.  Well Phil was in the combine and Tim was recording plot weights and Stephanie was measuring corn plot moisture and test weight back at the farm office, and Jeff was planting rye cover crop, so I drove the tractor pulling the grain cart.  I wish we had a retractable grain auger that would make it easier to line up under.  I hope John Deere is working on this as I'm sure there is a huge market for one.  But it was fun to be back doing some real work. 
Although Tim was doing the closest thing to work having to stand up and pay attention to the scale readout.  Here we are unloading some more plot corn to fill the truck for Neil to haul.  Fortunately we are always 1 pound under legal load limit. 
And on and on it went, past sundown and into the night.  That's when things get a little scary here on Farm 7.  But nothing dared bother Research in Action.
And all of this in the first 48 hours of the week!