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Monday, June 17, 2019

Canola Spraying In The Mud

A few days ago I was complaining about the lack of rain and how dry it was. The weekend's 2 inch or more of rain took care of that for a while. I'd been holding off spraying the canola as the herbicide does not work too well when the crop and weeds are drought stressed. So I pushed it a bit early this morning getting out there in the field while it was still a bit muddy. No four wheel drive or even duals on the tractor this time but I got by without getting stuck. No wheel spinning or big ruts but I did have to use the turning brakes a time or two. Sure is nice to get a break from the drought and have some hope of growing a crop again.

Now I need to get going on the wheat that is also overdue for weed spraying. More rain predicted for tomorrow night.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Rain At Last

It was looking like we were headed for disaster this crop year. Rain just refused to fall here. Somehow the crops hung on til we finally got it on Friday and Saturday. I guess I had lost hope and never even had a rain gauge out. I hear reports of around 2 inches. It is literally a life saver for crops and maybe people too. Rain was such an event that I had to take a picture of it.
Fathers day today and I guess we see a lot of mention and photos to mark the occasion. Hardly a day passes that I am not reminded of my dad and the good times working with him.

Monday, June 10, 2019

2090 and Rangler 2019

This video is actually from a couple of weeks (or more) ago. I forgot it was in the camera but better late than never. It shows the interesting process of getting ready and actually harrow packing a field of oats.

Today those oats are up and growing reasonably well considering the almost zero rain we have had this spring. No doubt due to the now obsolete practice of summerfallowing this field will have moisture reserves that should allow it to at least produce some kind of a crop if it continues to "not rain". Cattle producers are really concerned as pastures fail to keep up and feed is expensive or impossible to buy.

Things can always be worse but man it is discouraging to have put money in the ground and then nature fails to co-operate with rain.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Finally, Some Rain

It was not much but a thunderstorm last night showed that maybe it can still rain. Maybe a tenth or so. Still don't have my rain guages out. Not that they would have caught much so far. In the spirit of optimism I planted another row of potatoes this morning. I'm still not up to my usual number but its been so dry and uninspiring that I have been holding off planting. Some  of the early ones are up and looking fairly good.
The daily watering I have been doing on  the single row of beans appears to have paid off as I see some emerging from the ground.
Field crops are doing better than expected considering how little rain we have had this spring. I see some bare patches in the canola field that might be flea beetle damage. Guess I should spray them out but I hate working with insecticides. I noticed the first tiny grasshoppers showing up in the yard grass yesterday. I actually took the lawn tractor out and cut the few patches of grass that had grown  tall enough to need it. What a dusty and dirty job!
Its not quite as hot as 1988 but we have had less rain than 88. That was the driest year ever in my history. So here is a video update of my crops as of June 6.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Harrowing Macdonald Hills Farm

Got done early this afternoon and seeing as it is Sunday, and the May long weekend I figured I'd take some time to put a video together showing what I was doing today. Popular myths will have you believe that Saskatchewan is all flat as a table. So as I was working at the farm in the Macdonald Hills area I figured I'd use that in the title of the video. Hills are hard to portray in the two dimensiional world of photos and video but trust me, they are hills. You can hear the tractor engine working a little harder on the steep one.

Another in the seeming endless days of sun, wind, and no rain. Plenty of dust all around me and it would have been cold sitting on an open tractor. If I had to do this job out on an open tractor I'd be retiring pretty quick. Today I just turned on the AC as needed and worked in dust free comfort listening to CBC propaganda and talk shows.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Plant Preview 2019

Time sure flies lately. I think I've been in the tractor(s) every day the past couple of weeks. Between anhydrousing, seeding, picking  rocks and harrowing, and no "rainy day breaks" it keeps me busy. Not to mention a few minor breakdowns that used up a lot of time. I mean 3 days to plant a 120 acre field is a bit much. I could have done that in a day even with the old 22 foot Seedrites in a good day. Flat tractor tire, blown hydraulic hoses and intermittent electric clutch failures on the air seeder kept things interesting. Plenty of video shot either in the cab or outside but no time to do much editing. And I refuse to upload raw, unedited video to youtube.

Still no rain and it gets drier every day. Well we did get that little spit on Wednesday that laid the dust and messed up the cab windows but it didn't do a thing for soil moisture. Lots of money going into the ground in hopes of rain.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

First Day Seeding 2019

I finally started seeding some wheat today. The day was warm compared to what we have been getting lately so it was a little more inspiring to put seed and fertilizer in the ground. Lots of dust off the dry surface but there is some moisture down in the seeding level so it should germinate. But after that we are going to need rain and quite a bit.

The getting ready took most of the day. Loading fertilizer and seed on the truck. Then filling the air seeder. Calibrating the air seeder. Took 3 attempts before I hit the right rate on fertilizer. I'm cutting back a bit on wheat seed but still giving it a good shot of granular fertilizer.

Today's forecast for scattered showers was wrong as usual. No doubt tomorrow's forecast of general rain will also amount to nothing significant either.