Mosher, Lalk get ready for planting
By Jean Caspers-Simmet
Date Modified: 05/02/2012 11:24 AM
SUMNER, Iowa — It's time to the get tractors, planters, disks and field cultivators out of the machine shed and that means taking nearly every piece of equipment outside.
On a sunny afternoon last week, the doors of the machine shed were open, and Steven Mosher and James Lalk had moved much of their equipment outside as they started preparing for planting. They have two planters and two tractors to pull them. There is the backhoe for fixing tile and digging rocks. Another tractor is hooked up to the field cultivator. A sprayer and even the combine were in the yard.
"We're not using the combine until next fall, but you have to move that out to get everything else out," Mosher said with a grin.
The Markman, a lift used when working on bins and augers, is parked next to the combine. They drove to the barn to repair some broken windows.
Mosher works full-time at the Target Distribution Center in Cedar Falls, and he took the day off so they could get equipment ready. Lalk retired 10 years ago after working for John Deere in Waterloo for 30 years so he knows when you have a day off, you want to get things done.
Lalk and Mosher they have farmed together for years. They grow row crops on just under 300 acres near Sumner. Lalk also farms his father's 100 acres at Hawkeye.
"We go through everything and check it out," Lalk said. "You know that it's got to be done, but in fall you figure it's too cold. In the spring you've got to get it done. When you go to the John Deere dealer, you wait in line for an hour because everybody else waited until spring, too."
"We're big on preventative maintenance," Mosher said. "We go through everything 110 percent."
"We don't want break downs because it really screws up your day," Lalk said.
They replaced shovels on the field cultivator, greased it and checked tires. Lalk took it through a couple rounds in the nearby field. Mosher said they would use the freshly tilled ground to calibrate the planters.
The disk has some loose blades that have to be tightened up, and then they'll grease it and check tires.
Lalk bought a used planter that he plans to take to Hawkeye. Mosher jacked up the tongue, and Lalk slowly backed the tractor into place so they could hook up the planter.
Mosher moved the 12-row Maxemerge Plus John Deere planter used on their Sumner ground to the edge of the field for calibrating.
Their corn and soybean seed was neatly stacked just inside the machine shed. Their other planting inputs were going to be delivered later in the afternoon.
Mosher and Lalk said that they would put all the machinery back inside at the end of the day.
"We don't let anything sit out," Mosher said.