The Jerry and Cheryl Jeschke Farm

Jerry and Cheryl Jeschke’s farm is just west of Highland, Kansas, in western Doniphan County. The Jeschkes, along with their son Kyle, grow corn and soybeans. Stay tuned as Jim Shroyer introduces us to the Jeschkes and we learn all about this cropping operation and Jerry’s work on the Kansas Soybean Commission.(Jim) Good morning folks, welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer your host and we’re in northeast Kansas today. We’re in western Doniphan County, just west of Highland on the Jerry and Cheryl Jeschke Farm and in the background you can see son Kyle coming over the ridge here cutting soybeans this morning. So, stay with us. We’re gonna be talking about the crop rotation for corn and soybeans and Jerry’s involvement with the Soybean Commission. So, stay with us. we’ll be right back, after these words.

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(Jim) Good morning folks, welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer, your host. And we’re in luck today because we’re in western Doniphan County, west of Highland. And we’re on the Jerry and Cheryl Jeschke Farm and thanks for having us this morning and taking time out folks. So, we’re gonna be talking about the family operation and so let’s start off Jerry, with just kind of a little history of how you came to be farming this piece of ground. (Jerry) Well, I’m a fourth generation farmer from the Jeschke side of the family and as I understand it, our ancestors came over from Germany from the Prussia part of Germany. They went out to… first they went to Cook County, Illinois, and then they ended up out at Linn in Washington County where my Great Grandfather farmed for awhile. And then they ended up coming back here to Doniphan County. And they had some friends in Doniphan County that suggested they come back here, might be a good place to live and they could be near some relatives that they had back here. So they moved back. And this was probably in the early 1900′s and so our family has been in this area ever since. There’s lots of Jeschkes around Doniphan County right now. Many of them farm in ag related fields. So, as far as what we do now, the farm we bought was in 1977 and that’s where we’ve been ever since. (Jim) But there’s a great article in the early Kansas Farmer from the ’30s, that showed right on the cover of the Kansas Farmer showed that house and the title, “Two-Row Planter Speeds Up the Operation.” I thought that was really interesting. (Jerry) Times have really changed haven’t they? (Jim) Yeah. (Jerry) But that was a big deal back then, he’d went from apparently one row to two row. And that was the headline in the Kansas Farmer in 1930 that the farm we live on now, the guy that farmed it was very progressive. So it kind of makes you look back and say that was 85 years ago, what’s it gonna be like in the next 85 years, you know? We probably can’t even imagine it. (Jim) Right, right. Cheryl, you’re a city girl. Independence in Missouri? (Cheryl) Yes. (Jim) And so what was that like to go from the big city to out here in rural Kansas? (Cheryl) It was a little bit different because my high school was bigger than the town. (Jim) That’s good. (Cheryl) It took a little adjusting. But I love it out here. It’s peace and quiet. You can see the stars at night and the kids have a good place to grow up. (Jim) Right. So, you have three boys… (Cheryl) And a girl. (Jim) And a girl. (Cheryl) We’ve really enjoyed it. (Jim) And 13 grandchildren? (Cheryl) Thirteen grandchildren. (Jim) And that keeps you hopping? (Cheryl) Oh yes. That’s what keeps me busy. (Jim) OK. And your youngest son is in the operation? (Jerry) Yes. Kyle is. Uh huh. (Jim) That’s really good. So, basically we’re in the heart of corn, soybeans country, for Kansas anyway. And that’s basically your rotation? (Jerry) Yes it is. We pretty much go 50/50. I mean, if the market dictates sometimes we’ll go corn on corn. But usually it’s a 50/50 rotation. Go back and forth between corn and soybeans. (Jim) Right. I tell you what we’re gonna take a break here in just a second and we’re gonna explore a little bit more about the farming operation. So, stay with us. Folks, you at home, stay with us cause we’re gonna be right back after these words.

(Jim) Welcome back folks to That’s My Farm, we’re on the Jerry and Cheryl Jeschke Farm in western Doniphan County. And we have Jerry and Cheryl here with us again. So, let’s talk about soybeans now. Let’s talk about how you get soybeans in the ground and all the aspects of production on that. So, Jerry kind of take it away there. (Jerry) Typically we go a 50/50 rotation with corn. These are the only two crops we have is soybean and corn. And we start planting beans right after we get done with the corn. Typically we’ll plant the corn around the first part of April, depending on the weather. Ideally you’d like to plant right at the middle of April, but you start a little early so you finish a little late. And then we’ll start on beans usually around the first of May and try to have them done by the third week of May. Our seeding rate, we go 15 inch rows with our beans. We’re on 30 with corn so we have a split row planter, so we split the rows and plant approximately 140,000 on population. We used to plant a lot thicker but we found that we didn’t necessarily get a yield bump that way. So with the price of seed you can cut your expense back a little. So, I think we planted 140,000-145,000 this past year and have been for several years. Fertility wise we go ahead and put phosphate and potash on our beans, just like we do corn. We have a crop consultant and we do soil testing. We’ve done grid sampling. And we have a guy that our applicator can go in and put it on at a variable rate, which saves money and also just puts the nutrients where they need to be. You’re not wasting your money on that. (Jim) Exactly. What kind of weed control do you practice? (Jerry) Well, generally we will go in the early spring and put down a pre like Authority XL and a Roundup of course. We have Roundup in all our mixes. We go in and spray that to kind of hold the resistant water hemp down and pigweed. You know the problems we have with resistant weeds anymore. And we’ll spray that on early and let it lay and then we’ll come in and plant. And then we’ll come in and post with, trying to think what we’ve been posting with. I know we’ve been using Roundup and then we’ll be using some other product like Cobra. (Jim) Right. (Jerry) I know it kind of burns the leaves back. (Jim) It does sting it. (Jerry) But it does help a little eliminate the escapes out there. So, basically we’re still burning down. We kind of reversed our chemistry back, used to be Roundup/Roundup, now we’ve had to mix things together. (Jim) Right, that’s the reason for the resistant weeds. (Jerry) Right. (Jim) Right. Well let’s just, really quickly, you no till quite a bit but you use a vertical tillage operation right after corn, so talk a little bit about that. (Jerry) Yeah, we’d been no tilling all the time and we got so much residue, we get higher corn yields and then you got the BT corn, which the residue doesn’t decompose like it used to. (Jim) Right. (Jerry) And we go in and plant in the spring with the beans and there was still that residue out there. And our row cleaters and apparatus we had in the planter wouldn’t keep with keeping the rows clean and we couldn’t get a good stand of beans. So, we started running a vertical till machine from Landoll. And it sizes the residue and leaves most of the residue on top and we’ve had a little better luck with that. I know it’s another pass over and may be more expensive, it works for us. (Jim) You can get good depth of planting. Good seed/soil contact. (Jerry) Yeah, it definitely helps. And I know not everybody agrees with that, but that’s what works for us. So it’s what we do. (Jim) OK. Thanks for telling us a little bit about the soybeans. And we’re gonna come back to you here in just a second. So, stay with us. And folks at home, stay with us. We’ll be back after these words. from our sponsor. Thank you.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer, your host. We’re on the Jerry and Cheryl Jeschke Farm in Doniphan County. And Jerry I want to kind of continue with that vertical tillage operation that you do. When do you like to do that and sometimes when do you have to? (Jerry) Well, like I say with the corn residue and the BT corn it doesn’t break down like it used to and we were having trouble getting the seeds planted when we go back to beans, getting a seed bed, so we decided to vertical till. We try to do that in the fall, if we can get around to it, right after we spread the fertilizer so we can kind of incorporate the phosphorous. But if we don’t, we’ll do it in the spring. (Jim) While you’re planting. You said last year you were using the Landoll just in front of the… (Jerry) Yeah. (Jim) In front of the planter. (Jerry) Almost in front of the planter. We unhooked it and put the planter back on. That’s how close we were. (Jim) OK. Well good. What about maturity groups? (Jerry) Typically mid group threes, is what we plant around here. I mean there’s some early threes that are planted and then we get some up into the early fours. Right through here, most, I would say 90 percent of it is in the mid to late threes. (Jim) So, yields have been pretty good in the area? (Jerry) Yeah. (Jim) Real quickly on yields. (Jerry) Yeah, they’ve been excellent. I mean, they’ve run from 60 to 80 bushels. So we’re well pleased with that. There’s been some SDS in the beans this year and that’s cut yields back on some farms. We haven’t cut all ours yet but so far the yields have been real good. (Jim) So, this has been a farm record, this year? (Jerry) Right. So far. (Jim) I mean if you hit one field that tops out. (Jerry) That’s the only one you talk about. (Jim) Right, at the coffee shop. (Jerry) Right, yeah. (Jim) Now, you wear two hats. Obviously as a farmer, but also you have served as the chairman of the Soybean Commission. So, tell us the importance of the Soybean Commission to the farmers of the state. (Jerry) Well I guess I was maybe a little bit skeptical of checkoff dollars and how much good they do, but after serving on the commission for about eight years now, I see a lot of good it does to research at K-State. They develop resistant… I mean working with weed resistance and different combinations of herbicides. Bill Schapaugh does good work. (Jim) The breeder. (Jerry) There’s his team down there at K-State. We’ve funded them for a number of years. We invested a lot of money down there. (Jim) But not just at K-State; you’ve got other projects going too. (Jerry) Yeah, at KU they’re running a bio diesel project for us. They’ve been several years. They’ve been working on that and using glycerin. And what do you do with the leftover glycerin? Pittsburg State has worked with us a number of years, their polyols down there. They have some real good researchers down there and even Wichita State has done some work for us. We’ll go where we need the research done. We don’t care what the name of the school is. (Jim) That’s OK, that’s good. So, the checkoff dollars you mean, that can generate quite a bit of money if you have good yields and good prices. (Jerry) Right. (Jim) And if you have a bad year it goes the other direction, so how do you handle that? (Jerry) Well we generally keep quite a bit of money in reserves. I mean we can’t keep it all because farmers don’t invest their money to have it put in a savings account. (Jim) Exactly. (Jerry) But we don’t to spend too much because we don’t… Kansas we vary so much. Some state’s you know it’s like clockwork- on their yields and prices. But not here. So, we always keep a reserve. And we’re pretty conservative on our board. And we’re always open to recommendations from the farmers you know, if they want something done or if they’re having a problem out there, let us know about it, we’ll see if we can get a project to fund that to help ‘em out. (Jim) OK. Jerry, I really appreciate your taking time to talk to us about the Soybean Commission. So, stay with us we’ll be right back. And you folks at home stay with us, we’ll be back as well. Thank you.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer. We’re in Doniphan County on the Jerry and Cheryl Jeschke Farm. And we talked a little bit about soybeans and your work on the Soybean Commission. So, let’s now talk about corn. Let’s take a field of corn and start to finish there. So, take it away Jerry. (Jerry) OK. Like I said earlier, we rotate 50/50 corn and beans, so this corn like you see here has been on old bean ground. And we don’t do anything to the soil. We go in and anhydrous typically in the fall, if we get it done. If we don’t get it done… (Jim) After soybean harvest. (Jerry) Right. And if we don’t get it done, we’ll do it in the spring. And generally put on roughly about 200 pounds of an… and we’ll also put on 1152 and whatever… (Jim) At planting time. (Jerry) Yeah, we spread it on top. We go down the row with pop up sometime with 1034 O with a little bit of zinc with it. So, most of it’s spread with a spreader and we have it grid sampled so we kind of know what needs, what it needs, where it needs it. And we’ll have it put on variable rate. (Jim) OK, OK. (Jerry) Saves a little money that way and puts the fertilizer where it needs to be. And you don’t over fertilize or under fertilize. (Jim) What about weed control? (Jerry) We’ll go in and sometimes in the fall we’ll go down and spray with Atrazine and Roundup just to get the annuals. Winter annuals are there like penny crest, or hen bit, excuse me. And then in the spring we’ll come in and put down a pre, like a Keystone product. And come back over the top, we’ve been using Halex for the post then. (Jim) OK. (Jerry) And we all have all Roundup Ready corn or course. (Jim) Right. What weeds are a big problem for you? (Jerry) Like I say, water hemp and pigweed have been problems. Used to be sunflowers cockleburs, you name it we’ve got weeds out here. I don’t know, we’ve got grasses and everything else, and you’ve just got to control them. And when you get a good crop, it helps shade it out so we don’t see many weeds that we’ve gone through here. In harvesting this fall it looks pretty clean out there now. (Jim) Real clean, looks real clean. (Jerry) Yeah, it worked pretty good this year. And Mother Nature tells a lot about what kind of results you have with herbicides. (Jim) Right, right. (Jerry) And rain at the right time. (Jim) Exactly. So, let’s talk about yields a little bit. I’ve been hearing good yields and you were telling me that you’ve had some pretty good yields with soybeans. (Jerry) Yea, yea. (Jim) So, let’s talk about corn yields. (Jerry) Well you need to remember, the price of corn is $3 and there’s a reason for that. And across the country yields are way up. And the same is true here in Doniphan County and through northeast Kansas. We’ve had really good results here. It’s all over 200 bushel and some of it’s been way up there. I won’t even say what it is. But it’s been real good. (Jim) But you’ve been breaking records on farm records anyway this year. (Jerry) Right, this is the best year we’ve ever had yield wise. (Jim) Good deal. What about hybrid maturities? (Jerry) Typically, most of ours run about 111-115 day range. We plant full season varieties. I know there’s some that plant it around here that have a little shorter season corn, so they can get started early. They farm a lot more acres than we do and it gives them the opportunity to get started and spread their harvest out. So, we pretty much stick with the longer maturities. We seem to have… typically we yield better but it doesn’t dry down as fast obviously. (Jim) Right, right. (Jerry) We’re kind of between a rock and a hard place with that sort of scenario. (Jim) OK. Well Jerry hang on with us. Thanks for telling us a little bit about corn, and we’ll be right back with you. And you folks at home, we’ll be right back as well after these words from our sponsors.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. We’re in western Doniphan County on the Jerry and Cheryl Jeschke Farm and in this last segment here I want to talk a little bit about where you’ve come from and a little bit on your marketing plan. So Jerry, kind of tell us a little bit about early on, growing up and you had livestock at that time. (Jerry) Right. When I was growing up we had a dairy and we had beef cattle and hogs and you know, everything on my Dad’s farm. And eventually we got rid of the dairy and we kept the livestock and he had livestock and we got married, bought this farm we’re on now. And it had two hog buildings on it, a finishing floor and a farrowing house. So we farrow finished for 20 years and eventually we got out of that. We were gonna have to build new or get out, so we got out. So now we’re down to six ducks, five ducks, the dog one the other day. So, we’re down to five ducks on our farm. But we have no livestock. There’s very little livestock in Doniphan County anymore. Used to be everybody had diversification and now it’s pretty much just a corn/soybean rotation. (Jim) Right, so let’s talk a little bit about marketing. You don’t have a lot of storage, so tell us a little bit about how you market your corn and how you market your beans. (Jerry) Yea, well we have almost enough storage to store our beans. So, we try to store our beans and then we’ll have to market our corn. So, we start marketing earlier it the year. We probably sell some for cash early in the spring and then throughout the summer if you see you’re gonna have a decent crop, you might buy some puts and put under it or establish basis. That’s what we’ve done this last year. We established basis early and you can see a big crop coming on. So, at least we have a home for the corn now and even though the prices aren’t real good the yields are up, so it’s gonna take the sting out of it. (Jim) So Cheryl, tell us a little bit about how it is to have four kids growing up on the farm and one of the boys back farming with you and they’ve got grandkids, so that’s a little bonus there. So, tell us a little bit about that. (Cheryl) It was good raising kids on the farm. There was always something to do to keep them busy. (Jim) Some chores. (Cheryl) Yea, in their earlier years they walked beans. I don’t think our youngest son had to do that because of technology. But they kept busy that way. (Jim) You were saying one time you could see just the hose above… (Cheryl) The boys came walking down the row but all you could see was their hose sticking up. (Jerry) Child abuse. (Jim) Taller beans at those times than we have now. Right? (Cheryl) Yes. And now we have 13 grandchildren. (Jim) A couple, three right over there. (Cheryl) Yea, yea. And most of ‘em aren’t too far away, so that’s good. (Jim) That’s a bonus for you. That’s good. Well, folks I really appreciate you taking time to share with us your operation and some insight into northeast Kansas. And folks at home, thank you as well for joining us on this issue of That’s My Farm. And don’t forget, stay tuned next Friday, for another segment of That’s My Farm.

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