SHELBY, Mont. – Rain showers over the past couple of weeks have kept the crops developing well in the fields at Welker Farms in the north central region.

“We received about a half-inch a couple of days ago and a quarter-inch today (June 21), which brings our total for the year to under 5 inches,” said Bob Welker, who farms with his two sons, Nick and Scott.

The crops were just beginning to “show a little stress from the soil drying out,” and some plants looked as if they might start the maturing state earlier than normal.

While out scouting fields, Nick found the Montec 4193 yellow peas were flowering.

In addition, the Welkers finished in-crop spraying their crops June 17.

“Now the chem-fallow fields need to be sprayed the second time. Sprayers have become the most used equipment on the farm anymore,” Bob said.

The winter wheat is on target for development, displaying the flag leaves, with heads soon to follow. “Because of the drier conditions we’ve had, we decided not to apply any more N to the winter wheat crop,” he added.

The spring wheat is finishing up tillering, and will soon be in flag leaf.

The Welkers are already looking ahead to harvest. They plan to begin routine maintenance and prepare their two Case IH 8230 combines for harvest.

Case IH, with Torgerson’s LLC, plans to reveal a new prototype data system called AFS Connect Farm, Fleet and Data Management, which can be installed into 2010 or newer equipment.

The data management system wirelessly up-links current engine, field and crop harvesting data to anywhere in the world the Welkers allow so they can make informed agronomic decisions.

“We’re excited to have Case IH, with Torgersons, installing this data system on our 8230s,” Bob said.

In addition to preparing for harvest, the Welkers hope to find time to finish renovating their Big Bud 600/50, which is in the shop after being painted white.

“The painting is done but the cab windows need to be re-installed; tractor decals need to be put on, and we need to finish some wiring,” he said. “We’ll be working on it soon.”

Meanwhile, the Welkers attended a combine clinic, and learned some new things about combines.

They were also able to demo a JCB skid steer for a month.

“Construction manufacturer JCB looked at our YouTube channel and contacted Nick to see if he would be interested in demo-ing their new Teleskid for a month,” Bob said.

Since Torgersen’s, their local implement dealer, handles JCB equipment line, a new JCB Teleskid was dropped off at the farm. 

“We have been filming the Tele-skid being used around the farm moving grain, cleaning up tires and farmstead and loading chemical shuttles onto spray trailer,” Bob said. “We love the very unique design which allows the operator to enter the cab anytime from the left side. And the bucket or forks extend out 6 feet, which allows greater lifting heights than other skid steers.”

For more, see the Welker Farm YouTube channel (, or their Facebook page at