The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl on Sunday; thereby, concluding another NFL season and another disappointing year for our team, the Denver Broncos. However, the end of the football season also marks the kickoff of the 2023 year for us at the farm. Yes, I know the new year started nearly two months ago, but we have been pre-gaming to prepare for the exciting crop year ahead.
The shop is busy this time of year as our team brings in each piece of machinery for inspection and maintenance. Casey briefly looks over the equipment in the yard to get an idea of what needs to be ordered and compares it to our notes on anything that was put off in the thick of harvest. He and Jesus then start bringing in equipment in order of importance to perform routine maintenance, and visual inspections to replace any worn parts.
We prioritize the equipment based on the importance of what it does and when it will be used. For instance, we don’t want to be working on the track closer we run a few times a year if the air seeder is down and needs to be ready in a few weeks. Our corn planter, grain drill, air seeder, and harvest equipment take priority over other equipment because starting the year with a poor stand due to planter issues sets you back for the rest of the year. Furthermore, the harvest equipment needs to be in condition, so we can harvest every bushel as efficiently as possible.
Just as important as the machinery that keeps us moving, we must do maintenance in the office as well. The team has been hard at work reviewing and fine-tuning 2022 numbers, adjusting the crop plan, ordering inputs, and budgeting for 2023. We have many changes coming this year, including, growing the farm by several hundred acres. We are doing our best to practice now, so we are prepared this season.
We grew a record amount of barley seed this year to keep up with our record demand. We’ve been receiving calls from farmers across the country who are wanting to try the two amazing barley varieties we grow and sell, LCS Genie and LCS Odyssey. Both varieties are listed on the AMBA recommended varieties list with LCS Odyssey also being a non-producer of GN. We will also be doing some experimenting of our own, with several test plots planned that include varieties we’ve tried in the past, but also some varieties never before grown in our area. We hope some of these varieties are so successful that we can start growing them on a wider scale for our customers.
Our craft grains business is arguably one of our more exciting ventures. Getting to see (and taste) a finished product that started with our grain never gets old. This year we are looking forward to visiting with old friends and growing relationships with some new ones. Our Antero white wheat beautifully sprouted this fall, and lots of barley is set to be planted after the snow melts.
In between preparing for the 2023 growing season, making up barley seed orders, and the start of barley planting, we are excited to attend the Commodity Classic. We try to attend a conference every year, and Commodity Classic is one of our favorites. Last year was our first-time ever-growing grain sorghum (milo) on our farm, so we went all in and entered it into the National Sorghum Yield Contest. We walked away with first in the state for irrigated sorghum! While in Florida, we will get to attend the awards gala and meet some new people!
We are looking forward to the year ahead!