On the Farm

March 30, 2012

The earliest that Keith Lee has ever planted crops fell on April 15th some years ago.

The recent streak of mild temperatures throughout the Midwest means that Lee will likely get a rare jumpstart in the field.

“It looks like I might be there again this year, maybe a little before April 15th,” Lee said. “After the 10th of April, I’ll really be looking at it.

“You beat the heat when the corn comes up. If you can beat the heat before the first of July and the end of August that’s great because heat will hurt your yield.”

Some farmers have already been in the fields planting, but with crop insurance not kicking in until early April and the unpredictability of the weather, you run a risk.

“If the corn comes up and you have a frost, you’ll be out there doing it again,” Lee said.

While the rain poured down on his Mackinaw, Illinois, farm last week, Lee was busy working in his Morton machine storage shed getting his equipment ready.

“You have to make sure everything is in tip top shape,” said Lee, who farms 1,000 acres. “Also, lubricate everything and that is – check everything – on your planter, the chains, wheels, no till coalers, any bearings you might have to replace.”

When it comes to protecting and preserving your farm equipment, a solid structure is critical.

Lee has owned a Morton Buildings machine storage shed for 16 years and knows the benefits his building has brought to the farm. He says he has seen an increase in the trade value of his equipment and has also been able to spend less time maintaining his building and more time working on the farm. One big benefit of a Morton building, according to Lee, may be something people don’t often think about.

“Number one would be birds,” said Lee laughing, “I don’t have any birds in this building. I have another farm building and it’s just terrible. I have to cover my tractors because the birds are so bad over there.”

Morton Buildings goes to great extremes to prevent birds from nesting. In each machine storage shed, the tops of the columns are factory pitch-cut and 2x2s block nesting areas between nailers, behind the upper columns.

Also, 2x4 blocks fill the area between the edge of the building and the first rows of purlins.

High tensile steel X-banding is used instead of 2x6s for sidewall bracing and flashings are installed in the gables.

Wire mesh and bird blocking are strategically used throughout the building, eliminating potential nesting areas.

See more Morton Buildings machine storage sheds here.

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