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First Look at the Pigs April 2, 2012

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We’ve showered in.  Now we’re in the barn.  Check out the pigs. 

The barn temperture is adjusted to meet the needs of the pigs, always keeping them in their comfort zone. The barn is well insulated with a  state-of-the-art ventilation system to constantly circulate fresh air to for the pigs.  Just like your house, Scott ensures the barn is clean and well maintained.

The pigs in this barn are approximately three weeks old.  They weigh about twelve to fifteen pounds.  The pigs have a constant source of food and water at all times.  It is important to keep the water fresh and cool for drinking.  The food is a well-balanced complete ration containing  the correct protein, energy, vitamins and minerals that the pigs need.  Pigs generally do not eat grass or hay like a cow.

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No Germs Allowed March 26, 2012

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Gone are the days when you walk right into the barn. Today, farmers have many systems in place to ensure that germs are not carried into the barns.  What carries them in?  Most often someone’s exposed skin, shoes and clothes.

Anytime Scott (our pig farmer) or anyone he has invited to the barn, approaches the door they are greeted with a sign explaining the area is bio-secure.  This means the farm takes steps to eliminate outside germs from entering the pig barn.  This ensures the pigs stay healthy and safe!

Inside the front door, we don’t see pigs but a shower.  Yes, the only way in is through the shower.  For Scott, the health of his pigs is serious business. Don’t expect to get in without washing your hair and body, leaving your street clothes on the outside, and dressing in clean clothes on the other side of the shower. 

By the way, most do the same thing on the way out.  As a pig farmer says, “Shower in, shower out!”  This helps keep other farmers’ pigs safe and helps keep Tracie happy when he arrives home to see the family.  Wonder how many showers a day Scott usually takes?

Welcome to our Pig Farm March 20, 2012

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We’re kicking off the Beans to Bacon Follow Farming.  We hope to show you around the operation of a pig farm.

Welcome to Scott and Tracie Isler’s farm.  They grow market hogs.  The words hogs, pigs and swine are three common words for the same thing.  Isler’s raise pigs from birth to market.

It’s their passion. Scott works fulltime on the farm with his brother and other family members.  Tracy also helps on the farm and teaches school.  They love farming and hope this Follow Farming project will show you more about pigs.

Harvest! It’s time to harvest the soybeans. October 19, 2011

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After eight months, the soybeans are ready for harvest. Remember back that we made a pre-planting strategy, planted the seeds, watched for pests and weeds, waited for the soybeans to mature, and now we are in the field for harvest. Check out the combine cutting the soybeans and loading the truck for transport.

Soybeans are Progressing September 23, 2011

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A close look at the soybean pods show fast changes from green then to yellow and finally to brown. We also show the beans are progressing from plump green beans to hard, dry yellow beans.

Soybeans – Starting to Turn September 20, 2011

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As the days short, the soybeans in our Follow Farming field are quickly maturing.  Check out the changes in color (from deep, dark green to an autumn yellow).

Beans Tightly Packed in Pod September 8, 2011

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Looking across our Soybean Field

An early morning check of the field today shows the soybean plants are still green. In our area, we are just starting to see a few fields that are “turning”.  When farmers say “the field is turning”, they are referring to the plants starting to dry down and the plant will start to look yellow and brown.  As you can see, our whole field is still green.

3 beans tightly packed in pod

The BIGGEST change since our last update is how much the soybeans have grown.  We don’t mean the plants themselves (they are still approximately 3-feet high).  Rather the soybeans INSIDE the pods are much bigger.  The soybeans are as green as grass right now. When we harvest them, they will be golden yellow/brown. Take a look at the picture which shows how tight the three soybeans are lined up inside the pod.

Our area has continued to have regular rain falls.  All the crops (mostly soybeans and corn) in our local area look good.  Harvest is about a month away!    

Plants are loaded with pods

 

Pods are Filling Out August 22, 2011

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About the size of a small lima bean

The soybean plants may look the same but look closer. The soybeans in the pods are growing. In fact, the beans are green and about the size of a small lima bean. We’re still about six weeks away from harvest.

Rapid Pod Development August 8, 2011

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In less than a week, the soybean pods have had significant development.  While they are still very immature, we can definitely count an exact number of tiny soybeans in each pod.  

The largest soybean pods are 1.5-inches long.  Keep in mind the pods develop from the bottom of the plant to the top so the nods on the top of our plants are not showing any pod development yet but give them time.  

Small pods developing at the base of the plantsPods compared to a penny!Field continues to look GREAT!

SoybeanStatus: Full of Blooms and Forming Tiny Pods July 31, 2011

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Soybean Pod Just Starting to Grow compared to a Penny

We checked the field today and the soybeans look great.  Looking across the field we see a full canopy of healthy green leaves and good color.  A closer look at the plants show lots of tiny flower blooms. The blooms will develop into a pod and then fill with soybeans.  The pods are just starting to grow. So as we looked at it today, the pods are about the size of a penny.